October 23, 2010 § Leave a comment
Uncial scripts are the scripts with majuscule letters written in Greek, Latin or Gothic scripts between the third and eighth centuries AD. The uncials were first used because they are single stroke letters and it is easier to write on parchment or vellum (animal skin prepared for being written on) with single stroke. Before this wasn’t the case. In rough surfaces such as papyrus it was easier to write with more than one stroke. Besides being written with single stroke uncial letters have another important characteristic. Space is left between the words. First uncial scripts were simple with single stroke but later on they became more complicated. Ascenders and descenders, overlapping letterforms started to be used. From these more complicated features the half-uncials developed.
Half-uncials are named in eighteenth century. They are named this way because half-uncials have many common characteristics with uncials. When they are named separately it looks as if they are two different scripts. Actually they are used together in the same script.