Anglo-Saxon Type

Several books so far have contained passages in so-called "Anglo-Saxon" or "Saxon" type, that is, type designed to imitate the handwriting of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts. Despite appearances, text in this type is in English (usually Old English), and only a few of the letters cause any real problems. I think we should capture this material if we can.

The current policy (of saying nothing about it) will cause problems like those found in Ws535: some of the words in AS type are captured, often wrongly (because of the odd letter forms); others are left uncaptured as <GAP DESC="foreign">.

The best course will be to transcribe the text in AS type; failing that, the next best thing will be to recognize it and mark it as <GAP DESC="foreign">. Partial or incorrect capture would be the worst options.

Among the lower-case letters, the chief differences from ordinary roman type (and chief sources of confusion) are:

dcapture as da curved form of the letter with a very small ascender
fcapture as fresembles a capital "F" set with the cross bar on the base line.
gcapture as ga flat-topped version.
rcapture as rresembles a lower-case "n" with the left upright extended below the baseline. Sometimes confused with "p".
scapture as &s;a very short version of the "tall s"; resembles an "r"
tcapture as ta distinctive flat-topped version of t, like greek tau
wyncapture as &wyn; (as w also acceptable)resembles a narrow "p"; printers sometimes substitute "p".
thorncapture as &thorn;the familiar Middle English and Modern Icelandic character
that abbrev.capture as &that;a thorn with a cross stroke is an abbreviation for "that"
&capture as &amp;resembles a "7" often with a curl to the left at the bottom of the upright stroke (this form is the so-called "Tironian 'et'").
ethcapture as &eth;a curved "d" with a stroke crossing the upright above the bowl.
ash or aesccapture as &aelig; (as ae also acceptable)like the Latin ae digraph.
ycapture as yy is often dotted; ignore the dot

Sometimes, the printer will use ordinary roman capitals, sometimes 'uncial'-style capitals, or others imitative of insular manuscript hands, sometimes a mixture. Here a few of the non-standard capitals we've encountered so far (also one piece of unusual punctuation which appears to be a form of semi-colon, though it may be intended as a form of punctus elevatus):
Gcapture as G
Ccapture as C
Ecapture as E
Wcapture as &Wyn;
Hcapture as H
Mcapture as M
("&aelig;fter Moyses &aelig;")
Scapture as S
("Seint Iohannes")
AEcapture as &AElig; (Ae is also ok)
("&AElig;&thorn;elstane cyning")
;capture as ; 

A late 17th-century book of type samples includes the following:



a b c d e f g h i k l m n o p r s t &eth; &thorn; u &wyn; x y z &amp;

F&aelig;der ure &thorn;u &thorn;e eart on heofenum. Si &thorn;in nama gehalgod. To-becume &thorn;in rice. Ge&wyn;ur&eth;e &thorn;in &wyn;illa on eor&eth;an. s&wyn;a s&wyn;a on heofenum. Urne d&aelig;gh&wyn;amlican hlaf syle us to d&aelig;g. And forgyf ur gyltas. s&wyn;a s&wyn;a &wyn;e forgifa&eth; urum gyltendum. And ne gel&aelig;dde &thorn;u us on costnunge. ac alys us of yfele. so&eth;lice.

Brief Examples

The AS type can be most confusing in small doses, especially if you do not recognize that the typeface has changed for a single word or two (for clarity, I've put curly braces around the AS type in the following transcriptions):

that {scyttan,}
the Saxon, {&that; Meren Dam,}
Now {sylan,} in the Saxon Tongue, is to divide
the word {Mar,}
ISLAND should e called {Englelon&eth;,}
{Turces igge,} Torksey in Lincolnshire at this day.
word as {Saexson,}
{mid his &wyn;itena ge&thorn;eahte}
writes it {Burencea&s;ter} and {Bernecea&s;ter,}
Anglo-Saxon {Bern}
For this {Burne-&wyn;uda}
{Beorne-&wyn;uda,} being a woody tract
Bernce&s;ter, in Saxon {Burencea&s;ter} and {Bernace&s;ter}
I&s;lip, Saxon {Gight&s;lepe} or {Giht&s;lepe,}
{Po&s;&s;enter-byrig} which I take to be Pottersbury

Extended Examples

Long passages are more obviously in a distinct typeface, e.g.:

Transcription:*Se h&aelig;lend Crist syddan he to &that;ysum life com &amp; mann &wyn;&aelig;ar&eth; ge&wyn;eaxen &ETH;ara he &wyn;&aelig;s &thorn;rittig &thorn;intra eald on &thorn;&aelig;re menniscnysse &eth;a began he &thorn;ondra &thorn;ircenne &amp; geceas &that;a t&that;elf leorningenihtas &thorn;a &eth;e &wyn;e apostolas hatad.

[*The AS type in this book actually has other problems, too: the printer (or author) seems to have misspelled many words, confused several similar letters (e.g. wyn/thorn/that), and in general made a hash of things. This passage, with obvious typos corrected, might better read: Se h&aelig;lend Crist sy&eth;&eth;an he to &thorn;ysum life com &amp; mann &wyn;&aelig;ar&eth; ge&wyn;eaxen &ETH;a &thorn;a he &wyn;&aelig;s &thorn;rittig &wyn;intra eald on &thorn;&aelig;re menniscnysse &eth;a began he &wyn;ondra &wyn;ircenne &amp; geceas &thorn;a t&wyn;elf leorningcnihtas &thorn;a &eth;e &wyn;e apostolas hata&eth;.]

This example is a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and Roman type (not uncommon):
Transcription Source
Ed&wyn;ard King gret &Wyn;l&s;y Bishop, &amp; Gyr&eth; erl &amp; alle mine &that;eigne&s;* on Oxneforde&s;yre frendlic, &amp; ich cy&thorn;e ou &that; ic h&aelig;bbe gifen Cri&s;t &amp; Sainte Petre into &Wyn;e&s;tmin&s;tre &eth;at cotlif &eth;e ic &wyn;a&s; boren inne bi naman Gi&eth;|&s;lepe &amp; ane hyde at Mer&s;ce, &s;cot|fre and gafol-fre, mid allen &thorn;anu &thorn;ingan &thorn;a &thorn;er to belimpa&eth; on pode** &amp; on felde, on made &amp; on &wyn;atere mid chirchen &amp; mid chirch-focne &s;wa ful &amp; &s;&wyn;a for&eth; &amp; &s;&wyn;a free, &s;&wyn;a it me &s;ilfon on hande &s;tod, &amp; &s;&wyn;a alf iue *** Imme min moder on minre frim|birde da&wyn;e to forme gife it me &s;aef &amp; to &s;e kinde biqua&eth;.

Notes to this passage:

* "&that;eigne&s; : mistake for "&thorn;eigne&s;" i.e. thanes
** "pode" : mistake for "&wyn;ode" i.e. wood
*** "alf iue" : this looks wrong: I don't know what it means.

Some other examples