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Romanesque lettering.

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This detail of a particularly charming 12th century inscription is from the porch of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, also famous for the Bocca della Verità. While the hordes of ordinary tourists vie for their turn tempting the 'Mouth of Truth', we lettering folk pay obeisance to such touchstones as this of our scribal and epigraphic heritage.

© 1999 Tracy Truner

Note the occasional ligatures (joined letters) and nested lettering (one cradled inside the counter of another), as well as the overall energy and strength bound up in these forms. These qualities are representative of much lettering of the period.

 

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