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Scribal Profile
John Brode
Profiles for this Scribe:
3. Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Digby 181
Current Manuscript:Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Digby 181
Sampled Folios:3r, 8v, 39r, 68r, 93v
Example Page:Display a full page showing this scribe's hand
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Usage: man
anglicana 'a' with following 'n' to show the relative size of the letter. This scribe's 'a' is frequently significantly larger than other minim-height letters.
Usage: snare
secretary 'a', also used by this scribe, is the same size as surrounding letters. The use of the different graphs appears to be random. However, on some folios there may be a preponderance of one or the other.
Usage: And
the most usual form of upper case 'A'.
Usage: And
an exaggerated form of 'A' being the first graph of a stanza.
Usage: made
the scribe uses a variety of 'd' graphs with no apparent distinction between versions 1 and 2.
Usage: nakid
'd' in final position usually, though not always has a tag. This version without tag was selected to demonstrate the more pointed shape of the lobe.
Usage: doutles
this form of 'd' is used mainly at the beginning of words and appears more like the upper case letter seen in version 4. However, it seems that an upper case letter was not intended.
Usage: Dede
the scribe's upper case 'D' at the beginning of a line on f68r.
Usage: goddes
the most usual form of 'g'. The graph is often set at a slight angle with the top lobe ahead of the bottom.
Usage: goodly
on f68r, tailed secretary 'g' is used exclusively. As with anglicana 'g' it usually sports a tag when in final position.
Usage: wrought
the typical configuration of the 'ght' combination.
Usage: God
Usage: mother
the head-stroke of 'h' may be open, or appear as a closed loop as in version 2.
Usage: natheles
closed looped head and tail-stroke curving round clockwise and back up to the body of the graph.
Usage: Which
'h' is almost always crossed as here in the combinations 'ch', 'th', 'ght'.
Usage: Haue
upper case 'H' with angled foot to the stem.
Usage: Birafte
long 'r' is used most of the time. The letter is open from the bottom. The following 'a' is at the level of the other letters in the word.
Usage: ferre
'r' in final position with attached 'e'.
Usage: wrought
'z'-shaped 'r' used after most vowels and some consonants. This 'r' occasionally has a tag which curls down from the bottom left point of the graph. In final position, the 'r' is often followed by a punctus.
Usage: vertu
modern 'r' replaces all other 'r's on f68r of Troilus. This is the folio where the scribe also uses secretary 'g' and 'a' graphs.
Usage: sholde
sigma 's' used in initial and final positions.
Usage: cause
long 's' used in medial position. The shaft of long 's' is frequently thick in the middle with a finer head-stroke.
Usage: compassid
'ss' is almost always configured as here with the descender of the second 's' splayed away from the first letter. The scribe's 'ff' is configured in the same way.
Usage: Safe
upper case letter at the beginning of a line.
Usage: was
the scribe uses several different 'w' graphs. This one is used either with or without a lead-in stroke.
Usage: swyche
the more complicated anglicana graph with double lobe on the right side. This version is used on the same folio as version 1 and the selection of graph appears arbitrary.
Usage: wight
a cursive version of 'w' with single lobe on the right side. This graph is selected on f68r, cited previously for the choice of secretary 'a' and 'g'.
Usage: When
the upper case letter at the beginning of a line with curved approach stroke beginning beneath the graph itself.
Usage: only
Usage: yonge
'y' in initial position with clear lead-in stroke.
Usage: comyng
a different form of 'y' used on f68r with tail-stroke gently curved.
Usage: Ye
'Y' in upper case position at the beginning of a line.
Upper Case Letters
Usage: Men
on f3r of the sampled folios, the scribe uses an over-elaborate upper case letter for the opening word of a stanza. Elsewhere he is not quite so flamboyant but the formation of these letters may be a feature of the scribe's practise.
Usage: The
Usage: Wherfor
elaborate 'W' with the dog-toothed left side of upper case 'O' in the line below.
Usage: No
'N' formed in the same way as 'M' in version 1 above. The scribe's elaborate 'A' on this folio is seen in Version 1 of 'a' above.
Ampersand and dotted 'i'
Usage: Ampersand with curved stroke above.
Usage: Ampersand
Usage: in
this is not the scribe's usual macron abbreviation. The loop above 'n' seems to be the dot for preceding 'i'.
Usage: in
Upper Case Letters 2
Usage: But
upper case 'B' by Brode in the first part of the manuscript.
Usage: But
upper case 'B' in the Troilus, the second and originally separate part of Digby 181. The formation of the 'B' in version 1 is very different from this example.
Usage: Oure
upper case 'O' from Brode's first section.
Usage: Of
upper case 'O' from f68r in the Troilus.
Usage: þ(er)of
thorn is not in regular use in the scribe's repertoire.
Usage: þat
Usage: þt
an example of the thorn graph from f68r, the Troilus.
Usage: þt
an example of the thorn graph from f39r. The two examples seem to be very different. Taken with other evidence from the sample folios, further analysis of these hands seems to be necessary to confirm that the scribe of Troilus is John Brode
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP