The scripts of the Vindolanda tablets fall mostly into the category
known as ‘Old Roman Cursive’, a type of writing current
in the first three centuries AD. The term ‘cursive’
here describes a business type of script, used for documents and
letters. This part of the exhibition describes the script, including
letter forms, punctuation and abbreviations and discusses the significance
of Vindolanda for the study of the history of handwriting, or ‘palaeography’.
We investigate why the script is so difficult to read and the role
of technology in helping scholars to interpret the tablets. You
may also test your familiarity with the script, with the aid of
several tablets where a letter by letter transcription has been
provided beneath each line.