The word palaeography means ‘old writing’, derived from the Greek words ‘paleos’ (old) and ‘graphos’ (write). The term refers to the study of ancient, medieval and early-modern handwriting. Deciphering ancient handwriting isn’t always an easy task as letter formations and spellings have varied throughout history. It wasn’t until the mid to late 17th century that handwriting on ancient documents becomes more recognisably like our own but even then, there was no uniform way of writing.
At Queen Elizabeth’s School our palaeography group students have been transcribing the earliest minute books and taking a detailed look at the school charter which poses the additional challenge of being written in renaissance Latin.
Have a go yourself and see if you can decipher the charter scribe's handwriting