Calligraphic hand developed in Luxeuil Abbey, in France in the 7th-8th centuries. Either the most beautiful (for its fans) or illegible (for its detractors) uncial handwriting ever, both agree it is difficult, marked by extravagant ligatures, a characteristic "cranked" appearence, the use of capital and small letters, and a free, rather than formal appearence. Born from the Merovingian Charter Hand, it appeared at the nadir of Latin development in the Dark Ages, and as such, is strangely affecting -- here we see writing becoming less a vessel of meaning than a decorative scribble, meant to impress the illiterate laity. In short, we see writing dying out.

Succeeded by the reforms of Alcuin, under Charlemagne, it's still awesome.

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