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.