Lexicon Browse - A

Abbreviation - A method of shortening words that can be in the form of initials, suspensions, contractions, or symbols.Abbreviation symbols - see AbbreviationAcanthus - A foliate motif much used in medieval art and derived from the depiction of the acanthus plant in a decorative context during Antiquity.Ad usum - see UseAlphabet - A set of symbols (or "letters") that represent the basic sounds of a written language.Alum tawed - Alum tawing is a process for preparing white leather by soaking animal skin in alum (potassium aluminium sulphate).Alum-tawed thongs - A thong (or cord) that has been alum tawed to make the leather pliable while still durable.Ampersand - A symbol ("&") derived from a ligature of the Latin word "et," used to indicate "and."Anglicana script - A form of Gothic Cursiva used in England from the 13th to 15th centuries.Anglo-Saxon period - The Anglo-Saxon period extended from c. 500 to 1066.Anthropomorphic initial - A decorated initial which incorporates all or part of the human body into the structure of a letter within a manuscript.Antiphonal - A liturgical book containing antiphons, which are portions of Psalms or sentences from Scripture.Antiphonary - see AntiphonalAntiphoner -  see AntiphonalApograph - An exact transcript of an original manuscript.Applied covers - A decorative plaque, generally of metalwork or ivory, which is set into or onto the boards of a binding.Arabesque - A flowing, curvilinear decoration in borders, marginal decorations, and some initials, inspired by Islamic art.Arabic numerals - The figures 0-9, introduced into Europe from India, via the Islamic world, around 1100.Ascender - The vertical stroke rising above the line in minuscule letters like b, d, and h.Aspect - The general appearance of a script or hand; for instance, "spiky," "rounded," "angular," "sprawling," "elongated."Atelier - see WorkshopAuthentication - One of the chief processes of Diplomatics--the verification of the authenticity of charters and other official documents through careful analysis of the script, content and physical aspects of the document..Authentication of charters - see AuthenticationAuthentication of papal bulls - see AuthenticationAuthor portrait - A miniature or historiated initial depicting the author of a text.Autograph - A manuscript copied out by the author of the text.Azurite - A deep-blue copper mineral often used for blue pigments.