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Re: VMs: Latin from the VMS - for Philip Neal

I have recently come across a manuscript where the case endings
are omitted and marks are attached to the ends of words to indicate
the completion of case. Was this a common practice? It also has a
form that looks like exactly EVA sh although in Capelli this form does
not have the complete overbar. In Capelli we have c+flourish, then a
gap before the final c form, which resolves to the form 'circ'. Could the
nominative and accusative cases be omitted to be replaced later
without ambiguity?

Abbreviations were common, indeed standard. Every library with a manuscript room contains a well thumbed copy of Capelli. But the point is that the abbreviations were carefully devised to prevent ambiguity of case and other inflections. Also, there was no question of enciphering the abbreviations as such: all the treatises on encipherment such as Argenti and Trithemius simply assume a plaintext written out in full.

Philip Neal

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