• Иван Балта
Keywords: abbreviations, diplomacy, medieval charters, Latin abbreviations


The issues of Latin abbreviations in the diplomatic documents are a very complex problem in the diplomatic word processing and deciphering the historiography documents.

Abbreviations originated from Latin letters caused a favorable advantage for the scribe, but created difficulties for the reader, since they were complicated and questionable at the time. The Romans called the Latin abbreviations notae-or-sigla, using them just to save space and materials on which the letters were written. Increased use of abbreviations in medieval manuscripts emphasized a need for a manual in both the Code and Charter, specifying the form of abbreviations and centuries which they belonged to. Steffens divided the abbreviations of the Roman epoch according to the chronological development into the five ways of shortening: suspension, notes Tironianae, contraction, notes iuris, and signs for numbers, which were retained and added new shortcuts in the Middle Ages, especially in the territory of today's Pannonia and the Eastern Adriatic coast.

Punctuation, which was alike the abbreviations, had a long process of development, which began as an antique-scriptura continua, trying to clarify the meaning of putting points in various positions between the individual words.

Abbreviations differed not only by the type of Latin letters, but also by the territory in which they evolved, at different time periods. Abbreviations of Latin letters from the Beneventan East Adriatic coast were specific, were formed gradually, could be used as a criterion for dating, and were carried out with more ways of shortening the letters. Schiaparelli probably entered the deepest essence of the development of Latin minuscule in which he noted that the Frankish influences were much stronger in the first period of the development of the Beneventan East Adriatic coast. However, perhaps no other medieval script was developed better than a system of abbreviations in the Gothic style, especially in the legal, philosophical, medical and theological writings in Pannonia. Almost every office in which medieval public and private documents were written had its own system of abbreviations, which additionally complicated deciphering of complex abbreviations which had different impacts in the territory of Pannonia and the Eastern Adriatic coast.


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