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What Does Palaeography Mean? What Does Palaeography Study?

Paleography from the Greek “palaios graphe” means old writing. Paleography contributes to the elucidation of historical events by deciphering the writings used by societies throughout history. In short, paleography is the science of writing. So what is Paleography? What Does Paleography Mean? What Does Paleography Examine? Let’s learn all there is to know about Paleography together.

What is Paleography?

Paleography (paleography), according to the Turkish Language Institution (TDK), means “knowledge of reading old manuscripts”, while paleographer means “expert on old manuscripts”. Paleography deals with the process of writing and the formation of letters rather than the content of documents. Paleography examines and deciphers the writings and alphabets used by societies throughout history. The science of paleography contributes to the elucidation of written historical events. Paleography cannot be used to determine dates, but it can help scientists have a lot of information about how writing has changed over time. For this reason, paleography is one of the most important fields of science. The first paleography science emerged as Greek paleography in the 1700s. Afterwards, Latin paleography science was established. .


What Does Paleography Study?

Paleography is most often confused with Epigraphy. The difference between these two sciences is this: Paleography studies written documents. Epigraphy examines inscriptions.

The areas examined by the science of Paleography are as follows:

  • Letter form
  • Changes in the alphabet
  • Abbreviations
  • Punctuation
  • Ligature
  • Writing surfaces

Researchers interested in the science of paleography develop themselves in the above field. It is a very difficult field to study as there are many alphabets used throughout history. Thanks to the science of paleography, we can now understand ancient societies, cultures and social structure, even though there is no one who knows those alphabets and spelling languages. It is a very important science in terms of being a light on the past.


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