MMFC:Lists/Layout characteristics

From Manual - MMFC. Medieval Manuscripts in Flemish Collections


1 Introduction

This page contains a number of lists based on the different tick lists used for describing the layout of a manuscript's pages.

2 Ruling methods

Term Definition Example
Blind-point ruling The ruling is made by pressing a stylus or another fine and pointed object in bone or metal on the parchment. Dry-point ruling causes thin furrows on one side of the parchment, and thin ridges on the opposite side of the folio.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0245, fol. 144r.

Detail from fol. 144r showing a white vertical line as left marginal line caused by tracking a pointed object over the surface of the parchment.

Board ruling A type of relief ruling that is obtained by pressing or rubbing paper (or parchment) onto a wooden or cardboard board containing the mirror-image of the desired ruling layout, with faint impressed lines on the pages as a result.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0106, fol. 4v.

Very faint vertical line of the right marginal line of the paper page left by using board ruling.

Ink ruling The ruling of the pages is executed by drawing the guide lines in ink. Different colours are used, but pink ink seems to have been preferred.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0148, fol. 29r.
The page shows very clearly the light brownish-pink lines of the ink ruling.
Lead-point ruling The ruling of the pages is executed by drawing the guide lines in lead-point. Lead-point ruling can be quite difficult to discern since it could be erased by the scribe after completion of the writing.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0168, fol. 4r.

Detail of HS.0168 fol. 4r. The lead point ruling is visible between the written lines.

2.1 Rake ruling

Rake ruling is a method of ruling the pages by using a rake containing a number of pens or lead-points placed at regular intervals on a rake. One of the characteristics of rake ruling is the absence of the marginal and top lines in the layout design.

Term Definition Example
Rake ruling The horizontal ruling of the pages is made by using a rake containing a number of pens or lead-points placed at regular intervals on a rake. By using this rake, the guide lines did not have to be drawn individually, but were drawn in groups.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0070, fol. 67r.

Detail of HS.0070, fol. 67r showing the absence of the marginal and top lines and the slight unsteadiness of rake ruled guide lines.

Rake ruling (lead-point) The rake used to draw the guide lines contained lead-point tips as drawing tools. Lead-point rake ruling has fine dark greyish lines that are visibly finer than guide lines drawn with ink.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.1764, fol. 3r.

Detail of HS.1764, fol. 3r showing the faint, fine lines of lead-point ruling.

Rake ruling (ink) The rake used to draw the guide lines contained pens that were dipped in ink. Guide lines drawn in ink rake ruling have rather bold guide lines. Different colours of ink are possible.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0205, fol. 15r.

Detail of HS.0205, fol. 15r showing bold guide lines in purple ink made by rake ruling.

Rake ruling (lead-point and ink) The rake ruling of the manuscript contains both lead-point rake ruling and ink rake ruling.

3 Ruling types

Term Definition Example
No ruling The written area of the manuscript has not been ruled in advance. The effect is that lines of written are never completely straight, that the lines are often not exactly parallel to each other, or that there is often variation in the number of written lines per page.


When no discernable ruling can be seen on the manuscript page, but when the lines are regular, straight, parallel to each other, then the page must nevertheless have been ruled. Ruling would then most probably have been by lead-point, which could have been executed very lightly or erased after the copy was finished.

Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0239, fol. 119v.


Full ruling Both the margins and the guide lines for writing were drawn in advance.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.1344, fol. 56r.


Frame ruling The text area of the page only contains the lines demarcating the margins of the page.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0290, fol. 5r.


4 Prickings

Prickings
Term Definition Example
Prickings visible The prickings made by the scribe in preparation of the ruling are still visible on the outer borders of the pages.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0245, fol. 21r.

The prickings made in preparation of the ruling of the page are visible at the right side close to the border of the page.

Prickings in the inner margins For mid-twelfth ot mid-thirteenth century manuscripts it is possible to contain prickings in the inner margins. Scribes of this period sometimes chose to fold the parchment double in advance of ruling the page and thus applying the pricking holes. example of prickings in the inner margins

5 Other layout characteristics

Term Definition Example
Written above top line The scribe has written text or glosses on or above the upper ruled line.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0094, fol. 14v


Running titles The top margin of the manuscript contains titles, rubrics or foliation.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0010, fol. 1v.


Marginal glosses The scribe has added glosses in the margins of the pages to facilitate the reading and retrieving of certain passages.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0301, fol. 120r


Textus inclusus with glosses The layout of the page consists of a central column or columns of text surrounded with extensive glosses or commentaries concerning the central text.
Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, HS.0022, fol. 11v.