Borrowing aspects of the Etruscan alphabet, the ancient Romans were among the first to develop a written script for transactions and correspondence.
By the 5th century A.D. it included early versions of lowercase letters and sometimes flowed like modern cursive.
After the Roman Empire fell, penmanship became a specialized discipline that primarily blossomed in monastic settings, specifically the medieval scriptoria that churned out Christian and classical texts across Europe.
Styles varied widely by region, however, so in the late 8th century Charlemagne tasked an English monk with standardizing the craft.
Influenced by Roman characters, Carolingian miniscule was designed for maximum legibility and featured lowercase letters, word separation and punctuation…
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