Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The study and scholarly interpretation of earlier, especially ancient, writing and forms of writing.
  • noun The documents whose writing is so studied.
  • noun The manner of writing in an earlier, especially ancient, document or set of documents.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An ancient manner of writing; or, more generally, ancient methods of writing collectively.
  • noun The science or art of deciphering ancient documents or writing, including the knowledge of the various characters used at different periods by the scribes of different nations and languages, their usual abbreviations, etc.; the study of ancient written documents and modes of writing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An ancient manner of writing; ancient writings, collectively.
  • noun The study of ancient inscriptions and modes of writing; the art or science of deciphering ancient writings, and determining their origin, period, etc., from external characters; diplomatics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun US Ancient forms of writing, as in a manuscript or document.
  • noun obsolete Paleogeography.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the study of ancient forms of writing (and the deciphering of them)

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

paleo- + -graphy; imitating Latin palaeographia for the first sense and French paléographie and paléogéographie for the second and third senses.

Examples

  • Katherine Tachau taught me Latin paleography, wrote letters of support, and gave general encouragement.

    Sensual Encounters: Monastic Women and Spirituality in Medieval Germany

  • Also, you need years of study, a specialization in paleography, and several years of work experience to decode the ancient writings.

    Tracking Down the Tale of the Knights Templar | Impact Lab

  • I avoid using the term paleography in the Wordhoard, though, because most people don't know what it means.

    You Know You're a Textual Scholar When...

  • Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, founder and assistant director of the institute, is also its expert in Spanish paleography and serves as lead investigator in its Dominican colonial research.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • So confirmation of the Jerusalem origin of the stone avails nothing, nor particularly does the paleography.

    Robert Eisenman: The James Ossuary: Is It Authentic? (An Update)

  • By this, I have always meant as at "Qumran" -- the name scholars give to the subject of "the Dead Sea Scrolls" to avoid repeating this tedious phraseology -- it being the location of the River Wadi emptying into the Dead Sea where the Scrolls were found what the documents themselves say and not the more imprecise conclusions of paleography, archaeology or even AMS carbon dating, such as these may be.

    Robert Eisenman: The James Ossuary: Is It Authentic? (An Update)

  • After a full semester, however, of one class on paleography and another on medieval book culture (the latter with Chris Baswell, who is part of the team that worked on assembling the UCLA site), I can't help but think about the objects themselves.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • After a full semester, however, of one class on paleography and another on medieval book culture (the latter with Chris Baswell, who is part of the team that worked on assembling the UCLA site), I can't help but think about the objects themselves.

    A Digital Codex

  • This article was completely done on the basis of "the internal evidence," i.e., what the inscription itself said, as there was really no "external evidence" available at the time, except for paleography the second part of which was obviously by a different hand or a different handwriting style, as noted above, or fraudulent.

    Robert Eisenman: The James Ossuary: Is It Authentic? (An Update)

  • Although there is a paucity of dinosaurs in medieval literature (Saint Augustine excepted), I find that my interest in paleography is another way of returning to the things I find most moving about medieval literature: the way in which words touch us (and are touched by us) over immense swathes of time.

    Archive 2008-09-01

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