from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Ancient forms of writing, as in a manuscript or document.
  • n. Paleogeography.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An ancient manner of writing; ancient writings, collectively.
  • n. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ancient manner of writing; or, more generally, ancient methods of writing collectively.
  • n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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


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.


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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

  • You'd better believe I'm already brainstorming lessons in paleography and assignments involving editing and collation.

    Ferule & Fescue


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