A true rarity! A capital-letter display script with long
slender forms, mixed with round forms.
This script is offered in four versions:
- Arcaica: Archaic versals of lapidary origin.
- Imperatorum: Balanced versals of calligraphic
- Caligraphic script Visigótica Sumnole.
- Caligraphic script Visigótica Isidoro.
Glyph sets and application
Visigothic script originated in the Visigothic kingdom in
Hispania (the Iberian Peninsula, today's Spain and Portugal).
The alternative designations littera toletana and
littera mozarabica associate it with scriptoria specifically in
Toledo and with Mozarabic culture more generally, respectively.
The Minuscule, which exists both in book-hand and cursive
versions, was used from approximately the late 7th century until the 13th
century, first in Visigothic Iberia, and then in the Christian kingsdoms.
In Portugal, it was used in the scriptorium of the
Mosteiro de Santa Cruz, in Coimbra. The Visigothic script was extinct in the
second half of the 12th century (1172 is the date for the last known original
Portuguese document). After the extinction of the Minuscule, the Versals
continued to be used, being then combined with gothic minuscules.
The fonts presented here do not render the minuscule
letters; they focus on the much more elegant upper case letters,
Visigothic Versals, which were used as initials, in ornamental fashion or in
titles and subtitles.
presentation (4 MB)
In Spain and Portugal, the Visigoths had seized control of
much of the peninsula, except for the north-west, occupied by the Suevi, and
the Basque region.
The Visigoths formed the new aristocracy of Spain, taking
over the positions of high office, although it is estimated that they comprised
no more than five percent of the total population. The laws of Alaric II helped
to romanise the Visigoths.
The country was unified by King Leovigild (569-586), who
made Toledo his capital and struck gold coins to affirm his independence. In
584 he annexed the Suevic kingdom, while the Byzantines were largely confined
to the ports in the south.
The Byzantines were finally expelled in the 620s and
Swinthila became the first Visigothic king to reign over all of Hispania. But,
in the late 7th century, rivalry for power and influence among the nobility and
the clergy often led to rebellion and conspiracies, which weakened the royal
In 711, the Arabs, who had already conquered North Africa,
took advantage of division of the kingdom to invade. They defeated and killed
King Roderick and rapidly seized control of the Iberian peninsula. But, while
some of the Visigothic nobles joined them, many others fled to Asturias in the
north, where a base was established for resistance by Pelayo (leading
eventually to reconquest) and where Visigothic political institutions were