Research Seminar. Ainoa Castro Correa: “The Regional Study of Visigothic Script II: Visigothic vs. Carolingian Script in Galicia.”
Mellon Fellow, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.
In my last Research Seminar I summarized the state of research on Visigothic script explaining that, once the script was identified, its main graphic characteristics established, and its origin and evolution discussed, the next step in the study of the script was to focus our attention on the analysis of its regional characteristics. Understanding how the Visigothic script was developed in each region is a fundamental aspect which allows us not only to date and geographically localize sources, but also to reconstruct their cultural context, since writing, seen as a vehicle for intellectual communication and simultaneously understood as an organized system that allows such development, is the perfect strategic point of reference to assess any particularly cultural situation. I also discussed then whether a new Galician regional variant can be considered as independent of the Leonese one, in which it has traditionally been included, asking if the graphic characteristics observed in the documents are distinctive enough for establishing two separate regional variants. However, the answer to this question was left open. Since then, the project has advanced by adding to the sources of Lugo those of Santiago, as well as by taking further steps in approaching them as written testimonies of a specific cultural context.
In this Seminar I will focus my attention on giving an answer to the question about the existence of a Galician variant through the paleographical analysis of the sources preserved for the more studied typological variant of the script, namely, the transitional one, and the detailed approach to the historical situation that they represent. Thus, I will show how the influence of the political and religious preferences of the Astur-Leonese/Castilian-Leonese kingdom were a decisive reason in the progressive decline of Visigothic script and the adoption of Carolingian script in Galicia, and how each diocese reacted to this, more or less, imposed change.