VisigothicPal is the digital counterpart of the project "ViGOTHIC: Towards a typology of Visigothic script: the Beatus British Library Add. ms. 11695 and its potential for dating and localising Visigothic script manuscripts", which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 656298 (2015-2017). VisigothicPal was built upon the software developed by the DigiPal team at the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London.
ViGOTHIC aimed to establish a point of reference for the palaeographical analysis of Visigothic script and Visigothic script manuscript sources by developing a computerised database of quantitative data to better describe, compare and place Visigothic script testimonies in their context. To date, most palaeographical analysis of Visigothic script has been conducted using a traditional manual methodology and following not standard but heterogeneous criteria leading to subjective results that are difficult to share or evaluate. Project ViGOTHIC aims to aid other specialist palaeographers or visigothicologist in assessing their work to better understand it, establishing criteria upon which advanced studies can build. It offers a means of understanding the script, the manuscripts produced in it, and its chronological, geographical and socio-cultural context, that is, the Iberian Peninsula between the seventh and twelfth centuries.
As a pilot project for the digital analysis of Visigothic script, the study built on a case study: the copy of the Apocalypse of Beatus of Liébana kept at the British Library (BL Add. Ms. 11695) as one of the few codices written in this script that can be dated and geographically located with certainty (for a list of the extant codices in Visigothic script, see LitteraVisigothica timeline). The systematic analysis of this codex helped evaluate computer-assisted techniques to the study of this particular written system, determining the viability and benefits of computerised semi-automated analysis. VisigothicPal aims to establish a point of reference for computerised analysis of Visigothic script sources by providing accurate graphic foundations to foster historical research.
VisigothicPal is a work in progress that began in 2015 at King's College. It is continued progressively adding more written sources and their analysis. All comments and suggestions on how to improve the platform are welcome. Likewise, VisigothicPal is open to collaboration, if you want to form part of the VisigothicPal team, let us know.