Claudian letters, with the ↃϹ variant of antisigma supported by manuscripts of Priscian.[1]
Claudian letters, with the ↃϹ variant of antisigma supported by manuscripts of Priscian.[1]
Claudian letters with the Ↄ variant of antisigma.
Claudian letters with the Ↄ variant of antisigma.
Claudian pomerium marker, where written words ampliavit and terminavit use turned digamma (highlighted in red)
Claudian pomerium marker, where written words ampliavit and terminavit use turned digamma (highlighted in red)

The Claudian letters were developed by the Roman emperor Claudius (reigned 41–54). He introduced three new letters to the Latin alphabet:

Usage

These letters were used to a small extent on public inscriptions dating from Claudius' reign, but their use was abandoned after his death.[3] Their forms were probably chosen to ease the transition, as they could be made from templates for existing letters. He may have been inspired by his ancestor Appius Claudius the Censor, who made earlier changes to the Latin alphabet.[4] Claudius did indeed introduce his letters during his own term as censor (47–48), using arguments preserved in the historian Tacitus' account of his reign, although the original proclamation is no longer extant. Suetonius said of Claudius' letters:

Besides this he [Claudius] invented three new letters and added them to the alphabet, maintaining that they were greatly needed; he published a book on their theory when he was still in private life, and when he became emperor had no difficulty in bringing about their general use. These characters may still be seen in numerous books, in the [state] registers, and in inscriptions on public buildings.[5]

Support for the letters was added in version 5.0.0 of Unicode.[6] Although these letters, as all Latin letters in antiquity, originally occurred only in capital form, lowercase forms have been introduced to meet Unicode casing requirements.[6] The minuscule form for the turned F was designed as a turned small capital F and should not be confused with the IPA symbol ɟ representing a voiced palatal stop.

The letters are encoded as follows:

Description Letter Unicode HTML Script
TURNED CAPITAL F
TURNED SMALL F

U+2132
U+214E
Ⅎ
ⅎ
Latin
ROMAN NUMERAL REVERSED ONE HUNDRED
LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSED C

U+2183
U+2184
Ↄ
ↄ
Latin
LATIN CAPITAL LETTER HALF H
LATIN SMALL LETTER HALF H

U+2C75
U+2C76
Ⱶ
ⱶ
Latin

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Oliver, Revilo P. (1949). "The Claudian Letter Ⱶ". American Journal of Archaeology. 53 (3): 249–257. doi:10.2307/500662. JSTOR 500662. S2CID 193082268.
  2. ^ a b Bücheler, Franz: De Ti. Claudio Caesare Grammatico at Google Books (Latin), Elberfeld (Germany) 1856
  3. ^ Tacitus, Annals 11[10]:14
  4. ^ Ryan, F. X. (1993). "Some Observations on the Censorship of Claudius and Vitellius, A.D. 47–48". American Journal of Philology. 114 (4): 611–618. doi:10.2307/295428. JSTOR 295428.
  5. ^ Suetonius pass, Loeb Classical Library edition, 1913‑1914, English translation is by J. C. Rolfe. Page 77, paragraph 41. (From LacusCurtius)
  6. ^ a b Michael Everson (2005-08-12). "Proposal to add Claudian Latin letters to the UCS" (PDF). Unicode Technical Committee, Document L2/05-193R2 = ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2, Document N2960R2. Retrieved 2021-12-27.