For the main body of text in my Latin manuscript, I chose the Early Gothic bookhand, as in the exemplar and facsimiles of Marc Drogin's book. This hand was popular in the 11th and 12th centuries, so a bit early for the style of illumination I did, but it seemed to have a more lyrical quality and a higher degree of readability to it than Gothic Textura Quadrata, which would have been current. The capitals are also based on Drogin's examples and facsimiles, and are done using the same quill pen that I used for the minuscules. Rubricated words were made using the quill and a bit of glair paint, which flows more readily and dries slower than egg tempera paints. It was sometimes necessary to use abbreviations so that the lines would fit into their designated spaces; for these, I used the system I found in Praeces Piae, a French/Flemish book of hours from the second quarter of the 15th century. This involved leaving out letters, usually at the end of the word, and adding a symbol that acted as a placeholder (much like the modern apostrophe). When there was extra space at the end of a line, I used a decorative filler, or line ending. Other notes about the hand include the use of the long 's' in the middle of words, and the substitution of a simple 'e' for 'ae,' also to be found in Praeces Piae.
In the lower right-hand corner of the textblock, there is a section that emulates an antiphonary. Musical staff lines were ruled in walnut ink and square notation was added in simulation of a musical text. The "lyrics" of the song are taken from the beginning of Shakespeare's Sonnet #55: "Not marble, nor the gilded monuments/ Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme" (1-2). This poem, which dates hundreds of years after Horace's poem, nevertheless embodies some of the same ideas, primarily the notion that the beauty preserved in the words will endure longer than visual artwork. The hand is Early Gothic here as well, and both it and the notation were written with a quill pen I cut.
I wrote my translation of the Horace poem in the margins of the manuscript in the form of marginalia. This was often the form taken for notes written by students in scholarly texts. I chose Gothic Littera Bastarda for this portion of the manuscript, a minuscule cursive hand popular from the 13th century onward. I used the crowquill to write it because it needed to be very small.
My translation of the Horace poem is not meant to be taken word by word, one of the reasons that I transcribed it on the sides of the Latin textblock instead of doing interlinear notation like for the Plato text. Rather, I did a verse translation, attempting to convey both the sense of the words and the flow of the poem while using a set rhyme scheme to underscore the technical aspects of Horace's piece. My rhyme scheme of choice was abbacca. In the translation, I try to bring out something of the agricultural tone of the first part of the poem, connected with very Italian images: the cultivation, or growth, of the poet's renown; the Capitoline hill in Rome; the roaring Aufidus River contrasting with the barren land of Daunus; and the poet springing up like a plant from his native soil. These images contrast with the more elevated descriptions of Greek culture which sweep the end of the poem: Greek poetry, of course; the muse Melpomene; and the laurel crown of Delphi. Finally, I have tried to bring forward the artistic aspects of the poem, monumental, aural, and verbal. For more on this, please see my text discussion on Horace.