Italic developed during the 15th & 16th centuries
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The ITALIC hand was developed during the Renaissance in Italy in the 15th & 16th centuries (hence its name). Used for Papal documents it derived from the Carolingian hand as a more cursive form of lettering and is speedier to write. It was used as a form of handwriting and in wood engravings and is characterised by being more flourished than the Roman and Carolingian hands.
Italic images courtesy of The Grammar Terrorist
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The letter strokes appear parallel, even when one is slightly curved, and the letters are evenly spaced. The lowercase letters are based around the letter 'a' and the capitals are based on a compressed 'O'.