Text/ Style of writing
What I noticed at first was in “Topographia Galliae”, that the languages German and French (mostly names) were distinguished through font. French words and names are written in in a rather “Modern” font with serifs. Serifs tend to make reading easier. The German part is written in an «old German» font. This writing style is more difficult to read because it is squiggly and thicker. For the most part the names of the landmarks and places are in the “French” font, but sometimes there are also random French words thrown into the text. For example “FINIS” at the end of a chapter. Besides this, Paris is spelled in two different ways throughout the book, Paris and Parys, it is because the there are older maps included in the book from 620, when the spelling was different. (pages 35 and 38)
What also stands out, is the first letter in every chapter, which is bigger and almost a picture/piece of art. This phenomenon can be noticed in many old books and is called “initial”. It was a decorative element in the books. Sometimes there are also “lombards” which are bigger letters at the beginning of paragraphs instead of chapters. Initials and lombards both indicate a new beginning either of a chapter, paragraph or even a new sentence. (To find on page five and six for example)
The text also differs in size. The title is written very big, mostly there is a subtitle a bit smaller, but the title can vary in a random way in size. The continuous text is written in a pretty big font. The lists of landmarks and places are written smaller. This indicates a hierarchy in text and words.
The page numbers change their position throughout the book, but they are above or beneath the text, always on the outer corner of the page. On top of the page there is mostly a remark to which chapter the page is linked. The text changes its layout throughout the book in one, two or three columns.
In conclusion there is a lot of change of layout and style of writing. The concept of the two fonts in French and German stays throughout the whole book, it can be quite helpful and makes sense to me. The rest of the layout and text is a bit thrown together and does not always follow the rules of hierarchy (title, subtitle, continuous text). This makes the book unique and has its own charm. Mostly The content of the book, which is the summary of all places and landmarks in Paris, is understandable and good to read.