a type of half uncial writing found in Slavic manuscripts. Poluustav first appeared in the 13th century and was used in the same period as ustav, a type of uncial writing. As the demand for books grew, poluustav became the predominant style of scribes working for clients and independently. Poluustav is easier and quicker to write than ustav because it is simpler, uses many more abbreviations, is more frequently slanted (at the beginning or end of a line), and lacks calligraphic regularity. Letters are not geometrical: straight lines curve slightly and rounded letters do not form regular arcs. Poluustav appeared in Rus’ in the late 14th century, developing from the 14th-century Russian ustav style; as in ustav, letters were written vertically. Although the later orthography and other features of ustav were preserved, the letters were made extremely simple and less precise; the measured shading of letters gave way to a certain freedom of movement. Among the texts written in poluustav is the Laurentian Chronicle (1377). The oldest variety of Russian poluustav was still used in early 15th-century manuscripts. At the turn of the 15th century, a number of poluustav hands developed from the poluustav used in what is now Yugoslavia. Yugoslav poluustav admitted greater variation in individual letters and a large variety of supralinear signs.
T. V. VENTTSEL