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a script used for business purposes, to speed the process of writing. Cursive originated and came into wide use when writing was first applied to economic, administrative, diplomatic, and other practical purposes. The script is characterized mainly by the uninterrupted motion of the pen in the tracing of the letters. Greek cursive was used from the second century B.C. to the seventh century A.D., and Latin cursive, from the second century B.C. to the sixth century A.D. In Rus’, Cyrillic cursive is found in documents dating to the 14th century.
Russian paleography distinguishes the following principal types of cursive scripts on the basis of graphic features: northeastern, or Muscovite, cursive (15th to 17th and early 18th centuries), western, or Byelorussian (Vilnius), cursive (15th and 16th centuries), and southwestern, or Kievan, cursive (17th century). The Muscovite cursive served as the basis of the civil typeface.