Samizdata - 10:34 pm on May 25, 2013 (gmt 0)
Where I come from, "inscribe" means carve in stone
Perhaps you imagine Fredius Flintstionius with a hammer and chisel doing freehand lettering.
In reality Roman inscriptions were first lettered with a paintbrush so Fredius could do his stuff - while it is certainly possible that a master craftsmen would do every aspect of the job, it seems more likely that Barnii Rubellus would have done the signwriting.
Written text-- whether by brush, stylus, reed/quill or some other mechanism-- is something entirely different.
Classical Roman capitals (sometimes referred to as Trajan) are formed with a brush in a similar way to calligraphy using simple strokes (as few as possible).
Barnii did not draw the letters in outline for Fredius to carve.
Besides, the earliest printed books used letterforms that replicated those produced by handwriting using a nibbed instrument. (This description applies to both italic and blackletter/fraktur.) "Roman" fonts came along many decades later.
Western typography is not based on the gothic Gutenberg Bible of 1455.
It is based on the Roman revival in Venice less than twenty years later.
The upper case letters were taken from classical Roman inscriptions (brush based).
The lower case letters were derived from Carolingian minuscules (pen based) in the mistaken belief that they also came from the classical era.
Pen and brush lettering are essentially the same thing, with brushes used for larger work.
Yabba dabba doo.