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I wasn’t able to find any example photo, but I recently saw some old manuscripts printed in the 18th century (I believe) at the University of Vienna that had mixed letter casing in the middle of the word, e.g. InvIdIa, nostrVM etc. (these examples are not verbatim)

The casing would not emphasize composite nouns or the start of syllables, so I’m wondering if the reason for using them is the lack of enough lowercase casts.

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    Welcome to Graphic Design SE. Can you please edit your question to specify: 1) Are those examples verbatim? 2) Where those examples limited to a specific language? If yes, you are more likely to get an answer on the site pertaining to that language, e.g., Latin Language. 3) In the examples you gave, all letters happen to be at the beginning of syllables according to historic German syllable-separating schemes (which are somewhat silly). Are you aware of this? 4) Are the initial capital letters of those words also surprising or were those words at the beginning of a sentence or similar? – Wrzlprmft Nov 23 '16 at 10:24
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    Very difficult to answer without an example or two, but this could just as easily be to do with the evolution of letter shapes over time, rather than a printing restriction. Lower case Ds, Rs and Ts in particular have looked a lot like caps in certain styles and eras. – Westside Nov 23 '16 at 11:25
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    In addition to what @Chris said, Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization were not socially standardized by this period. Even the use specific characters was flexible. For example (in early modern London) leffs would be more common than less or Iohn instead of John. You'll find all sorts of variations like this in early modern prints. The reason could range from "the printer ran out of the lower case glyph" to "it was an error" to "the printer was considering pronunciation stresses and syllables" "the printer thought it correct". I would love to see some images of specific examples. – Scribblemacher Nov 23 '16 at 12:46
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    @Scribblemacher: good points – but surely you mean leſs (or perhaps, but leſs likely, leſſs)? Or was it meant as an example of "the typographer ran out of long eſſeſs"? – usr2564301 Nov 23 '16 at 13:48
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    @RadLexus Both, I guess. Most text I've looked at are early modern English dramas, where f and ſ sometimes get used interchangeably. I can just hear the printer in my head saying "I'm already out of those stupid ſ things, but I got all these extra F's. Bah! ſ it!" – Scribblemacher Nov 23 '16 at 14:06
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While I do not the exact answer, I do know that solid grammar rules did not exist back when the described manuscripts were printed. Due to this, many improper spellings and cases of odd writing can be seen the further back you go. Also, if it was printed with ink stamps, the printing company may have not had the correct stamps. They weren't exactly cheap.

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I do not have good proof right now, but the answer is that those capitals were only Roman numerals used in order to conceal numbers/years in titles or names.

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    If this is the case, then you should be able to come up with real examples for the question. P, R and T are not Roman numerals. – Andrew Leach Jun 16 '17 at 23:19

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