A Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases by Christopher Corèdon

By Christopher Corèdon

An curiosity within the heart a while frequently brings the non-specialist reader up brief opposed to a note or time period which isn't understood or purely imperfectly understood. This dictionary is meant to place an finish to all that: it's been designed to be of actual support to normal readers and experts alike. The dictionary includes a few 3,400 phrases as headwords, starting from the criminal and ecclesiastic to the extra prosaic phrases of way of life. Latin used to be the language of the church, legislations and executive, and lots of Latin phrases illustrated listed here are often present in smooth books of historical past of the interval; equally, the right which means of previous English and heart English phrases may well elude ultra-modern reader: this dictionary endeavours to supply readability. as well as definition, etymologies of many phrases are given, within the trust that figuring out the starting place and evolution of a note offers a greater realizing. There also are examples of medieval phrases and words nonetheless in use at the present time, an extra relief to clarifying which means.

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One of the many kinds of monster found in the margins of illuminated MSS or in cathedrals. Blemmyae were creatures somewhat like human beings, except they lacked heads: their eyes and mouths were on the chest. The name is taken from a people of Nubia, known to the Romans in the 3c and later. Fable and ignorance transformed them into acephalous creatures. – Cf. Babewyn; Cynocephalus; Gargoyle Blesevin [Blésois]. Adjectival form of Blois. Blind document. Modern term for a document that has become separated 42 a dictionary of medieval terms and phrases from others it was originally associated with.

One of the customary tenants of Ireland who rendered a food rent. The Irish form was biatach, the Latin betagius (with variant spellings such as petagius), while betagium referred to the betagh’s tenure. However, nativus was also used as a synonym. – Cf. -agium Bezant 1 [byzant]. Gold or silver coin minted at Byzantium (named Constantinople in 330; Istanbul since 1926) of which ‘bezant’ is a corruption. Through much of the early Middle Ages, the only gold coins in circulation were Byzantine; the quality, and therefore their value, was always reliable.

Bead; Obit Beque. Her. The beak of a bird with a *tincture different from that of its body. – Cf. Animé; Crined; Membered; Ramé Berbiagium. The term for rent paid in sheep; the word was also used of tax paid on sheep. Bere. Barley. – Cf. Berewick Berebretus. The Latin term for the official in charge of a *berewick. Berefredum. An unusually large siege tower, as used at Courcy in the 1090s. By the 14c, they had become movable on wheels. Many were tall enough to allow bowmen to fire on the place besieged at eye-level.

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