In its infancy, the DMLBS was sometimes referred to as a dictionary of ‘record Latin’. The project covers many other kinds of texts, of course, but it is true that records are the main source of new vocabulary in British Medieval Latin especially in this period; for instance, a manorial reeve, needing to record the purchase of a sieve, might use the Middle English word ‘ridel’ to coin the Latin word ‘ridellus’. Most of the records that we use date from the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries, so this period is immensely important for the Dictionary; indeed, our first attestation for ‘ridellus’ meaning a riddle or sieve is from 1250.
The other crucial development in this period was the rise of the universities. Following Bologna and Paris, the University of Oxford took shape in the 1190s, and Cambridge was close behind. While foreigners rarely studied and taught in Britain, British scholars often studied and taught abroad, and the ‘scholastic’ Latin they used as a lingua franca included a flood of new technical terms in fields such as philosophy and science. Important British Medieval Latin writers in this period include Robert Grosseteste and Roger Bacon in the 13th century and John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham and John Wyclif in the 14th.
Otherwise, it was business as usual for Latin, continuing the use of the language in earlier periods. Historical chronicles continued to be written by monks like Matthew Paris and Ranulf Higden. Walter Bower's Scotichronicon, written in the 1440s, is particularly interesting for its portrayal of English aggression towards Scotland in the Middle Ages. There were literary works, too, such as Gervase of Tilbury's genre-defying Otia imperialia (c1215), a sprawling miscellany written for the edification and amusement of the Holy Roman Emperor. And of course there were religious works, such as the guides for preachers written by Thomas of Chobham (c1225) and John Bromyard (c1350), the spiritual meditations of Richard Rolle (c1340), and a 14th-century Latin translation of the Middle English Ancrene Riwle, a guide to life as an ‘anchoress’ (nun).