Paul Brand – The Latin of the early English Common Law
Latin was from the beginning the language of record of the English common law courts though the language spoken in them was Anglo-Norman French. This paper will examine some of the specialised latin vocabulary used and developed in the enrolments of the English common law courts down to c.1300, mainly in the context of the litigation recorded there.
Charles Burnett – Arabic in Medieval British Latin scientific writings
The problem about Arabic terms in medieval Latin scientific writings is that the same word appears in a great variety of spellings. This can be caused by the fact that different transliterations were used by Latin scholars who knew Arabic, or by faulty copying of scribes who did not know Arabic. I shall be considering some of these transliterations (and the explanations that are sometimes appended to them) in texts written in Britain, where there were from time to time Arabic speakers and where students had to learn some Arabic to understand the subject matter of their texts.
Wendy Childs – From chronicles to customs accounts: the uses of Latin in the long fourteenth Century
Latin was the predominant written language of the fourteenth century, although the use of vernaculars was growing. Latin was the language of church, universities and government and the range of materials is immense from erudite treatises and elegant chronicles to technical literature and government lists. Church and government use spread familiarity with and knowledge of basic Latin well down the social scale. The paper will look at some of the material available to historians.
Philip Durkin and Samantha Schad – The DMLBS and the OED: medieval Latin and the lexicography of English
The Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources is invaluable for work on the Oxford English Dictionary's revision programme. First and foremost, it makes a vast amount of data more readily available, transforming the content of countless OED etymologies. Areas not covered well by existing dictionaries include scientific and technical vocabulary, from areas such as medicine, botany, and alchemy. More specifically, the DMLBS shows what was characteristic of British Latin in particular. There are many words for British institutions and phenomena. We will also consider the ‘grey’ areas, where Latin and English merge or influence each other. Latin words and phrases are adopted in English, English words are borrowed into Latin, and English compounds are formed to render Latin ones. In some cases Latin examples provide evidence for earlier currency of an English word. Mixed language documents provide some of the most interesting insights into trilingual linguistic practice - Latin, Anglo-Norman, and English - and also present perhaps the biggest challenges for dictionaries that set out to present the lexis of a single language.
Mary Garrison – How the DMLBS rescued Alcuin as a scribe
In this paper I will show how looking up a few words that we all think we already know can add significant detail to our picture of one of the most important Anglo-Saxon scholars and shed new light on the genesis of his lost library.
David Howlett – Making the Dictionary
The longest-serving editor of the Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources surveys aspects of the process of composing the Dictionary, including problems encountered and solutions devised in the process of learning and developing the craft, with examples of the finished results.
Andy Orchard – Anglo-Latin aenigmata and the Anglo-Saxon riddle tradition
At first glance, the Anglo-Saxon Riddle tradition might seem a frivolous, obscure, and irrelevant subject for serious discussion in learned circles, a quaint coda to a sober field. But in fact not so: close study of the riddles, composed for the most part by some of the most literate Anglo-Saxons whose names we know, and in both Latin and Old English, reveals a good deal of what we can ever hope to recover in its intellectual and material aspects of the Anglo-Saxon world, its interests and opinions and, perhaps most importantly, its ties to those other worlds (Classical, Continental, Christian) that it sought variously both to supplement and supplant. While most previous studies have focused on the ninety-plus Old English riddles of the Exeter Book, this paper considers a range of aspects of around 250 Anglo-Latin aenigmata that survive. It will be argued not only that their precise range of functions as teaching texts (particularly of metre, poetic diction, and technique) has been underestimated, that several of the accepted solutions as transmitted in manuscript are in fact wrong, and that such cues as manuscript order, quotations, and other kinds of literary echoes lend a depth and seriousness of purpose to an otherwise largely unregarded body of texts.
Paul Russell – ‘Go and look in the Latin books’: Latin and the vernacular in medieval Wales
In one form or another Latin and Welsh have co-existed and interacted in Wales from the Roman period onwards: whether in the funerary monuments of the early medieval period, the quasi-charters of the Lichfield/Llandeilo Gospels, Braint Teilo 'The Privilege of Teilo' in the Book of Llandaf, the verse of the family of Sulien in Llanbadarn, the lament for the Lord Rhys in the Peniarth 20 Brut, the various chronicles, or the laws of Hywel Dda (the last two preserved in both Latin and Welsh), Latin existed and co-existed with Welsh in Wales for centuries. This paper explores some consequences of that co-existence, and in particular how in certain respects the Latin of medieval Wales became distinctively Cambricized and how in some contexts medieval Welsh became distinctively Latinate.
Richard Sharpe – The language of government, official and unofficial, in the 11th and 12th centuries
It is well known that before the Norman Conquest in England eorl was expressed in Latin as dux and after the Conquest as comes in the king's charters. The use of the word consul for the same office was unofficial, and its official sense must be inferred from context. Old English thegn was expressed as minister before the Conquest and as baro after the Conquest, but unofficial substitutions can be numerous and are not always well recognized. Meanwhile dux and minister had new uses after the Conquest, dux denoting a rank higher the count, held by the duke of the Normans, the duke of Brittany, and the duke of Aquitaine, while minister went down the scale to render bailiff. The earl's responsibilities were defined by shires, though pre-Conquest earls had usually more than one shire, and his shire became a county, comitatus, linked as in Normandy to the title comes. But when authors substitute regio, provincia, districtum, the official sense is obscured. It has not been the practice of lexicography to distinguish official terminology from words unofficially subsituted as terms. Failure to recognize terminology disguised behind unofficial words leaves one to translate without the exactitude intended by author's who assumed that readers would recognize substitution. Eadmer's preference for principes, for example, begs interpretation and finds no place in the dictionary.
Robert Swanson – Elephans in camera. Latin and Latinity in late medieval and early Tudor England
Medievalists tend to take Latin for granted. Literary scholarship dealing with England in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries usually privileges texts in Middle English and French as reflections of ‘the rise of the vernacular’; for archive-based historians, linguistic issues are less immediately significant, but the increase in non-Latin material is nevertheless treated as note-worthy. For this paper, it is the continuity in use of Latin which matters: the different contexts in which it occurs, the extent to which it remained the default language of documentary culture – and so a rival ‘vernacular’. The emphasis will lie on textual use, but Latin as a spoken language may also receive some consideration. This is an era not merely of expansion in the use of English, but also in its latinisation.
David Trotter – Why the AND likes the DMLBS
The DMLBS contains a (to some) surprising and (to us) immensely useful amount of Anglo-Norman, whether as headwords which are thinly-disguised Anglo-Norman behaving as Latin, or within quotations in the form of glosses, or elements in multilingual and mixed-language documents. As an unparalleled record of Latin in the Middle Ages, it also provides invaluable information about words which often have Anglo-Norman equivalents. To the AND it is both an essential reference and guide-fou, and an invaluable source of data. The paper will outline some of the ways in which we make use of it and show why it is so important to us.
Laura Wright – On Medieval Latin/Anglo-Norman French/Middle English codeswitched writing
I will present some mixed-language business writing from the early 1400s from the archive of London Bridge, showing some developments with prepositions and articles. I will show that over time, the mixed-language system evolved, and that this may have implications for historical dictionaries.
Neil Wright – The Twelfth-Century Renaissance in Anglo-Norman England: William of Malmesbury and Joseph of Exeter
How did the 'Twelfth-Century Renaissance' impact on Anglo-Norman authors? The paper explores the responses of two highly accomplished writers to the literary tradition in which they worked: they masterfully played on reader recognition and expectation of familiar conventions of historiography, hagiography and poetics so as to innovate and entertain, and thus created something distinctive and fresh for their contemporary audience.