[LMB] OT: Education for men

Elizabeth Holden alzurite at gmail.com
Sun Sep 12 13:38:16 BST 2021

On Wednesday, September 8th, 2021 at 2:28 AM, Elizabeth Holden <
alzurite at gmail.com> wrote:

> Henry II in the 12th century was known for his erudition and love of
> He made a huge difference to the history of England. The jurisprudence and
> legislative theory of his time was way more significant to the future than
> his wars and his dramatic family.

Tidsel said:
> You never hear about that,it is just wars and Beckett - interesting, I'll
have a look :-)

Yeah, the family stuff makes for better drama. I get tired of reading about
Becket, though he was interesting too. What a drama queen he was.
Successfully upended half of Europe with it.

> Keep in mind that in the middle ages, "literate" meant "literate in Latin"
> because that was the language in which all scholarly works were written,

> Would for instance court cases be heard and written down in latin?

They were conducted in the vernacular but recorded in the Latin. Church

> Official papers?

Latin.  "Court hand."

> I know that correspondence between monarchs in the Scandinavian countries
were written in > their own language.

Did they share a language, then? That would be why. Until the later middle
ages, we really don't have extant personal correspondence, and the
historical record of such, when it exists, was usually in Latin. I know of
a few histories in the vernacular about 12200 - the Crusading chronicle of
Ernoul, and the verse biography of William Marshall - aimed at a secular
audience, no doubt. But then, that was verse.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was written in Anglo-Saxon. which is remarkable.

> It is a very interesting question. Surely some letters, archives,
accounts and the like were
> written in the vernacular?

In the later middle ages, yes. But earlier... it could be just that Latin
writings were more likely to be kept in archives and abbeys and
preserved when most personal correspondence was lost. It would make sense,
for example, if Eleanor of Aquitaine wrote letters to her husband or her
offspring in the vernacular, but none survive. All her extant writings are
in Latin, and official. It's a pity, because she came from a family of


Elizabeth Holden <azurite at azurite.ca>

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