[LMB] Education for men

Peter Hews Peterhews at protonmail.com
Sun Sep 12 13:50:48 BST 2021

On Sunday, September 12th, 2021 at 11:56, tidsel via Lois-Bujold <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:

> Scholarly works yes, what about the rest? Would for instance court cases be heard and written down in latin?

I have been told - Elizabeth, can you confirm? - that besides the law books being written in Latin, arguments in court were actually carried on in that language, a way of excluding the layity.  If you didn't have a lawyer you not only weren't officially present, you couldn't even understand what was going on.

> Writing in the vernacular was for songs and poems. "Writing" more in the
> > sense of composing than of "writing down". That was more the field of
> >
> > Henry's son Richard, but only a few of his poems and songs have survived. I
> >
> > only know of the text of one ballad in Occiatine, but there may be more.
> >
> > namaste,
> It is a very interesting question. Surely some letters, archives, accounts and the like were written in the vernacular?

I'm guessing that partly it's a question of what has survived.  Popular ballads wouldn't be saved in a library, and letters only if they were from someone important.

In the same way, we only know how literate Scandinavians were in the days of runic writing thanks to runestaves that survived being dumped in rubbish pits and preserved by acidic soil.  Nobody saved them intentionally.

Peter Hews

Oh better far to live and die under the brave black flag I fly,
Than play a sanctimonious part with a pirate head and a pirate heart.

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