[LMB] OT: Education for men

Elizabeth Holden alzurite at gmail.com
Sun Sep 12 14:08:08 BST 2021

Tidsel asked:

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

Peter Hews said:

> 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.

Some letters are preserved in Latin which might have been originally
written in the vernacular - there's no way to know. Records were kept in
Latin and most histories as well. It's hard to make statements about the
things that disappeared.

We have oral tradition, but that brings us back to poetry and drama and
songs and the like. Much more likely to be in the vernacular.

> 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.

Exactly. That's why archaeology keeps coming up with surprises.


Elizabeth Holden <azurite at azurite.ca>

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