A Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases (0) Paperback – 16 May 2013
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Will attract any student and teacher and librarian keen to get a reasonably-priced all-purpose quick reference guide to some 3,000-4,000 terms regularly used in, and often found in, sources from and about the Middle Ages. (...) A dictionary, then, very clear to use, general-purpose as well as a useful desk-source for the expert, and suitable for the academic library where the medieval period is seriously studied. LIBRARY REVIEWA superb example of clarity and concision...with a generous and readable layout. TLS(Intended) to provide the enthusiast with a guide to medieval language.it succeeds magnificently. (...) It is an invaluable resource. HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW Whoever reads about medieval subjects will wish to own this handy and reliable reference work, and all reference libraries should have it. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF BIBLICAL STUDIESA very useful book. REFERENCE REVIEWS Has many good points; (and is) a pleasure to browse through. (...) More than fulfils its promise to be of assistance to any non-academic reader of history and as such should be on the shelf of all avid readers of medieval history. JNL of the AUSTRALIAN EARLY MEDIEVAL ASSOCIATIONThis wondrous dictionary...an excellent and accessible publication that would greatly enhance any historical collection. www.randlesreviews.co.uk
Will attract any student and teacher and librarian keen to get a reasonably-priced all-purpose quick reference guide to some 3,000-4,000 terms regularly used in, and often found in, sources from and about the Middle Ages. (...) A dictionary, then, very clSee all Product description
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The amount of space allocated to each entry varies depending on the importance of the term. Some (e.g. 'castellan', 'fewterer' and 'garret') are given but a single line, while for others (e.g. 'chivalry' or 'scutage') there is something more akin to an encyclopedia entry. In all cases, however, the definition is given both clearly and concisely; no space is wasted and no entry is allowed to occupy more than half a page. Note is made in specific cases where the meaning of a term changed over the course of time; often, too, the origins of the word are given, and pointers are supplied to similar topics within the Dictionary.
The book does have its limitations, however. Firstly, although it is easy to locate a known word, it is a shame that there is no glossary at the back, with categories such as 'administrative', 'ecclesiastical', 'food and drink', or 'military', which would allow the reader to find a whole list of entries relating to a general subject of interest. In addition, although approximate dates of usage are given for some terms, it would be useful to have similar information for all, as the Dictionary includes terms originating from Anglo-Saxon times right through to the 15th century - a period of several hundred years. This means that it is not always clear which words were contemporary with each other. A final point regards the bibliography, which is relatively short and on the whole limited to general works on medieval history. This unfortunately means it is difficult to know where to look to find out more.
These things aside, "A Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases" should prove of use to anyone with a strong interest in medieval history, as well as in medieval historical fiction. As someone who is currently writing a historical novel set in the period, I have found it an invaluable resource. For the pre-Conquest period I can also highly recommend The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England, edited by Lapidge, Blair and Keynes.
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