I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on t he PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.
Over on my Mastodon account I've started posting threads about some medieval accounts from Munden's Chantry. Every now and then, I'll collate them, lightly edit them, and post them here. If you want to comment on them, Mastodon would be the place to do it ...
Here's the third batch.
I'm translating 'carnibus bovinus ovinis et porcinis' as 'meat of cows sheep and pigs' rather than, say, 'beef, mutton, and pork' because those terms have connotations in modern English that might not map onto the medieval Latin meanings. We might be safe in assuming that the meat is that of mature animals, especially since they've had porcellus before.
Sheep are particularly interesting, though. In Latin we clearly have an ovis/agnus distinction for sheep/lamb, and presumably mutton/lamb. In English, though, there is also a distinction concerning the age of sheep. A hogget is a sheep which is in its second year, that is to say, not a lamb, but perhaps not quite old enough to be mutton. The Middle English Dictionary - https://quod.lib.umich.edu/m/middle-english-dictionary/dictionary- has a few quotes for hogget, and several suggest that there is no direct Latin equivalent. EG 'et j hogget emptis' or 'Item octo hoggettes.'
Which is to say that it would probably be safe to say 'beef, mutton, and pork' but it might not be completely accurate.
Summa 3s 1/2 d.
The cost for meat is way down and the cost for fish is way up. This is due to the Ember Days which follow the feast of St. Lucy. The Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the feast were fast days, which did not require absolute fasting, but did require abstinence from flesh. Thus, the change in the amounts spent for flesh and fish - the numbers roughly reversed from the usual spending.
Also of note, a couple of carpenters were doing some work and were fed as part of their pay.
Summa 3s 3 1/2d.
Summa totalis termini 31 s 3d
Some good stuff here. First, let's check the maths!
The total looks good, the Summa totalis ... my maths say they've spent 377 1/2 d, which is 31s 5 1/2 d. - a difference of 2 1/2 d. There were some maths errors in the early weeks. Over by 1 d, then under by 4 d, and then just a few weeks ago, over by 1/2 d. which accounts for the difference in our two totals. That's nice.
There's mustard, again, a month later than the last purchase. Also milk and eggs for the first time. I would suggest that this means that they usually provide their own milk and eggs, but that as December begins, their own ability to provide those items is failing.
Which brings us to 'racemis clovys.' Here Savernak drifts into 'pseudo-Latin' using 'clovys' for 'cloves.' I think he means raisins and cloves, rather than raisins of cloves, since that latter is not a usage with which I am familiar. Cloves show up in quite a few medieval recipes, both on their own and as part of some of the common spice mixes. Poudre fort often contains cloves according to Hieatt and Butler in Curye on Inglysch.
Summa 3s 2 1/2d
But first, the dates. There's a cancelled reference to the to the feast of Saint 'T' probably Thomas, after the feast of St. Thomas of Canterbury. That seems a bit redundant, and is changed to the the first Saturday after the Nativity. The Nativity is 25 December, and the feast of Thomas of Canterbury aka Thomas Becket, is 29 December. In 1453, the 25th was Sunday and the 29th was the following Thursday.
More candles, holding steady at a purchase every three weeks or so. The amount continues to rise, which means either the price is going up or they are using more. Since it's late December, increased candle use seems reasonable.
Otherwise, a pretty normal week.
Summa 2s 6 1/2d
We're into 1454 now, and celebrating a feast that I confess I was not aware of, that of the circumcision of the Lord. The time makes sense, it just had never occurred to me that it was something worth celebrating with a feast.
Another couple of interesting points. This week the fact that the meat and fish are being bought is emphasised, while the types of meat are omitted. Maybe he was just tired when filling out this entry. More milk, butter, and eggs after only two weeks since the last purchase of milk and eggs. Again, the implication is that their own sources are (pardon the pun) drying up. Another possibility is that their menus are now requiring more eggs and milk, but that seems a little unlikely.
And as a final Latin note. ' in lacte butiro et ovis' is the preposition 'in' taking the ablative, and the three items listed are all different declensions or number and so look very different at first glance. 'Lac,' milk, is third declension neuter, hence 'lacte.' 'Butyrum,' butter is second declension neuter, giving us 'butiro' as the internal 'y' becomes an 'i.' And 'ovum,' egg is also second declension neuter, but is plural in this case (little joke there), so 'ovis' since they didn't buy a single egg, 'ovo.'
Summa 2s 10 1/2d
I'm not quite sure what the cancelled text represents (Ep. festum Ephi). It might simply be scribal error or misspellings. The handwritten equivalent of a typo. 'Ephi' starts to look like an abbreviation for Epiphanie, but perhaps he decided that was clear. He might have started to write, 'post Epiphanie' realised he needed a post, started 'festum Epiphanie,' realised he had messed up Epiphanie, and decided to scratch it all out and start again. This is a case where I wish I could see the actual manuscript, to see if there is an extra clue in the layout on the page. The MS does not appear to have been digitised, though, so short of a trip to the Dorset History Centre to look at DC-BTB/CD/83, that's not happening.
Might be fun to do at some point, though.
In any case, a fairly typical week. Our old friend oatmeal appears for the first time since early December. A pennyworth of oatmeal lasts a good while, it seems. Back in October, they bought oatmeal on two consecutive weeks in the middle of the month. Then nothing until the second week of December, and now the second week of January. That does work out to buying oatmeal once a month, and every time except this one, it's been 1 1/2d.
('Tales From Munden's Chantry' is a nod to Ostrander and Truman's Grimjack, in case you care.)
Luddite'sLog, 3 November 2023
© 2023 Jeff Berry
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