Title Background

<i>Piers Plowman</i>: A Glossary of Legal Diction.

Piers Plowman: A Glossary of Legal Diction.

Over 700 entries – including the earliest testimony in English of more than a hundred terms – of the legal language found in all three versions (cited from the editions of Kane, Kane-Donaldson, and Pearsall, with additional references to Skeat’s texts). Entries are arranged alphabetically, and include terms peculiar to the law, references to officers of the law, words that signify legal procedures, actions subject to legal endorsement or penalty, ordinary words with technical meanings in legal usage, and words with no legal significance in themselves but whose use in the poem is illuminated through association with legal matter. Entries are often defined with more specific or technical meanings than by the OED or MED. Additional citations to other ME works and legal sources are included, as well as relevant comments by legal historians and scholars of the poem.

Rev. George D. Gopen, JEGP 89 (1990): 215-18; Wendy Scase, N&Q ns 3 7 (1990): 215-17; Howard H. Schless, SAC 12 (1990): 242-44; A. V. C. Schmidt, MAE 59 (1990): 157-58; Michael W. Twomey, Anglia 108 (1990): 513-16.