segment of text contains a number of Latinised Old
English words, beginning with Saca et Socna
et Tol et Theam et Infangenetheof in the third last line. These
represent various legal privileges being claimed by the abbey, still phrased
in the alliterative and rhythmic Anglo-Saxon vernacular
used to confirm them in memory before they were written down in charters.
This was common practice in Norman charters, but in this one they do seem
to have gone overboard with an extremely long list. Having decided to
write their own charter, I guess they didn't want to leave anything to
To investigate what these terms mean, you can try the ORB Guide to Medieval Terms.
|Forged charter of Battle Abbey, mid 12th century. (British Library, Egerton Charter 2211). All images by permission of the British Library.|
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