Medical texts written in English during the late Middle Ages have in recent years attracted increasing attention among scholars. From approximately 1375 onwards, the use of English began to gain a firmer foothold in medical manuscripts, which in previous centuries had been written mainly in Latin or French. Scholars of Middle English, and editors of medical texts from late medieval England, are thus faced with a huge medical vocabulary which no single volume has yet attempted to define. This dictionary is therefore an essential reference tool. The material analysed in the Dictionary of Medical Vocabulary in English, 1375–1550 includes edited texts, manuscripts and early printed books, and represents three main types of medical writing: surgical manuals and tracts; academic treatises by university-trained physicians, and remedybooks. The dictionary covers four lexical fields: names of sicknesses, body parts, instruments, and medicinal preparations. Entries are structured as follows: (1) headword (2) scribal variants occurring in the texts (3) etymology (4) definition(s), each definition followed by relevant quotations (5) references to corresponding entries in the Dictionary of Old English, Middle English Dictionary, and The Oxford English Dictionary (6) references to academic books and articles containing information on the history and/or meaning of the term.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Introduction: lexical fields included in the dictionary; Anglicized vs. non-Anglicized terms; Arrangement and content of the entries; Texts analysed for the dictionary; Editorial principles; References to pages, folios and signatures; Texts and their sigla; References to Latin, French and Dutch originals; The dictionary; Works cited, Index.
Juhani Norri is a Lecturer in English at the University of Tampere, Finland. He is the author of two earlier books on the history of English medical vocabulary, Names of Sicknesses in English, 1400–1550: An Exploration of the Lexical Field (1992) and Names of Body Parts in English, 1400–1550 (1998).