Friday, 19 February 2010

Speak like a Saxon #26: Presents

In 943, King Edmund gave a guy called Eadric some land and a water mill and wrote it down to make sure everybody knew. Most of it was in Latin, but the important bits, like where the land was, were in English to remove aaaany chance of doubt.

You can read the text here: http://www.esawyer.org.uk/content/charter/491.html

Next time you give someone a present, do it Anglo-Saxon style: write a big, flowery description, give yourself some jumped-up titles and then get absolutely all of your friends to sign it. Here are some important things to include:

  • In the name of God most high and mighty who governs the heights of Heaven, both the visible and invisible...
  • Taking into account the fragile mutability of this life....
  • I [Insert name here] king of the [insert nation] people and all the other people living around about here...
  • I give to my faithful friend who has the name [insert friend's name here] for his loveable compliance and his pleasing fidelity...
  • [Name Gift]
  • [Describe gift in immense detail]
  • This gift was conducted in the year of our Lord's Incarnation [Insert year].
  • Signed...

Try fitting all of that onto a gift label.