Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Three Anglo-Norman Treatises on Falconry

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Three Anglo-Norman Treatises on Falconry

Article excerpt

Three Anglo-Norman Treatises on Falconry, ed. Tony Hunt, Medium Aevum Monographs NS 26 (Oxford: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, 2009). 179 pp. ISBN 978-0-907570-19-6. £30.00. As much of Tony Hunt's recent work has been in editing Anglo-Norman medical treatises, it may come as no surprise that the three (previously unedited) Anglo-Norman falconry texts here presented all place a heavy emphasis upon the veterinary aspect of hawking - how to diagnose and remedy the various medical afflictions that the falconer might encounter in caring for his birds. That said, this is not the sole focus of the treatises, and we also find information on how to capture and house the creatures concerned as well as the techniques to be used in training them (the stitching up of the eyes; the use of a lure' before the bird attempts to hunt live game). Though clearly the chosen topic is somewhat specialist, Hunt's compilation will prove to be of more general use to historians of language, being an excellent example of the use of a vernacular language to transmit specialist knowledge (both in verse and in prose) to a courtly authence. …

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