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The Golden Gloss

The medieval glossary of English (old/middle/modern) words as used in the middle ages. Of highlight are words misunderstood or unknown to the general public (or newer participants.)

UPDATED 09/01/2023

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There are currently 5 terms in this directory beginning with the letter V.
In the feudal system someone in service to someone above them in the social hierarchy and holds lands from them.

The skin of an animal which has been prepared as paper. Common skins were sheep, goat, calf, and rabbit. Often used interchangeably with parchment, though there is disagreement over nuance between the two as vellum is sometimes thought to be the higher quality skins.

An unfree peasant bound to the lord and owing substantial land or personal service. Alternative term for serf.

A feudal unit of land measurement roughly equating to thirty acres, sometimes as many as forty acres, and capable of supporting a single peasant household (assuming a household of five to seven people.) Also measured in halves and sometimes quarters (half-virgate, quarter-virgate.)

A peasant, free or villein, who held a virgate or more of land. A half-virgater would hold a half-virgate, a quarter-virgater would hold a quarter-virgate.


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