Saturday, April 19, 2014

Beyond wine, water and beer: what else they drank in Medieval France

This is one of several posts on drink in the Middle Ages. The others are:

Today, we take a variety of drinks for granted. Modern transport and technology make sodas, fruit juices, caffeine drinks, alcoholic beverages, milk and its variants and even more outlandish offerings widely available. For a number of reasons, however, Medieval drinkers could not count on such a wide selection. The lack of refrigeration alone would have made some drinks unavailable beyond where they were produced; carbonation was centuries off, as were the contacts with other cultures which would introduce coffee, tea and chocolate. Some ideas simply had not occurred to anyone. It might have been possible for instance to combine honey and fruit juice to create something like flavored syrup, or to pour boiling water through leaves other than those of tea. But nothing of the sort seems to have been invented.

What then did Medieval drinkers drink for variety?

The standard Medieval drinks are quickly listed. Water is mentioned in a number of anecdotes and rules, wine and beer were available in at least some regions from the start and had become standard drinks in France by the mid-Middle Ages (whether everyone could obtain or afford them is a separate issue). These three drinks certainly dominate the written record and were probably dominant in reality as well (along with their flavored variants, such as spiced wine and honeyed beer). But they were not all Medieval drinkers drank.

The most common alcoholic alternative to wine and beer almost certainly predates them. Images of drunken Vikings quaffing mead give a vigorous idea of a drink that at heart is only honey mixed with water and left to ferment. In its simplest form, it is very ancient. Crane writes: 
An alcoholic drink was probably made from honey many thousands of years before wine and ale were produced. Early man is likely to have discovered that a mixture of honey and water, left in a warm place, might ferment into a drink which imbued the drinker with apparently magical feelings and powers.
In Europe, a large cauldron from 550 B.C.E., found near Stuttgard, shows signs of honey, suggesting it had held mead.

The French word for this – hydromel – means (in Greek roots) “water honey” and in English today sometimes refers to a milder form of mead. Modern versions are typically fermented with yeast. This may not have been necessary when honey mixed with water was left to sit in the sun; but the result is probably more like beer and closer to what comes to mind in envisioning a mead-hall, filled with carousing Vikings - or Gauls.

At least one nineteenth century writer casually suggests that the Gauls loved mead. But in fact specific evidence that they drank it is thin. Diodorus of Sicily (wrote 60 - 30 B.C.E.) recorded that the Gauls drank water flavored with honey by pouring it through beehives. He says nothing about fermenting it, though if this were left to sit in the sun for a while, the result would have been mead. Pliny (23 – 79) gives this recipe for making the drink in a more controlled way:
There is a wine also made solely of honey and water. For this purpose it is recommended that rain-water should be kept for a period of five years. Those who shew greater skill, content themselves with taking the water just after it has fallen, and boiling it down to one third, to which they then add one third in quantity of old honey, and keep the mixture exposed to the rays of a hot sun for forty days after the rising of the Dog-star; others, however, rack it off in the course of ten days, and tightly cork the vessels in which it is kept. This beverage is known as "hydromeli," and with age acquires the flavour of wine.
As recently noted, one statue from Gallo-Roman times has been interpreted as referring to a Gallic goddess of mead and a mention of Meduna has been taken (based on linguistic analysis) to refer as well to a goddess of mead. Arguably, then, secondary evidence exists of the Gauls drinking it; but little more.

More substantial evidence exists for the Frankish use of the drink. Among the remnants of a fifth century funereal meal in a grave at Cologne are traces of wild hops and birch pollen, suggesting the remnants of a honey-based drinks. (Delort) In Frankish Gaul, the clearest evidence for its use first comes in Anthimus' sixth century dietetic for Theuderic I: mead which has been well made and from good honey is very beneficial.” Fortunatus (c.530 – c.600/609), writing of Radegund's drink, says that she drank aqua mulsa, literally “honeyed water”. Some interpret this to mean hydromel, but he specifically writes that she did not drink mead. Still this again confirms that some people then did. (And arguably the saint's may have been of a weaker sort, as today.)

Several centuries later, mead is also among the drinks Charlemagne wanted made on his estates. Soon after, the poet Sedulius Scottus (fl. 840-860) complained that he had no “mead nor gift of Ceres or Bacchus” (that is, beer or wine) to drink. Church dietetic calendars from this period say that in August one should either not drink mead or beer, or only drink these when they are fresh (probably good advice in a hot month with fermented drinks not made to last).

These slim references establish that mead remained an important and familiar drink through the early Middle Ages. Yet the fact that it is not listed in rents, for instance, nor specified as one of the drinks to be given traveling officials shows that it had nothing like the status of wine or beer.

In later centuries, use of the drink seems to have declined, perhaps because other drinks were now more readily available. In the thirteenth century, Aldebrandino does not mention it all, either with the other drinks or in discussing honey. Villanova speaks (disparagingly) of “all other drinks, which are made with honey”, without naming any of these, but then refers to "hydromel" several times, only defining it at one point as honey mixed with vinegar (a combination the Romans called oxymel).

What may have happened, in fact, is that as the Middle Ages ended, mead both declined and advanced. On the one hand, in the fourteenth century, a weak kind called miessaude or mieussaule was made for workers in the Lorraine region by pouring water on the beeswax after the honey had been taken out (this recalls the Gauls' pouring water through beehives). Aromatic herbs were added to this to give it flavor. Le Grand d'Aussy cites a similar drink called borgéraseOn the other, a stronger version arose which was called bochet. This is variously defined as simple mead, mead mixed with beer or honey and water fermented with brewer's yeast (Le Grand, perhaps incorrectly, includes it as one of the weaker sorts). The Menagier de Paris gives a recipe for the latter (listed as a preparation for the sick) which also includes an optional step of adding spices (in a sachet):
To make six setiers of bochet take six pints of very sweet honey and put it in a cauldron on the fire and boil it and stir it so long that it rises on its own and that you see it boil into small bubbles which burst and in bursting throw off a bit of blackish smoke, and then stir it and then put in seven setiers of water and make them boil so that they come to six setiers and keep stirring. And then put it in a vat to cool until it is just warm; and then strain it through a bag, and after put it in a barrel and put in a chopine of brewer's yeast, because that it is what makes it sharp, (and whoever puts in sourdough leaven, as much as one wants for flavor, but the color will be far more pale) and cover it well and warmly to protect it. And if you want it very good, put in an ounce of ginger, of long pepper, paradise seed and clove in equal amounts, except somewhat less of the clove, and put them in a canvas cloth and put it in. And when it will have been there two or three days, and the bochet will smell enough of the spices and it will be sharp enough, take out the bag and take it and put in another barrel which you will make.
The yeast (often used to make mead today) would have caused a stronger fermentation than just leaving honey and water in the sun and the spices would have made the beverage that much richer. This was probably much closer to the hearty mead some envision Vikings drinking in their mead halls than earlier forms of hydromel.

Ciders and other fruit-based drinks
Fortunatus lists piratium as one of the few drinks the abstemious Radegund used. This is the first mention of cider – in this case, perry (pear cider) – in French history. Since Radegund was willing to drink it, this perry could not have been very strong. It is just possible, in fact, that it was simply pear juice. This seems unlikely however; one peculiarity of drinks mentioned through most of the Middle Ages is that they virtually never include simple fruit juice. Those who made wine or even cider must surely have tasted the juice used to make these and perhaps they even used it for refreshment. But for whatever reason even lives of other saints, which often emphasize their reluctance to drink alcoholic drinks, rarely (and then only arguably) include fruit juice as an option.

One can imagine several reasons for this. One is that citrus fruit would not be known until the end of the period and it is far more of a production to obtain juice from pome fruits like pears or apples. Anyone who went to the trouble of pressing the latter to squeeze out the juice probably wanted a longer lasting – that is, alcoholic – result. Which suggests another reason: one can speculate (but only speculate) that fruit juice simply did not, unfermented, last long enough to travel or otherwise be used beyond where it was first obtained.

Whatever the reason, in the main, fruit juice cannot be considered a significant Medieval drink.

(A possible, but rare, exception comes in an eleventh century account of the founding, in the sixth century, of St. Gwenolé's monastery at Landevenec (in Brittany). The monks there were said to drink “water and what could be made of the fruit of woodland or wild trees”. This was probably not alcoholic, since they were also said to take “no liquor of grapes nor honey neither milk nor beer”. But the reference is unique and somewhat uncertain in meaning.)

Knowing that a drink was made from pears, it is tempting – and not entirely unjustified – to guess that a similar drink was made from apples. This is especially the case since apples are mentioned along with pears as one of the common fruits of the time – even if archeology is uncertain for both:
Curiously, the remains of apples, of pears and of cherries whose wild forms are indigenous and of which written mentions indicate that they were grown everywhere in France... appear intermittently in archeological deposits. On the other hand, peaches, of exotic origin and only known in the country since Antiquity, almost always yield at least a pit. 
And it may be that apple cider was already made at the start of the Middle Ages in France. But if so, no trace of it appears for centuries in the written record. (One might also wonder why plums – frequently found in archeology – were not used for juice, since they are if anything easier to juice than a pear or an apple.)

Certainly apple-based drinks were known to the Romans. Pliny wrote: A wine is made, too, of the pods of the Syrian carob, of pears, and of all kinds of apples.Isidore of Seville (c.560 – 636) refers to hydromelum (not to be confused with hydromel) made from water and apples. (Hydromelum, quod fiat ex aqua et malis Matianis).  On the other hand, the Gallo-Romans – who most preserved Roman culture – typically lived farther south than the major apple-producing regions and so were less likely in practice to make it than those farther north.

As it is, the first specific mention of an apple-based drink comes in the late eighth century along with the next mention of perry. This is the instruction in De Villis to employ “makers of strong drink” (sicatores) who knew how to make beer, apple cider and perry (at least) (siceratores, id est qui cervisam vel pomatium sive piratium vel aliud quodcumque liquamen ad bibendum aptum fuerit facere sciant). Clearly these ciders were alcoholic, though it is uncertain how strong sicera (“strong drink”) had to be. Though this word did not yet mean “cider”, an early association with apple cider comes in Ekkehard's tenth century table blessings: “From the juice of apples Christ makes flavorful strong drink“ (sucum pomorum siceram fac christe saporum). (Note that Le Grand d'Aussy refers to an earlier use of sicera as proof that apple cider was already drunk at court in earlier centuries; but the term did not yet refer to apple cider at that point. It is said to come from the Hebrew schechar; the Sumerians also used the word sikaru.)

Another drink mentioned in De Villis, apparently for the first time, was moratum, or mulberry wine. A ninth century manuscript from the French National Library, quoted by Guerard, provides this recipe for the drink: “4 modius of wild mulberry juice, 1 modius of honey. Mix, close in a sealed container; and, if you want, add sufficient cinnamon, clove, costus and spikenard.” The result would have been something more than straight mulberry wine, rather a mulberry flavored hydromel with some of the flavors of spiced wine; however, other versions may have been simpler. The drink, in whatever form, would remain popular for centuries.

Perry was soon being mentioned less; a rare mention of piracio comes in the late ninth century from Lupus of Ferrières (c. 805 – c. 862), who refers to it as an emergency option when writing “for this year, I fear a shortage of wine”. Meanwhile, more, but still infrequent, mentions of cider appear going into the later Middle Ages. At the start of the twelfth century, Rodulfus Tortarius (1063 – c.1122) wrote about visiting Normandy and wanting wine, "But Bacchus is not given in this country" and so he was given "apple juice squeezed tart" (which could arguably have been simple apple juice, but he clearly wanted an alcoholic drink). The item is of particular interest in focusing on Normandy, which would soon be known for its cider.

By the thirteenth century, the drink was common enough for Aldebrandino to include “apple wine” in the list of drinks whose qualities he examined. Huet (1706) is one of several people to cite an earlier writer to the effect that Philip the Fair, in giving patent letters to the city of Caen, mentioned dealers in beer and cider. He also cites a fourteenth century item showing that in 1375 the standard drinks for the Hospital Nuns of Caen were beer and cider. Huet goes on: “I note... that at the start of the fifteenth century, though the use of cider was old in Caen, that of beer was still more common, and provided far more Income to the City; but that it began to decline, and was almost abolished by that of cider towards the middle of the sixteenth century."

Similarly, Coville reproduces a document from 1358-1359 in Caen specifying duties on cider of 2 deniers a gallon (vs 4 for wine and 1 for beer).

It seems then that apple cider was coming to the forefront at the end of the Middle Ages, at least in the north, but had not yet reached its apogee. Otherwise, for most of the Middle Ages, it was known in France, but not particularly important. Why perry appears to have simply fallen away remains a minor mystery.

The idea of the fearsome Franks drinking vermouth may seem as far-fetched as their making fine glass (which they also did). But the drink commonly known today takes its name from what was once its chief ingredient: wormwood, or, in German, wermut. (One might equally well say the Franks drank absinthe, except that the drink best known for its association with nineteenth century poets is made with spirits, not wine.)

Wormwood wine had a long history among the Romans. Pliny describes how to make it: “As to other kinds of herbs, we find wormwood wine, made of Pontic wormwood in the proportion of one pound to forty sextarii of must, which is then boiled down until it is reduced to one third, or else of slips of wormwood put in wine.” It is not clear if the Franks simply adopted it from the Romans or if they independently discovered the herb. But it was one of their favorite drinks.

Anthimus, in writing to a Frankish king, recommends three drinks equally: beer, mead and aloxinum, a word which is generally understood to refer to wormwood. Several drinks can be made with this, however, and which is meant here is not clear. At least one writer glosses this as wermut (that is, wine with added wormwood). This is especially credible in that, though he mentions wine in cooking, Anthimus does not discuss it separately as a drink here or anywhere else. But others say that it referred, not to wine, but to mead with added wormwood. Probably wormwood was added to both wine and mead, even beer, just as hops were added to mead as well as beer.

One reason to believe it was also used in beer is that, before fermented grain drinks were made with hops, absinthe may have served a similar purpose; in the eighteenth century, Valmont de Bomare wrote “A little absinthe, put during the summer into beer, keeps it from turning.”

Whatever its Roman history, Gregory de Tours portrays absinthe in Gaul as a barbarian specialty. In a famous story about the Frankish queen Fredegund, he tells how, after she had had a bishop murdered, a Frankish lord went to berate her for the crime. As he was leaving, he unwisely accepted her offer of a drink:
    He waited, accepted a cup, and drank absinthe mixed with wine and honey, in the manner of the barbarians; but this beverage was poisoned. As soon as he had taken it, he felt violent pains in his chest, and as if he had been cut up inside; and he began to cry out to those around him: "Flee, you poor men! Flee this monster, lest you perish with me." The latter avoided drinking, and made haste to leave. As to him, his eyes grew heavy: he mounted his horse, and three stadia from there, he fell and died
This mixture too was probably called aloxinum. Variants of the word are in fact so rare that it is a minor miracle that one glossary (probably from the eighth century) specifically pairs absinthe with aloxinum: absintio aloxino (Diez). Though the word is rarely found in written sources, it was still common in 837, when Alderic, the bishop of Mans, mentioned “the drink commonly called alixona” in his will. (Baluze). This appears to be one of the last uses of the word in a text. In the same century, Walafrid Strabo (c. 808 – 849) simply refers to the drink as absinthium. While he still describes it as a thirst-quencher:
the taste of wormwood is much more bitter
as a drink. It nonetheless quenches burning thirst,
and taken as a cordial it will usually drive fever away.
(James Mitchell, translation)
he mainly writes of it for headache and adds that it has other uses as well. In general the drink became known more for medical purposes, perhaps because spiced wines like hypocras became more popular for refreshment. Villanova, for instance, recommends absinthe wine as “of great value in multiple cases”. In the fourteenth century, Brother Leonard in Liège referred to drinking it in the morning, when it may have been considered tonic.

Well after hops were introduced, absinthe was considered as a cheaper substitute for these. But by then, its taste was less appreciated; writing in 1762, Boudet says “Many attempts have been made to spare the use of hops... Absinthe has been used, but it is extremely revolting...[having] besides its bitterness, a disgusting and unbearable taste.” In France then, it seems to have been a specifically Frankish treat, losing favor in later centuries, whereas in England it was still appreciated in 1660, when Samuel Pepys treated friends to two quarts of Wormwood wine”.

In the monastery founded by St. Samson, the first bishop of Dol (around 565), the monks were said to have drunk a “juice of herbs” after singing the Terce, apparently for their health. This may have been the cooled broth left from cooking vegetables or conceivably may have been squeezed directly from garden greens. Though it was intended as a tonic, given how few options the monks had, they may have viewed it as a treat.
A similar consideration applies for later tonics. Church dietetic calendars from around the ninth century often specify drinks to be taken each month. While these vary slightly between texts, they are overall as listed in the Lorscher Arzneibuch:

ginger, rhubarb
agrimony, celery seed
rue, lovage
betony, burnet-saxigrage
absinthe, fennel seed
sage blossom, juniper
celery blossoms, enantis (wild vine flowers)
costus, mastic
clove, pepper
It is not clear how these drinks were made, though the items listed might simply have been infused or heated in wine. But they might also have been boiled in water and left to cool, or simply infused for a long time. Some, clearly, would have been more easily infused than others.
In this case, these clearly have a therapeutic purpose. But, again, this does not necessarily mean that none could be drunk for pleasure as well. Fennel, in particular, has a long history in drinks. In his will, St. Aldric (c. 800 - 856) ordered that a drink of fennel (potionis de feniculo) be served for one celebration. It seems to have been well-known enough for him not to describe it further. (Pliny says that fennel taken as a drink promotes sperm production; presumably that was not the monks' goal in drinking it.) Though the specific drink is not mentioned in later centuries, at the start of the twentieth century, homemakers still produced fenouillette, a liqueur using fennel extract with spirits, coriander, cinnamon and sugar.
For another celebration, Aldric orders that costus, also listed above, be served.

Consider too that honey seems to have been added to every sort of drink; if any one of these had been made in water, adding honey would have resulted in something like a flat soda, albeit a soda of rhubarb or clove. Whatever the case, given their limited options, the monks may have actively enjoyed at least some of these potions.

Hot drinks
Though hot drinks are standard today, they were rare as separate drinks (other than hot wine, etc.) in Medieval times. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090/10911153) wrote that when the grape harvest was poor, the monks were to “fill the cauldron, and light a fire under it to prepare drink for the brothers.” Presumably this meant simply to make hot water.

In general, hot drink was used medically. Anthimus recommends hot goat's milk in one case:
Regarding milk, for dysenterics, goat's [milk]. Heat round stones red hot in the fire and so put them in the milk, without fire. As it boils remove them with a small cup, put in sops of white bread, well baked and leavened and in small pieces in this milk, cooked slowly over the coals in a pot, however not of copper. And boiled this way, eat these sops with a spoon after they have been soaked. It is better served this way because this food is nourishing. For if pure milk is drunk alone, it goes directly out and hardly stays in the body.
He also writes of tisanes, a word which today refers to infusions other than tea, but which originally referred to one of barley:
Infusions [tisanas] made of barley by those who know how to make them are good for both the healthy and the feverish. Another good preparation is made from barley which we Greeks call alfita, Latin speakers polenta, the Goths, in the barbarian way, fenea, a great remedy with moderately hot wine. Take a spoonful of this and drink it thus well mixed little by little, and it sufficiently helps and feeds a defective stomach. And it also does wonders for dysenterics with hot pure wine. And so mix one spoonful and take it well mixed on an empty stomach or at night after the cock's crow or when it is the sick person's pleasure, so long as when taking this one does not take other food until this has been digested. Only give this to the feverish with pure lukewarm water, not made thick but thin. Therefore it is fit in time of Lenten fasting to take this first with warm water, because it strengthens and feeds the stomach.
Note too the idea of using warm drinks at Lent for additional strength. While avoiding meat was considered a holy obligation for much of the year, it was also considered to weaken the constitution.

Centuries later, the Menagier de Paris was still advising “tizanne – here, sweet tisane – for the sick:
Take water and boil it, then put for each sextier of water a large spoonful of barley, and only heat it if it has all its skin, and for two parisis [small coins] of licorice, item, figs, and let it boil until the barley cracks; then strain it in two or three cloths [i.e., two or three times], and put in each goblet a great deal of rock sugar.
The barley in this case was strained out, used to eat or feed animals. The result would have been something like a hot licorice orgeat (originally made with barley  orge  – as well).

Villanova anticipates modern tisanes when he suggests soaking chamomile flowers overnight in a ptisana made of (probably) cucumber seeds and lavender. This is not quite yet chamomile tea, and may even have been served cold, but is an early mention of the flower being used in an infusion.

Specific references to drinking milk are rare, not least because it could not have been kept long except as cheese or butter. But above it is specifically noted (in an eleventh century text) that the monks at Landevenec did not drink milk (suggesting that this was exceptional) and Anthimus advises against drinking it unheated (probably good advice at the time, though not for the reasons he gives). In 1389, milk was one of the drinks poured by fountains during a popular celebration in Paris. Milk then one was one of the Medieval drinks, though by necessity it was probably drunk relatively fresh and so is less likely to appear in records of transportation, storage, etc.

Loose ends
Random other drinks are mentioned in the period, but with just enough information to excite curiosity; no doubt other similar ones went unrecorded.

An early, and rather mysterious, reference comes from Ausonius (c.310 – c.395), who writes of a drink called “nines” (dodra) because it contained nine ingredients: “broth, water, wine, salt, oil, bread, honey, pepper, herbs: there's nine!” It is not particularly surprising that this drink did not endure; more mysterious is why it was invented at all. Perhaps merely as a game?

In his will, Aldric also mentions a drink called silvia. Unfortunately neither he nor anyone else gives any details about it.

The Menagier includes, among drinks for the sick, one called bouillon. Today we would find it perfectly reasonable to offer bouillon – which was much used in period recipes – to a sick person. But this version is more like a crude form of beer, made from bran:
To make four setiers of bouillon, one should have the amount of sourdough for half of a one denier brown loaf, risen for three days, item, bran, a good fourth of a bushel, and put five setiers of water in a frying pan, and when it starts to boil, put the bran in the water and boil it enough that it shrinks by a fifth or more; then take it off the fire and let it cool until warm then strain it through a strainer or sack, then soak the sourdough in [the?] water and put it in a barrel, leave it to get ready for two or three days, then put it in a cellar and let it clear, and drink it.
Note: to make it better, put in a pint of well-boiled and well-skimmed honey.
Finally, a number of later sources mention brumalis canna [“winter cane”], a foaming drink made of barley, ginger and fruit. This is a credible combination for the period; it sounds like a variant of honeyed beer. But no period source is cited for it and its authenticity and origin are both uncertain.


Le Grand d'Aussy's texts on hydromel, cider, beer and other drinks are now available in translation:

Crane,Eva, The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting 1999

Diodorus, Siculus, The Historical Library of Diodorus the Sicilian V1 1814

“Hydromel”, Cook's info.

Pliny (the Elder), The Natural History of Pliny, V3 1892

“Meduna A Gaulish God: Essence of Mead”,

Emile Delort, “Le cimetière franc d'Ennery” (Moselle) Gallia V5 1947

Fortunatus, Venance "Venantii Hon.Clem. Fortunati Operum Pars IIL Vita S. Radegundis Reginae",Patrologiae Cursus Completus, ed Jacques-Paul Migne V88 1850

“Sedulii Scotti Carmina II” Poetae Latini aevi Carolini (III)

Sloan, Michael C., The Harmonious Organ of Sedulius Scottus 2012

Der karolingische Reichskalender und seine Überlieferung bis ins 12. Jahrhundert, Monumenta Germaniae Historica v2 2001

Villanovani, Arnaldi. Opera omnia cum (ejus vita per S. Champeriumet) Nicolai Taurelli... annotationibus... ed Carmen V. Thilonis) 1585

Boyé, Pierre. “Les Abeilles, la cire et le miel en Lorraine”, Mémoires, Société d'archéologie lorraine et du Musée historique lorrain V56 1906

Legrand d'Aussy, Pierre Jean-Baptiste , Histoire De La Vie Privée Des Français V1, Issue 2 1782

Le Ménagier de Paris V2 1846

Ruas, M.-P., "Les plantes consommées au Moyen Âge en France méridionale d'après les semences archéologiques", Archéologiedu Midi médiéval v15 1997

Isidore of Seville (Isidorus Hispalensis), Etymologiarvm Sive Originvm, LiberXX, Vicifons, 

Guérard, Benjamin Edme Charles, Explication du capitulaire de villis 1853

Lees, Frederic Richard, Tirosh Lo Yayin: Or, The Wine Question Considered in an Entirely Novel Point of View 1841

Ekkehardi Monachi Sangallensis, "Benedictiones ad Mensa", The Archaeological Journal, V21 1864

Lupus (of Ferrières), "Lettres de Serval Loup", Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des hautes études: Sciences historiques et philologiques, Issue 77

de Certain, "Raoul Tortaire", Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Chartes, 16th year, V1, 4th s. 1855

Huet, Pierre-Daniel, Les origines de la ville de Caen 1706

Coville, Alfred, Les États de Normandie : leurs origines et leur développement au XIVe siècle 1894

 Grégoire de Tours, Histoire ecclésiastique des francs, tr Guadet 1836

Diez, Friedrich Christian, Anciens glossaires romans 1870

Baluze, Etienne, Miscellaneorum libri (I-VII), V3 1680

Strabo, Walahfrid , On the Cultivation of Gardens: A Ninth Century Gardening Book, tr. James Mitchell 2009

Journal Oeconomique, ou Memoires, notes et avis sur l'Agriculture, les Arts ... ed. Antoine Boudet  1762,

Samuel Pepys, Mynors Bright, The Diary of Samuel Pepys: Jan. 1, 1660-June 4, 1660 November 24, 1660 1892

Le Moyne de La Borderie, Arthur, Histoire de Bretagne : topographie générale de la Bretagne de 57 av. J.C. à 753 de J.C v1 1905

Mabillon, Acta sanctorum ordinis S. Benedicti, in saeculorum classes distributa... Collegit domnus Lucas d'Achery ... ac cum eo edidit d. Johannes Mabillon ... 1733

Stoll, Ulrich, Das "Lorscher Arzneibuch": Ein Medizinisches Kompendium des8. Jahrhunderts … 1992

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