Reading Medieval Documents

Ref: C2224592

This course is a gentle introduction to reading documents in Latin from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries, particularly those useful to family and local historians. This is a follow on course to that held during September 2016 but is accessible to everyone. No previous knowledge of Latin is necessary.

Additional information about this course

This course if Fully Booked.

Course aim

This course provides the skills needed to decipher basic manorial and parish documents written in medieval Latin.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify a variety of classes of manorial and parish document.
  • Decipher names, dates, numbers and common phrases in a variety of medieval documents.
  • Apply palaeography skills from one class of document to another.
  • Translate common phrases in manorial Latin.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Each week a home preparation task will be set for the following session.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • There will be a number of tasks appropriate to your course such as written work, creating art or craft, video, photography or small projects. Some of these may be marked to help you progress

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • Note-taking equipment and a magnifying glass may be of use to you.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • This course provides the basic skills needed to read documents which could be part of a personal research project such as family history, house history or local history.

Download full course outline

Reading Medieval Documents Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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