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Canterbury Tales Glossary Notes

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This is an extract of our Canterbury Tales Glossary document, which we sell as part of our Middle English Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford University students.

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CANTERBURY TALES GLOSSARY Alchemy A pseudoscience concerned with the transmutation of base metals into gold (Canon's Yeoman). Alma redemptoris mater An anthem ("Gracious Mother of the Redeemer") used especially during Advent and Christmas season liturgy (Prioress 518, 554, 612, 641, 655).

475-c. 525), author of a treatise on music, and whose major work The Consolation of Philosophy was translated from Latin by Chaucer (Wife 1168; Nun's Priest 3242, 3294; Retraction 1090). Boughton under Blean The town of Boughton in the Blean forest, five miles from Canterbury (Canon's Yeoman 556).

Almagest An astronomical treatise by Ptolemy (Miller 3208; Wife 182, 325).

Breton A native or inhabitant of Brittany on the coast of France (Franklin 709).

Amor vincit omnia "Love conquers all" (GP 162).

Bruges See Flanders.

Angelus ad virginem A hymn on the Annunciation (Miller 3216).

canon A priest who either lived in a community of priests (canons regular) or had institutional permission to live alone (canons secular) (Canon's Yeoman's Prologue, Canon's Yeoman).

Apollo Greek god of light, music, archery, and prophecy (Squire 671; Franklin 1031). Also called Phoebus. Apostle, The Saint Paul (Wife 49, 79, 160, 341; Pardoner 529; Melibee 990, 1130, 1130, 1295, 1410, 1440, 1510, 1635, 1840). Argus A hundred-eyed giant in Greek mythology (Knight 1390; Wife 358; Merchant 2111). Austin See Saint Augustine. Bacchus The Greek god of wine (Merchant 1722; Physician 57; Manciple 99). bachelor A young knight or aspirant to knighthood (GP 80; Knight 3085; Wife 883; Squire 24); an unmarried man (Merchant 1274). Bath An English city nearby which was the parish of Saint Michael, a cloth-producing center (GP 445). Bayard A name for a horse (Reeve 4115; Canon's Yeoman 1413). bel ami "Fine friend" (Pardoner 318). belle chose "Beautiful thing" (Wife 447, 510). benedicite "Bless you" (Knight 1785, 2115; Miller 3768; Lawyer 1170; Wife 280, 1087; Friar 1456, 1584; Summoner2170; Merchant 1337; Canon's Yeoman 628). benefice Payment for performing the duties of an ecclesiastical office (GP 291, 507; Nun's Priest 3316). blissful martyr Saint Thomas a Becket (1118?1170), the murdered Archbishop of Canterbury, enshrined at Canterbury Cathedral (GP 17, 770). Boethius A Roman statesman and philosopher (c.

Canterbury A city, about 55 miles southeast of London, where the shrine of Saint Thomas a
Becket in Canterbury Cathedral was an object of pilgrimage (GP 16-27, 769, 793; Manciple 3). Cassiodorus A Roman statesman and writer (c. 485-c. 585) (Melibee 1200, 1440, 1530, 1565, 1645). Cato Dionysius Cato (third century A.D.), author of a collection of moral apothegms (Miller 3228; Merchant 1377; Nun's Priest 2940, 2971; Melibee 1180, 1220, 1310, 1490, 1595, 1605; Canon's Yeoman 688). Chaucer The English poet (1340?-1400) portrays himself in the Tales as a corpulent pilgrim disparaged for his "wretched rhyming" (specifically Sir Topaz, a parody of metrical romances) (GP 19-27; Lawyer 46-50; Topaz 691711; Melibee 919-940; Retraction). Cheapside A main shopping section of medieval London (GP 754; Cook 4377; Pardoner 564, 569; Manciple 24). Chichevache "Lean cow," being a fabled cow who fed only on patient wives (Envoy 1188). chough A bird believed to be a tattler (Wife 232). Christopher A medal representing Saint Christopher, patron saint of travelers and foresters (GP 115). Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.), Roman orator and philosopher (Franklin 722). clerk A clergyman (Miller 3312; Lawyer 480; Wife 694, 706, 1184; Pardoner 391); a student, being ostensibly an aspirant to the clergy (Miller 3219;

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