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[A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z]


Dado:
Decorative or protective treament of the lower part of a wall to a height of 3 to 4 feet.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)

Related terms: Dado-Rail


Dado-Rail:
Moulding on top of the dado.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)

Related terms: Dado


Dais:
Raised platform for high table.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Damp Fold:
Style of drapery-carving in which the creases are shallow and linear, and the material clings to the body as if it were damp.
   (Martindale, Andrew. Gothic Art, 268)


Danegeld:
Tribute paid to the Danes (Dane Gold).
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Danelaw / Geld


Danelaw:
Area acknowledged by the West Saxon kings as under Danish law in the tenth century, owing to the heavy Danish settlement there; hence East Anglia, the East Midlands, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
   (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 213)

Related terms: Danegeld


Darrein Presentment:
Action of "last presentment" to discover the most recent patron of a church.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 144)

Related terms: Assize / Utrum


Daub:
A mud of clay mixture applied over wattle to strengthen and seal it.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Castle / Wattle and Daub / Wattle


De Excommunicato Capiendo:
Royal writ for the capture, arrest and imprisonment of an excommunicate who after forty days was still unreconciled and whose name had been sent to the chancery by the bishop.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 362)

Related terms: Excommunication / Signification


De Heretico Comburendo:
The English statute of 1401 for the burning of heretics.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 362)


Deacon:
A clergyman holding the holy order just below the priesthood.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 361)


Dean:
Head of a collegiate or secular cathedral chapter. Rural deans were diocesan officers usually appointed from the local clergy.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 362)


Debenture:
A reciept given to the supplier of goods or services to the crown specifying the payment due to him and redeemable for cash.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)


Decretal:
1) A papal letter or an excerpt from one which rules on a point of canon law.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 361)

2) A judicial decision made by or on behalf of the pope with reference to a particular case, but often collected afterwards to provide or illuminate legal principles.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 362)

Related terms: Canon Law / Decretum


Decretum:
A major collection of canon law texts arranged topically by the monk Gratian in the 1140s; used in church courts and law schools from the twelfth century onward. The formal title of the book was the Concordance of Discordant Canons.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 361)

Related terms: Canon Law / Decretal


Defendant:
A person required to answer in an action.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 255)

Related terms: Plaintiff


Défens:
Land from which peasants' grazing animals were temporarily or permanently excluded.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 554)


Demesne:
1) The part of the lord's manorial lands reserved for his own use an not allocated to his serfs or freeholder tenants. Serfs work the demesne for a specified numbers of days per week. The demesne may either be scattered among the serfs land, or a separate area, the latter being more common for meadow and orchard lands.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Lands exploited directly by the manorial lord (as distinct from lands rented to tenants).
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234)

3) Land devoted to the lord's profit, whether a manor, or a portion of land within a manor, worked by peasants as part of their obligations.
   (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 213)

4) Lands and rights retained for direct exploitation by lord or king rather than being granted out to others.
   (Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369, 144)

5) That land retained in the landlord's hand and cultivated by himself or leased out, as opposed to tenant land held by hereditary peasant tenants.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)

6) The Dialogus de Scaccario defines demesne lands as "those which are tilled at the cost or by labour of the owner, and those held from him by villeins". Such lands were said to be "in demesne" (in dominico). The demesne did not include estates which belonged to the lord but which had been let by him as fiefs to vassals in return for services (such lands being said to be in servitio).
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 633)


Demesne, Ancient:
1) Manors, held by the king at the time of the Domesday survey, whose tenants enjoyed special legal rights.
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 233)

2) Lands at one time held by the crown. Tenants of the ancient demesne were privileged and could not be treated as villeins.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 237)

3) Land held by the Crown in the time of King Edward the Confessor (1043-66) and recorded in Domesday Book.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 143)


Demesne, Royal:
All land in the realm which had not been put into private hands, and from which the Crown derived rents and other revenues through custodians or "farmers".
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 633)

Related terms: Demesne / Demesne, Ancient / Farm


Denarius:
The English silver penny, hence the abbreviation "d" and the coin most common circulation.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Denier:
A French coin of very small value, roughly equivalent to a penny.
   (Shaw, M.R.B. Joinville & Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusades, 361)


Depressed Arch:


Despot:
An honorary court title of the Byzantine Empire, introduced in the twelfth century as the second highest title after that of emperor. It was an honorary title in the court hierarchy, and though on occasions it was given to the holder of a territory, the title still reflected the holder's position in the Byzantine court rather than his position as ruler of his holding. Thus the term "despotate" for such a territory is often inappropriate.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 622)


Destrier:
Charger, warhorse.
   (Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience, 347)

Related terms: Dextrarius


Devsirme:
The Ottoman levy of Christian children for future service in the Ottoman state. The term is also used for those so levied.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 622)

Related terms: Janissary


Dexter:
Heraldic: on right hand of shield, i.e. on the spectator's left.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)

Related terms: Sinister


Dextrarius: [destrier (French)]
A warhorse. Perhaps so called because, when not in battle, it was led by a squire on his right hand.
   (Davis, R.H.C. The Medieval Warhorse: Origin, Development and Redevelopment, 135)

Related terms: Castle / Destrier


Diagonal Buttress:


Diaper:
1) Surface ornament of repeated straight-sided geometrical shapes, lozenge, triangle, etc.
   (Martindale, Andrew. Gothic Art, 268)

2) All-over decoration of surfaces with small pattern such as flowers in squares, lozenges, etc. Carved examples characteristic of the 13th and 14th centuries; in the 15th century used for painted ornament. Perhpas derived from patterned cloth from Ypres in Belgium (Dyaper, i.e. D'Ypres).
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Dictum:
A judicial opinion on a point other than the precise issue in a case before the court; sometimes obiter dictum, an opinion stated by the way.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 255)


Dijak:
Slavic for a secretary or scribe.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 622)


Dimanche-Prés:
Demesne furlong.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 554)


Diocese:
1) A district subject to the jurisdiction of a Bishop/Archbishop. The name is derived from the administrative districts created by the Roman emperor Diocletian.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) An ecclesiastical division of territory under the supervision of a bishop; there were more than 500 dioceses in the western church by the fourteenth century.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 361)


Dispensation:
A papally granted licence to do what is not permitted by canon law, or at least by the human laws of the church; it cannot alter what is deemed to be divine law, e.g. the Ten Commandments.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 362)


Disseisin:
1) Dispossession of land.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 144)

2) The act of wrongfully depriving a person of the seisin of lands, rents, or other hereditaments, as where a man not having right of entry on certain lands or tenements enters upon them and ousts him who has the freehold.
   (Warren, W.L. Henry II, 633)


Distraint: [distress]
1) Summons or arrest.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 244)

2) Seizure of chattels to enforce payment of debt or appearance in court, etc.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 144)


Divine Office:
The religious services sung or recited by priests and religious at the canonical hours, i.e. seven fixed times during each day and once during the night.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 361)


Djed:
Title borne by the head of the Bosnian Church; it literally means "grandfather".
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 622)


Dog-Legged Staicase:
Staircase going backwards and forwards without a well-hole.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Dog-Tooth Ornament:
A late 12th- and early 13th-century development from the nail-head, in which the pyramids are cut into four-petalled flowers; used on hollow mouldings.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Doge:
The title borne by the ruler of Venice.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 622)


Domus:
House or building.
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234)


Donjon: [Keep]
The inner stronghold of a castle.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 225)

Related terms: Castle / Keep


Dooms:
Judgements or decisions made formally by the suitors or the jury of the manor court.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 337)


Dormer Window:
Vertical window with own gable and individual roof, in the slope of a roof; usually lighting a sleeping apartment, hence the name.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Dorser:
Cushion or hanging for the back of a seat.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Dorter:
Monastic dormitory.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Double Monastery:
Combined monastery for men and women but sexually separated. Ruled by either an abbot or abbess.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Double-Ogee Moulding:
Two ogees meeting at the convex ends.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)

Related terms: Ogee


Dovetail:
Tenon shaped like a dove's spread tail or reversed wedge, fitting into corresponding mortice and forming a joint.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Dower:
Lands designated (often at the time of marriage) for a wife's maintenance in the event of widowhood.
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234)


Dragon-Beam:
Horizontal timber bisecting the angle of a floor, receiving the shortened joists on both sides, these being at right angles to each other.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Drawbar:
Long bar to secure the door, fitted into a socket in one jamb, and slib back when not in use into a long channel in the other.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Drawbridge:
1) A wooden bridge leading to a gateway, capable of being raised or lowered.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

2) A heavy timber platform built to span a moat between a gatehouse and surrounding land that could be raised when required to block an entrance.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Castle


Dreng:
The name given to a free peasant in Northumbria and sometimes in Yorkshire and Lancashire. The name usually implies that land is held in return for military service.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Dressings:
Worked stone at angle, openings, etc.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)


Drop Arch:
See: Arch, Drop


Drum Tower:
1) Low, squat circular tower.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 411)

2) A round or half-round flanking tower with very thick walls and plinth.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 248)

Related terms: Castle


Drystone Wall:
Stone wall built without mortar or clay.
   (Kenyon, John R. Medieval Fortifications, 211)


Drzava:
Serbian for state, derived from the verb "to hold".
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 622)


Dualism:
The theological view that the universe is divided between two radically different powers, one good and one evil; groups holding dualistic views included Gnostics in the ancient church and Cathars during the Middle Ages.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 361)

Related terms: Dualist


Dualist:
Religiously, one who believes in two opposing gods or principles: generally, good vs. evil (or spirit vs. matter). Under this heading one finds Manichees, the medieval Bogomils, and their Western off-shoots (Patarins, Cathars, etc.).
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 622)

Related terms: Dualism


Duke:
A title from the Roman Dux, which has been held over from Roman time by the ruler of a district called a duchy. In England the title is reserved for members of the royal family.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Dun:
Scottish single family hill fort.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Dungeon:
The jail, usually found in one of the towers.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Castle


Duress:
Force illegally used to compel someone to do something.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 144)



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