Court Will Begin at Half-Way Terce
Keeping Time in High Medieval Europe

Sources and Notes
Essay by
April Farrell

  

September 2004

  
These are the sources and notes for —
Court Will Begin at Half-Way Terce:
Keeping Time in High Medieval Europe
  


  
Bibliography

A. Books

  • Crosby, Alfred W. The Measure of Reality, Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600. Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • Lacroix,Paul. Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. 1878: reprinted, University Press of the Pacific, 1964.
  • Le Goff, Jacques. Time, Work and Culture in the Middle Ages. University of Chicago Press, 1982.
  • Whitrow, G. J. Time in History: Views of Time from Prehistory to the Present Day. Oxford University Press, 1989.
      
B. Articles
  • Ackerman, Robert W. "The Liturgical Day in Ancrene Riwle", Speculum 53.4 (1978) 734-744.
  • Block, E. A. "And It Is Half-Wey Pryme", Speculum 32.4 (1957) 826-833.
  • Knowles, David. "The Monastic Horarium, 970-1120", Downside Review 51(1933) 706-725.
  • McCluskey, S. C. "Gregory of Tours, Monastic Timekeeping, and Early Christian Attitudes to Astronomy", Isis 81.1 (1990) 8-22.
      
C. Online References

  


 
Notes

  1. The Medieval period is typically divided into the early Middle Ages (Charlemagne in the late 8th Century to 1066 in England (about 1000 AD on the Continent); the high Middle Ages from then to about 1307 in England (late 1200s on the Continent); the late Middle Ages from 1307 to about 1485 in England (to about 1450 on the Continent).
      
  2. A. W. Crosby, The Measure of Reality, Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600, (1997) 32.
      
  3. Calculated from sunrise and sunset times at the equinoxes, Christmas and Midsummer in London, England. Longitude and latitude of London England were obtained. Information Please: Online Dictionary, Internet Encyclopedia, Atlas & Almanac Reference: Almanacs: World: Geography: World Geography: Latitude and Longitude of World Cities. Pearson Education. 10 Aug. 2004.
    Using these data, the sunrise and sunset times for equinoxes, Christmas and Midsummer were determined for London. Astronomical Applications Department: Data Services: Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day: Notes — Rise, Set and Twilight Definitions. U.S. Naval Observatory. 22 July 2004.
      
  4. Robert W. Ackerman, "The Liturgical Day in Ancrene Riwle", Speculum 53.4 (1978) 738-39; David Knowles, "The Monastic Horarium, 970 - 1120", Downside Review 51(1933) 714-15; Paul Lacroix, Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, 1874 (1964) 220-2; S. C. McCluskey, "Gregory of Tours, Monastic Timekeeping, and Early Christian Attitudes to Astronomy", Isis 81.1 (1990) 15; G. J. Whitrow, Time in History (1988) 108.
      
  5. Matins and Compline appear to have corresponded approximately to the modern "nautical twilight" as defined by the US Navy "to begin in the morning, and to end in the evening, when the center of the sun is geometrically 12 degrees below the horizon. At the beginning or end of nautical twilight, under good atmospheric conditions and in the absence of other illumination, general outlines of ground objects may be distinguishable, but detailed outdoor operations are not possible, and the horizon is indistinct." Most of us would call this "first light" or "last light" and it extends roughly an hour before or after the sun disk is gone. Astronomical Applications Department: Data Services: Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day: Notes — Rise, Set and Twilight Definitions. U.S. Naval Observatory. 22 July 2004.
      
  6. R. W. Ackerman, 738-39; D. Knowles, 714-15; P. Lacroix, 221; S. C. McCluskey, 15; G. J. Whitrow, 108.
      
  7. Powell, M. G. Introduction to Medieval Christian Liturgy II. 3. The Liturgy of the Hours. Course Website. Introduction to the History of Christianity. School of Divinity, Yale University. 4 Dec. 1996.
      
  8. P. Lacroix, 221-2.
      
  9. A. W. Crosby, 33.
      
  10. Jacques Le Goff, Time, Work and Culture in the Middle Ages (1980) 44-5.
      
  11. A. W. Crosby, 33.
      
  12. An online picture of a medieval sundial. Deutches Museum: 100 Jahre: Index: Sundials.
      
  13. S. C. McCluskey, 10-11.
      
  14. Ibid. High medieval clerics and scholars worked with both equal and unequal hours. Gregory of Tours provided a simple method for estimating the change in canonical hour length with the season. Working forward from the spring equinox (12 hours night, 12 hours day), he moved one hour per month from night to day until midsummer (9 hours night, 15 hours day); he then reversed this process until midwinter (15 hours night, 9 hours day). His predictions are quite accurate for Rome, and fairly useful for London (16 hours night, 8 hours day at midwinter).
      
  15. E. A. Block, "And It Is Half-Wey Pryme", Speculum 32.4 (1957) 827-8.
      
  16. King Louis XVIII of France. The Columbia World of Quotations, 1996. Project Bartleby: Reference: Quotations.
      
  17. Jacques Le Goff, 44-5. The question was raised in the 14th Century, and reflects the Franciscans' continuing belief that time belonged to God. But by the 13th Century, merchants no longer shared that attitude, and by the late 14th Century, even some clerics had changed their point of view.
      
  18. Ibid. 29-51.

  

© 2004 April Farrell


  
Court Will Begin at Half-Way Terce:
Keeping Time in High Medieval Europe
by April Farrell
  


  

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