Clan MacFarlane Worldwide, Inc.

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MacFarlane Muniments Documents Vary by Language

by Dr. Nicola Mills August 2021

The 110 MacFarlane Muniment documents in CMW’s digital archive are mostly in Latin and Scots, with some English. But why was each language used, and how did the use of language change over time and from place to place? Let’s look at a few examples in our Muniments and see.

Latin was the language of the Roman Empire, and thence of the Catholic Church, based in Rome. The Church used Latin as the common language that all educated people could understand. It was the language of the clerks who copied out our documents, and the lawyers (often churchmen themselves) who drew them up.

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