French of Outremer Legal Texts in Translation

Directors: Dr. Nicholas Paul, Dr. Laura Morreale

About the Project

For nearly two years, a group of scholars have joined in a series of translation sessions hosted under the auspices the French of Outremer Legal Texts working group. These bi-weekly sessions do not occur in a library or a seminar room, but rather online at our computers, via video link.

Our team of scholars, who bring their expertise in Old French, Crusades history, the history of the French language, and medieval law, have now translated a total of three Old French legal treatises, all of which date to the mid-thirteenth century and were written on the island of Cyprus by members of the Western-Christian aristocracy who settled there in the late twelfth-century, after the third Crusade.

Our digitally-enabled translation sessions bring a variety of voices and perspectives to our English-language renderings. Puzzling out and discovering meanings together takes away the tedium of lone translation and allows all team members to share in the delight of an elegant legal approach, a revealing set of rules, or a curious turn of phrase. The final product of our three initial translations will appear soon, and the discussions that took place as we worked through the texts will form a large part of how they are presented. Each digital edition will also include an index, a glossary for obscure words, and explanatory essays to help interpret the meaning of these newly-translated texts.

The project can be accessed here.