Engineering language

November 22, 2002

I am always interested in other scholars' views of my work - after all, the academic calling is about the search for truth - and engineers' views on the Middle Ages are particularly welcome as they are so rare.

However, I must respond to Donald Welbourn (Letters, THES , November 15), who appears not to realise that Latin was indeed the vernacular for many early Christian centuries.

Ordinary people in the West understood it until it became chiefly a "learned" language. The Middle Ages began long before the Norman Conquest.

My own eyebrow was among those raised by the premature disclosure of the decision to recommend me for a chair.

The news was, it turns out, common knowledge around the streets of Cambridge before I received the information officially.

Others told me that they had learnt of it on King's Parade before I did.

G. R. Evans
University of Cambridge

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