Les Termes de la Ley 1527
John Rastell (c. 1475–1536)
You may need a dictionary to grasp the meaning of an unknown word while reading this book. People can use dictionaries to improve their understanding of a language or a certain subject, and hence their capacity to comprehend concepts and ideas. Today, we take that skill for granted. Consider a world without dictionaries: where would a reader go to learn the meanings of words they’d never heard before?
Expositiones Terminorum Legum Anglorum, afterwards known as Les Termes de la Ley, was originally published in England in 1527 by John Rastell, an English lawyer and author. The dictionary had 208 entries, which were laid down alphabetically in parallel columns, one in Latin and the other in Anglo-Norman Law French. In 1530, a second edition was published with English translations.