Skyscript home page

Herbs & Plants
Stones & Minerals
Animals & Birds
About the Author


Archaic Words by Kim Farnell

The meaning of traditional astrological texts is frequently obscured by the use of archaic or obsolete terms. Here Kim Farnell presents the modern equivalent of words that have appeared in historical astrological literature.

Acater Supplied food provisions, e.g. a ships chandler.
Accipitrary Falconer.
Accomptant Accountant.
Acreman Ploughman.
Ale draper Seller of ale.
Ale taster Tested ale for quality.
Ale tunner Employed by the brewery to fill ale casks (tuns).
Almoner Gave out alms or charity to the poor on behalf of the parish.
Alnmager Official who examined the quality of woollen goods.
Anilepman Smallholder.
Apiarian Beekeeper.
Apparitor Official who summoned witnesses in the ecclesiastical courts.
Aquarius Waterman.
Arkwright Produced "arks" (wooden chests or coffers).
Aurifaber Goldsmith.
Avenator Hay and forage merchant.
Avowry Lord of the manor.
Backmaker Cooper.
Backman Baker.
Badger Licensed pauper.
Balister Archer
BallerAssisted the potter by measuring out balls of clay.
Basil workerWorked with sheep and goat skins.
BelhosteTavern keeper.
BenderCut leather.
BesswardenAppointed by the parish to look after its animals.
BlentonistWater diviner.
BloomerProduced iron from ore.
BoothmanCorn merchant.
BotchersA mender of old garments.
Broom men Sweepers.
Bum-bailiesThose who arrest debtors, bailiffs.
Busker Hairdresser and street entertainer.
Caddy butcherButcher that dealt in horse meat.
CalcinerBurnt bones to make powdered lime.
CalenderListed documents.
CarmenBoatmen who steal wine out from the vessels they have charge of and replace the contents with water.
CarnerGranary keeper.
Chirugion/chirugeonApothecary or surgeon.
Claker Magician/astrologer.
ClassmanUnemployed labourer.
ColonusFarmer or husbandman.
CurriersThose who finish and dress leather after it has been tanned.
Cutler Knife seller or sharpener.
FletcherArrow maker.
FoundersThose who work in foundaries.
Fuller of clothOne who prepares cloth, teasing and thickening it.
GartersPerson charged with maintenance of a garth, a dam used to catch fish. Owner or worker of a fish trap.
GrasiersOne who oversees grazing animals, a herdsman. (Also a preacher.)
HostlerStableman, especially at an inn.
HucksterSomeone who sells second hand goods, or sells what he has bought wholesale for retail. A broker.
HusbandmenTenant farmer.
HusbandryAny work on the land, including, but not limited to, farming.
MaltsterA maker of malt, brewer.
MercerA merchant of linen, draper, maker of sailcloth, haberdasher. Also a pedlar.
Night soilmanOne who emptied cesspits.
Night-farmersThose who collect and clear away human excrement from occupied areas. Emptiers of cesspits.
OstlerOriginally innkeeper especially in an monastery (13th century) later stableboy or a person who looked after horses. other small game
OwlerSheep or wool smuggler.
Palmer One who had been, or pretended to have been, to the Holy Land.
PardonerSeller of indulgences.
Pastor Shepherd.
Piller Robber.
PinderDog catcher.
Pleacher/plaicher platcher/plasherHedge layer.
Prig napperHorse thief.
Puggard Thief.
QuisterOne who bleached things.
Qwylwryght Wheelwright.
Rag-men and womenCollectors of old clothes for re-use.
RatonerRat catcher.
Sortor Tailor.
Souter Shoe maker.
Stravaiger Vagrant.
StreakerOne who prepared the body for burial.
StringerMade the strings for bows.
Sutler Merchant or peddler in an army camp.
Sutlers in Armies One that follows an Army and sells meat or other provisions to it.
SwailerMiller or dealer in grain.
ToshersSewer hunters.
Vulcan Blacksmith.
WarrenerIn charge of a portion of land used for breeding rabbits.

AgueMalarial type fever with successive, recurring stages of fever and chills.
Apoplexy A stroke or sudden loss of consciousness caused by the restriction of a blood vessel in the brain. Paralysis from cerebral rupture, stroke.
Black jaundice Black jaundice is a common term for Wiel's Disease. It is quite common near mines, farms and sewage and floats about in water. It is caused by a microorganism and is a bacterial infection (of the liver) and not a virus. It is carried by rats and secreted in their urine. It is rapidly fatal to dogs and cats, which can eventually gain a resistance, but can pass it on.
Botches Bumps or sores on the body.
Calenture A burning fever, temperature.
Chincoughs Fit of coughing.
Clisters Enemas.
Consumption Wasting away of the body especially from pulmonary disease.
Diambra Indigestion medicine made out of a compound of spices, ambergris and musk.
Dropsy Oedema (fluid retention), often due to heart or kidney disease. Contraction of hydropsy, congestive heart failure edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease. Dropsy would be called congestive heart failure today. Accumulation of fluid around the heart.
Emplaisters An external application of a consistency harder than ointment, prepared for use by spreading it on linen, leather, silk, or other material. It is adhesive at the ordinary temperature of the body, and is used, according to its composition, to produce a medicinal effect, to bind parts together, etc.; as, a porous plaster; sticking plaster.
Falling Sickness A term for epilepsy.
Flux An excessive flow or discharge of any of the bodies secretions or excretions. Haemorrhage, diarrhoea.
French & Neapolitan pox Syphilis. Known to the English as the French pox and the French as the Neapolitan pox.
Green-sickness Anemia.
Hammes Thighs
Humours Swellings related to dropsy.
Iliac passion Peritonitis. Pertaining to, or in the region of, the ileum, or dorsal bone of the pelvis; as, the iliac artery.
Imposthumations/ Imposthumes Abcesses, swellings.
Jaundice Wiel's disease. Disease with fever and jaundice. Caused by a germ found in the urine of rats.
Lasks Diarrhoea.
Looseness Diarrhoea
Matrix Womb
Megrims A kind of sick or nervous headache, usually periodical and confined to one side of the head; now more commonly called migraine headache or migraine. a fancy; a whim; a freak; a humor; esp., in the plural, lowness of spirits. a sudden vertigo in a horse, succeeded sometimes by unconsciousness, produced by an excess of blood in the brain; a mild form of apoplexy.
Menstrua's Menstrual fluid.
Meseraick veins Mesaraic, mesenteric. The membranes, or one of the membranes (consisting of a fold of the peritoneum and enclosed tissues), which connect the intestines and their appendages with the dorsal wall of the abdominal cavity. The mesentery proper is connected with the jejunum and ileum, the other mesenteries being called mesoccum, mesocolon, mesorectum, etc.
Morphew A scurfy eruption.
Noli me tangere in the Nose Touch me not in the nose. A bloody nose.
Physick Medicine
Pissing Disease Diabetes.
Priapism Prolonged and painful erection of the penis.
Ptisick A cough.
Purblinde Bleary eyed, short sighted, poor sight.
Purges Emetics.
Quack salvers Quack, charlatan doctor.
Quartan Agues Fevers and chills arising from infections
Quartan (Of a fever), occurring every three or four days.
Quinsies A pus-filled swelling (i.e. an abscess) in the soft palate around the tonsils, usually as a complication of tonsillitis. Streptococcal tonsillitis.
Reines Kidneys
Rheume Watery discharge.
Rheumes into the Jaw A mucus discharge from the jaw.
Saint Anthony's fire Ergotism - ergot poisoning producing either buring pains and eventually gangrene or itching skin and convulsions or the skin condition Erysipelas, an acute superficial cellulitis characterized by a sharply demarcated advancing border surrounding raised, deeply erythematous, indurated painful skin involving the dermis, lymphatic, and superficial subcutaneous tissue. It is usually associated with a portal of entry.
Scarification Scarification is the process of creating body art with scar tissue. The scar tissue is usually created by burns, abrasions, or cuttings.
Secrets Genitals, private parts
Splenetick A sickness of the spleen.
Squincies Swellings of the throat.
Strangury Painful excretion of urine.
Suffumigations The products of applying fumes or smoke to the parts of, as to the body in medicine; to fumigate in part.
Surfeits Excess, nausea through overindulgence.
Tertian/ quotidian fevers Intermittent fevers, often due to malaria.
Tetters Sores, pimples, marks or scars caused by smallpox, the scab of any sore.
Tysicks Consumptives.
Wens A harmless cyst, especially on the scalp or face, containing the fatty secretion of a sebaceous gland.
Whelk raised lesion on the skin
Wind-cholic Cholic

Herbs & Plants
AngelicaAngelica Archangelica, used as flavouring in confectionary and to purify the blood.
Aromaticus Acorus calamus, sedge, calamus, sweet flag, sweet root, sweet rush, sweet cane, gladdon, sweet myrtle, myrtle grass, myrtle sedge, cinnamon sedge. The Sweet Sedge is a vigorous, reed-like, aquatic plant, flourishing in ditches, by the margins of lakes and streams and in marshy places generally, associated with reeds, bullrushes and bur-reed; esteemed as an aromatic stimulant and mild tonic. It's used to increase the appetite and benefit digestion.
Arsmart Water pepper (Polygonum hydropiper). It was so called as it would be laid in bed linen to repel fleas and would sting or make smart any bare flesh that came in contact with it. Also called Culrage. The juice was used against colds, swellings, and bruises.
Bears foot Black hellebore.
Bithwind Bindweed
Bitony Wood betony, Stachys Betonica, known as bishopswort, highly popular cure although especially used for headaches.
Borage Borago officinalis. Grown freely in kitchen gardens, both for its uses as a herb and for the sake of its flowers, which yield excellent honey. The leaves were often eaten in salads and the flowers preserved in sugar as a sweet. Used to dispel melancholy and also against fever, the venom of serpents, jaundice, consumption, sore throat, and rheumatism.
Box A tree or shrub, flourishing in different parts of the world. The common box (Buxus sempervirens) has two varieties, one of which, the dwarf box (B.suffruticosa), is much used for borders in gardens. The wood of the tree varieties, being very hard and smooth, is extensively used in the arts, as by turners, engravers, mathematical instrument makers, etc.
Bugloss Echium vulgare. Also known as blueweed. A showy plant covered with prickly hairs. Diuretic, demulcent and pectoral. The leaves, especially those growing near the root, make a cordial on infusion, which operates by perspiration and alleviates fevers, headaches and nervous complaints, relieving inflammatory pains.
Chinosta Schinos, or mastic tree, Pistacia Lentiscus; a small evergreen shrub of the Mediterranean region, cultivated for its resin. Stimulant, diuretic.
Cinquefoil Potentilla. Also called five finger, because of the resemblance of its leaves to the fingers of the hand. Also known as sunkfield, synkefoyle. Five-leaf Grass is a creeping plant with large yellow flowers like the Silverweed, each one growing on its own long stalk, which springs from the point at which the leaf joins the stem. It was an ingredient in many spells in the Middle Ages, and was particularly used as a magic herb in love divinations. It was one of the ingredients of a special bait for fishing nets, which was held to ensure a heavy catch. It was used to cure the intermittent fevers, which prevailed in marshy, ill-drained lands, and especially ague.
Coral tree Any of various mostly deciduous trees or shrubs of the genus Erythrina in the pea family, native to and widely cultivated in warm regions, having trifoliolate leaves, showy red or orange flowers, and pods containing often brightly coloured seeds. Cultivated as an ornamental.
Cubab The dried unripe berry of a tropical shrub (Piper cubeba) of the pepper family that is crushed and smoked in cigarettes for catarrh.
Darnel A weedy annual grass that often occurs in grain fields and other cultivated land, the seeds of which are sometimes considered poisonous. A type of rye grass.
Devilsmilk Dandelion or wartweed. Dandelion is a blood purifier. The root has digestive enzymes. Dandelion is a laxative. It promotes liver function. Dandelion leaves are a powerful diuretic. It was used for liver complaints.
Dittany Origanum dictamnus. An aromatic woolly plant native to Crete, formerly believed to have magical powers. A member of the mint family and form of oregano. It was believed that the juice of the dittany would drive away venomous beasts. It is an all purpose wound healer and pain reliever. It is especially used to relieve the pain of rheumatism and childbirth. It's also used for gastric problems and to cure snakebite.
Dragon SnapdragonAntirrhinum magus, used as a preservative against witchcraft.
Dragonwort Gum tragacanth.
Feverfew Chrysanthemum Parthenium. Also known as featherfew, featherfoil, flirtwort, bachelor's buttons. A hedgerow growing plant with yellow, daisy like flowers. Used as an emmenagogue. Was also employed in hysterical complaints, nervousness and lowness of spirits, and as a general tonic. With sugar or honey added, it was used for coughs, wheezing and difficult breathing. The herb, bruised and heated, or fried with a little wine and oil, was used as a warm external application for wind and colic. A tincture made from Feverfew and applied locally immediately relieves the pain and swelling caused by bites of insects and vermin. Planted round dwellings, it is said to purify the atmosphere and ward off disease.
Fumitory Fumaria officinalis. The common name of several species of the genus Fumaria, annual herbs with finely dissected leaves and small flowers in dense racemes or spikes. F. officinalis is a common species, and was formerly used as an antiscorbutic.
Gilly flower Wallflower.
Hellebore Known as Christmas rose, a poisonous plant used as a purgative, in the treatment of dropsy and as an abortifacient.
Henbane Hyoscyamus niger, poisonous plant used to relieve pain and induce sleep.
Herbgrace A plant whose stem does not become woody and permanent, but dies, at least down to the ground, after flowering. Rue, an abortificiant.
Hiera Another name for vervain or vervin.
Horehound Marrubium vulgare. White Horehound is a perennial herbaceous plant, found all over Europe and indigenous to Britain. It flourishes in waste places and by roadsides. It is cultivated for making tea and candy for use in coughs and colds. It has long been noted for its efficacy in lung troubles and coughs.
Horse tail Equisetum arvense and Equiseti hiemalis used to treat kidney and bladder troubles, arthritis, bleeding ulcers, and tuberculosis. Said to stop the bleeding of wounds and promote rapid healing. Diuretic.
Laskwort Carnation.
Lignum Aloes Aloes wood / Lignum Aloes (Aquilaria malaccensis) It comes from a knot that is formed by an evergreen tree when it is infected by a particular fungus. The tree produces a wonderfully scented resin. A tree native to India and not to be confused with Aloe Vera. It is usually used in incenses of protection, consecration, success and prosperity. The scent is similar to a combination of sandalwood and ambergris.
Lunaria or Lungwort Sticta pulmonaria, also known as Jerusalem cowslip, a member of the borage tribe, it's leaves are used for coughs and catarrh.
Mandrake A low plant (Mandragora officinarum) of the Nightshade family, having a fleshy root, often forked, and supposed to resemble a man. It was therefore supposed to have animal life, and to cry out when pulled up. All parts of the plant are strongly narcotic.
Mastix Pistacia lentiscus. An evergreen tree, mainly found in Mediterranean areas, including the tree which bears the pistachio.
Nightshade A common name of many species of the genus Solanum, given esp. to the Solanum nigrum, or black nightshade, a low, branching weed with small white flowers and black berries reputed to be poisonous. Deadly nightshade. Same as Belladonna.
Thistle Any one of several prickly composite plants.
Orage Atriplex. Today known as orache. Also called mountain spinach.
Polipody Anise, used as a flavouring.
Pomcitron Apple grafted onto a lemon tree as described in John Baptist Porta's Natural Magic.
Pompion Pumpkin.
Purse An annual cruciferous plant (Capsella Bursapastoris) bearing small white flowers and pouchlike pods.
Red sanders Sandalwood. A heavy, dark red dyewood, being the heartwood of two leguminous trees of India. Prized for cabinetwork.
Rosa Solis The herb sundew. Drosera rotundifolia. Originally the Italian cordial rosolio was prepared wholly from the juice of the plant. Rosolio came to denote a whole class of cordials and liqueurs. There are many variations in the spelling.
Rue Rue (ruta graveolens) is a perennial that grows to 2 feet. It is a symbol of sorrow and repentance, sometimes called the Herb of Grace. It has been used to improve eyesight and nerves and to treat insect bite, gout, worms, rheumatism, and hysteria. In the Middle Ages, it was used to ward off plague and as a defence against witches. One of its prime uses was as an abortifacient and emmenagogue
Saffron The autumn crocus, also known as meadow saffron.
Satyrian Orchid.
Savin A coniferous shrub (Juniperus Sabina). It is a compact bush, with dark-coloured foliage, and produces small berries having a glaucous bloom. Its bitter, acrid tops are sometimes used in medicine for gout, amenorrhœa, and it was a popular abortifacient.
Sea tangle Any of various brown algae, especially of the genus Laminaria. Form of seaweed.
Sene Thorn bush, used in treating stomach disorders.
Starwort Unicorn root.
Tamarinds Tamarindus indica. The tamarind is native to tropical Africa and grows wild throughout the Sudan. It was introduced into India so long ago, it has often been reported as indigenous there also. It is extensively cultivated in tropical areas of the world. It is the only important spice of African origin. Today it is best known in the west as the main ingredient in Worcester sauce.
Tamarisk Fraxinus ornus, species of ash used as a laxative.
Time Thyme
Tutsan A plant of the genus Hypericum (H. Androsœmum), from which a healing ointment is prepared.
Vervain Verbena hybrida. Used as a tonic for the digestive system.
Vervin Verbena officinalis, herb of grace. In England the Common vervain is found growing by roadsides and in sunny pastures. It is a perennial bearing many small, pale-lilac flowers It is recommended in upwards of thirty complaints, being astringent, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, etc. It is said to be useful in intermittent fevers, ulcers, ophthalmia, pleurisy, etc., and to be a good galactogogue. As a poultice it used against headaches, earneuralgia, rheumatism, etc. In this form it colours the skin a fine red, giving rise to the idea that it had the power of drawing the blood outside.
Walwort Root of fern of the polypody family.

Stones & Minerals
Adamant A stone once believed to be impenetrable in its hardness. An extremely hard substance. Also used in Old English to mean magnet. As the name of any stone of impenetrable hardness it is often the name given to the diamond.
Antimony A blue-white metal. Yellow and black antimony are unstable non-metals. Used in flame-proofing, paints, ceramics and enamels.
Atite A magical stone composed of oxide of iron with a little silex and alumina, supposedly found in the nest, neck or stomach of an eagle, that was thought to offer protection in childbirth, among other magical and medical properties. The stone is big with another inside it, which rattles, as if in a jar when you shake it. It should be worn bound to the arm to prevent abortion, and on the thigh to aid parturition. Also known as Aquilaeus and The Eagle Stone.
Brimstone Sulphur - one of the few minerals that burn.
Carbuncle Probably garnet. A beautiful gem of a deep red color (with a mixture of scarlet) called by the Greeks anthrax; found in the east indies. when held up to the sun, it loses its deep tinge, and becomes of the color of burning coal. the name belongs for the most part to ruby sapphire, though it has been also given to red spinel and garnet.
Touchstone Lydian stone; basanite; so called because it is used to test the purity of gold and silver by the streak which is left upon the stone when it is rubbed by the metal. see basanite. Any test or criterion by which the qualities of a thing are tried.

Animals & Birds
Barbel The Barbel lives predominantly on the bed of fast flowing rivers feeding on various bottom dwelling creatures; larger fish also catch crayfish, molluscs and small fish.
Basilisk A fabulous serpent, or dragon. The ancients alleged that its hissing would drive away all other serpents, and that its breath, and even its look, was fatal.
Calandra A species of lark, with a thick bill, the upper part of the body of a reddish brown, spotted with black, with a body thicker than the sky-lark.
Burgander A burrow duck; a duck that breeds in holes under cliffs.
Cockatrice A dragon's form, but with a rooster's head. Sometimes described as having red to black eyes. Said to be from a rooster's egg, hatched by a serpent or a toad. Its look or breath is said to be poison. Can be killed by a weasel or by the sound of a rooster crowing.
Cony Rabbit
Dunghill Cock Also called a hoope, bird that nestles in ordure, the lapwing.
Fork fish Stingray.
Fox fishThe fox shark; called also sea fox. A small British marine fish (Callionymuslyra); called also yellow sculpin, fox, and gowdie.
Game Cock A rooster of the domestic chicken trained for fighting.
Pismire A type of ant.
Pourcontrell The class of the Coelenterata, which includes the corals and sea anemones.
Sea CalfThe common seal. Believed to be a protection against lightening.
Strombi Strombus. A genus of marine gastropods in which the shell has the outer lip dilated into a broad wing. It includes species commonly called conch.
Trochius An aquatic bird, a swift runner, with long legs, which is said to get its meat out of the crocodile's mouth. A genus of humming birds. It formerly included all the known species.muck worms.
Unicorn The unicorn is a mythical animal that has changed in appearance over the many thousands of years of it first being recorded. It first was described as kid or small goat and then the popular description of the white horse with a one long spiralled horn jutting out from its forehead. It is believed to have lived in India. In the Middle Ages it was thought of as being a strong and fierce animal associated with chastity and virginity (and could only be captured by a virgin) and also with Christ's love of mankind. The unicorn is said to have leaped into the virgin's lap, and she suckles it and leads it to the king's palace. Medieval writers thus likened the unicorn to Christ, who raised up a horn of salvation for mankind and dwelt in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Other well-known legends tell of the unicorn's combat with the elephant, which it spears to death with its horn. Its horn was supposed to reveal the presence of poison in food or drink. The horn was reputedly made into cups but were actually made from the rhinoceros horn; these were highly valued by important people in the Middle Ages as a protection against poison drinks. The union of England and Scotland in 1707 demanded a new royal coat of arms combining those of England, which were supported by two lions, and Scotland, whose shield was carried by two Unicorns. The obvious compromise was one Lion and one Unicorn. The unicorn is commonly accepted as a lunar symbol, the natural enemy to, and compliment of, the lion, a solar symbol. In alchemy it represented the life spirit that leads the way to resurrection. Up until the start of the French Revolution, in 1789, the unicorn s horn was still used to detect poison in royal dinners.

Achaia Region of ancient Greece, in the northern part of the Peloponnesus on the Gulf of Corinth. It lay between Sicyon and Elis.
Aegyptus Egypt
Albania Georgia, Azerbaijan
Albion England
Algera Algiers.
Allobroges Savoy, France.
Alsatia Alsace, France.
Anatolia Turkey (east)
Ancova Uncertain. Probably Ancona, Italy, capital of Ancona province, chief city of Marche region, central Italy, on a promontory in the Adriatic Sea.
Anglia England
Angusta Bretcu, in Romania.
Aquae Sulis Bath, England
Aquileia The city of Aquileia was a major Roman metropolis at the head of the Adriatic Sea, half-way between present-day Venice and Trieste.
Aquincum Budapest
Arabia Felix Yemen
Arabia Sinai Peninsula and Arabian peninsula
Aresatum Herstal, Belgium, in Liège province, E Belgium.
Arethium, Arretium Arezzo, an ancient city of Etruria, in the per valley of the Arno, situated on the Via Cassia, 50 m. S.E. Florentia
Argentoratum Strasbourg
Ariana Lately a governorate in Tunisia, near Tunis. Possibly Tunisia.
Ariminum/ Ariminium Rimini
Armenia The region and former kingdom of Asia Minor that was Greater Armenia lay east of the Euphrates River; Little, or Lesser, Armenia was west of the river. Armenia is generally understood to have included NE Turkey, the area covered by the modern republic of Armenia.
Asia Turkey (west)
Assyria Ancient empire of W Asia. It developed around the city of Ashur, or Assur, on the upper Tigris River and south of the later capital, Nineveh.
Astum Asti, Piedmont, Italy.
Athesina Etschland in the Tyrol.
Augusta Possibly Ausberg, Germany or City in E Sicily, Italy, on an island (formerly a peninsula) in the Ionian Sea, connected by bridge with the Sicilian mainland.
Avininion Avingnon, Provence, France.
Azania South Africa.
Baetica Spain
Bamberg City, Bavaria, S Germany, a port on the Regnitz River.
Bastarnea The area of present day Germany between the eastern Carpathians and the Danube.
Bastriana Uncertain. Probably Bastia, Haute-Corse dept., NE Corsica, France, on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Berga Bergen, Norway.
Berganum Uncertain. Probably Bergen, Norway. Also possibly Rugen, Germany, then part of Swedish Pemerania.
Berolinum Berlin
Bohemia With Moravia and Czech Silesia, Bohemia constitutes the traditional Czech Lands, and in its broader meaning Bohemia is often understood to include this entire area, which until 1918 was a Hapsburg crown land. Prague is the traditional Bohemian capital.
Bononia Bologna, Italy.
Borussia Prussia
Brabant Duchy of Brabant, area, divided between Belgium (Brabant and Antwerp provinces) and the Netherlands (North Brabant province). Louvain, Brussels, and Antwerp were its chief cities.
Breva At the centre of the Rhaetian Alps, Livigno valley, Italy. Brixia Brescia is located in the Padana Plain very close to the Alps and at the end of Val Trompia, Switzerland.
Bruges Brugesbroozh, Fr. brüzhor Bruggebrug´e, city, capital of West Flanders province, NW Belgium, connected by canal with Zeebrugge (on the North Sea), its outer port.
Brundusium Brindisi, capital of Brindisi province, in Apulia, S Italy. A modern port on the Adriatic Sea.
Brunswick City in lower Saxony, central Germany, on the Oker River.
Buda Budapest, Hungary.
Bythinia Turkey (north west)
Caeseromagus Chelmsford
Caieta Gaeta, Italy. Between Rome and Naples.
Calabria Region S Italy, a peninsula projecting between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Ionian Sea, separated from Sicily by the narrow Strait of Messina. It forms the toe of the Italian "boot."
Caledonia Scotland
Cambria Wales
Camerinum Camberino, a city and Episcopal see of the Marches, Italy, in the province of Macerata.
Campania Northern Italy.
Camulodunum Colchester
Cantabria Cambridge
Cantiacorum Canterbury
Cappadocia Central Anatolia, Turkey.
Capua Campania, S Italy, on the Volturno River.
Carolastadium Charleville, Ardennes, France or Charleville-Mézières, France.
Casaria Ancient city in Palestine.
Caspia The Caspian region covers territories of the western Central Asia, southern Russia, northern and southern Caucasus, and northern Iran.
Celtica One of the three divisions of Gaul
Cesena City, in Emilia-Romagna, N central Italy, on the Sávio River.
Chevonia Chiaveanna, Lombardy, N Italy.
Cilicia Ancient region of SE Asia Minor, in present S Turkey, between the Mediterranean and the Taurus range. It included a high and barren plateau, Cilicia Trachia or Cilicia Tracheia, and a fertile plain, Cilicia Pedias.
Colonia Agrippina Cologne.
Comata Gallian province near Lyons.
Commagena The Kingdom of Commagene was the most northern district of Syria, to the west of the Euphrates in what is now southern Turkey.
Compostella Santiago, city, Coruña province., NW Spain, in Galicia, on the Sar River. Spain.
Confluentia Koblenz. The Mosel and Rhine rivers join in Koblenz, Switzerland. It is a German and Swiss town. The German Koblenz is a city in the Rhineland, southeast of Cologne.
Constantia Either Tartus West Syria. A port on the Mediterranean Sea. Tartus occupies the ancient site of Antaradus. In AD 346 it was rebuilt by Constantine and came to be known, for a time, as Constantia. Or Constance, Baden-Württemberg, SW Germany, on the Rhine River at the western end of Lake Constance (Bodensee), and near the Swiss border. The second appears most likely
Constantinopolis Istanbul
Corduba Cordova, city, capital of Córdoba province, S Spain, in Andalusia, on the Guadalquivir River.
Corinium Cirencester
Cracovia Cracow, Poland.
Cratislavia Uncertain. Probably Breslau (Wroclaw) capital of Dolnoslaskie province, SW Poland, on the Oder (Odra) River.
Crema Lombardy, Italy. Cremisium Krems an der Donau, then in Bavarian East March (Ostmark)(Margravate of Austria).
Cremona Capital of Cremona province, Lombardy, N Italy, on the Po River.
Croton Ancient city, S Italy, on the east coast of Bruttium (now Calabria), a colony of Magna Graecia founded c.708 BCE. It was called Cotrone from the Middle Ages until 1928, when its name was changed to Crotone.
Cumae/Cumas Cumae is believed to have been founded in the 8th century B.C. by colonists from the Euboean towns of Chalcis and Eretria, who had already settled on the neighbouring island of Pithekoussai ( Ischia). Very soon Cumae spread its power over the whole Phlegraean area, including Naples.
Dacia Romania, Moldovia
Dalmatia Serbo-Croatian Dalmacija, historic region of Croatia, extending along the Adriatic Sea, approximately from Rijeka (Fiume) to the Gulf of Kotor. Croatia south, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Damascus Located in a strategic gap commanding the Barada River and trans desert routes, Damascus has been inhabited since prehistoric times and is reputedly the oldest continuously occupied city in the world.
Derrhona Tortona, Italy.
Deva Chester
Dubris Dover
Dunelm Durham
Durnovaria Dorchester
Durocobrivis Dunstable
Durocornovium/ Durovernum Swindon
Eblanda Dublin
Eboracum York
Emilia Region, N central Italy, bordering on the Adriatic Sea in the east. Bologna is the capital of the region, which is divided into eight provinces named for their capitals.
Emona, Aemona/ Erphordia Erdfurt in Türingen, Germany.
Faventia Faenza, Italy.
Ferraria Capital of Ferrara province, in Emilia-Romagna, N Italy.
Fez Morocco.
Firmum Almuñecar on the Granada coast in Spain.
Flanders Former county in the Low Countries, extending along the North Sea and W of the Scheldt (Escaut) River.
Florenea Uncertain. Probably Florence, Italy, then a city state.
Forum Julii Fréjus, Var, France.
Forum Sempronium Sopron, Hungary.
Francosordia Frankfurt, Germany.
Franoamia Uncertain. Probably Frankfurt, Germany, then an imperial city.
Friburgia Either Fribourg, Switzerland or Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
Galatians From Gaul, ancient territory of central Asia Minor, in present Turkey (around modern Ankara).
Gallia Ancient designation for the land S and W of the Rhine, W of the Alps, and N of the Pyrenees. The name was extended by the Romans to include Italy from Lucca and Rimini northwards, excluding Liguria.
Garamatis Garamantica is the central Libyan desert.
Gaudanum Gouda, Netherlands.
Gedamun Danzig, Germany.
Getulia Gothia, now Libya.
Glascouium Glasgow
Glatia Turkey (central)
Glevum Colonia Gloucester
Great Tartary Siberia.
Guesma Mallorca.
Hafnia Copenhagen
Halafrisinga Uncertain. Probably Zeiler, Bavaria.
Halifacium, Hortoniu Halifax
Hasford Hassfurt, now Hassberge on the north bank of the Main between the Steigerwald and the Hassberge, Germany.
Hassia Hessen, Germany.
Heidelberg Baden-Württemberg, SW Germany, picturesquely situated on the Neckar River.
Heilprima Uncertain. Probably Heilbronn, Baden-Württemberg, S Germany, a port on the Neckar River.
Helvetia Region of central Europe, occupying the plateau between the Alps and the Jura mountains. Switzerland.
Herbipolis Wurtzburg, Germany.
Hibernia Ireland
Hispania Spain
Histria On the shore of the lake Sinoe, in the Northern part of Istria peninsula in Romania.
Hyspalis Seville, Spain
Hyspania Spain.
Ilea Capitolina Jerusalem
Illyricum Croatia, Bosnia and Herzogovina south, Serbia and Montenegro south west, Albania north west
Imola Emilia-Romagna, N central Italy, on the Aemilian Way.
Indemburgus Edinburgh, Scotland.
Ingolstad City in Bavaria, S central Germany, on the Danube River.
Ingolstadius Ingolstadt, located along the banks of the Danube River in Bavaria, Germany.
Isca Exeter
Judea Greco-Roman name for S Palestine.
Judio Judea.
Juliacum Jülich, north Rhine-Westphalia, W Germany.
Labacum Ljubljana, Slovenia
Landshuta Landshut, Bavaria.
Lauda Lodi, Italy.
Libya Eastern Libya, Western Egypt
Liepsia Leipzig, Germany.
Lindavia Uncertain. Probably Lindau , Bavaria, S Germany, on an island in Lake Constance (Ger. Bodensee ). Lindau was an imperial city from 1275 to 1803 and passed to Bavaria in 1805.
Lindum Colonia Lincoln
Linzinus Linz, of Upper Austria, NW Austria, a major port on the Danube River.
Lithvania Lithuania.
Livonia Region and former Russian province, comprising present Estonia and parts of Latvia(Vidzeme and Latgale). It borders on the Baltic Sea and its arms, the Gulf of Riga and the Gulf of Finland, in the west and the north and extends E to Lake Peipus (Chudskoye) and the Narva. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Lombardy Lombardia, region, N Italy, bordering on Switzerland in the north. Milan is the capital of the region, which is divided into the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Mantua, Milan, Pavia, Sondrio, and Varese.
Lovain Leuven (Louvain in French, Löwen in German) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant, of which it is the capital.
Lucerne Canton of central Switzerland.
Lugdunum Lyons, France.
Lunesana Lausanne, Switzerland.
Lusitania Roman province in the Iberian Peninsula. As constituted (c. AD 5) by Augustus it included all of modern central Portugal as well as much of W Spain.
Lutetia Paris
Lydia Ancient country, W Asia Minor, N of Caria and S of Mysia (now NW Turkey).
Madritum Madrid
Magdenberg Magdeburg, Germany.
Malaeus Mull
Mamucium Manchester
Mantua Mantova, city capital of Mantova province., Lombardy, N Italy, bordered on three sides by lakes formed by the Mincio River.
Marcha Region and former province, central France, on the NW margin of the Massif Central.
Massilia Marseilles, France.
Massovia Polish province.
Mauretania Morocco
Mauritania Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara.
Meclinia Antwerp, Belgium.
Media Ancient country of W Asia whose actual boundaries cannot be defined, occupying generally what is now W Iran and S Azerbaijan. It extended from the Caspian Sea to the Zagros Mts. The Medes were an Indo-European people who spoke an Iranian language closely akin to old Persian.
Messana Capital of Messina province, in the extreme north eastern Sicily, Italy.
Metis Metz, Francs.
Misnia Meissen, Germany.
Moesia Serbia, Bulgaria
Mona Anglesey
Monaoeda Isle of Man
Monsferatus Monteferrato originally a Marquisate. Now north-west of Prato, along the border of Montemurlo, volcanic mountains known by the name of Monteferrato, from which the green marble (serpentine) comes.
Moravia Moravia (Czech: Morava) is the eastern part of Czechia. Its historical capital is Brno.
Morea Peloponnesus, Greece.
Mosbachium Mosbach, Germany.
Mosselani Uncertain. Probably in Moselle or Mosel Valley on Mosel river, rising in the Vosges Mountains, NE France, and winding N past Épinal and Metz. Leaving France, it forms part of the border between Luxembourg and Germany, then enters Germany, passes Trier, and cuts between the Eifel and the Hunsrück ranges to reach the Rhine River at Koblenz.
Mumma Uncertain. Possibly Mumbai, (Bombay), India, known locally as Mumba during this period.
Muscovia Moscow.
Mutina Modena, Italy.
Nantes Capital of Loire-Atlantique dept., W France, on the Loire River.
Narbona Narbonne. A city of southern France near the Mediterranean coast southwest of Montpellier. Thought to have been the first Roman colony established in Transalpine Gaul
Nazomonitidis Gulf of Sidra, the area of the city of Agheila, NE Libya.
Noricum Mainly Austria South and Slovenia North
Normatia Unknown. Possibly Normandy?
Norrinberg Nuremberg, Germany.
Novaria City, capital of Novara province, Piedmont, N Italy.
Noviomagus Chichester
Novogardi Iran.
Olysiponis Lisbon, Portugal.
Orcades Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland.
Organy Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland.
Orichemia Aurich, East Frisia, Germany.
Oxiana The country of the Oxus, the ancient name for the river Amu Darya, which forms part of the border between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union.
Oxonia Oxford
Padua Capital of Padova province, in Venetia, NE Italy
Pamphilia An ancient country in S Asia Minor: later a Roman province. Province about the middle of the southern seaboard of Asia Minor. It lay between Lycia on the west and Cilicia on the east.
Pannonia Ancient Roman province, central Europe, southwest of the Danube, including parts of modern Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Yugoslavia. Hungary, Croatia north, Slovenia north east
Panoruma Palermo, Italy, capital of Palermo province. and of Sicily, NW Sicily, Italy, on the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Parantium Porec, Croatia.
Parma Capital of Parma province, in Emilia-Romagna, N Italy, on the Parma River and on the Aemilian Way.
Parthia Ancient country of Asia, SE of the Caspian Sea. In its narrowest limits it consisted of a mountainous region intersected with fertile valleys, lying S of Hyrcania and corresponding roughly to the modern Iranian province of Khorasan.
Pedemontium Piedmont, Italy.
Petavium Padua, Italy.
Petrea The Sinai peninsula.
Phazonia Fazzan or Fezzan , historic region, SW Libya.
Phoenicia Ancient territory occupied by Phoenicians. The name Phoenicia also appears as Phenice and Phenicia. These people were Canaanites, and in the 9th cent. BC the Greeks gave the new appellation Phoenicians to those Canaanites who lived on the seacoast and traded with the Greeks. The geographic boundaries of the territory are vague, and the name Phoenicia may be applied to all those places on the shores of the E Mediterranean where the Phoenicians established colonies. More often it refers to the heart of the territory where the great Phoenician cities stood (corresponding roughly to the coast of present-day Lebanon).
Pistoria Pistoia is a city in the Tuscany region of Italy, the capital of a province of the same name.
Placentia Capital of Piacenza province, in Emilia-Romagna, on the Po Polonia Poland
Pontus Turkey north east
Posua Uncertain. Probably Posen (Poznan) Poland, capital of Weilkopolskie province, W central Poland, port on the Warta River.
Prussia Former state, the largest and most important of the German states. Berlin was the capital. Prussia surrounded several smaller German states and stretched from the borders of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg in the west to those of Lithuania and Poland in the east, and from the Baltic Sea, Denmark, and the North Sea in the north to the Main River, the Thuringian Forest, and the Sudetes Mountains in the south.
Raetia Switzerland
Ratae Coritanorum Leicester
Ratisporia Uncertain. Possibly Ratisbon or Regensberg, Germany. Ravenna Capital of Ravenna province, in Emilia-Romagna, N central Italy, near the Adriatic Sea (with which it is connected by a canal).
Rhenus The Rhine.
Rhetia Grison canton largest and most eastern canton in Switzerland, comprising the highlands of the Rhine and Inn Valleys. It borders on Leichenstein, Austria, Italy and the St Gallen and Glarus cantons.
Rhotomagum Rouen (France).
Romandiola South west Italy.
Rotemburgus Rottenburg, a town and Episcopal see of Germany, in Wurttemberg, situated on the left bank of the Neckar.
Sabandia Town in Arequipa, Peru.
Sabina About 40 kilometres east of Rome the Sabina region extends from the banks of the river Tiber
Salisburgus Salzburg.
Saresberia/ Sarmatia Russian Steppes, north of the Black Sea, approximating to modern Ukraine.
Scetis Skye
Scythia Ukraine
Segontium Caernarfon
Senas French village in the province of bouches-du-rhône.
Seragosse Saragossa , city, capital of Zaragoza prov. and leading city of Aragón, NE Spain, on the Ebro River.
Seres Town of a sanjak in the vilayet of Salonica, European Turkey, on Lake Takhino, a navigable expansion of the river Karasu or Struma (ancient Strymon), N.E. of Salonica.
Serviodunum Salisbury
Sibilia Seville, Spain
Sigina Siegen, Germany.
Silesia, lower Polish duchy. Region of E central Europe, extending along both banks of the Oder River and bounded in the south by the mountain ranges of the Sudetes-particularly the Krkonoše(Ger. Riesengebirge)-and the W Carpathians.
Singidunum Belgrade
Slavonia Part of Croatia.
Sogdiana Part of the ancient Persian Empire in central Asia between the Oxus and Jaxartes rivers, corresponding to the later emirate of Bukhara and region of Samarkand.
Spira Speyer, Germany.
St. Cadiz Spain.
Stiria Austria.
Stutgardia Stuttgart, Germany.
Suecia Sweden
Suessa City in Campania, Italy.
Sundgavia Uncertain. Probably the municipality Sund in the county of Hordaland, Norway.
Swecia Sweden.
Swetheland Sweden.
Taniatide Thanet
Tarentum Taranto, Italy.
Tarraconensi Spain, north
Tartaria Russia
Thracia Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey
Tigurum Zurich, Switzerland.
Togata Gallia togata is another name for Cisalpine Gaul, today's northern Italy south of the Alps and north of the Apennines.
Toletum Toledo, Spain.
Tolosa Tolosa was located in Southern Gaul, at the region known as Narbonensis. It was the home of the Volcae Tectosages, a Celt tribe that had participated in the great Celt migration of the third century BCE.
Tortona Tortona, Italy, the gate to Curone, Grue, Ossona, and Borbera valleys.
Trapizuntius Trabzon, capital of Trabzon prov., NE Turkey, a port on the Black Sea.
Triploi Libya
Tuberinum Uncertain. Probably near Tiber River, rising in the Etruscan Apennines, central Italy. It flows generally S across Tuscany, Umbria, and N Latium, then SW through Rome to empty into the Tyrrhenian Sea by two mouths.
Turicum Zurich
Turingia Thuringia in Germany with its capital Erfurt is located in the middle of the former East Germany.
Tyrrhenia Tyrsenia, Sicily. Silesia, Upper Region of E central Europe, extending along both banks of the Oder River and bounded in the south by the mountain ranges of the Sudetes particularly the Krkonoe(Ger. Riesengebirge)and the W Carpathians.
Utrecht Capital of Utrecht province., central Netherlands, on a branch of the Lower Rhine (Neder Rijn) River.
Vanceium Vence, France.
Vectis Isle of Wight
Veldkirchium Feldkirch, in Voralberg, extreme W Austria, near the Rhine River and the Swiss and Liechtenstein borders
Venta Belgarum Winchester
Verona Capital of Verona province, Venetia, NE Italy, on the Adige River.
Verulamium St Albans
Vienna of the Vilna Uncertain. Vilna, Poland or Vilnius, Lithuania.
Volaterra Volterra, Tuscany.
Walachia Region in S Romania. The Transylvanian Alps separate it in the NW from Transylvania and the Banat; the Danube separates it from Serbia in the west, Bulgaria in the south, and N Dobruja in the east; in the northeast it adjoins Moldavia.
Westphalia A province of Prussia situated between the Rhine and the Weser. It is bounded on the northwest and north by the Netherlands and Hanover, on the east by Schaumburg-Lippe, Hanover, Lippe-Detmold, Brunswick, Hesse-Nassau, and Waldeck, on the south and southwest by Hesse-Nassau, on the west by the province of the Rhine and the Netherlands.
White Russia Byelarus, formerly Belorussia, officially Republic of Belarus. E central Europe. Belarus borders on Poland in the west, on Lithuania and Latvia in the north, on Russia in the east, and on Ukraine in the south.
Wittenberg City in Saxony-Anhalt, E Germany, on the Elbe River.
Worms Germany's oldest town, on the Rhine.
Zealand Province, SW Netherlands, bordering on Belgium in the south and the North Sea in the west. The province consists of a strip of Flanders that is adjacent to Belgium and various former islands located in the Scheldt estuary. Much of the land is below sea level and protected by dikes.

Acteon's Forehead Acteon's forehead is a horned forehead. When the wife commits adultery she "gives him horns".
Additament An addition, increase, augmentation. Any thing added.
Adjuvant Helping, assisting, something added to enhance effectiveness.
Allum A kind of earth used to make colours last longer
Alms deeds The compassionate relieving of another's material need for God's sake.
Ambodexters Ambidextrous people, dishonest as you don't know what their hands are doing.
Anteceds Comes before
Antics Buffoonery.
Asinegos Ass, stupid person, from Shakespeare.
Beggar Clowns Unsophisticated person, fool, country bumpkin.
Besmudge Besmirch, defame, tarnish.
Blazing stars Synonym for comet.
Bruit beasts Noisy beasts.
Calumnies Falsehoods, lies.
Carper Someone who always finds fault.
Castoreum A peculiar bitter orange-brown substance, with strong, penetrating odour, found in two sacs between the anus and external genitals of the beaver; castor; used in medicine as an antispasmodic, and by perfumers.
Catiffs Cowardly and despicable persons.
Cattle The original sense of the word cattle related to moveable property and later became particularly associated with livestock. Although from the mid sixteenth century it was used in its modern sense, it appears that Ramesey uses it to describe domestic livestock, a still common usage at this time.
Cavils Sarcastic remarks, subtle, slanderous and false allegations.
Cerusleus Sky coloured or blue.
Chaffering Bargaining.
Chimeras Subtle imagination.
Chymeraes Idle conceits, frivolous thoughts, fond wishes, fruitless imaginations, castles in the air.
Cistern An artificial reservoir for storing liquids, especially an underground tank for water. A water tank.
Clowns Fools, country bumpkins.
Commixed Mixed together
Commixtions That which is mingled together.
Companying Seeking company, being sociable.
Compute Calculation.
Conduplicated Doubled, duplicated
Consanguinity Affinity and closeness by reason of blood relationship
Contemner One who despises, scorns and takes no account of what is being discussed. Someone with a negative viewpoint.
Contumelious One who causes a disturbance
Cornuted Had horns. In other words slept with their wife. A Cuckold.
Coxcomb Conceited, foolish person.
Cozening Deceitful people who try to give you the slip.
Critical days Critical points that affect recovery from illnesses are on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th days, which mirror the phases of the Moon.
Cuckold A man whose wife is unfaithful.
Cuckoo folly People associated the cuckoo with folly a trait probably transferred from the cuckoo's victim, as in the word `cuckold'.
Designatrices They who designate
Dissention Argument.
Drab A derogatory term, harlot, strumpet, whore.
Empiric One who follows an empirical method; one who relies upon practical experience. one who confines himself to applying the results of mere experience or his own observation; especially, in medicine, one who deviates from the rules of science and regular practice; an ignorant and unlicensed pretender; a quack; a charlatan.
Errant Travelling.
Excogigating Considering or thinking (something) out carefully and thoroughly.
Faggot Bundle of twigs used to set fires.
Floting Restless, uncertain, doubtful, variable.
Fray Public disorder
Froward Obstinate or perverse, contrary.
Fructified Bore fruit.
Gainsayer One who declares things to be untrue or invalid, contradicts.
Galimaufry A hotchpotch, jumble or confused medley.
Gamester Gambler
Oyster Belin / Gate wench An oyster girl from Billingsgate market, London, by this time a fish market. One who uses coarse, abusive language.
Gnawn Eaten into.
Graffed Grafted.
Groat A silver coin worth four pennies.
Houtboy A type of musical pipe.
Imbecil Weakness, feebleness, one who is weak or feeble.
Jack and Gillet Every Jack and Jill, in other words every ordinary man or woman.
Jakes Cesspits.
Jangling Arguing and debating.
Janusses A two faced person after Janus, the two faced Roman god.
Jog trot A slow pace of running.
Jointure Dowry
Junket Party.
Lascive Lascivious
Margari Pearl, a type of pearl.
Matutina Morning, early morning.
Mediety Middle of
Melioration An attempt to make better, soften or improve.
Meretrix A whore.
Meridional Of south
Miles Soldier or warrior.
Mountebanks An itinerant charlatan doctor, one who dispenses medicine from a table.
Niger Coal black, or dark brown to black.
Oasis Area within a desert where the water table reaches the surface, with enough moisture to permit the growth of vegetation. The water may come up to the surface in springs, or it may collect in mountain hollows.
Oyster Belingate wenchAn oyster girl from Billingsgate market, London, by the mid seventeenth century a fish market. A female who uses coarse, abusive language.
Pander One involved in lustful activities. A ruffian, swaggerer, one who looks after whores. Someone who after a prostitute admits a man into her rooms, pretends to be her husband and on entering after a signal demands blackmail payments. Someone who cheats or entraps.
Parished Martialists Warmongers
Partilly Exactly
Peregrinations Travels, movements.
Pertica Stick or pole.
Pick-thanke A secret accuser or complainer, a tell tale, an informer for reward.
Posse Having strength or power, being able.
Poyse To consider
Prebends The property belonging to the Chapter set apart for the maintenance of the Prebendaries. A considerable portion of it lay in and round London.
Prelatical Of superior rank or preferment in the Catholic Church.
Premunires Someone or something to cause a warning,
Probatum Proven
Projects Schemes, ideas.
Pulchritude Beauty
Pusillanimity Cowardice, lacking courage and resolution, contemptibly timid.
Rancountred Bumped into, encountered.
Rapine Violent and forceful taking away, robbery, pillage, plunder
Ravin Prey, seize, take as prey, act with voracity.
Vermillion Vermillion was an alchemical mixture from the 9th century AD. Combining sulphur and mercury may have been an attempt to produce the philosopher's stone. The resulting bright, opaque red was a delight to painters for a thousand years.
Rile Argue with.
Salutiferous A positive greeting.
Scowring Cleansing polishing furbishing mending scrubbing.
Scrivener Notary.
Septentrional Of north
Skip jacks A hireling whom a Captain, on muster days, foists into his company, base-follower.
Sorrel Horse A light, red, chestnut coloured horse.
Sottish Drunken.
Sow gelder One who castrates sows, in other words one who has a useless occupation.
Splea-footed With the heels together and toes pointing to the sides.
Stob A short straight stick of wood.
Subtle Fellows Those who are deceitful and wily and may plot against you.
Supputate To reckon, compute, suppose, impute
Suretiship A pledge, bail, a surety, an undertaking, or answering for.
Tabby Gown A plain silk taffeta especially with moiré finish.
Tenaculum An instrument consisting of a fine, sharp hook attached to a handle, and used mainly for taking up arteries, and the like.
Traduced Defamed.
Transmarine Across seas
Tumult Agitation, emotional disturbance, fight
Tyroe Apprentice
Twattling Gossiping
Venerious Given to lechery
Venery The pursuit of sexual pleasure, hunting.
Veru A dart or javelin.
Vespertine Of the evening
Viciate To corrupt, rot, putrify, taint; mar, spoile; deprave, infect.
Vitious Corrupt, wicked.
Vitious Pedastry, buggery, wickedness, to initiate in a corrupt fashion. Faulty.
Weather cocks A vane often in the figure of a cock mounted so as to turn freely with the wind and show its direction and therefore a person or thing that changes readily or often.
Whistlers Cheater, deceiver, beguiler, especially one that uses false cards, or dice.
Widgion A small water fowl, a fool, widgeon.
Wilkin Heaven, cloud.

Kim FarnellKim Farnell has been a professional astrologer since 1990. She has taught astrology and lectured extensively in the UK and overseas. She was a council member of the Astrological Association for nine years. Her work has been published in a variety of astrological periodicals and she is the author of The Astral Tramp: A Biography of Sepharial (Ascella 1998). Her books Reading the Runes and the New Illustrated Guide to Astrology were published in 2003, and the I Ching Decision Maker in 2004. Her next book Mystic Vampire: A Biography of Mabel Collins will be published in 2005.

Kim is available for written work, TV and radio. Visit her website at or email

© Kim Farnell, November, 2004.

Astrological texts
Glossary of Astrological Terms