Wednesday, August 07, 2013

word of the day: muniments

Pliny noted that before the Egyptians figured out how to make writing surfaces from the ubiquitous marsh plant, they experimented variously with 'palm-leaves and then on the bark of certain trees, and afterwards folding sheets of lead began to be employed for official muniments, and then also sheets of linen or tablets of wax for private documents.'

definition from Merriam-Webster: the evidence (as documents) that enables one to defend the title to an estate or a claim to rights and privileges — usually used in plural.

source: A Splendor of Letters: the permanence of books in an impermanent world by Nicholas A. Basbanes

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