Sometime back during the "ZOMG RUSHES" mini-project, I looked up a translation of Aelfric's Colloquy. I think I'd seen it referenced piecemeal enough times that I wanted to see the whole thing. It's an instructional piece, and it refers to the duties and products of many kinds of people who lived and worked in Anglo-Saxon England. This is what I found for the leatherworker:
I buy hides and skins and prepare them with my skill. I make many styles of shoes from them, baskets and clogs, boots and buckets, bridles and harness, flasks and leather bottles, spurs and halters, bags and purses, not one of you would like to spend the winter without my skills.
Baskets?! Leather baskets?! This seemed... unusual but intriguing. The Colloquy was written in both Old English and Latin, and I wondered what words, exactly, were being translated as "baskets" in the above. The OE was easy to find:
Ic bicge hyda ond fell, ond gearkie hig mid cræfte minon, ond wyrce of him gescy mistlices cynnes, swyftleras ond sceos, leþer hosa ond butericas, bridelþwancgas ond geræda, flaxan, pinnan ond higdifatu, spurleþer a ond hælftra, pusan ond fætelsas; ond nan eower nele oferwintran buton minon cræfte.
But what do all those words mean? Some websites gave various alternate translations, either word for word or the whole passage:
gescy - shoes
gescy mistlices cynnes - shoes of various kinds
swyftleras - slipper
sceos - shoes
leþerhosa - leather gaiter
buteric - leather bottle
bridelþwancgas - reins
geraeda - trappings (for a horse)
flaxan - bottles
pinne - flask, bottle
higdifaet - leather bottle
spurleþer - spur-strap
hælftra - halter
pusa - bag, scrip
fætelsas - vessels
I buy skins and pelts and I prepare them by my skill and from them I make various types of footwear, sandals, shoes, boots; leather bags, bridles, flasks, trappings, bottles, halters, spurs, scrips and purses.
Nobody wishes to spend the winter without my craft.
I finally found the Latin side and definitions of those words:
Ego emo cutes et pelles, et preparo eas arte mea, et facio ex eis calciamenta diversi generis, subtalares et ficones, caligas et utres, frenos et falera, flascones et casidilia, calcaria et chamos, peras et marsupia; et nemo vestrum vult hiemare sine mea arte.
subtalares - simple leather shoes that do not cover the ankle
ficones - (possibly from fico ficonis) house shoes, slippers
caligas - a kind of leather stocking, esp. worn by bishops; caligae must be laced; cf. Isidore of Seville, Etymologies 19.34
uter - a skin bag; wine skin, leather bottle
frenum - a bridle
falera - phalera-orum n.pl. military decorations (used on horses and soldiers)
flascones - a wine flask
casidile - a wallet, bag, satchel
calcaria - spur
chamos - snaffle bit for a horse
peras - pouch, halter
marsupia - a purse, pouch
So... no baskets. A variety of shoes and a variety of bags/pouches/bottles, plus horse gear. And also two references for return visits to the Colloquy!