My Chaucer class read "Adam Scriveyne" (text and audio at that link, via the Chaucer MetaPage) last week; we got through a bit on Wednesday, and I asked them to think about the "rubbe and scrape" bit for Friday.
Before I sent them off Wednesday, we talked a little bit about writing on parchment, and making corrections. As I understand it, when you make parchment, you stretch it lots, and then you rub it to "polish" it, preparing the surface to take ink without blotting it all over the place.
When you make an error in writing on parchment, you take a knife and scrape away the inked layer of parchment, and then you rub the parchment again to polish it. If you leave it as just scraped, your ink will tend to blob and run on the uneven surface.
So either Chaucer is an idiot and can't remember how to correct a manuscript mistake, or he's a lousy poet and couldn't think of a rhyme for "rubbe," or there's something interesting up in the order he chose.
So, Friday, I reminded them of the release record their biographical introduction talks about, the May 4, 1380 entry where Cecily Chaumpaigne releases Chaucer from everything related to his "raptus" of her. (The original's in Latin, of course.) And then I introduced them to Chris Cannon's finding of a second release, dated May 7, 1380, on the public roles [see: Raptus in the Chaumpiegne Release and a Newly Discovered Document Concerning the Life of Geoffrey Chaucer By: Cannon, Christopher; Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, 1993 Jan; 68 (1): 79-94. (journal article)], and so forth.
I want to get them thinking about how "Adam Scriveyn" imagines Chaucer's text as raped, and metonymically, perhaps, Chaucer as rape victim, so that when we get to "The Wife of Bath's Tale" and such, we'll have a better starting point.
But, as we were talking, it occured to me that in Shakespeare's Titus, "stuprum" is the word used to describe a sexual violation, Lavinia's rape, not "raptus." I looked it up in my English/Latin dictionary, and it suggests that "stuprum" has more the meaning of sexual violation, while "raptus" is more about abduction (which is one of the meanings Cannon talks about, of course). But, my little English/Latin dictionary is pretty basic, and certainly not going to be specific about medieval legal terminology.
So here's my question: any medieval or early modern Latinists out there have a sense of whether "stuprum" was or wasn't used in legal writings?
Thanks, o great scholarly community!