A series of well-known histories and bibliographies of technical writings in English begin from the premise that start with 'A Treatise on the Astrolabe' by the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. Nevertheless, it can be shown that there is a notable tradition of practical technical writings - translations and adaptations of Latin and Arabic sources - both in Old and Middle English, which pre-date or are contemporary with Chaucer's. A number of their characteristics, especially structural, seem to anticipate similar traits of contemporary scientific and technical discourse.
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