Wren's argument is practical and social-psychological: it is to help all, starting with those who are already committed to some version of the ethic of individual dignity, to promote interagency fellowship and peace as a result of seeing a certain truth, namely, the truth that the urgency of their feelings of moral obligation derives from a unspoken intention to belong to a community of agents.
Moral Obligations begins with the philosophy of action, and then it reviews the historical debate about the nature of obligation and its social context. This is followed by a section about action in general: it establishes the standpoint of the agent and makes an inventory of several species of action. Later chapters summarize the foregoing themes, with emphasis on the unspoken side of intention, and develop them in conjunction with an analysis of the hypothetical imperative. The work closes with a discussion of the dilemma of membership in competing moral communities.
THE CITY OF LADIES provides positive images of women, ranging from warriors and inventors, scholars to prophetesses, and artists to saints. The book also offers a fascinating insight into the debates and controversies about the position of women in medieval culture.
The poems themselves tell the story of his love for Beatrice, from their first meeting at a May Day party in her father's house, through Dante's sufferings and his attempts to conceal the true object of his devotion by the use of 'screen-loves', to his overwhelming grief ather death, ending with the transformative vision of her in heaven. These are some of the richest love poems in literature and the movement from self-pitying lament to praise for the beloved's beauty and virtue, illustrate the elevating power of love.
The 366 poems of Petrarch’s Canzoniere represent one of the most influential works in Western literature. Varied in form, style, and subject matter, these "scattered rhymes" contain metaphors and conceits that have been absorbed into the literature and language of love. In this bilingual edition, Mark Musa provides verse translations, annotations, and an introduction co-authored with Barbara Manfredi.
A revised Introduction and Commentary incorporates the vast store of scholarship on Beowulf that has appeared since 1950. It brings readers up to date on areas of scholarship that have been controversial since the last edition, including the construction of the unique manuscript and views on the poem's date and unity of composition. The lightly revised text incorporates the best textual criticism of the intervening years, and the expanded Commentary furnishes detailed bibliographic guidance to discussion of textual cruces, as well as to modern and contemporary critical concerns. Aids to pronunciation have been added to the text, and advances in the study of the poem's language are addressed throughout. Readers will find that the book remains recognizably Klaeber's work, but with altered and added features designed to render it as useful today as it has ever been.
Drawing on feminist and gender theory, as well as cultural analyses of race, class, and colonialism, this provocative book revises our understanding of the beginnings of the nine hundred-year-old cultural genre we call romance, as well as the King Arthur legend. Geraldine Heng argues that romance arose in the twelfth century as a cultural response to the trauma and horror of taboo acts—in particular the cannibalism committed by crusaders on the bodies of Muslim enemies in Syria during the First Crusade. From such encounters with the East, Heng suggests, sprang the fantastical episodes featuring King Arthur in Geoffrey of Monmouth's chronicle The History of the Kings of England, a work where history and fantasy collide and merge, each into the other, inventing crucial new examples and models for romances to come.
After locating the rise of romance and Arthurian legend in the contact zones of East and West, Heng demonstrates the adaptability of romance and its key role in the genesis of an English national identity. Discussing Jews, women, children, and sexuality in works like the romance of Richard Lionheart, stories of the saintly Constance, Arthurian chivralic literature, the legend of Prester John, and travel narratives, Heng shows how fantasy enabled audiences to work through issues of communal identity, race, color, class and alternative sexualities in socially sanctioned and safe modes of cultural discussion in which pleasure, not anxiety, was paramount. Romance also engaged with the threat of modernity in the late medieval period, as economic, social, and technological transformations occurred and awareness grew of a vastly enlarged world beyond Europe, one encompassing India, China, and Africa. Finally, Heng posits, romance locates England and Europe within an empire of magic and knowledge that surveys the world and makes it intelligible—usable—for the future.
Empire of Magic is expansive in scope, spanning the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries, and detailed in coverage, examining various types of romance—historical, national, popular, chivalric, family, and travel romances, among others—to see how cultural fantasy responds to changing crises, pressures, and demands in a number of different ways. Boldly controversial, theoretically sophisticated, and historically rooted, Empire of Magic is a dramatic restaging of the role romance played in the culture of a period and world in ways that suggest how cultural fantasy still functions for us today.
An innovative poet working during a time of great literary creativity, Chrétien de Troyes wrote poems that had a lively pace, skillful structure, and vivid descriptive detail. Ruth Harwood Cline re-creates for modern audiences his irony, humor, and charm, while retaining the style and substance of the original octosyllabic couplets. Her thorough introduction includes discussions of courtly love and the Arthurian legend in history and literature, as well as a new and provocative theory about the identity of Chrétien de Troyes. This clearly presented translation, faithful in preserving the subtle expressive qualities of the original work, is accessible reading for any Arthurian legend aficionado and an ideal text for students of medieval literature.
Originally published in 1967.
A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
Welcome to Danteworlds, the first substantial guide to the Inferno in English. Guy P. Raffa takes readers on a geographic journey through Dante’s underworld circle by circle—from the Dark Wood down to the ninth circle of Hell—in much the same way Dante and Virgil proceed in their infernal descent. Each chapter—or “region”—of the book begins with a summary of the action, followed by detailed entries, significant verses, and useful study questions. The entries, based on a close examination of the poet’s biblical, classical, and medieval sources, help locate the characters and creatures Dante encounters and assist in decoding the poem’s vast array of references to religion, philosophy, history, politics, and other works of literature.
Written by an established Dante scholar and tested in the fire of extensive classroom experience, Danteworlds will be heralded by readers at all levels of expertise, from students and general readers to teachers and scholars.
While representing a range of human experience, the metaphor finds its dominant expression in the literature of love. As Marcelle Thiébaux demonstrates, the hunt's disciplined violence represented sexual desire, along with strategies and arts for getting love, the joys of love, and love's elevating mystique. The genre gave rise to a lavish imagery of footprints and tracking, arrows, nets, dogs and leashes, wounds, dismemberment and blood, that persisted to Shakespeare's day.
Thiébaux opens with an account of a medieval chase and its ceremonies. She introduces hunt manuals that defined and gentrified the sport, in stages from the party's departure to the ferocity of the struggle to the animal's death. These stages adapted readily to narrative structures in the love chase, showing pursuit, confrontation with the beloved, and consummation. In English literature, Thiébaux considers Beowulf, Aefric's Life of Saint Eustace, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and the works of Chaucer. Within continental European literature, she discusses Aucassin and Nicolete, Chrétien de Troyes' Erec, Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan, the Nibelungenlied, and Wolfram von Eschenbach's works. She concludes with a scrutiny of newly recovered or little-known narratives of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Originally published in 1974, The Stag of Love brings to life a theme of perennial interest to medievalists, and to all readers intrigued by the imaginative treatment of love in the Western world.
Each chapter includes exercises and suggestions for further reading. Appendices provide possible answers to the exercises, tips for scanning half-lines, and brief definitions of metrical terms used. Examples in Old English are provided with literal modern English translations, with glosses added in the first three chapters to help beginners. The result is a comprehensive guide that makes important text-critical skills much more readily available to Old English specialists and beginners alike.
The immediate manuscript context of the monsters in Beowulf is analysed, shedding light on the poet's treatment of the theme of the monstrous and its integration into his work, and a series of parallel discussions consider a range of medieval treatments of the same theme in a variety of analogous texts (all provided with translation), in Latin, Old English, Middle Irish, and Old Icelandic.
The twin themes of pride and prodigies are suggested by tracing changing attitudes towards the concept of pride and establishing a close link between the proud pagan warriors depicted in Christian tradition and the monsters they fight, and with whom they become increasingly identified.
An appendix contains new editions and translations (some for the first time in English) of the Liber Monstrorum, The Letter of Alexander to Aristotle, and The Wonders of the East.
Originally published in 1995 by Boydell & Brewer.
This fascinating study places multiple genres in dialogue and considers both medievalism and genre to be frameworks from which meaning can be produced. It explores works from a wide range of genres-children's and young adult, historical, cyberpunk, fantasy, science fiction, romance, and crime-and across multiple media-fiction, film, television, video games, and music. The range of media types and genres enable comparison, and the identification of overarching trends, while also allowing comparison of contrasting phenomena. As the first volume to explore the nexus of medievalism and genre across such a wide range of texts, this collection illustrates the fractured ideologies of contemporary popular culture. The Middle Ages are more usually, and often more prominently, aligned with conservative ideologies, for example around gender roles, but the Middle Ages can also be the site of resistance and progressive politics. Exploring the interplay of past and present, and the ways writers and readers work engage with them demonstrates the conscious processes of identity construction at work throughout Western popular culture. The collection also demonstrates that while scholars may have by-and-large abandoned the concept of accuracy when considering contemporary medievalisms, the Middle Ages are widely associated with authenticity, and the authenticity of identity, in the popular imagination; the idea of the real Middle Ages matters, even when historical realities do not. This book will be of interest to scholars of medievalism, popular culture, and genre.
From the cannibalistic resonances of the Ugolino episode in the Inferno to the Corpus Christi-like procession seminal to Purgatory, Nayar demonstrates how these sacrifice- and Host-related metaphors, allusions, and tropes lead directly and intentionally to the Comedy's final vision, that of the Eucharist itself. Arguing that the final revelation in Paradise is analogically "the Bread of Life," Nayar brings to the fore Christ's centrality (as sacrament) to The Divine Comedy-a reading that is certain to alter current-day thinking about Dante's poem.
In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders.
The texts are first-rate, and the introductions are informative and reliable. The books will be a welcome addition to the bookshelf of every literate religious persons". -- The Christian Century
It is in exile that Menocal locates the founding conditions for philology--as a discipline that loves origins--and for the genre of love songs that philology reveres. She crosses the boundaries, both temporal and geographical, of 1492 to recover the "original" medieval culture, with its Mediterranean mix of European, Arabic, and Hebrew poetics. The result is a form of literary history more lyrical than narrative and, Menocal persuasively demonstrates, more appropriate to the Middle Ages than to the revisionary legacy of the Renaissance. In discussions ranging from Eric Clapton's adaption of Nizami's Layla and Majnun, to the uncanny ties between Jim Morrison and Petrarch, Shards of Love deepens our sense of how the Middle Ages is tied to our own age as it expands the history and meaning of what we call Romance philology.
Minnis has found such writings in the glosses and commentaries on the authoritative Latin writers studied in schools and universities between 1100 and 1400. The prologues to these commentaries provide valuable insight into the medieval theory of authorship. Of special significance is scriptural exegesis, for medieval scholars found the Bible the most difficult text to describe appropriately and accurately.
George M. Logan has produced a scholarly yet accessible edition of the History, designed to make More's exhilarating work fully accessible to 21st-century readers. More's text is presented here with modern English spelling and punctuation, and with full annotation of linguistic difficulties and the historical background. The text is preceded by a general introduction, a chronology, and suggestions for further reading. An appendix reprints passages from key sources and analogues, enabling the reader to see how More worked with his English sources and classical models, and finally how Shakespeare worked with More.
Based on Raffa’s original research and his many years of teaching the poem to undergraduates, The CompleteDanteworlds charts a simultaneously geographical and textual journey, canto by canto, region by region, adhering closely to the path taken by Dante himself through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. This invaluable reference also features study questions, illustrations of the realms, and regional summaries. Interpreting Dante’s poem and his sources, Raffa fashions detailed entries on each character encountered as well as on many significant historical, religious, and cultural allusions.
Duncan Robertson has taught French and Latin, language and literature, at Augusta State University since 1990. Previous publications include The Medieval Saints' Lives: Spiritual Renewal and Old French Literature (Lexington, KY: French Forum, 1995), and The Vernacular Spirit: Essays on Medieval Religious Literature, with Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski and Nancy Warren (New York: Palgrave, 2002). His articles have appeared in Romance Philology, French Forum, Cahiers de Civilisation Madiavale, and other journals in the United States and abroad.
By uncovering these theoretical filiations across time, The Birth of Theory will not only change the way we read Hegel, but also the way we think about the histories of theory. With chapters that powerfully reanimate the overly familiar topics of ideology, commodity fetishism, and political economy, along with a groundbreaking reinterpretation of Hegel’s famous master/slave dialectic, The Birth of Theory places the disciplines of philosophy, literature, and history in conversation with one another in an unprecedented way. Daring to reconcile the sworn enemies of Hegelianism and Deleuzianism, this timely book will revitalize dialectics for the twenty-first century.
Karma Lochrie demonstrates that women were associated not with the body but rather with the flesh, that disruptive aspect of body and soul which Augustine claimed was fissured with the Fall of Man. It is within this framework that she reads The Book of Margery Kempe, demonstrating the ways in which Kempe exploited the gendered ideologies of flesh and text through her controversial practices of writing, her inappropriate-seeming laughter, and the most notorious aspect of her mysticism, her "hysterical" weeping expressions of religious desire. Lochrie challenges prevailing scholarly assumptions of Kempe's illiteracy, her role in the writing of her book, her misunderstanding of mystical concepts, and the failure of her book to influence a reading community. In her work and her life, Kempe consistently crossed the barriers of those cultural taboos designed to exclude and silence her.
Instead of viewing Kempe as marginal to the great mystical and literary traditions of the late Middle Ages, this study takes her seriously as a woman responding to the cultural constraints and exclusions of her time. Margery Kempe and Translations of the Flesh will be of interest to students and scholars of medieval studies, intellectual history, and feminist theory.
Berceo's miracle tales use the verse form cuaderna via (fourfold way) of fully rhymed quatrains -- which Berceo may even have invented -- and are told in the language of the common man. They were written to be read aloud, most likely to an audience of pilgrims, and are an outstanding example of oral religious narrative. The total work comprises twenty-five miracles, preceded by a renowned Introduction that celebrates the Virgin in rich symbolic allegory. Mount and Cash's translation is highly readable, yet it retains the original meaning and captures Berceo's colloquial style and medieval nuances.
An introduction placing the miracles in their medieval context and a bibliography complement the text.
Unlike the B and C versions, there is no modern, affordable edition of the A version available. For the first time in decades, students and scholars of medieval literature now have access to this important work. Vaughan’s clean, uncluttered text is accompanied by ample glossing of difficult Middle English words. An expansive introduction, which includes a narrative summary of the poem, textual notes, detailed endnotes, and a select bibliography frame the text, making this edition ideal for classroom use.
This is the first classroom edition of the A version since Thomas A. Knott and David C. Fowler’s celebrated 1952 publication. Based on an early-fifteenth-century manuscript from the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Vaughan’s text offers a unique rendition of the poem, and it is the first modern edition not to attribute the poem to William Langland. By conservatively editing one important witness of Piers Plowman, Vaughan takes a new generation of students to an early version of this great medieval poem.
Menocal reviews the Arabic cultural presence in a variety of key settings, including the courts of William of Aquitaine and Frederick II, the universities in London, Paris, and Bologna, and Cluny under Peter the Venerable, and she examines how our perception of specific texts including the courtly love lyric and the works of Dante and Boccaccio would be altered by an acknowledgment of the Arabic cultural component.
Among the texts examined are Hávamál, which includes an elegantly cynical poem about Óðinn’s sexual intrigues and a more mystical one about his self-sacrifice on the world-tree in order to gain magical wisdom; Vǫlundarkviða, which recounts an elvish smith’s revenge for his captivity and maiming; and Hervararkviða, where the heroine bravely but foolishly raises her dead father to demand the deadly sword Tyrfingr from him.
Originally published between 1988 and 2008, these twelve essays cover a wide range of mythological and heroic poems and have been revised and updated to reflect the latest scholarship.
Heath begins by showing how Avicenna's writings fit into the context and general history of Islamic allegory and explores the interaction among allegory, allegoresis, and philosophy in Avicenna's thought. He then provides a brief introduction to Avicenna as an historical figure. From there, he examines the ways in which Avicenna's cosmological, psychological, and epistemological theories find parallel, if diverse, expression in the disparate formats of philosophical and allegorical narration. Included in this book is an illustration of Avicenna's allegorical practice. This takes the form of a translation of the Mi'raj Nama (The Book of the Prophet Muhammad's Ascent to Heaven), a short treatise in Persian generally attributed to Avicenna.
The text concludes with an investigation of the literary dimension Avicenna's allegorical theory and practice by examining his use of description metaphor. Allegory and Philosophy in Avicenna is an original and important work that breaks new ground by applying the techniques of modern literary criticism to the study of Medieval Islamic philosophy. It will be of interest to scholars and students of medieval Islamic and Western literature and philosophy.
Grettir's Saga has several themes. One of them is the conflict between the Christian world and the survival of the pagan world, as sorcery or heroic pride; the other is the conflict between man's desire for individual freedom and the restrictive bond imposed by society.
This translation is the first into English since 1914; it is based on a more accurate Icelandic text than the earlier translations, and, unlike them, is unexpurgated and in unarchaic English. The saga has an especial modern relevance - a recent translation into Czech reached the top of the best-seller list. The present volume includes genealogies, a study of the legal system, and a critical assessment of the work.
The anonymous author of Zifar based his early fourteenth-century novel on the medieval story of the life of St. Eustacius, but onto this trunk he grafted a surprising variety of narrative types: Oriental tales of romance and magic, biblical stories, moralizing fables popular since the Middle Ages, including several from Aesop, and instructions in the rules of proper knightly conduct. Humor in the form of puns, jokes, and old proverbs also runs through the novel. In particular, the foolish/wise Knave offers a comic contrast to the heroic Knight, whom he must continually rescue through the application of common sense.
Zifar was to have an important influence on later Spanish literature, and perhaps on Cervantes' great tale of a knight and his squire, Don Quixote. All those with an interest in Spanish literature and medieval life will be grateful for Mr. Nelson's excellent translation, which brings to life this extraordinary early novel.
Bestiaries present accounts of animals whose fantastic behaviors should be imitated or avoided, depending on the given trait. In a highly original argument, Kay suggests that the association of beasts with books is here both literal and material, as nearly all surviving bestiaries are copied on parchment made of animal skin, which also resembles human skin. Using a rich array of examples, she shows how the content and materiality of bestiaries are linked due to the continual references in the texts to the skins of other animals, as well as the ways in which the pages themselves repeatedly—and at times, it would seem, deliberately—intervene in the reading process. A vital contribution to animal studies and medieval manuscript studies, this book sheds new light on the European bestiary and its profound power to shape readers’ own identities.
The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas presents a detailed interdisciplinary examination of saga scholarship over the last fifty years, sometimes juxtaposing it with earlier views and examining the sagas both as works of art and as source materials.
This volume will be of interest to Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian scholars and accessible to medievalists in general.