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Why would the sprawling thirteenth-century French prose Lancelot-Grail Cycle have been attributed to Walter Map, a twelfth-century writer from the Anglo-Welsh borderlands known for his stinging satire, religious skepticism, ghost stories, and irrepressible wit? And why, though the attribution is spurious, is it not, in some ways, implausible?

Joshua Byron Smith sets out to answer these and other questions in the first English-language monograph on Walter Map—and in so doing, he offers a new explanation for how narratives about the pre-Saxon inhabitants of Britain, including King Arthur and his knights, first circulated in England. Smith contends that it was inventive clerics like Walter, and not traveling minstrels or professional translators, who popularized these stories. Smith examines Walter's only surviving work, the De nugis curialium, to demonstrate that it is not the disheveled text that scholars have imagined but rather five separate works in various stages of completion. This in turn provides new evidence to support his larger contention, that ecclesiastical networks of textual exchange played a major role in exporting Welsh literary material into England.

Medieval readers incorrectly envisioned Walter withdrawing ancient Latin documents about the Holy Grail from a monastery and compiling them in order to compose the Lancelot-Grail Cycle. In this detail they were wrong, Smith acknowledges, but a model of literary transmission that is not vernacular and popular but Latinate and ecclesiastical demands our serious consideration.

As literary scholars have long insisted, an interdisciplinary approach is vital if modern readers are to make sense of works of medieval literature. In particular, rather than reading the works of medieval authors as addressing us across the centuries about some timeless or ahistorical 'human condition', critics from a wide range of theoretical approaches have in recent years shown how the work of poets such as Chaucer constituted engagements with the power relations and social inequalities of their time. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, medieval historians have played little part in this 'historical turn' in the study of medieval literature. The aim of this volume is to allow historians who are experts in the fields of economic, social, political, religious, and intellectual history the chance to interpret one of the most famous works of Middle English literature, Geoffrey Chaucer's 'General Prologue' to the Canterbury Tales, in its contemporary context. Rather than resorting to traditional historical attempts to see Chaucer's descriptions of the Canterbury pilgrims as immediate reflections of historical reality or as portraits of real life people whom Chaucer knew, the contributors to this volume have sought to show what interpretive frameworks were available to Chaucer in order to make sense of reality and how he adapted his literary and ideological inheritance so as to engage with the controversies and conflicts of his own day. Beginning with a survey of recent debates about the social meaning of Chaucer's work, the volume then discusses each of the Canterbury pilgrims in turn. Historians on Chaucer should be of interest to all scholars and students of medieval culture whether they are specialists in literature or history.
Romance and the Gentry in Late Medieval England offers a new history of Middle English romance, the most popular genre of secular literature in the English Middle Ages. Michael Johnston argues that many of the romances composed in England from 1350-1500 arose in response to the specific socio-economic concerns of the gentry, the class of English landowners who lacked titles of nobility and hence occupied the lower rungs of the aristocracy. The end of the fourteenth century in England witnessed power devolving to the gentry, who became one of the dominant political and economic forces in provincial society. As Johnston demonstrates, this social change also affected England's literary culture, particularly the composition and readership of romance. Romance and the Gentry in Late Medieval England identifies a series of new topoi in Middle English that responded to the gentry's economic interests. But beyond social history and literary criticism, it also speaks to manuscript studies, showing that most of the codices of the "gentry romances" were produced by those in the immediate employ of the gentry. By bringing together literary criticism and manuscript studies, this book speaks to two scholarly communities often insulated from one another: it invites manuscript scholars to pay closer attention to the cultural resonances of the texts within medieval codices; simultaneously, it encourages literary scholars to be more attentive to the cultural resonances of surviving medieval codices.
The Poetics of Commemoration is a study of commemorative skaldic verse from the Viking Age. It investigates how skaldic poets responded to the deaths of kings and the ways in which poetic commemoration functioned within the social and political communities of the early medieval court. Beginning with the early genealogical poem Ynglingatal, the book explores how the commemoration of a king's ancestors could be used to consolidate his political position and to provide a shared history for the community. It then examines the presentation of dead kings in the poems Eiríksmál and Hákonarmál, showing how poets could re-cast their kings as characters of myth and legend in the afterlife. This is followed by an analysis of verse in which poets use their commemoration of one king to reinforce their relationship with his successor; it is shown that poetry could both help and hinder the integration of the poet into the retinue of a new king. Focusing then on the memorial poems composed for Kings Óláfr Tryggvason and Óláfr Haraldsson, as well as for the Jarls of the Orkney Islands, the book considers the tension between public and private expressions of grief. It explores the strategies used by poets to negotiate the tumultuous period that followed the death of a king, and to work through their own emotional responses to that loss. The book demonstrates that skaldic poets engaged with the deaths of rulers in a wide variety of ways, and that poetic commemoration was a particularly effective means not only of constructing a collective memory of the dead man, but also of consolidating the new social identity of the community he left behind.
Millennium überschreitet Grenzen, Grenzen zwischen den Epochen und regionalen Räumen wie auch Grenzen zwischen den Disziplinen. Die Schriftenreihe Millennium-Studien ist, genauso wie das Jahrbuch, international, interdisziplinär und epochenübergreifend ausgerichtet. Das Herausgebergremium und der Beirat repräsentieren ein breites Fächerspektrum: Kunst- und literaturwissenschaftliche Beiträge kommen ebenso zu ihrem Recht wie historische, theologische und philosophische, und die Millennium-Studien bieten gleichermaßen Raum für Arbeiten zu den lateinischen und griechischen wie zu den orientalischen Kulturen. In die Studien finden einschlägige Monographien und Sammelwerke aus dem gesamten Themenspektrum Aufnahme, zudem Kommentare und Editionen. Publikationssprachen sind vornehmlich Deutsch und Englisch; die Aufnahme französischer, italienischer und spanischer Arbeiten ist möglich. Falls Sie ein Manuskript für die Studien einreichen möchten, bitte wir Sie, sich an den fachnächsten Herausgeber zu wenden: Wolfram Brandes, Frankfurt (Byzantinistik und Frühes Mittelalter): Peter von Möllendorff, Gießen (Gräzistik): Dennis Pausch, Dresden (Latinistik): Rene Pfeilschifter, Würzburg (Alte Geschichte): Karla Pollmann, Bristol (Frühes Christentum und Patristik): Alle Manuskripte werden von dem jeweiligen Herausgeber und von einem externen Gutachter beurteilt. Dabei gilt das Single-blind peer review-Verfahren.
Contents Contributors Preface Julia Marvin: Latinity and Vernacularity in the Tradition of Geoffrey of Monmouth: Text, Apparatus and Readership Erik Kooper: Content Markers in the Manuscripts of Robert of Gloucester¿s Chronicle Dániel Bagi: Genealogische Fälschungen und Fiktionen als Legitimierungsmittel in narrativen Quellen des Östlichen Europas im 11¿13. Jahrhundert Isabel de Barros Dias: The Emperor, the Archbishop and the Saint: One Event Told in Different Textual Forms Anders Bengtsson: L¿Essor de la proposition participiale dans la prose historique Cristian Bratu : Translatio, autorité et affirmation de soi chez Gaimar, Wace et Benoît de Sainte-Maure R. W. Burgess and Michael Kulikowski: Medieval Historiographical Terminology: The Meaning of the Word Annales Nicholas Coureas: The Conquest of Cyprus during the Third Crusade according to Greek Chronicles from Cyprus Isabelle Guyot-Bachy : La Chronique abrégée des rois de France et les Grandes chroniques de France: concurrence ou complémentarité dans la construction d¿une culture historique en France à la fin du Moyen ge? Mihkel Mäesalu: A Crusader Conflict Mediated by a Papal Legate: The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia as a Legal Text Adrien Quéret-Podesta : Le Gallus anonymus et l¿abbaye de Saint Gilles du Gard Lisa M. Ruch: Digression or Discourse? William of Newburgh¿s Ghost Stories as Urban Legends Biörn Tjällén: Political Thought and Political Myth in Late Medieval National Histories: Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo (¿1470)
Saint Augustine famously “wept for Dido, who killed herself by the sword,” and many later medieval schoolboys were taught to respond in similarly emotional ways to the pain of female characters in Virgil’s Aeneid and other classical texts. In Weeping for Dido, Marjorie Curry Woods takes readers into the medieval classroom, where boys identified with Dido, where teachers turned an unfinished classical poem into a bildungsroman about young Achilles, and where students not only studied but performed classical works.

Woods opens the classroom door by examining teachers’ notes and marginal commentary in manuscripts of the Aeneid and two short verse narratives: the Achilleid of Statius and the Ilias latina, a Latin epitome of Homer’s Iliad. She focuses on interlinear glosses—individual words and short phrases written above lines of text that elucidate grammar, syntax, and vocabulary, but that also indicate how students engaged with the feelings and motivations of characters. Interlinear and marginal glosses, which were the foundation of the medieval classroom study of classical literature, reveal that in learning the Aeneid, boys studied and empathized with the feelings of female characters; that the unfinished Achilleid was restructured into a complete narrative showing young Achilles mirroring his mentors, including his mother, Thetis; and that the Ilias latina offered boys a condensed version of the Iliad focusing on the deaths of young men. Manuscript evidence even indicates how specific passages could be performed.

The result is a groundbreaking study that provides a surprising new picture of medieval education and writes a new chapter in the reception history of classical literature.

'The bitter tragedy of human life— horrors of death, attack, retreat, advance, and the great game of Destiny and Chance. ' In The Liberation of Jerusalem (Gerusalemme liberata, 1581), Torquato Tasso set out to write an epic to rival the Iliad and the Aeneid. Unlike his predecessors, he took his subject not from myth but from history: the Christian capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. The siege of the city is played out alongside a magical romance of love and sacrifice, in which the Christian knight Rinaldo succumbs to the charms of the pagan sorceress Armida, and the warrior maiden Clorinda inspires a fatal passion in the Christian Tancred. Tasso's masterpiece left its mark on writers from Spenser and Milton to Goethe and Byron, and inspired countless painters and composers. This is the first English translation in modern times that faithfully reflects both the sense and the verse form of the original. Max Wickert's fine rendering is introduced by Mark Davie, who places Tasso's poem in the context of his life and times and points to the qualities that have ensured its lasting impact on Western culture. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Domesday Book is the main source for an understanding of late Anglo-Saxon England and the Norman Conquest. And yet, despite over two centuries of study, no consensus has emerged as to its purpose. David Roffe proposes a radically new interpretation of England's oldest and most precious public record. He argues that historians have signally failed to produce a satisfactory account of the source because they have conflated two essentially unrelated processes, the production of Domesday Book itself and the Domesday inquest from the records of which it was compiled. New dating evidence is adduced to demonstrate that Domesday Book cannot have been started much before 1088, and old sources are reassessed to suggest that it was compiled by Rannulf Flambard in the aftermath of the revolt against William Rufus in the same year. Domesday Book was a land register drawn up by one of the greatest (and most hated) medieval administrators for administrative purposes. The Domesday inquest, by contrast, was commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1085 and was an enterprise of a different order. Following the threat of invasion from Denmark in that year it addressed the deficiencies in the national system of taxation and defence, and its findings formed the basis for a renegotiation of assessment to the geld and knight service. This study provides novel insights into the inquest as a principal vehicle of communication between the crown and the free communities over which it exercised sovereignty, and will challenge received notions of kingship in the eleventh century and beyond.
A sport and a military exercise, hunting involved aggressive action with weapons and dogs, and pursuit to the point of combat and killing, for the sake of recreation, food or conquest. The Stag of Love explores the body of erotic metaphor that developed from the hunt together with Ovid's flourishing legacies.

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.

Geffrei Gaimar's Estoire des Engleis is the oldest surviving example of historiography in the French vernacular. It was written in Lincolnshire c.1136-37 and is, in large part, an Anglo-Norman verse adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Its narrative covers the period from the sixth century until the death of the Conqueror's son William Rufus in 1100. This is an important text in historiographic terms, less as an historical source than as an early example of informative literature written in a secular perspective for a predominantly baronial audience. It illustrates the multilingualism and multiculturalism of twelfth-century Anglo-Norman Britain, and shows the descendants of the Norman conquerors seeking to integrate themselves culturally into their adoptive homeland during the 1130s. It also ranks among the earliest extant witnesses of the rise of courtly literature in French, and of named female literary patronage. This edition offers a critical text of one of the chronicle's four extant manuscripts. There is an introduction placing the poem in its social and literary contexts, followed by the medieval text, edited according to critical interventionist principles and comprising 6532 rhyming octosyllables. A facing modern English prose translation, the first concern of which is accuracy, aims also to convey the tone and style of the original rather than provide a strictly literal rendering of it. The extensive explanatory notes to the text are followed by a bibliography and a complete index of place and personal names.
This book examines the sustained interest in legends of the pagan and peripheral North, tracing and analyzing the use of an ‘out-of-Scandinavia’ legend (Scandinavia as an ancestral homeland) in a wide range of medieval texts from all over Europe, with a focus on the Anglo-Saxon tradition. The pagan North was an imaginative region, which attracted a number of conflicting interpretations. To Christian Europe, the pagan North was an abject Other, but it also symbolized a place from which ancestral strength and energy derived. Rix maps how these discourses informed ‘national’ legends of ancestral origins, showing how an ‘out-of-Scandinavia’ legend can be found in works by several familiar writers including Jordanes, Bede, ‘Fredegar’, Paul the Deacon, Freculph, and Æthelweard. The book investigates how legends of northern warriors were first created in classical texts and since re-calibrated to fit different medieval understandings of identity and ethnicity. Among other things, the ‘out-of-Scandinavia’ tale was exploited to promote a legacy of ‘barbarian’ vigor that could withstand the negative cultural effects of Roman civilization. This volume employs a variety of perspectives cutting across the disciplines of poetry, history, rhetoric, linguistics, and archaeology. After years of intense critical interest in medieval attitudes towards the classical world, Africa, and the East, this first book-length study of ‘the North’ will inspire new debates and repositionings in medieval studies.
What does it mean to speak for nature? Contemporary environmental critics warn that giving a voice to nonhuman nature reduces it to a mere echo of our own needs and desires; they caution that it is a perverse form of anthropocentrism. And yet nature's voice proved a powerful and durable ethical tool for premodern writers, many of whom used it to explore what it meant to be an embodied creature or to ask whether human experience is independent of the natural world in which it is forged.

The history of the late medieval period can be retold as the story of how nature gained an authoritative voice only to lose it again at the onset of modernity. This distinctive voice, Kellie Robertson argues, emerged from a novel historical confluence of physics and fiction-writing. Natural philosophers and poets shared a language for talking about physical inclination, the inherent desire to pursue the good that was found in all things living and nonliving. Moreover, both natural philosophers and poets believed that representing the visible world was a problem of morality rather than mere description. Based on readings of academic commentaries and scientific treatises as well as popular allegorical poetry, Nature Speaks contends that controversy over Aristotle's natural philosophy gave birth to a philosophical poetics that sought to understand the extent to which the human will was necessarily determined by the same forces that shaped the rest of the material world.

Modern disciplinary divisions have largely discouraged shared imaginative responses to this problem among the contemporary sciences and humanities. Robertson demonstrates that this earlier worldview can offer an alternative model of human-nonhuman complementarity, one premised neither on compulsory human exceptionalism nor on the simple reduction of one category to the other. Most important, Nature Speaks assesses what is gained and what is lost when nature's voice goes silent.

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