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Archives for September 2009

Metal Detecting and Medieval Finds

The recent discovery of hundreds of gold and silver items from an Anglo-Saxon treasure hoard in Staffordshire has renewed interest in metal detecting throughout Great Britain. It also could lead to more medieval finds and an opportunity for historians and archaeologists to learn new insights about medieval life, ranging from the circulation of money and […]

‘Turn, traitor untrew’: Altering Arthur and Mordred in the Alliterative Morte Arthure

The Alliterative Morte presents the reader with at least two questions in regard to characterization. One is the drastic change Arthur undergoes some halfway through, from prudent and virtuous king to cruel and reckless tyrant.

Chaucer and the Early Church

Chaucer and the Early Church Kaiser, Melanie L. and Dean, James M. Medieval Forum, vol. 5 (2006) Abstract Although some Chaucerians have questioned the place and integrity of Chaucer’s Second Nun’s Tale, we believe it has an important use in the Canterbury book. Few of the other tales address spiritual issues relevant to the pilgrimage, […]

The Disenchantment of Magic: Spells, Charms, and Superstition in Early European Witchcraft Literature

When confronting common spells and charms, or any other potential superstition, clerical authorities in the fifteenth century, as throughout the Middle Ages, were concerned above all to correct errors and provide clarity, for in the theological parlance of this period, superstition entailed improper belief and improperly understood ritual acts.

Peregrini, Barbari, and Cives Romani: Concepts of Citizenship and the Legal Identity of Barbarians in the Later Roman Empire

Peregrini, Barbari, and Cives Romani: Concepts of Citizenship and the Legal Identity of Barbarians in the Later Roman Empire By Ralph W. Mathisen The American Historical Review, Vol.111: 4 (2006) In recent years, and particularly since the end of the Cold War, increasing attention has been paid to changing concepts of citizenship in the context of the […]

“Do Prophets Come with a Sword?” Conquest, Empire, and Historical Narrative in the Early Islamic World

“Do Prophets Come with a Sword?” Conquest, Empire, and Historical Narrative in the Early Islamic World By Thomas Sizgorich The American Historical Review, Vol.112:4 (2007) In the ninth century of the Common Era, a Christian apologist living and writing under Muslim rule in Iraq repeated a very old critique of Islam. Ammār al‐Barī wrote that Islam, like […]

Images from the Staffordshire Treasure Hoard

Here are images of some of the newly discovered items that were discovered in the summer of 2009 in Staffordshire, England.  These Anglo-Saxon items represent perhaps the most important archaeological find in the United Kingdom in recent years. Click here to watch a slideshow of these and dozens more images from Flickr See slso: Massive […]

Christian Heroism and the West Saxon Achievement: The Old English Poetic Evidence

Christian Heroism and the West Saxon Achievement: The Old English Poetic Evidence Hare, Kent G. Medieval Forum, vol.4 (2004) Abstract In its existing manuscript context, the Old English poetic corpus reflects a literary program having its origins in the Alfredian period, with aims both religious and political. An ethos of Christian heroism dominating the poems […]

Unity, Genre, and Subverting the Absolute Past: The Case of Malory’s “Tournament at Surluse”

Unity, Genre, and Subverting the Absolute Past: The Case of Malory’s “Tournament at Surluse”   Hordis, Sandra M. Medieval Forum, vol.4 (2004) Abstract Scholars examining Malory’s Morte Darthur attempt to force the text into traditional conceptions of genre and unity which serve the text only minimally. By examining the Morte’s “Tournament at Surluse” through Bakhtin’s […]

“Of this I can make no sense”: Wulf and Eadwacer and the Destabilization of Meaning

“Of this I can make no sense”: Wulf and Eadwacer and the Destabilization of Meaning Donahue, James J. Medieval Forum, vol. 4 (2004) Abstract This article performs two functions. First, to provide a survey of the scholarship on Wulf and Eadwacer. This alone is of limited importance, though necessary for the second function, discussing the […]

Music and Magic in Le Bel Inconnu and Lybeaus Desconu

Music and Magic in Le Bel Inconnu and Lybeaus Desconu Zaerr, Linda Marie Medieval Forum, vol. 4 (2004) Abstract The thirteenth-century Old French Le Bel Inconnu and its fifteenth-century Middle English analog Lybeaus Desconus demonstrate a startling transformation that may reflect thinking about performance. Le Bel Inconnu expresses ambiguity about the moral valence of both […]

“The Pale and Perfect Measured Parade” John Steinbeck’s First Draft of The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights

“The Pale and Perfect Measured Parade” John Steinbeck’s First Draft of The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights Stork, Nancy Medieval Forum, vol. 4 (2004) Abstract John Steinbeck abandoned his first draft of his Acts of King Arthur for a variety of reasons, and it was never incorporated into the version published after […]

Emaré’s Fabulous Robe: The Ambiguity of Power in a Late Medieval Romance

Emaré’s Fabulous Robe: The Ambiguity of Power in a Late Medieval Romance Tsai, Christine Li-ju Medieval Forum, vol 3. (2003) Abstract This article examines Emaré (c. 1400), a late medieval romance consisting of incest and gift-giving motifs. It explores the social and psychological dimensions of the gift itself and the anthropological perspective of the gift-giving, […]

Anger with God and Man: The Social Contexts of Melibee’s Anger

Anger with God and Man: The Social Contexts of Melibee’s Anger Griffith, John L. Medieval Forum, vol 3. (2003) Abstract Among modern critics, the tale of Melibee has more detractors than admirers. However, when we approach the tale as a tale of anger, we avoid measuring the success of the tale, as do many modern […]

Fracture and Containment in the Icelandic Skalds’ Sagas

Fracture and Containment in the Icelandic Skalds’ Sagas Sayers, William Medieval Forum, vol. 3 (2003) Abstract Icelandic biographies of tenth- and eleventh-century poets are superficially characterized by the alternation between a linear prose narrative and the poets’ extemporaneous verses, which are less a comment on events than their stimulus. Similarly divided and divisive is the vacillating […]

Merry Married Brothers: Wedded Friendship, Lovers’ Language and Male Matrimonials in Two Middle English Romances

Both Athelston and Amis and Amiloun show idealized same-sex friendships through various guises. In each, the bonds of friendship are cemented through troth-plights, which approach marriage vows in their complexity and wording

Web Spotlight: Medieval Portal Sites

Web Spotlight: Medieval Portal Sites Kline, Daniel T. Medieval Forum, vol. 2 (2003) Abstract This feature brings attention to a select number of related medieval sources available on the web and offers succinct descriptions of their worth and how they might be used by students and scholars, drawing on the work of dedicated medieval scholars […]

Rethinking Marie

Rethinking Marie Hazell, Dinah  Medieval Forum, vol. 2 (2003) Abstract Marie de France is traditionally associated with the English court of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. This essay reexamines that assumption through the consideration of linguistic evidence, geographhical descriptions in Marie’s works, her self-identification as being from France, and her dedication of the Lais […]

Hypertext: A Sacred (He)Art? Cor ad cor loquitur from Augustine to Shelley Jackson

Hypertext: A Sacred (He)Art? Cor ad cor loquitur from Augustine to Shelley Jackson Warren, Martin L. Medieval Forum, vol. 2 (2003) Abstract Postmodern thinking holds that the subject–the self–is decentered, fragmented, and erratic. An examination of this principle requires that the subject be studied through the writings of the pre-modern, modern, and postmodern eras. An […]

The Acts of Matthew and Andrew in the City of Cannibals

The Acts of Matthew and Andrew in the City of Cannibals Sharp, Tom Medieval Forum, vol. 2 (2003) Abstract In the second century after the death of Jesus, legends arose to fill the gaps about which the New Testament is silent, particularly the experiences of the apostles whom Jesus had instructed to “make disciples of […]

“God our Mother”: The Feminine Cosmology of Julian of Norwich and Hildegard of Bingen

“God our Mother”: The Feminine Cosmology of Julian of Norwich and Hildegard of Bingen Hudson, Jennifer A. Medieval Forum, vol. 1 (2002) Abstract This paper explores the feminist implications of Julian of Norwich’s and Hildegard of Bingen’s feminine cosmic visions. Both women revolutionize the imago Dei into one bearing feminine characteristics, maintain that the feminine […]

Resurrection: Representation v. Reality In a Miracle of St John of Beverley

Resurrection: Representation v. Reality In a Miracle of St John of Beverley Wilson, Susan E. Medieval Forum, vol. 1 (2002) Abstract A thirteenth-century miracle story relates the story of how a small boy is raised from death inside the church of St John at Beverley whilst a mystery play of Christ’s resurrection is being performed […]

Description of the Warrener in the General Prologue and the Warrener’s Prologue and Tale

Description of the Warrener in the General Prologue and the Warrener’s Prologue and Tale Schragg , E.D. Medieval Forum, vol 1. (2002) Abstract Choosing the Haberdasher to tell the next tale, Harry Bailey fails to reestablish order among his drunken unruly pilgrims, whereupon the Prioress steps in to “govern ther oure hooste hadde lak.” The […]

Imperfect Heroes and the Consolations of Boethius: The Double Meaning of Suffering in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale

Imperfect Heroes and the Consolations of Boethius: The Double Meaning of Suffering in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale Camarda,  Peter F. Medieval Forum, vol. 1 (2002) Abstract This paper examines an ambiguity in Chaucer’s vision of passionate love in The Knight’s Tale. The tale is usually seen as a courtly romance: the characters suffer in the name of […]

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