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New Medieval Books: From Crusaders to Devils

Our latest collection of new books about the Middle Ages…

A Short History of the Middle Ages

By Barbara H. Rosenwein

University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 978-1-4426-3622-4

Excerpt – About the Fifth Edition: Here students and teachers will find a much-enhanced map and artistic program and considerable expansion of the treatment of the Islamic and Byzantine words. To counter the tendency of textbook readers to imagine that everything therein is a “fact,” I have singled out in each chapter at least one issue on which historians explicitly differ. The proponents of the various sides of those controversies are listed in the end-of-chapter. Further Reading offerings, which have also been updated to take into account the most important new contributions.

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Robert the Devil: The First Modern English Translation of Robert le Diable, an Anonymous French Romance of the Thirteenth Century

By Samuel N. Rosenberg

Pennsylvania State University Press
ISBN: 9780271080161

Excerpt: Robert le Diable – an anonymous French roman d’aventures – has roots no doubt going down into preliterate, pre-Christian folkloric materials, for an account of human birth through divine or supernatural agency is clearly not an invention of the European Middle Ages. As fully recounted for the first time in a manuscript of the thirteenth century and provided with a historically and geographically plausible setting, it is basically the tale of a boy born to a childless noble couple only after the mother has secretly called on Satan to help her conceive.

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Courts of Chivalry and Admiralty in Late Medieval Europe

Edited by Anthony Musson and Nigel Ramsay

Boydell Press
ISBN: 978 1 78327 217 4

Excerpt: The wars waged by the English in France during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries led to the need for judicial agencies that could deal with disputes that arose on land or sea, beyond the reach of indigenous laws. While much has been written on the culture of chivalry, to date the jurisdictional development of these Courts has attracted comparatively little scholarly attention. The court of the English Admiral in the medieval period has received significantly less. This volume explores the Courts of Chivalry and Admiralty, their officers and the wider cultural and political context in which they had jurisdiction and operated in later medieval Western Europe.

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The Crusader Armies, 1099-1187

By Steve Tibble

Yale University Press
ISBN: 978-0-300-21814-5

Excerpt: It is a truism that armies are a product of the societies that create them. Surely one can at least take this as a given? Yet even this is barely true of the crusades. Far from representing their societies, each of the main armies was predominantly foreign, using fighting styles and techniques alien both to each other and to the societies they represented. They were also usually fighting to defend the interests and privileged positions of elite foreign rulers and social groups, rather than those of their local communities.

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The Nibelungenlied with the The Klage

Edited and translated by William Whobrey

Hackett Publishing Company
ISBN: 9781624666759

Excerpt: The challenge that this translation has tried to meet is the presentation of a medieval text with warts and all. That is to say, medieval texts were often messy and at times even contradictory, and scholarship has for the past few decades decided that this should be accepted and acknowledged. Gone are the days when we strive to retrieve the “original” text by reconstructing the exact same words that the poet must have used when he first put pen to paper. We want to acknowledge that the epic we have in the Nibelungenlied is a dynamic text, not a static one.

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