Movie Review: Tristan and Isolde

Tristan and Isolde, starring James Franco and Sophia Myles.

As far as medieval movies go, Tristan and Isolde definitely isn’t the worst I’ve seen. I was looking for a movie to watch after work, and I thought, hey, James Franco, Sophia Moyles, Henry Cavill, and Rufus Sewell, all directed by Ridley Scott?! – this can’t be that bad. Well, it was pretty bad, but it wasn’t the worst 2 hours of my life. So what went wrong?

Intersex in the Middle Ages

Statue of Hermaphrodite - Louvre

A brief look at how the medieval world viewed the Intersex individual.

Charlemagne’s Denarius, Constantine’s Edicule, and the Vera Crux

Charlemagne as emperor on this coin - Photo PHGCOM

In 806 a much-discussed silver denarius bearing the likeness of Charlemagne was issued. This is called the “temple-type” coin due to the (as yet unidentified) architectural structure illustrated on the reverse side, and which is explicitly labeled as representing the epitome of “Christian Religion.”

Vice, Tyranny, Violence, and the Usurpation of Flanders (1071) in Flemish Historiography from 1093 to 1294

Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders & Hainaut

The earliest sources of the history of medieval Flanders do not agree on the origins of the counts. The earliest source, the so-called “Genealogy of Arnold [I],” credibly traces the counts’ origin to Baldwin I “Iron Arm,”…

Flandria Illustrata: Flemish Identities in the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period

Jan van Eyck, Annunciation, 1434–1436. Wing from a dismantled triptych. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

This chapter discusses identity formation in early modern Flanders. It argues that policy makers and their intellectual agents transformed the perception of a province that had been divided by urban rivalries, civil war and conflicts with the Burgundian and Habsburg overlords, into a bastion of the Catholic Counter Reformation with strong ties to the Spanish King and his representatives.

What Remains: Women, Relics and Remembrance in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade - the capture of Constantinople

After the fall of Constantinople to the Latin Crusaders in 1204 hundreds of relics were carried into the West as diplomatic gifts, memorabilia and tokens of victory. Yet many relics were alsosent privately between male crusaders and their spouses and female kin.

Reflection of the Wars of the Roses in Thomas Malory`s Le Morte D`Arthur: Literary-cultural analysis

Edward Burne-Jones - The Last Sleep of Arthur

The aim of this research paper is to analyse the Morte D’Arthur and find certain historical moments incorporated in the book. Firstly, as the goal of work follows a hypothesis that Thomas Malory reflected manifold incidents from the Wars of the Roses in the Morte D’Arthur, it was inevitable to understand author’s position in this civil war, which meant investigating in the authorship.

Kissing Cousins: Incest and Sex Change in Tristan de Nanteuil

Chansons de Geste

In this paper I re-examine Blanchandine‘s sex change in light of its relation to the issue of incest; as I will show, incest is directly related to the sex change and also punctuates the narrative at other points. Tristan de Nanteuil depicts two sexual and/or romantic relationships between cousins…

Avignon vs. Rome: Dante, Petrarch, Catherine of Siena

Rome in 1500

In the fourteenth century the image of ancient Rome as Babylon was transformed into the positive idea of Rome as both a Christian and a classical ideal.

Apocalypse et Moyen Âge : un cocktail détonnant

“Four Horsemen of Apocalypse” (1887) by the Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov

Dans l’imaginaire contemporain, Apocalypse et Moyen âge semblent aller de pair. Rares sont les films médiévalistes où il n’est pas question de fin du monde, où qui ne représente pas une société en plein déclin, au bord de sa propre destruction.

Prince Valiant, un chevalier du Rio Bravo

Prince Valiant

An article in French on the American comic book Prince Valiant.

The Rise of the French Language in Medieval Europe

French manuscript

A free exhibition, The Moving Word: French Medieval Manuscripts in Cambridge, begins today at Cambridge University Library.

Marvels and Allies in the East. India as Heterotopia of Latin Europe in the 12th Century

Medieval India

It has long been said that Latin Europe lost its connection to the East, specifically to Asia, in the early Middle Ages. But this is only part of the truth. From late Antiquity on, there were Christians in many places between the Mediterranean Sea and China.

Children and Literature in Medieval England

Children's Book

Deals with childrens’ literature in medieval England. Kinds of literature heard by children in England; Examples of rhymes used by medieval children; Ways of linking rhymes with children.

Emotions and Power in Orderic Vitalis

Medieval Book

This essay explores some of the complexities and paradoxes encountered when one thinks about power, particularly as power was expressed by a single author, Orderic Vitalis.

Transvestite Knights: Men and Women Cross-dressing in Medieval Literature


In this thesis, I will look at mainly French and German texts from the 12th to the 15th centuries which deal with the subject of cross-dressers in the decidedly masculine domain of the knight. There are many tales of cross-dressing, particularly of women, but the concept of men dressing as women while jousting, and women dressing as knights, brings up several questions about the clothes, what it meant to be male and female, and how cross-dressing could be viewed on the tournament field.

Time, consciousness and narrative play in late Medieval secular dream poetry and framed narratives

The Romance of the Rose

This thesis proposes to look at the equation between time and text in the later medieval period. Time-telling and tale-telling have a particularly dynamic relationship in the considers time-telling and temporal referencein an era (c.1230 – 1500) that time-measurement multiple cultural experiencesa greatvariety of types of and
attitudes to time.

The Knighting of Henry, son of William the Conqueror, in 1086

William the Conqueror

This paper was part of SESSION VIII: Power & Politics in the Long Twelfth Century, at the Haskins Conference at Boston College.

Medieval Book History Week Lecture: “Practical Latin and Formal English in the 14th-15th Centuries”

Reeve - Manuscript c. 1327-1328

This lecture is part of Medieval Book History Week. Renown Professor Jeremy Catto spoke about literacy and language in England during the later Middle Ages at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies at the University of Toronto.

Triangles of the Sacred Sisterhood

Courtly Love

In courtly works, the resolution is generally in favour of the status quo as a courtly adulterous affair rarely works out, while in the fabliau the marriage is generally left intact, although a deceitful wife may be given carte blanche to philander.

Saints and sinners in the works of Marie de France


What was Marie trying to share with her twelfth century audience when she wrote The Lais?

L’église Saint-Martin de Luxeuil-les-Bains (Haute-Saône). Première campagne

L’église Saint-Martin de Luxeuil-les-Bains

À ce stade de la fouille, nous avons pu définir provisoirement huit grandes phases. La première construction reconnue pourrait être une domus urbaine du IIe siècle après J.-C., abandonnée dans la première moitié du IVe siècle et à laquelle succède une occupation tardo-antique.

An Investigation into a French Fifteenth-Century Book of Hours

LSU Special Collections

Louisiana State University proudly owns an authentic medieval manuscript called a Book of Hours. Celebrated as the university’s two millionth volume, this exquisitely illuminated manuscript is thought to be the only Book of Hours in a public collection in Louisiana.

The emergence of the English language as an educational medium in Medieval England

Medieval Education

To better understand the relationship between linguistics, literature and education in Medieval England, some general background information is necessary to understand how these subjects intertwine…

The Poet and the Spae-Wife: An Attempt to Reconstruct Al-Ghazal’s Embassy to the Vikings

Medieval Islam

Before Dozy’s work,only excerpts from ibn-Dihya in incomplete shape had been known from the writings of the seventeenth-century Maghribi man of letters, al-Maqqari…

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