Latin Grammar in the Cathedral School: Fulbert of Chartres, Bonipert of Pécs, and the Way of a Lost Priscian Manuscript

Priscian, or the Grammar, relief from the bell tower of Florence by Luca della Robbia

The starting point of the classical tradition in medieval Hungary is marked by a letter written by Bishop Fulbert of Chartres in Northern France to Bishop Bonipert of Pécs in Southern Hungary.

‘Falseness Reigns in Every Flock’: Literacy and Eschatological Discourse in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381

Peasant's Revolt 1381

The literature of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, a miscellany of fourteenth-century poetry and prose penned before, during, and after the insurrection, often stresses the importance of literacy to the nonaristocratic population of England.

Women do not sit as Judges, or do they? The office of Judge in Vincentius Bellovacensis’ Speculum

Vincent of Beauvais (Vincentius Bellovacensis)

It was Charles Homer Haskins (1870-1936) who coined the expression “Renaissance of the twelfth century”. Before him this expression referred more specifically to the Italian Renaissance of the fifteenth century as nineteenth century Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt put it.

The influence of conflicting medieval church and social discourses on individual consciousness : dissociation in the visions of Hadewijch of Brabant

Beguine - Des dodes dantz, printed in Lübeck in 1489.

This article examines the influence of the conflicting dis- courses in the medieval church and its social context on the subconscious experiences of Hadewijch of Brabant, a 13th century Flemish visionary, mystical author, vernacular theologian and Beguine leader

Latin Patrons, Greek Fathers: St Bartholomew of Simeri and Byzantine Monastic Reform in Norman Italy, 11th-12th Centuries

A mosaic with Roger II receiving the crown from Christ, Martorana, Palermo. The mosaic carries an inscription 'Rogerios Rex' in Greek letters. (Wikipedia)

St Bartholomew of Simeri (ca. 1050-1130), a Greek monastic founder and reformer from Calabria, saw the effective end of Byzantine imperial power in southern Italy in 1071, the conquest of Muslim Palermo by Robert Guiscard the following year, and the rise of the Norman kingdom of Roger II at the end of his life.

Religious Education as the Basis of Medieval Literature

The figure of Grammatica, the first stage of medieval education, threatens an inattentive student with her birch - south portal, Chartres cathedral, c.1150. Photo courtesy University of Leicester

The medieval literature was written with a purpose to teach Christian dogmas to the masses. The prose and poetry of the time meant to show men the ugliness of sin and the beauty of goodness.

Medicine and surgery in the Livre des Assises de la Cour des Bourgeois de Jérusalem

The Assizes of Jerusalem

The Livre des Assises, written in the thirteenth century in Acre, not only provides insights into the practice of medicine and surgery in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, but also suggests that the licensing and regulation of doctors reflected contemporary Islamic practice.

Banditry and the Clash of Powers in 14th-Century Thrace: Momcilo and his Fragmented Memory

Macedonian-bracelet (Thrace)

In the 14th century, a time of civil wars, religious and dynastic strifes, epidemics, natural disasters and miserable living conditions for the wider strata in the cities and the countryside that increased migratory movements, banditry, an indigenous phenomenon in the Balkan mountainous regions, intermingled with the intensified political struggles.

The Friars Preachers: The First Hundred Years of the Dominican Order


When Dominic of Caleruega began preaching in southern France in the early 1200s, he would have had no idea of the far reaching influence that the band of men he would attract would leave such a broad and enduring influence on medieval history.

Christianity and the Latin tradition in early Medieval Ireland

Book of Ballymote - explaining Ogham script

The Christianity which arrived in Ireland with the fifth-century missionaries was more than just a literate religion; it was very much a religion of the book.

Amending the Ascetic: Community and Character in the Old English Life of St. Mary of Egypt

Saint Mary of Egypt - British library

Among the most eligible saints for such treatment, Mary of Egypt deserves particular consideration: her popularity is evidenced by over a hundred extant Greek manuscripts of her Life and her uniquely prominent position in the Lenten liturgical cycle in the Eastern Church.

Greek in Marriage, Latin in Giving: The Greek Community of Fourteenth-century Palermo and the Deceptive Will of Bonannus de Geronimo

Van Eyck - Arnolfini Marriage (1434)

This article discusses the pitfalls that can occur in the study of ethnicity in the me- dieval period in the context of the potential existence of two separate Greek minori- ties—one indigenous and one immigrant—in fourteenth-century Latin-dominated Palermo, Italy.

Writing conquest: traditions of Anglo-Saxon invasion and resistance in the twelfth century

Norman Conquest

Writing Conquest examines the ways in which Latin, Old English, and Middle English twelfth-century historical and pseudo-historical texts remembered and reconstructed three formative moments of Anglo-Saxon invasion and resistance…

The Most Significant Manuscript Sources of Medieval Croatian Vernacular Verse

Medieval Croatian

The first part of the article gives a brief overview of the history of Croatian literacy up to the first written record of poetry in the Old Croatian language.

Runic and Latin Written Culture: Co-Existence and Interaction of Two Script Cultures in the Norwegian Middle Ages

AM 28 8vo, known as Codex runicus, a vellum manuscript from c. 1300 containing one of the oldest and best preserved texts of the Scanian law (Skånske lov), written entirely in runes.

Runic and Latin Written Culture: Co-Existence and Interaction of Two Script Cultures in the Norwegian Middle Ages Stephanie Elisabeth Baur: zur Erlangung des Grades Magistra Artium im Fachbereich Nordische Philologie Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen: Deutsches Seminar Abteilung für Skandinavistik, Magisterarbeit, 14. Juni (2011) Abstract When Latin writing finally reached Scandinavia sometime in the 11th century, it was […]

The Anonymous Old English Legend of the Seven Sleepers and its Latin Source


The earliest extended treatment of the legend of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus in a
western vernacular language is the anonymous Old English prose version preserved
in British Library MS Cotton Julius E vii…

Basan and Bata: The Occupational Surnames of Two Pre-Conquest Monks of Canterbury

monk tonsure

As hereditary surnames were not common in Anglo-Saxon England, men of the same name were differentiated by sobriquets based on their place of origin, a physical characteristic or occupation. This article argues that Eadui Basan and Aelfric Bata, two eleventh-century monks of Christ Church, had sobriquets, in Latin of fashionable obscurity, that reflected their occupations within the monastic community.

“I, too, am a Christian”: early martyrs and their lives in the late medieval and early modern Irish manuscript tradition

Irish Saints

This paper examines part of that future: late medieval and early modern Gaelic Irish devotion to the early Christian martyrs as evidenced in the vernacular manuscript tradition.

Worldly Unease in Late Medieval European Travel Reports

Full-page portrait of Sir John Mandeville. Created 1459.

Comparing the Book of John Mandeville with Jean de Jeanville’s Vie Saint Louis and William of Rubruck’s Journey, this chapter argues that cosmopolitan perspectives in these texts seem to emerge in spite of rather than because of their contacts with other cultures.

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.

An Ideal Marriage: Abraham and Sarah in Old English Literature


Offers a look at how Bible characters Abraham and Sarah are treated in the old English literature. How their marital relationship is portrayed; Neglect in the character of Sarah; Development in the character of Abraham; How the old English literary writers treated Abraham.

Did King Alfred write anything?

Alfred the Great from a 13th Century manuscript

The author investigates the question of whether King Alfred translated Latin texts into English. According to the author, modern scholarship seems to conclude that Alfred did compose the extant translations of a number of texts, although there are questions about Alfred’s linguistic and intellectual skills.

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.

Is the Author Really Better than his Scribes? Problems of Editing Pre-Carolingian Latin Texts

Page of text (folio 160v) from a Carolingian Gospel Book (British Library, MS Add. 11848), written in Carolingian minuscule. Text is Vulgate Luke 23:15-26.

Latin texts composed after ca. 600 and before the Carolingian writing re- forms that began in the late eighth century present problems that editors rarely have to face when working on classical texts (including most writings of late antiquity), or texts written after ca. 800.

On Omissions and Substitutions in the Medieval English Translations of the Gospel

Wessex Gospels/West-Saxon Gospels

In view of this we carried out research on two English medieval translations of John’s Gospel, believing that their comparison would not only reveal differences in the perception and experience of biblical concepts (expressed through language), but also those in culture, society and cognition that occurred in the period between their occurrence.

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