Why were dragons so popular—and what was a dragon in the Middle Ages, anyway? Here are a few things you might not know about medieval dragons
In our latest issue: Being lovesick was a real disease in the Middle Ages! Judaism, War, and Chivalry: Why is this Knight Different than Other Knights? Travel Tips: San Lorenzo’s Medici Crypt! Crusade in Europe
Were medieval people funny? Could they tell a good joke? Check out these stories from Poggio Bracciolini and see if you will laugh!
One of the best ways to learn about a culture is to figure out its sense of humour. In medieval Europe, this means looking at fabliaux: short, funny tales that demonstrate common stereotypes and jokes – usually sexual, violent, and containing a clear scapegoat.
By studying depictions of armor in The Canterbury Tales, Le Morte D’Arthur, and The Faerie Queene, and by seeing how these works help us understand the use of medievalism in digital media, we can unravel how armored bodies in Western cultural narratives function as a way to think through the problematics of posthuman transformations.
Medieval monks worked long hours in silence copying and illustrating manuscripts. But what happened when their minds began to wander?
Henry II and Ganelon By Paul R. Hyams Syracuse Scholar, Vol.4:1 (1983) Introduction: Once upon a time, there was a king of Nantes, called Equitan, a good and courteous ruler, filled with a proper enthusiasm for princely things: Equitan had a seneschal, a good knight, brave and loyal, who took care of his land for him, […]
From Heroic Legend to ‘Medieval Screwball Comedy’? The Origins, Development and Interpretation of the Maiden-King Narrative
New types of popular texts emerged, bringing with them new images of women, especially the maiden-king or meykongr, a figure that features prominently in many of the late-medieval indigenous romances or (frumsamdar) riddarasögur.
The legend of Robin Hood has been part of the English cultural landscape for over six centuries, evolving from the yeoman outlaw of the earliest surviving texts to the dispossessed nobleman that we recognise as his more recent incarnation.
After a short introduction highlighting Serlo’s ambiguous attitude to the English and its king in 1105-1106, I shall discuss three texts which link Serlo with England.
Not surprisingly, in the Middle Ages mice had very bad reputations as invaders of human space, as pilferers and contaminators of people’s food, and as instigators of fear quite disproportionate to their tiny size.
The Alternate Islands: A Chapter in the History of SF, with a Select Bibliography on the SF of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance
Cockayne is a universal folk legend of a land of peace, plenty, and sloth, well known already in Antiquity, and refurbished—probably by vagrant student-poets—in the Middle Ages.
In this article I will focus on two areas in which clothes provide us insights into Wolfram’s complex commentary on constructions of masculinity and femininity, and the discourse of courtly love
The concept of the unknown captivated medieval theologians, mystics, lovers, and travelers for centuries, and yet literary scholars too readily reduce this topos to a romance trope.
Our focus is on medieval Irish literature—one of the earliest written vernaculars in Europe. Within this rich tradition, the face of evil changes according to genre.
In Brown’s book, Professor Robert Langdon is pitted against an adversary who is a Dante fanatic. Bertrand Zobrist, a biochemist, is ‘a proponent of the Population Apocalypse Equation’, the alleged mathematical recognition that only a mass extinction event can save our planet.
This dissertation explores the intersections between nature and culture in medieval literature and art with particular focus on Geoffrey Chaucer’s House of Fame, the thirteenth-century French Bible Moralisée, and William Langland’s Piers Plowman.
This article discusses Exeter Book Riddle 48 in light of its proposed solutions.
By Danièle Cybulskie In thinking this week about the medieval mysteries we’ll never solve, it struck me that one of the most fun questions that I – and everyone else who loves medieval books – ponder is why the particular stories in them are put together the way they are. Most medieval manuscripts that aren’t […]
Dr. Lloyd Ridgeon talks about the role of Sufi women in the medieval period. Ridgeone examines positive and negative portrayals of Sufi women in a wide range of texts.
A talk about the famous tale of Alexander the Great’s exploits, The Alexander Romance. The story was retold in numerous versions, and many different languages, from the fourth to the sixteenth centuries and was a popular romance during the Middle Ages.
Professor David Wacks’s fascinating discussion of the Iberian Peninsula and it’s incredible linguistic heritage.
We know that medieval kings and queens did read. The question of the day is: what did they read?
Danièle Cybulskie, the @5minMedievalist brings us a piece on Anglo-Saxon poetry.
Only a small fraction of the writings created in the Middle Ages have survived to the present day. Throughout the medieval period manuscripts would be destroyed or recycled, and in more recent centuries this process only worsened as fires, theft and neglect led to more losses. Many great works from the Middle Ages have been lost, with little hope that any copies survive. Here are five lost works that we would love to see again.