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The Desire for Solitude: The Secret Poems of Irish Monks

Medieval monks worked long hours in silence copying and illustrating manuscripts. But what happened when their minds began to wander?

Henry II and Ganelon

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.

Robin Hood and the Three Estates of Medieval Society

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.

Serlo of Bayeux and England

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.

Resident Aliens: The Literary Ecology of Medieval Mice

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.

Undercutting the Fabric of Courtly Love with ‘Tokens of Love’ in Wolfram Von Eschenbach’s Parzival

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

Unknowing the Middle Ages: How Middle English Poetics Rewrote Literary History

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.

Druids, deer and ‘words of power’: coming to terms with evil in medieval Ireland

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.

Dan Brown and the Case of the Wrong Dante

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.

Science and Nature in the Medieval Ecological Imagination

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.

Powerful Patens in the Anglo-Saxon Medical Tradition and Exeter Book Riddle 48

This article discusses Exeter Book Riddle 48 in light of its proposed solutions.

Medieval Mysteries: Miscellanies and Mix Tapes

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 […]

VIDEO: Female Sufis in the Medieval Period

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.

Feasting the Alexander Romance: Dr. Benjamin Garstad – RAVEN 2016

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.

Cultural Exchange in the Languages and Literatures of Medieval Spain

Professor David Wacks’s fascinating discussion of the Iberian Peninsula and it’s incredible linguistic heritage.

Royalit: What Did Medieval Kings Read?

The @5MinMedievalist, Danièle Cybulskie,

The Ruin: The Past Dreaming of the Past

Danièle Cybulskie, the @5minMedievalist brings us a piece on Anglo-Saxon poetry.

Lost Works of the Middle Ages

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.

Five Favourite Middle English Romances

Danièle Cybulskie, the 5MinMedievalist, shares her five favourite Middle English romances – what are yours?

Who wrote this medieval literary classic?

Can you match these nine famous medieval authors to their works? See also: 10 Phrases that Originated in the Middle Ages

Can You Solve These Medieval Riddles?

Test yourself with these ten riddles from the seventh-century, part of Saint Aldhelm’s Riddles, translated by A.M. Juster and published by the University of Toronto Press.

Number Symbolism in Old Norse Literature

It is generally agreed that some numbers such as three and nine which appear frequently in the two Eddas hold special significances in Norse mythology. Furthermore, numbers appearing in sagas not only denote factual quantity, but also stand for specific symbolic meanings.

Amorous encounters in Medieval French chess

The question I want to look at today is how chess is used in presenting these questions of love, of the amorous encounter, of the meeting between two people and the potential for feelings the might result from it.

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