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Outcasts, Emperorship, and Dragon Cults in The Tale of the Heike

Among the Heike variants to be examined, the Kakuichibon (1371) and Enkyôbon (1309-10) exhibit certain symmetries of contrast that make them especially useful for understanding the relationship between sacred authority and manipulations of the defiled other embodied in outcast or semi-outcast performers.

Mann and Gender in Old English Prose: A Pilot Study

This article aims to present a preliminary study of the various uses of mann as attested in Old English prose, particularly in its surprisingly consistent use by an individual author, namely that of the ninth-century Old English Martyrology.

The Insular Landscape of the Old English Poem The Phoenix

The Old English poem The Phoenix, found in the Exeter Book (fols. 55b–65b), describes the mythical bird, the Edenic landscape it inhabits and the cycle of death and rebirth that it enacts in an extended Christian allegory.

Shapeshifting in Old Norse-Icelandic Literature

This article aims to cast a light upon the colorful yet largely unknown shapechanging motifs found in Old Norse-Icelandic literature as well as in related literary works conceived from Classical times until the middle of the 16th century

Verba vana: empty words in Ricardian London

Verba vana: empty words in Ricardian London By Robert Ellis PhD Dissertation, Queen Mary, University of London, 2012 Abstract: Verba Vana, or ‘empty words’, are named as among the defining features of London by a late fourteenth-century Anglo-Latin poem which itemises the properties of seven English cities. This thesis examines the implications of this description; […]

Women’s Medicine and Female Embodiment in the Morte Darthur, a Middle English Trotula Treatise, and The Mists of Avalon

In this essay, I will read the Morte Darthur alongside the Middle English Trotula treatise, a fifteenth-century gynecological handbook, and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, a twentieth-century fantasy adaptation of the Arthurian legend.

Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Medieval Dragons

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

The Medieval Magazine (Volume 3, Issue 7)

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

Medieval Fun: Joking about the Church in the Middle Ages

Were medieval people funny? Could they tell a good joke? Check out these stories from Poggio Bracciolini and see if you will laugh!

The Peasant Doctor: A Medieval Turnaround Tale

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.

The Armor Network: Medieval Prostheses and Degenerative Posthuman Bodies

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.

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 […]

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