Books Features

New Medieval Books: Finds from Kalamazoo

One of the big highlights of the International Congress on Medieval Studies is its Book Room, where dozens of publishers show off their latest books about the Middle Ages. Here are five the we picked up at the congress!

Erotica, Love and Humor in Arabia: Spicy Stories from the The Book of Songs by al-Isfahani

Edited and translated by George Dimitri Sawa

McFarland & Company
ISBN: 978-1-4677-6365-4

Excerpt: This anthology I worked on is known as The Book of Songs and was compiled by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani (897-971). At the request of a patron, he spent close to fifty years in Baghdad compiling his anthology of more than ten thousand pages by talking to hundreds of poets and musicians about their lives. And who is more qualified to speak about love than poets and musicians?

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Fate of the Saracen Knight

By Linda C. McCabe

Destrier Books
ISBN: 978-0-9836362-4-3

Synopsis: Frankish Empire, 802. Saracen knight Ruggiero is torn between love and honor. Though he vowed to convert and marry the Christian warrior Bradamante, he refuses to back out of his pledged service — even if that means returning to war against the woman he loves. But if he can’s secure a release from his oaths soon, he knows he’ll lose her forever…

In deep despair over her lover’s choice, Bradamante fears the prophecy that could doom her family. But when she suspects Ruggiero may love another, the formidable fighter puts aside her dread and sets out on a quest for vengeance.With the lovers on opposite sides of the war, will Ruggiero gain leave from his duty in time, or will his quest for both his heart and his people cost him his life?

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Faces of Charisma: Image, Text, Object in Byzantium and the Medieval West

Edited by Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak and Martha Dana Rust

ISBN: 978-90-04-28869-0

Excerpt: The idea for a volume entitled Faces of Charisma emerged from a conference that took place at New York University’s Medieval and Renaissance Center in April 2013. The impetus for the conference was provided by C. Stephen Jaeger’s recently published book, Enchantment: Charisma and the Sublime in the Arts of the West. A measure of excitement the conference generated was the early emergence – already during the afternoon coffee break – of a conviction that the exploration of charisma that had begun that day in the form of 20-minute papers merited enlargement and dissemination in the form of a book. The present volume includes most of the papers presented at the conference, which have been subsequently expanded into chapters, as well as a number of essays written specifically for inclusion herein.

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Fifty Early Medieval Things: Materials of Culture in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

By Deborah Deliyannis, Hendrik Dey and Paolo Squatriti

Cornell University Press
ISBN: 97815017258906

Excerpt: Fifty Early Medieval Things has its roots in our conviction that the material culture of the postclassical world is not only inherently interesting but also opens vistas onto the period that are fresh, surprising, and instructive. In this volume we deal with tangible things – artifacts, buildings, and archaeological features – while remaining alert to their intangible, even invisible dimensions so as to fit the things we discuss into appropriate historical contexts.

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Introduction to Manuscript Studies

By Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham

Cornell University Press
ISBN: 978-0-8014-8708-8

Excerpt: This book aims to provide practical instruction and training int he paleography and codicology of medieval manuscripts, in particular manuscripts written in Latin. By drawing on materials in libraries and archives, the book addresses the needs of students beginning to work with manuscripts: understanding the various aspects of book production; learning to read and transcribe a variety of scripts; becoming familiar with the processes of dating manuscripts and determining their provenance; and understanding the format of a variety of commonly occurring types of manuscripts.

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