Five new books about the Middle Ages, telling you about the Norman Conquest and working in Catalonian cities.
Introducing the Medieval Swan
University of Wales Press
Excerpt: To date, no volume provides a long intellectual history for the medieval swan from 1000 to 1600. It is well worth doing so. The broad argument of this book is that the swan’s identity shifts over time – from a bird known for its death-song to an icon of the European court. The catalyst for this shift, I argue, is the story of the Knight of the Swan, the legendary ancestry of Godfrey of Bouillon, ruler of Jerusalem (1099-1100).
The Saxon War, by Bruno of Merseburg
The Catholic University Press of America
Excerpt: The Saxon War, covering the period from the mid-1060s until 1081 and written in the early to mid to 1080s by Bruno of Merseburg, is an indispensable eyewitness account of the beginning and middle periods of the political, diplomatic, and military conflict that convulsed the German Kingdom for a decade and a half, from 1073 to 1088. Bruno, a strong supporter of the Saxon cause, was a bitter opponent of King Henry IV of Germany and sought throughout his history to justify the rebellion of the Saxon magnates and people against the ruler to whom they have sworn their loyalty. Nevertheless, despite his strong patris pris, Bruno provides in his account a thorough understanding of politics, diplomacy, and a conduct of civil war from its origins in 1073 until the election of the anti-king Hermann of Salm on December 26, 1081. Bruno demonstrates throughout his text a keen eye for detail and offers sharply defined portraits that many leading figures in the struggle between Henry IV and the Saxons.
The Fruit of Her Hands: Jewish and Christian Women’s Work in Medieval Catalan Cities
The Pennsylvania State University Press
Excerpt: “She considers a field and buys it; / with a fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.” Medieval Jews and Christians would have recognized these words as part of twenty-two-verse depiction of an ideal wife found at the end of the biblical Book of Proverbs – a secret text shared by two communities. The “woman of valor” describes him described in Proverbs is wise and pious, but first and foremost, she is deeply invested in her labor both within and beyond the home. She provides food for her household and manages agricultural estates; she spins and sews both to clothe her family and to rake in profits by selling her wares. This book traces the experiences of the Jewish and Christian women who lived and worked in medieval Catalan cities, women who likewise helped support their households “with the fruit of their hands.”
Landscapes of the Norman Conquest
Pen & Sword Books
ISBN: 978 1 52672 428 1
Excerpt: The most obvious examples of Norman contributions to the landscape are in the forms of castles, cathedrals, churches and abbeys – essential elite sites, synonymous with the projection of Norman power and authority in England, Wales and to a lesser extent Scotland. Such structures were responsible for initiating fundamental changes in the topography of many places, particularly towns. Their scale, design and decoration in itself introduced major landscape changes, as did the extensive use of stone, not only in church, but also in secular buildings. In the countryside too there were recurring echoes of powerful kingship and lordship, in the form of palaces, manor houses, abbeys, forests and parks.
Icelandic Tales 3 & 4: Eight Short Stories: Norse Text, Translation, and Word List
This book contains translations of The Tale of Thorstein the Staff-Struck, The Tale of Halldor Snorrason II, The Tale of Thorlief, the Earl’s Poet, The Tale of Hreidar the Fool, The Tale of Sta-Oddi’s Dream, The Tale of Bolli Bollason, The Tale of Thorstein House-Power, and The Tale of Sarcastic Halli.