Ibn Sa,di on Truth-Blindness
In his biographical dictionary, the well-known Andalusian scholar al-Humaydi gives an account of the unhappy experience of an earlier compatriot of his, Abu ‘Umar Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Sa,di, in the theological debating societies of Baghdad.
Emotional memory and medieval autobiography: King James I of Aragon (r. 1213–76)’s Llibre dels fets
This study examines the role that emotional memories – memories connected to or describing emotions – played in the recollection of events, while also becoming powerful rhetorical and didactic tools in the process of history-writing.
Reading the Exeter Book Riddles as Life-Writing
The recent explosion of interest in the theory and practice of ‘life-writing’ provides a valuable new opportunity to reassess these texts with new critical tools at hand.
Medieval Books for Christmas
It’s that time of year again – the mad scramble for the perfect Christmas gift for the historian, nerd, avid reader on your list. Here are a few suggestions for you – new releases for December and January!
The Names of Islands in the Old Norse Faereyinga Saga and Orkeyinga Saga
The Names of Islands in the Old Norse Faereyinga Saga and Orkeyinga Saga Hilda Radzin (St. John’s University) Literary Onomastics Studies: Volume 5,…
An aspect of Alcuin: ‘Tuus Albinus’ – peevish egotist? or parrhesiast?
In over 270 letters from about a decade and a half, alcuin of york (†804) informed, advised, consoled and admonished contemporaries, reacted to current events, and maintained a circle of friends and partners in reciprocal prayer that extended from Jerusalem to Ireland and from rome to salzburg. Alcuin left york in the 780s to become a friend and chief advisor to Charlemagne.
CONFERENCES: Arnold Fitz Thedmar: an Early London chronicler
Another fascinating paper given at the Institute for Historical Research in central London. For those of you interested in chronicles, urban history and London, this paper was definitely for you. Ian Stone discussed his dissertation about thirteenth century London through the eyes of wealthy Alderman, Arnold Fitz Thedmar.
BOOK REVIEW: “Defending the City of God” : A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem, by Sharan Newman
This is my review of Sharan Newman’s latest book, Defending the City of God: A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem.
They may not have won any Oscars, but they were definitely medieval celebrities! Here are some great reads about some of the most famous faces of the Middle Ages
BOOKS: Daily Life in the Middle Ages
Ever wonder how monks, women and Vikings lived their day to day lives in the Middle Ages? These books will give you a glimpse into their world.
Men Who Talk about Love in Late Medieval Spain: Hugo de Urriés and Egalitarian Married Life
In the last third of the fifteenth century, Hugo de Urriés’s work can offer the modern reader a very rare and informative perspective from the points of view of social history and history of ideas.
St. Ninian of Whithorn
My interest here is in finding usable information regarding the centuries before Bede and in the way in which new data, especially the outstanding recent archaeological discoveries at Whithom in Wigtownshire (which is certainly the site of Candida Casal. might support and add to his picture of St. Ninian and the importance of his church at Candida Casa.
The Queen and her consort : succession, politics and partnership in the kingdom of Navarre, 1274-1512
This thesis draws attention to an exceptional group of sovereigns and demonstrates the important role that these women and their spouses played in the political history of Western Europe during the Late Middle Ages. It also highlights the particular challenges of female rule and offers new modes of analysis by focusing on unique areas of investigation which have not been previously examined
The Chaste Erotics of Marie d’Oignies and Jacques de Vitry
The Chaste Erotics of Marie d’Oignies and Jacques de Vitry Jennifer Brown (Marymount Manhattan College) Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 19,…
To Take Care of the Monks, Take Care of Christina: Christina of Markyate and the Medieval Spiritual/Material Market
In this essay I will delineate two of these emphases: (1) Christina’s powerful interaction with boundaries and the spaces they demarcate, and (2) the material/spiritual economy that develops between Christina and Geoffrey, the Abbot of the St. Albans Monastery. I will then argue that these emphases together form a message that might have been aimed at The Life’s monastic (and to some extent aristocratic) audience, perhaps even the abbots who succeeded Geoffrey.
Singing the Self: the Autobiography of the fifteenth-century German singer and composer Johannes von Soest
Johannes von Soest (also referred to as Steinwart or Steinwert) was a German singer, composer and poet. He is the author of a vernacular autobiography in couplets which is not only one of the few examples of late medieval German autobiography but also one of the very few surviving autobiographical documents written by a musician in this period.
Language and Legend in the Fantasy Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien
There was something so real in the languages that he created, and critics wanted to find the inspirations behind Tolkien‘s worlds. Elves, dwarves, men, hobbits, and various other creatures occupied the pages of his books, but the languages he created were complex and had real elements in them. Examples of his invented languages were those spoken by the Elves, Sindarin and Quenya.
Love and Saint Francis of Assisi: A Performer in the Middle Ages
In “spending most of his life out of doors, in all seasons” Francis defies the basis of what we call civilized existence; if history is about progress in terms of making human life secure from nature’s vagaries, Francis rejects such a conception of history, along with its false sense of security, in order to situate human life in and as the natural world.
A Question of Truth: Barbour’s Bruce, Hary’s Wallace and Richard Coer de Lion
Tempting though it is to assume that these poems are simply peculiarly Scots, to do so denies them their place in British literature. A survey of English romances, moreover, reveals what appears to be an English equivalent: Richard Coer de Lion. It is also a hybrid poem about a recent king and military leader.
Organa doctorum: Gerbert of Aurillac, organbuilder?
He was born a peasant. Yet, through intelligence, political skill and uncommon good luck he came to be one of the most influential people in the Europe of his time…Pope Sylvester II.
“Doulce chose est que mariage”: Exemplarity and Advice in the Works of Christine de Pizan
I first examine the autobiographical elements of Christine’s works that highlight her personal marital experience. Christine draws authority from her first-hand knowledge of marriage, which supersedes the flawed assumptions of scholars lacking this life experience.
Medieval biographies and the geography of power: the Historia Gruffud vab Kenan
Medieval biographies and the geography of power: the Historia Gruffud vab Kenan Jones, Rhys (Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales) Journal…
The Queen as ‘social mannequin’. Consumerism and expenditure at the Court of Isabeau of Bavaria, 1393–1422
The Queen as ‘social mannequin’. Consumerism and expenditure at the Court of Isabeau of Bavaria, 1393–1422 Gibbons, Rachel C. Journal of Medieval History, Vol. 26,…
The reception of Copernicus as reflected in biographies
The reception of Copernicus as reflected in biographies Kühne, Andreas Proceedings of the 2nd ICESHS (Kraków, Poland, September 6–9, 2006) Abstract Problems of the…
Illuminating the Soul: Religious Enclosure and the Validation of Mystical Experience in The Life of Christina of Markyate and The Book of Margery Kempe
Illuminating the Soul: Religious Enclosure and the Validation of Mystical Experience in The Life of Christina of Markyateand The Book of Margery Kempe…