It’s medieval storytime! This week on The Medieval Podcast, a story from the ancient world is translated into the Middle Ages in the tale of Sir Orfeo.
This lecture explored the etymologies, meanings and contexts of some key words from this crucial time, as a way to think about the evidence for contact and change at the boundary of Old and Middle English and to illustrate how rich, diverse, challenging and surprising its voices can be.
Key manuscripts of Middle English literature have been digitised and made available online by the University of Manchester. They include works such as Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and John Lydgate‘s Troy Book and Fall of Princes.
A pioneering initiative to make texts from the Middle Ages available to scholars and students around the world receives continued support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In the Middle English Breton Lay Sir Orfeo, the eponymous hero describes his wife’s madness as her becoming “wyld and wode” (wild and wooden).
Take one quarter ounce of the sun and half an ounce of the moon, purified, and make of both of them thin metal filings. Then take an …
The English language is notoriously difficult to learn and to spell. In this episode of The Medieval Podcast, Danièle talks about the medieval roots of English and how it got to be so weird.
This theme is preserved and developed in several medieval English texts, both in prose and verse, dating from the tenth to the fifteenth century.
The memoir of the court of Henry VII for the years of 1486-90, contained in BL, MS Cotton Julius B. XII, fols. 8v-66r, represents an invaluable source for the study of court and socio-political life during the early years of the reign of Henry VII.
This article explores the later provenance of the Lylye amongst the Gale family of barber-surgeons in sixteenth-century London.
I decided I wanted to know more about those “medieval fairies”: were there other Middle English poems where I could find them?
While bemoaning his struggles with translating the Middle English poem “Pearl,” Tolkien declared to his aunt, Jane Neave, that ‘a translator is not free”: but he neglected to delineate the specific rules by which he believed translators were shackled.
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.
My favourite old language is Middle English, with all its quirks and funny letters, so I thought I’d take the time to share five of my favourite Middle English romances with you.
Watch and listen to parts of The Canterbury Tales read in Middle English
I posit that the components of the environment play a role in the deployment of the narrative by shaping the characters and influencing the action.
The present thesis offers an edition of some fifteenth century Middle English cookery recipes, more specifically those of the Sloane 442 manuscript (MS Sloane 442), located at the British Library, London. The cookery recipes of this collection were most likely meant for the tables of the upper classes
J.R.R. Tolkien, the medievalist who became the father of modern fantasy literature, translated many poems out of Old English, Old Norse and Middle English into carefully versified modern English
This four-part series of videos created by Youtuber Thatoneguyinlitclass gives a quick guide to speaking in Middle English.
Gardens played a significant role in the lives of European peoples living in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.
I analyze Middle English narratives including the early sixteenth‐century translation of the prose Melusine, the Constance tale as adapted by Chaucer and Gower, and appearances of Medea in the works of Chaucer, Gower, and Caxton’s translation of the History of Jason to discover the ways these narratives use female monstrosity—in literal and figurative form—to dramatize the anxieties arising in a patriarchal society that defines the female as a slightly aberrant category of human
I argue that as Chaucer develops his own expansive, questioning poetics in The House of Fame and The Canterbury Tales, he problematises the principle of allegory on which the legitimacy of literary discourse was primarily based in medieval culture and the final fragments of The Canterbury Tales see Chaucer struggling, increasingly, to reconcile the boldness and independence of his poetic vision with the demands of his faith.
Among the most eligible saints for such treatment, Mary of Egypt deserves particular consideration: her popularity is evidenced by over a hundred extant Greek manuscripts of her Life and her uniquely prominent position in the Lenten liturgical cycle in the Eastern Church.
The view has been gaining ground of late that the Gawain of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a knight renowned as ‘Pat fyne fader of nurture’ (1. 919) and as ‘so cortays and coynt’ of his ‘hetes’ (1. I525), degenerates at the moment of leave-taking from the Green Knight, his erstwhile host, to the level of a churl capable of abusing the ladies of that knight’s household (11.2411 -28).