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Alienated Minority
The Jews of Medieval Latin Europe
Kenneth R. Stow
Harvard University Press, 1992

This narrative history surveying one thousand years of Jewish life integrates the Jewish experience into the context of the overall culture and society of medieval Europe. It presents a new picture of the interaction between Christians and Jews in this tumultuous era.

Alienated Minority shows us what it meant to be a Jew in Europe in the Middle Ages. The story begins in the fifth century, when autonomous Jewish rule in Palestine came to a close, and when the papacy, led by Gregory the Great, established enduring principles regarding Christian policy toward Jews. Kenneth Stow examines the structures of self-government in the European Jewish community and the centrality of emerging concepts of representation. He studies economic enterprise, especially banking; constructs a clear image of the medieval Jewish family; and portrays in detail the very rich Jewish intellectual life.

Analyzing policies of church and state in the Middle Ages, Stow argues that a firmly defined legal and constitutional position of the Jewish minority in the earlier period gave way to a legal status created expressly for Jews, who in the later period were seen as inimical to the common good. It was this special status that paved the way for the royal expulsions of Jews that began at the end of the thirteenth century.


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All Manners of Food
Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present
Stephen Mennell
University of Illinois Press, 1985
So close geographically, how could France and England be so enormously far apart gastronomically? Not just in different recipes and ways of cooking, but in their underlying attitudes toward the enjoyment of eating and its place in social life. In a new afterword that draws the United States and other European countries into the food fight, Stephen Mennell also addresses the rise of Asian influence and "multicultural" cuisine.
Debunking myths along the way, All Manners of Food is a sweeping look at how social and political development has helped to shape different culinary cultures. Food and almost everything to do with food, fasting and gluttony, cookbooks, women's magazines, chefs and cooks, types of foods, the influential difference between "court" and "country" food are comprehensively explored and tastefully presented in a dish that will linger in the memory long after the plates have been cleared.

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Appendix Ovidiana
Latin Poems Ascribed to Ovid in the Middle Ages
Ralph Hexter
Harvard University Press, 2020

When does imitation of an author morph into masquerade? Although the Roman writer Ovid died in the first century CE, many new Latin poems were ascribed to him from the sixth until the fifteenth century. Like the Appendix Vergiliana, these verses reflect different understandings of an admired Classical poet and expand his legacy throughout the Middle Ages.

The works of the “medieval Ovid” mirror the dazzling variety of their original. The Appendix Ovidiana includes narrative poetry that recounts the adventures of both real and imaginary creatures, erotic poetry that wrestles with powerful desires and sexual violence, and religious poetry that—despite the historical Ovid’s paganism—envisions the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ.

This is the first comprehensive collection and English translation of these pseudonymous medieval Latin poems.


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The Autumn of the Middle Ages
Johan Huizinga
University of Chicago Press, 1996
"Here is the first full translation into English of one of the 20th century's few undoubted classics of history." —Washington Post Book World

The Autumn of the Middle Ages is Johan Huizinga's classic portrait of life, thought, and art in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century France and the Netherlands. Few who have read this book in English realize that The Waning of the Middle Ages, the only previous translation, is vastly different from the original Dutch, and incompatible will all other European-language translations.

For Huizinga, the fourteenth- and fifteenth-century marked not the birth of a dramatically new era in history—the Renaissance—but the fullest, ripest phase of medieval life and thought. However, his work was criticized both at home and in Europe for being "old-fashioned" and "too literary" when The Waning of the Middle Ages was first published in 1919. In the 1924 translation, Fritz Hopman adapted, reduced and altered the Dutch edition—softening Huizinga's passionate arguments, dulling his nuances, and eliminating theoretical passages. He dropped many passages Huizinga had quoted in their original old French. Additionally, chapters were rearranged, all references were dropped, and mistranslations were introduced.

This translation corrects such errors, recreating the second Dutch edition which represents Huizinga's thinking at its most important stage. Everything that was dropped or rearranged has been restored. Prose quotations appear in French, with translations preprinted at the bottom of the page, mistranslations have been corrected.

"The advantages of the new translation are so many. . . . It is one of the greatest, as well as one of the most enthralling, historical classics of the twentieth century, and everyone will surely want to read it in the form that was obviously intended by the author." —Francis Haskell, New York Review of Books

"A once pathbreaking piece of historical interpretation. . . . This new translation will no doubt bring Huizinga and his pioneering work back into the discussion of historical interpretation." —Rosamond McKitterick, New York Times Book Review

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Autumntide of the Middle Ages
A study of forms of life and thought of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in France and the Low Countries
Johan Huizinga
Leiden University Press, 2024
This new English translation of Huizinga’s 'Autumntide of the Middle Ages' ('Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen') celebrates the centenary of a book that still ranks as one of the most perceptive and influential analyses of the late medieval period. 

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Bonds of Wool
The Pallium and Papal Power in the Middle Ages
Steven A. Schoenig
Catholic University of America Press, 2016
The pallium was effective because it was a gift with strings attached. This band of white wool encircling the shoulders had been a papal insigne and liturgical vestment since late antiquity. It grew in prominence when the popes began to bestow it regularly on other bishops as a mark of distinction and a sign of their bond to the Roman church. Bonds of Wool analyzes how, through adroit manipulation, this gift came to function as an instrument of papal influence. It explores an abundant array of evidence from diverse genres - including chronicles and letters, saints' lives and canonical collections, polemical treatises and liturgical commentaries, and hundreds of papal privileges - stretching from the eighth century to the thirteenth and representing nearly every region of Western Europe. These sources reveal that the papal conferral of the pallium was an occasion for intervening in local churches throughout the West and a means of examining, approving, and even disciplining key bishops, who were eventually required to request the pallium from Rome.

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The Cat and the Fiddle
Images of Musical Humour from the Middle Ages to Modern Times
Jeremy Barlow
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2005

In The Cat and the Fiddle, Jeremy Barlow explores 700 years of musical humor, a topsy-turvy world in which monkeys fiddle and pigs play the bagpipes. It is a vision of chaos and devilry as depicted in a variety of sources—the illuminated borders of medieval manuscripts, eighteenth-century prints of urban life, and even the illustrations of children's books.

Barlow reveals the shifting meanings behind such images, as they were often symptomatic of larger cultural trend such as rapid industrialization and urbanization, an emerging class system, and the moral movements of the late nineteenth century. As he compellingly argues, the development of the printing press, the popular spectacle of public concerts, and the rise of new political uses for music all played a critical role in musical history and were distinctly evident in images of musical humor.

The archives of Oxford's Bodleian Library provided a rich supply of previously unpublished material for Barlow's research. With full-color images throughout, The Cat and the Fiddle will be a delight for scholars of art and political history as well as lovers of music everywhere.


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Chaucer and Becket’s Mother
"The Man of Law’s Tale," Conversion, and Race in the Middle Ages
Meriem Pagès
Arc Humanities Press, 2024
Less than a hundred years after Thomas Becket’s martyrdom at the hands of four of Henry II’s knights, his Anglo-Norman mother was transformed into a pagan princess who abandoned faith and kin for Becket’s father and Christianity. Pagès uses this wholly fictional legend about the saint to examine the place and function of conversion and mission in The Man of Law’s Tale, juxtaposing the tale with the legend about Becket’s mother to assess the power (or lack thereof) of baptism in late medieval English works. This new comparative study thus provides productive insights into the complexity of the emergence of the concept of race in medieval English culture and literature.

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Church and Belief in the Middle Ages
Popes, Saints, and Crusaders
Edited by Kirsi Salonen and Sari Katajala-Peltomaa
Amsterdam University Press, 2016
The roles of popes, saints, and crusaders were inextricably intertwined in the Middle Ages: papal administration was fundamental in the making and promulgating of new saints and in financing crusades, while crusaders used saints as propaganda to back up the authority of popes, and even occasionally ended up being sanctified themselves. Yet, current scholarship rarely treats these three components of medieval faith together. This book remedies that by bringing together scholars to consider the links among the three and the ways that understanding them can help us build a more complete picture of the working of the church and Christianity in the Middle Ages.

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The Civilization of Crime
Violence in Town and Country since the Middle Ages
Edited by Eric A. Johnson and Eric H. Monkkonen
University of Illinois Press, 1996
Along with most of the rest
        of Western culture, has crime itself become more "civilized"?
        This book exposes as myths the beliefs that society has become more violent
        than it has been in the past and that violence is more likely to occur
        in cities than in rural areas.
      The product of years of study
        by scholars from North America and Europe, The Civilization of Crime
        shows that, however violent some large cities may be now, both rural and
        urban communities in Sweden, Holland, England, and other countries were
        far more violent during the late Middle Ages than any cities are today.
      Contributors show that the
        dramatic change is due, in part, to the fact that violence was often tolerated
        or even accepted as a form of dispute settlement in village-dominated
        premodern society. Interpersonal violence declined in the seventeenth
        and eighteenth centuries, as dispute resolution was taken over by courts
        and other state institutions and the church became increasingly intolerant
        of it.
      The book also challenges a
        number of other historical-sociological theories, among them that contemporary
        organized crime is new, and addresses continuing debate about the meaning
        and usefulness of crime statistics.
      CONTRIBUTORS: Esther Cohen,
        Herman Diederiks, Florike Egmond, Eric A. Johnson, Michele Mancino, Eric
        H. Monkkonen, Eva Österberg, James A. Sharpe, Pieter Spierenburg,
        Jan Sundin, Barbara Weinberger

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A Companion to Crime and Deviance in the Middle Ages
Hannah Skoda
Arc Humanities Press, 2023
This reference work examines the ways in which some medieval behaviours and identities were categorized as criminal or deviant. It also explores the implications of modern demonization of the Middle Ages. As well as discussing constructions of deviance, this book also explores the behaviours and identities which provoked these labels and processes. The model is one of reciprocity between behaviours and processes of demonisation and criminalisation. Each authoritative essay engages carefully with this approach, examining behaviours, the ways they were demonized, and the relationship between the two processes. The three parts of the volume are centred around forms of discursive and normative power—religious ideologies, political ideologies, and legalism. The authors also explore issues of political discourse, spiritual censure, justice and punishment, and the construction of taboos. This reference work examines the ways in which some medieval behaviours and identities were categorized as criminal or deviant. It also explores the implications of modern demonization of the Middle Ages. As well as discussing constructions of deviance, this book also explores the behaviours and identities which provoked these labels and processes. The model is one of reciprocity between behaviours and processes of demonisation and criminalisation. Each authoritative essay engages carefully with this approach, examining behaviours, the ways they were demonized, and the relationship between the two processes. The three parts of the volume are centred around forms of discursive and normative power—religious ideologies, political ideologies, and legalism. The authors also explore issues of political discourse, spiritual censure, justice and punishment, and the construction of taboos.

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Creole Medievalism
Colonial France and Joseph Bédier’s Middle Ages
Michelle R. Warren
University of Minnesota Press, 2010
Joseph Bédier (1864-1938) was one of the most famous scholars of his day. He held prestigious posts and lectured throughout Europe and the United States, an activity unusual for an academic of his time. A scholar of the French Middle Ages, he translated Tristan and Isolde as well as France's national epic, The Song of Roland. Bédier was publicly committed to French hegemony, yet he hailed from a culture that belied this ideal-the island of Réunion in the southern Indian Ocean.

In Creole Medievalism, Michelle Warren demonstrates that Bédier's relationship to this multicultural and economically peripheral colony motivates his nationalism in complex ways. Simultaneously proud of his French heritage and nostalgic for the island, Bédier defends French sovereignty based on an ambivalent resistance to his creole culture. Warren shows that in the early twentieth century, influential intellectuals from Réunion helped define the new genre of the "colonial novel," adopting a pro-colonial spirit that shaped both medieval and Francophone studies. Probing the work of a once famous but little understood cultural figure, Creole Medievalism illustrates how postcolonial France and Réunion continue to grapple with histories too varied to meet expectations of national unity.

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Criminal-Inquisitorial Trials in English Church Trials
From the Middle Ages to the Reformation
Henry Ansgar Kelly
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
After inquisitorial procedure was introduced at the Fourth Lateran Council in Rome in 1215 (the same year as England’s first Magna Carta), virtually all court trials initiated by bishops and their subordinates were inquisitions. That meant that accusers were no longer needed. Rather, the judges themselves leveled charges against persons when they were publicly suspected of specific offenses—like fornication, or witchcraft, or simony. Secret crimes were off limits, including sins of thought (like holding a heretical belief). Defendants were allowed full defenses if they denied charges. These canonical rules were systematically violated by heresy inquisitors in France and elsewhere, especially by forcing self-incrimination. But in England, due process was generally honored and the rights of defendants preserved, though with notable exceptions. In this book, Henry Ansgar Kelly, a noted forensic historian, describes the reception and application of inquisition in England from the thirteenth century onwards and analyzes all levels of trial proceedings, both minor and major, from accusations of sexual offenses and cheating on tithes to matters of religious dissent. He covers the trials of the Knights Templar early in the fourteenth century and the prosecutions of followers of John Wyclif at the end of the century. He details how the alleged crimes of “criminous clerics” were handled, and demonstrates that the judicial actions concerning Henry VIII’s marriages were inquisitions in which the king himself and his queens were defendants. Trials of Alice Kyteler, Margery Kempe, Eleanor Cobham, and Anne Askew are explained, as are the unjust trials condemning Bishop Reginald Pecock of error and heresy (1457-59) and Richard Hunne for defending English Bibles (1514). He deals with the trials of Lutheran dissidents at the time of Thomas More’s chancellorship, and trials of bishops under Edward VI and Queen Mary, including those against Stephen Gardiner and Thomas Cranmer. Under Queen Elizabeth, Kelly shows, there was a return to the letter of papal canon law (which was not true of the papal curia). In his conclusion he responds to the strictures of Sir John Baker against inquisitorial procedure, and argues that it compares favorably to the common-law trial by jury.

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A Dance Through Time
Images of Western Social Dancing from the Middle Ages to Modern Times
Jeremy Barlow
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2012
A knees-up at the county fair. A duo of dancing ogres. A celebratory circle dance at London’s Piccadilly Circus. All of these lively scenarios feature in this enchanting survey of dance illustration throughout the centuries. But what can these vibrant—and often irreverent—images reveal to us about the history of dance and our changing attitudes toward it over time?
Drawing on a range of materials from the Bodleian Library, including manuscripts, visual art, dance cards, and invitations to balls, A Dance Through Time explores the imaginative ways in which artists and illustrators have responded to the challenge of creating a sense of movement. Social dancing reveals a dynamic tension between decorum and disregard, and for centuries artists have conveyed this in a highly stylized manner that makes use of curved forms to mimic gracious gestures and angular lines to represent those deemed showy or uncouth. Here, each illustration is carefully analyzed for what it shows us about the behavioral expectations of the time.
Lavishly illustrated, this book takes readers on a captivating journey through the changing fashions in European dance—from the waltz to the cha cha to the unbridled energy of rock and roll—providing ample insight into its history and colorful imagery.


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Demons in the Middle Ages
Juanita Feros Ruys
Arc Humanities Press, 2017
The medieval world was full of malicious demons: fallen angels commissioned to tempt humans away from God. From demons disguised as beautiful women to demons that took frightening animal-like forms, this book explores the history of thought about demons: what they were, what they could and could not do, and how they affected human lives. It considers the debates, stories, and writing that eventually gave shape to the witchcraze of the early modern period.

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Dominion of God
Christendom and Apocalypse in the Middle Ages
Brett Edward Whalen
Harvard University Press, 2009

Brett Whalen explores the compelling belief that Christendom would spread to every corner of the earth before the end of time. During the High Middle Ages—an era of crusade, mission, and European expansion—the Western followers of Rome imagined the future conversion of Jews, Muslims, pagans, and Eastern Christians into one fold of God’s people, assembled under the authority of the Roman Church.

Starting with the eleventh-century papal reform, Whalen shows how theological readings of history, prophecies, and apocalyptic scenarios enabled medieval churchmen to project the authority of Rome over the world. Looking to Byzantium, the Islamic world, and beyond, Western Christians claimed their special place in the divine plan for salvation, whether they were battling for Jerusalem or preaching to unbelievers. For those who knew how to read the signs, history pointed toward the triumph and spread of Roman Christianity.

Yet this dream of Christendom raised troublesome questions about the problem of sin within the body of the faithful. By the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, radical apocalyptic thinkers numbered among the papacy’s most outspoken critics, who associated present-day ecclesiastical institutions with the evil of Antichrist—a subversive reading of the future. For such critics, the conversion of the world would happen only after the purgation of the Roman Church and a time of suffering for the true followers of God.

This engaging and beautifully written book offers an important window onto Western religious views in the past that continue to haunt modern times.


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The Douce Apocalypse
Picturing the End of the World in the Middle Ages
Nigel Morgan
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2006
One of the finest of all medieval apocalypse manuscripts, the Douce Apocalypse was part of a series of illuminated texts that brought St. John’s apocalyptic visions to life. 

Now the manuscript—created sometime between 1250 and 1275—reaches an entirely new audience at the hands of noted scholar Nigel Morgan. The Douce Apocalypse explores the manuscript’s royal patronage, looks at its fascinating imagery, and examines its significance in light of contemporary prophecy. The commentary is accompanied by lush, full-color illustrations.

As Morgan relates, the Douce Apocalypse is especially enlightening because of its unfinished nature. A few of its images remain incomplete—and such absences give insight into the artist’s painstaking techniques of drawing, gilding, and painting. The second volume in the Treasures from the Bodleian Library series, The Douce Apocalypse will convey both the beauty of the original and the enduring fascination of its contents.

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Drama in English From the Middle Ages to the Early Twentieth Century
Christopher J. Wheatley
Catholic University of America Press, 2016
At a time when good editions of drama in English are prohibitively expensive and online texts are unedited and lack the apparatus necessary for students to understand and contextualize the plays, this anthology affordably illustrates every significant genre of drama in the English language from the late fourteenth century to the early twentieth century, with plays from England, Ireland, and the United States of America. The mystery and morality plays of the Middle Ages, Renaissance comedy, tragedy and meta-theater, Restoration and eighteenth-century comedy, tragedy, and ballad opera, nineteenth-century melodrama, and early twentieth century realism and naturalism are all presented with the introductions glossaries and notes suitable for a college level reader by an editor with a quarter of a century of experience teaching courses on the history of drama in English. The plays both reflect their times and critique them, while remaining stageable today. The Wakefield Master, The York Realist, Marlowe, Jonson, Dryden, Wycherley, Gay, Boucicault, Synge, and Shaw are some of the playwrights in this representative collection of plays that reveal both the popular appeal of the English-language theater and the dazzling dramatic artistry it embodied over a period of six centuries. Further the collection is in "old spelling" and is thus a useful sourcebook for those interested in the history of the English language.

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Empires and Encounters
Wolfgang Reinhard
Harvard University Press, 2015

Between 1350 and 1750—a time of empires, exploration, and exposure to radically different lands and cultures—the world reached a tipping point of global connectedness. In this volume of the acclaimed series A History of the World, noted international scholars examine five critical geographical areas during this pivotal period: Eurasia between Russia and Japan; the Muslim world of the Ottoman and Persian empires; Mughal India and the Indian Ocean trading world; maritime Southeast Asia and Oceania; and a newly configured transatlantic rim. While people in many places remained unaware of anything beyond their own village, an intense period of empire building led to expanding political, economic, and cultural interaction on every continent—early signals of a shrinking globe.

By the early fourteenth century Eurasia’s Mongol empires were disintegrating. Concurrently, followers of both Islam and Christianity increased exponentially, with Islam exerting a powerful cultural influence in the spreading Ottoman and Safavid empires. India came under Mughal rule, experiencing a significant growth in trade along the Indian Ocean and East African coastlines. In Southeast Asia, Muslims engaged in expansion on the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and the Philippines. And both sides of the Atlantic responded to the pressure of European commerce, which sowed the seeds of a world economy based on the resources of the Americas but made possible by the subjugation of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans.


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“Europe” in the Middle Ages
Klaus Oschema
Arc Humanities Press, 2023
From the nineteenth century onwards, historians described the Middle Ages as the "cradle" of the nation state—then, after World War II, they increasingly identified the period as the "cradle" of Europe. A close look at the sources demonstrates that both interpretations are misleading: while "Europe" was not a rare word, its use simply does not follow modern expectations. This volume contrasts modern historians' constructions of "Europe in the Middle Ages" with a fresh analysis of the medieval sources and discourses. The results force us to recognize that medieval ideas of ordering the world differ from modern expectations, thereby inviting us to reflect upon the use and limits of history in contemporary political discourse.

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The Fantasy of the Middle Ages
An Epic Journey through Imaginary Medieval Worlds
Larisa Grollemond
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2022
This abundantly illustrated book is an illuminating exploration of the impact of medieval imagery on three hundred years of visual culture.
From the soaring castles of Sleeping Beauty to the bloody battles of Game of Thrones, from Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings to mythical beasts in Dungeons & Dragons, and from Medieval Times to the Renaissance Faire, the Middle Ages have inspired artists, playwrights, filmmakers, gamers, and writers for centuries. Indeed, no other historical era has captured the imaginations of so many creators.

This volume aims to uncover the many reasons why the Middle Ages have proven so applicable to a variety of modern moments from the eighteenth through the twenty-first century. These “medieval” worlds are often the perfect ground for exploring contemporary cultural concerns and anxieties, saying much more about the time and place in which they were created than they do about the actual conditions of the medieval period. With over 140 color illustrations, from sources ranging from thirteenth-century illuminated manuscripts to contemporary films and video games, and a preface by Game of Thrones costume designer Michele Clapton, The Fantasy of the Middle Ages will surprise and delight both enthusiasts and scholars.

This title is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from June 21 to September 11, 2022.


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Fashion in the Middle Ages
Margaret Scott
J. Paul Getty Trust, The, 2018
From the costly velvets and furs worn by kings to the undyed wools and rough linens of the peasantry, the clothing worn by the various classes in the Middle Ages played an integral role in medieval society. In addition to providing clues to status, profession, and/or geographic origin, textiles were a crucial element in the economies of many countries and cities.
Much of what is known about medieval fashion is gleaned from the pages of manuscripts, which serve as a rich source of imagery. This volume provides a detailed look at both the actual fabrics and composition of medieval clothing as well as the period’s attitude toward fashion through an exploration of illuminated manuscripts in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. The last portion of the book is dedicated to the depiction of clothing in biblical times and the ancient world as seen through a medieval lens. Throughout, excerpts from literary sources of the period help shed light on the perceived role and function of fashion in daily life.

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Feeling Persecuted
Christians, Jews and Images of Violence in the Middle Ages
Anthony Bale
Reaktion Books, 2010

In Feeling Persecuted, Anthony Bale explores the medieval Christian attitude toward Jews, which included a pervasive fear of persecution and an imagined fear of violence enacted against Christians. As a result, Christians retaliated with expulsions, riots, and murders that systematically denied Jews the right to religious freedom and peace. Through close readings of a wide range of sources, Bale exposes the perceived violence enacted by the Jews and how the images of this Christian suffering and persecution were central to medieval ideas of love, community, and home. The images and texts explored by Bale expose a surprising practice of recreational persecution and show that the violence perpetrated against medieval Jews was far from simple anti-Semitism and was in fact a complex part of medieval life and culture.

Bale’s comprehensive look at medieval poetry, drama, visual culture, theology, and philosophy makes Feeling Persecuted an important read for anyone interested in the history of Christian-Jewish relations and the impact of this history on modern culture. 


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Fiction And Incarnation
Rhetoric, Theology, and Literature in the Middle Ages
Alexandre Leupin
University of Minnesota Press, 2002

A fresh look at the relationship between theology and rhetoric.

Focusing on the Incarnation-the only dogma original to Christianity, in which God becomes man and history-this book offers a wide-ranging and theoretically sophisticated investigation of the relationship between Christian discourse and literature from Roman antiquity to the fourteenth century through a look at texts by Cicero, Quintilian, Martianus Capella, Tertullian, Saint Augustine, Alain of Lille, Guillaume de Machaut, and others.

Alexandre Leupin asks if it is possible to go beyond the dialectics of the Incarnated God and the Devil without harking back to the beautiful but partially obsolete truths of paganism and sophistry. Employing a method inspired by psychoanalysis, Leupin repudiates the sophistry and relativism of postmodern theory while calling into question old commonplaces that have been invalidated by modernity. He does so by attending to the larger and deeper structures hidden within the discourses of theology, rhetoric, literature, and psychoanalysis. The result is an innovative perspective on the Middle Ages, an original and promising view of the problems of Western literature in relation to theology and rhetoric. Alexandre Leupin is Gregorie Professor in French studies at Louisiana State University. He is the author of many books, including, in English translation, Barbarolexis: Medieval Literature and Sexuality (1989).David Laatsch is a Ph.D. candidate in the French department of Louisiana State University.

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Filming the Middle Ages
Bettina Bildhauer
Reaktion Books, 2011

In this groundbreaking account of film history, Bettina Bildhauer shows how from the earliest silent films to recent blockbusters, medieval topics and plots have played an important but overlooked role in the development of cinema.

Filming the Middle Ages
is the first book to define medieval films as a group and trace their history from silent film in Weimar Germany to Hollywood and then to recent European co-productions. Bildhauer provides incisive new interpretations of classics like Murnau’s Faust and Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky, and she rediscovers some forgotten works like Douglas Sirk’s Sign of the Pagan and Asta Nielsen’s Hamlet. As Bildhauer explains, both art house films like The Seventh Seal and The Passion of Joan of Arc and popular films like Beowulf or The Da Vinci Code cleverly use the Middle Ages to challenge modern ideas of historical progress, to find alternatives to a print-dominated culture, and even to question what makes us human. Filming the Middle Ages pays special attention to medieval animated and detective films and provactively demonstrates that the invention of cinema itself is considered a return to the Middle Ages by many film theorists and film makers.

Filming the Middle Ages
is ideal reading for medievalists with a stake in the contemporary and film scholars with an interest in the distant past.


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The Fires of Lust
Sex in the Middle Ages
Katherine Harvey
Reaktion Books, 2022
An illuminating exploration of the surprisingly familiar sex lives of ordinary medieval people.
The medieval humoral system of medicine suggested that it was possible to die from having too much—or too little—sex, while the Roman Catholic Church taught that virginity was the ideal state. Holy men and women committed themselves to lifelong abstinence in the name of religion. Everyone was forced to conform to restrictive rules about who they could have sex with, in what way, how often, and even when, and could be harshly punished for getting it wrong. Other experiences are more familiar. Like us, medieval people faced challenges in finding a suitable partner or trying to get pregnant (or trying not to). They also struggled with many of the same social issues, such as whether prostitution should be legalized. Above all, they shared our fondness for dirty jokes and erotic images. By exploring their sex lives, the book brings ordinary medieval people to life and reveals details of their most personal thoughts and experiences. Ultimately, it provides us with an important and intimate connection to the past.

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Food, Heresies, and Magical Boundaries in the Middle Ages
Andrea Maraschi
Amsterdam University Press

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From Myth to Fiction
The Saga of Hadingus
Georges Dumézil
University of Chicago Press, 1973
In this work the distinguished religious historian Georges Dumézil considers how the early mythology of a people can be creatively transposed into the epic of their origin or the "history" of their kings, or the source of their fiction. The Saga of Hadingus, written by a twelfth-century Danish "historian," Saxo-Grammaticus, provides an extraordinarily interesting instance of this kind of transposition. By comparing this work to a myth as it was handed down to Saxo, Professor Dumézil demonstrates how the saga can be seen as a literary structure derived from the religious structure of the myth.

As Professor Dumézil and others have shown, some Indo-European peoples, after their conversion to Christianity, have reordered an earlier mythology to constitute the epic of their origins. For instance, Celtic mythology became history in one case and a source of fiction in another; and from the two texts, Welsh and Irish, by comparison one can reconstruct the original myth.

The Scandinavian nations provide a unique case, for here the pre-Christian texts are still read and have preserved much of the area's mythology in its original form. In addition, we have the work of Saxo and other known writers who composed and signed human transpositions of this mythology purporting to be history. This permits Professor Dumézil to make observations of a rare kind, for knowing something of the author's personality facilitates an understanding of the process of transposition itself.

Professor Dumézil shows how Saxo began by wanting only to tell the story of Denmark and its rulers as nobly as he could—and then later on to extend that narrative back in time. This led him to the only extant Scandinavian literature—that centered on Iceland—that he reordered and reinterpreted to the greater glory of Denmark.

In order to provide a content for the reign of the third king of the Danish Skoldunger dynasty, Hadingus, Saxo simply reworked a Scandinavian account of the career of the god Njördr. In this light Professor Dumézil reads The Saga of Hadingus as a fascinating substitution of a psychological and completely personal narrative for a story of purely social value.

This book contains six appendixes including two that consider the relationship between myth and folklore. They complement Professor Dumézil's careful exegeses and imaginative scholarship to make this the most important, specialized work on Scandinavian mythology available in English.


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From Topic to Tale
Logic and Narrativity in the Middle Ages
Eugene VanceForeword by Wlad Godzich
University of Minnesota Press, 1987

From Topic to Tale was first published in 1987. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

The transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance has been discussed since the 1940s as a shift from a Latinate culture to one based on a vernacular language, and, since the 1960s, as a shift from orality to literacy. From Topic to Tale focuses on this multifaceted transition, but it poses the problem in different terms: it shows how a rhetorical tradition was transformed into a textual one, and ends ultimately in a discussion of the relationship between discourse and society.

The rise of French vernacular literacy in the twelfth century coincided with the emergence of logic as a powerful instrument of the human mind. With logic come a new concern for narrative coherence and form, a concern exemplified by the work of Chretien de Troyes. Many brilliant poetic achievements crystallized in the narrative art of Chretien, establishing an enduring tradition of literary technique for all of Europe. Eugene Vance explores the intellectual context of Chretien's vernacular literacy, and in particular, the interaction between the three "arts of language" (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) compromising the trivium. Until Vance, few critics have studied the contribution of logic to Chretiens poetics, nor have they assessed the ethical bond between rationalism and the new heroic code of romance.

Vance takes Chretien de Troyes' great romance, Yvain ou le chevalier au lion,as the centerpiece of the Twelfth-Century Renaissance. It is also central to his own thesis, which shows how Chretien forged a bold new vision of humans as social beings situated between beasts and angels and promulgated the symbolic powers of language, money, and heraldic art to regulate the effects of human desire. Vance's reading of the Yvain contributes not only to the intellectual history of the Middle Ages, but also to the continuing dialogue between contemporary critical theory and medieval culture.

Eugene Vance is professor of French and comparative literature at Emory University and principal editor of a University of Nebraska series, Regents Studies in Medieval Culture. Wlad Godzich is director of the Center for Humanistic Studies at the University of Minnesota and co-editor of the series Theory and History of Literature.


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The Gateway to the Middle Ages
France and Britain
Eleanor Shipley Duckett
University of Michigan Press, 1988
Portrays France and Britain at the beginning of the Dark Ages

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The Gateway to the Middle Ages
Eleanor Shipley Duckett
University of Michigan Press, 1988
Portrays the struggle to defend Italian lands against the Eastern Goths and barbarians from the North.

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The Gateway to the Middle Ages
Eleanor Shipley Duckett
University of Michigan Press, 1988
In an era when the sounds of monasticism's interior life speak to a new generation, Eleanor Shipley Duckett offers an illuminated description of its development under such figures as Columban, "the saint afire with Irish enthusiam"; St. Benedict, greatest of the monks, who established a pattern of the religious life still vibrant to this day; and St. Gregory, Benedict's pupil and greatest of the popes, who more than any other prepared the See of Rome for its triumphant emergence in the Middle Ages.
"Professor Duckett writes a history of this period that is as full of intellectual excitement as those centuries were of military excitement." -- Christian Century
"New light on the troubled origins of the medieval spirit." --New Republic
Eleanor Shipley Duckett was Professor Emerita of Latin Languages and Literature, Smith College.

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Gender and Difference in the Middle Ages
Sharon Farmer
University of Minnesota Press, 2002

Exposes complex intersections between genders and other identities in medieval cultures.

Nothing less than a rethinking of what we mean when we talk about "men" and "women" of the medieval period, this volume demonstrates how the idea of gender-in the Middle Ages no less than now-intersected in subtle and complex ways with other categories of difference. Responding to the insights of postcolonial and feminist theory, the authors show that medieval identities emerged through shifting paradigms-that fluidity, conflict, and contingency characterized not only gender, but also sexuality, social status, and religion. This view emerges through essays that delve into a wide variety of cultures and draw on a broad range of disciplinary and theoretical approaches. Scholars in the fields of history as well as literary and religious studies consider gendered hierarchies in western Christian, Jewish, Byzantine, and Islamic areas of the medieval world.

Contributors: Daniel Boyarin, U of California, Berkeley; Ruth Mazo Karras, U of Minnesota; Mathew Kuefler, San Diego State U; Martha Newman, U of Texas; Kathryn M. Ringrose, U of California, San Diego; Elizabeth Robertson, U of Colorado; Everett Rowson, U of Pennsylvania; Michael Uebel, U of Kentucky; Ulrike Wiethaus, Wake Forest U.

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Geographies of Philological Knowledge
Postcoloniality and the Transatlantic National Epic
Nadia R. Altschul
University of Chicago Press, 2012
Geographies of Philological Knowledge examines the relationship between medievalism and colonialism in the nineteenth-century Hispanic American context through the striking case of the Creole Andrés Bello (1781–1865), a Venezuelan grammarian, editor, legal scholar, and politician, and his lifelong philological work on the medieval heroic narrative that would later become Spain’s national epic, the Poem of the Cid. Nadia R. Altschul combs Bello’s study of the poem and finds throughout it evidence of a “coloniality of knowledge.”
Altschul  reveals how, during the nineteenth century, the framework for philological scholarship established in and for core European nations—France, England, and especially Germany—was exported to Spain and Hispanic America as the proper way of doing medieval studies. She argues that the global designs of European philological scholarship are conspicuous in the domain of disciplinary historiography, especially when examining the local history of a Creole Hispanic American like Bello, who is neither fully European nor fully alien to European culture. Altschul likewise highlights Hispanic America’s intellectual internalization of coloniality and its understanding of itself as an extension of Europe.  
A timely example of interdisciplinary history, interconnected history, and transnational study, Geographies of Philological Knowledge breaks with previous nationalist and colonialist histories and thus forges a new path for the future of medieval studies.

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Ghosts in the Middle Ages
The Living and the Dead in Medieval Society
Jean-Claude Schmitt
University of Chicago Press, 1998
Through this vivid study, Jean-Claude Schmitt examines medieval religious culture and the significance of the widespread belief in ghosts, revealing the ways in which the dead and the living related to each other during the middle ages. Schmitt also discusses Augustine's influence on medieval authors; the link between dreams and autobiographical narratives; and monastic visions and folklore. Including numerous color reproductions of ghosts and ghostly trappings, this book presents a unique and intriguing look at medieval culture.

"Valuable and highly readable. . . . [Ghosts in the Middle Ages] will be of interest to many students of medieval thought and culture, but especially to those seeking a general overview of this particularly conspicuous aspect of the medieval remembrance of the dead."—Hans Peter Broedel, Medieval Review

"A fascinating study of the growing prevalence of ghost imagery in ecclesiastical and popular writing from the fifth to the fifteenth century."—Choice

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Heroes and Marvels of the Middle Ages
Jacques Le Goff
Reaktion Books, 2020
Heroes and Marvels of the Middle Ages is a history like no other: it is a history of the imagination, presented between two celebrated groups of the period. One group consists of heroes: Charlemagne, El Cid, King Arthur, Orlando, Pope Joan, Melusine, Merlin the Wizard, and also the fox and the unicorn. The other is the miraculous, represented here by three forms of power that dominated medieval society: the cathedral, the castle, and the cloister. Roaming between the boundaries of the natural and the supernatural, between earth and the heavens, the medieval universe is illustrated by a shared iconography, covering a vast geographical span. This imaginative history is also a continuing story, which presents the heroes and marvels of the Middle Ages as the times defined them: venerated, then bequeathed to future centuries where they have continued to live and transform through remembrance of the past, adaptation to the present, and openness to the future.

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Historical Anthropology of the Middle Ages
Aaron Gurevich
University of Chicago Press, 1992
Aaron Gurevich has long been considered one of the world's leading medievalists and a pioneer in the field of historical anthropology. This book brings together eleven of his most important essays—many difficult to find and some never before available in English.

Gurevich's writing, while informed by the history of mentalities as practiced by the French school of Le Goff and Duby, reflects a broader view of European culture outside France. He rejects reductionist concepts and operates with a total view of culture, using a wide range of sources—legal as well as ecclesiastical, popular as well as learned, oral and visual as well as literary.

This collection amply demonstrates this breadth of Gurevich's work and highlights his ability to synthesize historical, anthropological, and semiotic approaches to culture. Especially valuable are pieces such as Gurevich's essay Wealth and Gift-Bestowal Among the Ancient Scandinavians, about the importance of gift exchange in the medieval world. One of the first studies for this practice, this classic essay has for years been unavailable. Other pieces range from the deities and heroes of Germanic poetry to the image of the Beyond in the Middle Ages.

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History Continues
Georges Duby
University of Chicago Press, 1994
In this engaging intellectual autobiography, Georges Duby looks back on a career that has led him to be called one of the most distinguished historians in the Western world.

Since its beginning in the 1940s, Duby's career has been rich and varied, encompassing economic history, social history, the history of mentalites, art history, microhistory, urban history, the history of women and sexuality, and, most recently, the Church's influence on feudal society. In retracing this singular career path, Duby candidly remembers his life's most formative influences, including the legendary historians Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, the Annales School so closely associated with them, and the College de France.

Duby also offers insights about the proper methods of gathering and using archival data and on constructing penetrating interpretations of the documents. Indeed, his discussion of how he chose his subjects, collected his materials, developed the arguments, erected the scaffolding and constructed his theses offers the best introduction to the craft available to aspiring historians.

Candid and charming, this book is both a memoir of one of this century's great scholars and a history of the French historical school since the mid-twentieth century. It will be required reading for anyone interested in the French academic milieu, medieval history, French history, or the recording of history in general.

Georges Duby, a member of the Academie francaise, for many years held the distinguished chair in medieval history at the College de France. His numerous books include The Age of Cathedrals; The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest; Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages; and The Three Orders—all published by the University of Chicago Press.

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History of Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages
Etienne Gilson
Catholic University of America Press, 2019
"A comprehensive analysis of philosophical thought from the second century to the fifteenth century, from the Greek apologists through Nicholas of Cusa. This work is Gilson's magnum opus." - Journal of the History of Ideas

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History of Political Ideas, Volume 2 (CW20)
The Middle Ages to Aquinas
Eric Voegelin, Edited & Intro by Peter von Sivers
University of Missouri Press, 1997

Voegelin's magisterial account of medieval political thought opens with a survey of the structure of the period and continues with an analysis of the Germanic invasions, the fall of Rome, and the rise of empire and monastic Christianity. The political implications of Christianity and philosophy in the period are elaborated in chapters devoted to John of Salisbury, Joachim of Flora (Fiore), Frederick II, Siger de Brabant, Francis of Assisi, Roman law, and climaxing in a remarkable study of Saint Thomas Aquinas's mighty thirteenth-century synthesis.

Although History of Political Ideas was begun as a textbook for Macmillan, Voegelin never intended it to be a conventional chronological account. He sought instead an original comprehensive interpretation, founded on primary materials and taking into account the most advanced specialist scholarship—or science as he called it—available to him. Because of this, the book grew well beyond the confines of an easily marketable college survey and until now remained unpublished.

In the process of writing it, Voegelin himself outgrew the conceptual frame of a "History of Political Ideas," turning to compose Order and History and the other works of his maturity. History of Political Ideas became the ordered collection of materials from which much of Voegelin's later theoretical elaboration grew, structured in a manner that reveals the conceptual intimations of his later thought. As such, it provides an unparalleled opportunity to observe the working methods and the intellectual evolution of one of our century's leading political thinkers. In its embracing scope, History of Political Ideas contains both analyses of themes Voegelin developed in his later works and discussions of authors and ideas to which he did not return or which he later approached from a different angle and with a different emphasis.

The Middle Ages to Aquinas has withstood the test of time. What makes it still highly valuable is its thoroughly revisionist approach, cutting through all the convenient clichés and generalizations and seeking to establish the experiential underpinnings that typified the medieval period.


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Iberoamerican Neomedievalisms
“The Middle Ages” and Its Uses in Latin America
Nadia R. Altschul
Arc Humanities Press, 2023
This is the first volume fully dedicated to Iberoamerican neomedievalisms. It examines “the Middle Ages” and its uses in Iberoamerica: the Spanish and Portuguese American postcolonies. It is an especially timely topic as scholars in neomedievalism studies become increasingly conscious that the field has different trajectories outside Europe and beyond the English-speaking world. The collection provides needed alternatives to the by-now standardized understanding of neomedievalism as allied to nationalism, nostalgia, xenophobia, origin stories, elitism, and white Christian identity. It dislocates the field from its established trends and finds generative, yet unexplored examples of neomedievalism: political, religious, literary, and gendered. The volume will be of interest to established scholars of neomedievalism studies, to scholars of Latin America, and to the new and growing generation of students and colleagues interested in truly global neomedievalist studies.

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Identity in the Middle Ages
Approaches from Southwestern Europe
Flocel Sabaté
Arc Humanities Press, 2021
This book places identity at the centre of a project to better understand medieval society. By exploring the multiplicity of personal identities, the ways in which these were expressed within particular social structures (such as feudalism), and their evolution into formal expressions of collective identity (municipalities, guilds, nations, and so on) we can shed new light on the Middle Ages. A specific legacy of such developments was that by the end of the Middle Ages, a sense of national identity, supported by the late medieval socio-economic structure, backed in law and by theological, philosophical, and political thought, defined society. What is more, social structures coalesced across diverse elements, including language, group solidarities, and a set of assumed values.

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Ideology in the Middle Ages
Approaches from Southwestern Europe
Flocel Sabaté
Arc Humanities Press, 2019
<div>This interdisciplinary volume sets out to illuminate medieval thought, and to consider how the underlying values of the Middle Ages exerted significant influence in medieval society in the West.</div><div>The book situates the Christian Church in the West as a framing ideology of the Middle Ages, and considers ideology from four angles: as a means of defining power; as a way of managing power; ideology as an influence on daily living and societies; and the ways in which ideology associated with the Middle Ages continues to influence understandings of past and present. A focus on southern European case studies has been chosen as a means of enriching and complicating study of the Middle Ages.</div>

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Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages
Michelle Karnes
University of Chicago Press, 2011
In Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages, Michelle Karnes revises the history of medieval imagination with a detailed analysis of its role in the period’s meditations and theories of cognition. Karnes here understands imagination in its technical, philosophical sense, taking her cue from Bonaventure, the thirteenth-century scholastic theologian and philosopher who provided the first sustained account of how the philosophical imagination could be transformed into a devotional one. Karnes examines Bonaventure’s meditational works, the Meditationes vitae Christi, the Stimulis amoris, Piers Plowman, and Nicholas Love’s Myrrour, among others, and argues that the cognitive importance that imagination enjoyed in scholastic philosophy informed its importance in medieval meditations on the life of Christ. Emphasizing the cognitive significance of both imagination and the meditations that relied on it, she revises a long-standing association of imagination with the Middle Ages. In her account, imagination was not simply an object of suspicion but also a crucial intellectual, spiritual, and literary resource that exercised considerable authority.

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Islam and the Arabs in Spanish Scholarship (16th Century to the Present)
Second Edition
James T. Monroe
Harvard University Press

Spanish Arabism was a touchstone of the major intellectual and political issues facing Spain as it emerged from its imperial past into its current form as a modern nation-state. James T. Monroe’s survey of four centuries of Spanish scholarship on the cultural history of al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) establishes Spanish scholars on the forefront of European scholars confronting the Orientalism and colonialism at the heart of their national projects.

This reissue of James T. Monroe’s classic study of Spanish Arabism features a new foreword by Michelle M. Hamilton and David A. Wacks that offers an overview of its impact and of how the investigation of Spanish Arabism has blossomed since the publication of Monroe’s pathbreaking study.


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Islam and Travel in the Middle Ages
Houari Touati
University of Chicago Press, 2010

In the Middle Ages, Muslim travelers embarked on a rihla, or world tour, as surveyors, emissaries, and educators. On these journeys, voyagers not only interacted with foreign cultures—touring Greek civilization, exploring the Middle East and North Africa, and seeing parts of Europe—they also established both philosophical and geographic boundaries between the faithful and the heathen. These voyages thus gave the Islamic world, which at the time extended from the Maghreb to the Indus Valley, a coherent identity.

Islam and Travel in the Middle Ages assesses both the religious and philosophical aspects of travel, as well as the economic and cultural conditions that made the rihla possible. Houari Touati tracks the compilers of the hadith who culled oral traditions linked to the prophet, the linguists and lexicologists who journeyed to the desert to learn Bedouin Arabic, the geographers who mapped the Muslim world, and the students who ventured to study with holy men and scholars. Travel, with its costs, discomforts, and dangers, emerges in this study as both a means of spiritual growth and a metaphor for progress. Touati’s book will interest a broad range of scholars in history, literature, and anthropology.


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Juggling the Middle Ages
A Medieval Coloring Book
Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University
Harvard University Press

Once upon a time, there lived in France a humble juggler, Barnaby by name, who was skillful but suffered every winter from poverty. A devotee of the Virgin, he had few failings apart from enjoying drink a little too much. One day he met a monk, who persuaded him to enter a monastery. There he felt miserable at his inability to show his devotion to the Virgin Mary as the other monks did. Then an idea came to him: he would perform before the Madonna! The monks caught him and were outraged or thought he was mad, but soon they saw the Virgin descend from the altar to soothe him. He may be simple, but his heartfelt offering of talent was appreciated. The moral? We do not need to be maestros or to have much money and master’s degrees. We all have something to give.

This simple story has medieval beginnings—a lovely poem often known as “Our Lady’s Tumbler” that dates to the 1230s. Many writers and artists have been inspired by it, and the line art in this coloring book was thoughtfully chosen and carefully prepared from books published a century or so ago. Enjoy the beauty of these illustrations as you add your own colors to the story!


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Kiss My Relics
Hermaphroditic Fictions of the Middle Ages
David Rollo
University of Chicago Press, 2011
Conservative thinkers of the early Middle Ages conceived of sensual gratification as a demonic snare contrived to debase the higher faculties of humanity, and they identified pagan writing as one of the primary conduits of decadence. Two aspects of the pagan legacy were treated with particular distrust: fiction, conceived as a devious contrivance that falsified God’s order; and rhetorical opulence, viewed as a vain extravagance. Writing that offered these dangerous allurements came to be known as “hermaphroditic” and, by the later Middle Ages, to be equated with homosexuality.
At the margins of these developments, however, some authors began to validate fiction as a medium for truth and a source of legitimate enjoyment, while others began to explore and defend the pleasures of opulent rhetoric. Here David Rollo examines two such texts—Alain de Lille’s De planctu Naturae and Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun’s Roman de la Rose—arguing that their authors, in acknowledging the liberating potential of their irregular written orientations, brought about a nuanced reappraisal of homosexuality. Rollo concludes with a consideration of the influence of the latter on Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale.

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Language and Power in the Early Middle Ages
Patrick J. Geary
Brandeis University Press, 2013
The eminent historian Patrick J. Geary has written a provocative book, based on lectures delivered at the Historical Society of Israel about the role of language and ideology in the study and history of the early Middle Ages. He includes a fascinating discussion of the rush by nationalist philologists to rediscover the medieval roots of their respective vernaculars, the rivalry between vernacular languages and Latin to act as transmitters of Christian sacred texts and administrative documents, and the rather sloppy and ad hoc emergence in different places of the vernacular as the local administrative idiom. This is a fascinating look at the weakness of language as a force for unity: ideology, church authority, and emerging secular power always trumped language.

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The Legend of Job in the Middle Ages
Lawrence Besserman
Harvard University Press, 1979

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The Legend of the Middle Ages
Philosophical Explorations of Medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam
Rémi Brague
University of Chicago Press, 2009

This volume presents a penetrating interview and sixteen essays that explore key intersections of medieval religion and philosophy. With characteristic erudition and insight, RémiBrague focuses less on individual Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thinkers than on their relationships with one another. Their disparate philosophical worlds, Brague shows, were grounded in different models of revelation that engendered divergent interpretations of the ancient Greek sources they held in common. So, despite striking similarities in their solutions for the philosophical problems they all faced, intellectuals in each theological tradition often viewed the others’ ideas with skepticism, if not disdain. Brague’s portrayal of this misunderstood age brings to life not only its philosophical and theological nuances, but also lessons for our own time.


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The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages
On the Unwritten History of Theory
Andrew Cole and D. Vance Smith, eds.
Duke University Press, 2010
This collection of essays argues that any valid theory of the modern should—indeed must—reckon with the medieval. Offering a much-needed correction to theorists such as Hans Blumenberg, who in his Legitimacy of the Modern Age describes the "modern age" as a complete departure from the Middle Ages, these essays forcefully show that thinkers from Adorno to Žižek have repeatedly drawn from medieval sources to theorize modernity. To forget the medieval, or to discount its continued effect on contemporary thought, is to neglect the responsibilities of periodization.

In The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages, modernists and medievalists, as well as scholars specializing in eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century comparative literature, offer a new history of theory and philosophy through essays on secularization and periodization, Marx’s (medieval) theory of commodity fetishism, Heidegger’s scholasticism, and Adorno’s nominalist aesthetics. One essay illustrates the workings of medieval mysticism in the writing of Freud’s most famous patient, Daniel Paul Schreber, author of Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (1903). Another looks at Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire, a theoretical synthesis whose conscientious medievalism was the subject of much polemic in the post-9/11 era, a time in which premodernity itself was perceived as a threat to western values. The collection concludes with an afterword by Fredric Jameson, a theorist of postmodernism who has engaged with the medieval throughout his career.

Contributors: Charles D. Blanton, Andrew Cole, Kathleen Davis, Michael Hardt, Bruce Holsinger, Fredric Jameson, Ethan Knapp, Erin Labbie, Jed Rasula, D. Vance Smith, Michael Uebel


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Life and Thought in the Middle Ages
Robert S. Hoyt, Editor
University of Minnesota Press, 1967

Life and Thought in the Middle Ages was first published in 1967. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

The period of the early Middle Ages - from the fourth to the eleventh centuries—used to be commonly called "the dark ages." Now that term has been discarded by scholars, who reject its implications as they recognize increasingly, the historical importance of the period. In this volume eight historians, in as many essays, discuss various aspects of the life and thought which prevailed during the centuries which extended from the time of the establishment of Germanic "successor states" in the western provinces of the Roman Empire to the appearance of some of the economic and feudal institutions which provided a basis for the civilization of the high Middle Ages.

The essay, by showing that a process of assimilation and synthesis of the Roman, Christian, and barbarian elements characterized life in the early Middle Ages, demonstrate that the significance of the period is far better indicated by words like "transition" or "transformation" than by the term "dark ages."

An essay by the late Professor Adolf Katzenellenbogen, "The Image of Christ in the Early Middle Ages," is illustrated with eighteen halftones showing examples of art of the period.

The other essays are "The Barbarian Kings of Lawgivers and Judges" by Katherine Fischer Drew; "Of Towns and Trade" by Robert S. Lopez; "The Two Levels of Feudalism" by Joseph R. Strayer; "The Life of the Silent Majority" by Lynn White, Jr; "Beowulf and Bede" by John C. McGalliard; "Viking - Tunnit - Eskimo" by the late T. J. Oleson; "The Church, Reform, and Renaissance in the Early Middle Ages" by Karl F. Morrison.


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Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages
Georges Duby
University of Chicago Press, 1993
Preeminent medieval scholar Georges Duby argues that the structure of sexual relationships took its cue from the family and from feudalism—both bastions of masculinity—as he reveals the role of women, what they represented, and what they were in the Middle Ages.

Beautifully written in Duby's characteristically nuanced and powerful style, this collection is an ideal entree into Duby's thinking about marriage and the diversities of love, spousal decorum, family structure, and their cultural context in bodily and spiritual values. Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages will be of great interest to students in social and cultural history, medieval and early modern history, and women's studies, as well as those interested in the nature of social life in the Middle Ages.

Georges Duby (1919-1996) was a member of the Académie française and for many years held the distinguished chair in medieval history at the Collège de France. His books include The Three Orders; The Age of Cathedrals; The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest; Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages; and History Continues, all published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Making the Past Present
David Jones, the Middle Ages and Modernism
Paul Robichaud
Catholic University of America Press, 2007
Robichaud charts the growth of Jones's medievalism from his earliest Pre-Raphaelite influences, showing how his commitment to modernist aesthetics transformed his vision of the Middle Ages.

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The Mediaeval Mind
A History of the Development of Thought and Emotion in the Middle Ages
Henry Osborn Taylor
Harvard University Press


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The Mediaeval Mind
A History of the Development of Thought and Emotion in the Middle Ages
Henry Osborn Taylor
Harvard University Press


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Mediality in the Middle Ages
Abundance and Lack
Christian Kiening
Arc Humanities Press, 2019
In medieval culture, media forms were placesof mediated immediacy. They transported apresence of the divine, but also knowledge ofits unattainability. This volume investigates the multi-layered and fascinatingapproaches of medieval authors to the wordand writing, the body and materiality, andtheir experimentation with the possibilitiesof media before the concept was invented.The book presents, for the first time, acoherent, tightly argued history of medievalmediality, which also casts a new light onmodern thinking about the medial.

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Medieval Households
David Herlihy
Harvard University Press, 1985

How should the medieval family be characterized? Who formed the household and what were the ties of kinship, law, and affection that bound the members together? David Herlihy explores these questions from ancient Greece to the households of fifteenth-century Tuscany, to provide a broad new interpretation of family life. In a series of bold hypotheses, he presents his ideas about the emergence of a distinctive medieval household and its transformation over a thousand years.

Ancient societies lacked the concept of the family as a moral unit and displayed an extraordinary variety of living arrangements, from the huge palaces of the rich to the hovels of the slaves. Not until the seventh and eighth centuries did families take on a more standard form as a result of the congruence of material circumstances, ideological pressures, and the force of cultural norms. By the eleventh century, families had acquired a characteristic kinship organization first visible among elites and then spreading to other classes. From an indifferent network of descent through either male or female lines evolved the new concept of patrilineage, or descent and inheritance through the male line. For the first time a clear set of emotional ties linked family members.

It is the author’s singular contribution to show how, as they evolved from their heritages of either barbarian society or classical antiquity, medieval households developed commensurable forms, distinctive ties of kindred, and a tighter moral and emotional unity to produce the family as we know it. Herlihy’s range of sources is prodigious: ancient Roman and Greek authors, Aquinas, Augustine, archives of monasteries, sermons of saints, civil and canon law, inquisitorial records, civil registers, charters, censuses and surveys, wills, marriage certificates, birth records, and more. This well-written book will be the starting point for all future studies of medieval domestic life.


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Medieval Identity Machines
Jeffrey J. Cohen
University of Minnesota Press, 2003

A provocative new approach to medieval culture

In Medieval Identity Machines, Jeffrey J. Cohen examines the messiness, permeability, and perversity of medieval bodies, arguing that human identity always exceeds the limits of the flesh. Combining critical theory with a rigorous reading of medieval texts, Cohen asks if the category “human” isn’t too small to contain the multiplicity of identities. As such, this book is the first to argue for a “posthuman” Middle Ages and to make extensive use of the philosophical writings of Gilles Deleuze to rethink the medieval.

Among the topics that Cohen covers are the passionate bond between men and horses in chivalric training; the interrelation of demons, celibacy, and colonialism in an Anglo-Saxon saint’s life; Lancelot’s masochism as envisioned by Chrétien de Troyes; the voice of thunder echoing from Margery Kempe; and the fantasies that sustained some dominant conceptions of race. This tour of identity—in all its fragility and diffusion—illustrates the centrality of the Middle Ages to theory as it enhances our understanding of self, embodiment, and temporality in the medieval world.

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Medieval Masculinities
Regarding Men in the Middle Ages
Clare A. Lees
University of Minnesota Press, 1994

"Ranging from questions of epic violence and heroic embodiments of manhood to constructions of bachelorhood, husbandry, and sainthood, Medieval Masculinities is the first synthesis of medieval and gender studies to focus on masculinities."

Harry Brod, editor of The Making of Masculinities"We should not be working [exclusively] on the subjected sex any more than a historian of class can focus exclusively on peasants."-Natalie Zemon Davis, 1975 In the years since Natalie Davis made this remark, men's studies, and gender studies along with it, has earned its place in scholarship. What is often missing from such studies, however, is the insight that the concept of gender in general, and that of masculinity in particular, can be understood only in relation to individual societies, examined at specific historical and cultural moments. A brilliant application of this insight, Medieval Masculinities is the first full-length collection to explore the issues of men's studies and contemporary theories of gender within the context of the Middle Ages. Interdisciplinary and multicultural, the essays range from matrimony in medieval Italy to bachelorhood in Renaissance Venice, from friars and saints to the male animal in the fables of Marie de France, from manhood in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Beowulf, and the Roman d'Eneas to men as "other," whether Muslim or Jew, in medieval Castilian epic and ballad. The authors are especially concerned with cultural manifestations of masculinity that transcend this particular historical period-idealized gender roles, political and economic factors in structuring social institutions, and the impact of masculinist ideology in fostering and maintaining power. Together, their essays constitute an important reassessment of traditional assumptions within medieval studies as well as a major contribution to the evolving study of gender.ContributorsChristopher Baswell, Barnard CollegeVern L. Bullough, SUNY, BuffaloStanley Chojnacki, Michigan State UniversityJohn Coakley, New Brunswick Theological SeminaryThelma Fenster, Fordham UniversityClare Kinney, University of VirginiaClare A. Lees, University of PennsylvaniaJo Ann McNamara, Hunter CollegeLouise Mirrer, Fordham UniversityHarriet Spiegel, California State University, ChicoSusan Mosher Stuard, Haverford College

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The Medieval Scriptorium
Making Books in the Middle Ages
Sara J. Charles
Reaktion Books, 2024
Illuminated with illustrations, an exploration of medieval manuscript production that offers insight into both the early history of the book and life in the Middle Ages.
This book takes the reader on an immersive journey through medieval manuscript production in the Latin Christian world. Each chapter opens with a lively vignette by a medieval narrator—including a parchment maker, scribe, and illuminator—introducing various aspects of manuscript production. Sara J. Charles poses the question “What actually is a scriptorium?” and explores the development of the medieval scriptorium from its early Christian beginnings through to its eventual decline and the growth of the printing press.
With the written word at the very heart of the Christian monastic movement, we see the immense amount of labor, planning, and networks needed to produce each manuscript. By tapping into these processes and procedures, The Medieval Scriptorium helps us to experience medieval life through the lens of a manuscript maker.

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Medieval Worlds
Barbarians, Heretics and Artists in the Middle Ages
Arno Borst
University of Chicago Press, 1992
In Medieval Worlds: Barbarians, Heretics, and Artists, medieval historian Arno Borst offers at once an imaginatively narrated tour of medieval society. Issues of language, power, and cultural change come to life as he examines how knights, witches and heretics, monks and kings, women poets, and disputatious university professors existed in the medieval world.

Clearly interested in the forms of medieval behavior which gave rise to the seeds of modern society, Borst focuses on three in particular that gave momentum to medieval religious, social, and intellectual movements: the barbaric, heretical, and artistic. Borst concludes by reflecting on his own life as a scholar and draws out lessons for us from the turbulence of the Middle Ages.

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Memory in the Middle Ages
Approaches from Southwestern Europe
Flocel Sabaté
Arc Humanities Press, 2020
Memory was vital to the functioning of the medieval world. People in medieval societies shared an identity based on commonly held memories. Religions, rulers, and even cities and nations justified their existence and their status through stories that guaranteed their deep and unbroken historical roots. The studies in this interdisciplinary collection explore how manifestations of memory can be used by historians as a prism through which to illuminate European medieval thought and value systems. The contributors draw the link between memory and medieval science, management of power, and remembrance of the dead ancestors through examples from southern Europe as a means of enriching and complicating our study of the Middle Ages; this is a region with a large amount of documentation but which to date has not been widely studied.

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The Middle Ages
Johannes Fried
Harvard University Press, 2015

Since the fifteenth century, when humanist writers began to speak of a “middle” period in history linking their time to the ancient world, the nature of the Middle Ages has been widely debated. Across the millennium from 500 to 1500, distinguished historian Johannes Fried describes a dynamic confluence of political, social, religious, economic, and scientific developments that draws a guiding thread through the era: the growth of a culture of reason.

“Fried’s breadth of knowledge is formidable and his passion for the period admirable…Those with a true passion for the Middle Ages will be thrilled by this ambitious defensio.”
—Dan Jones, Sunday Times

“Reads like a counterblast to the hot air of the liberal-humanist interpreters of European history…[Fried] does justice both to the centrifugal fragmentation of the European region into monarchies, cities, republics, heresies, trade and craft associations, vernacular literatures, and to the persistence of unifying and homogenizing forces: the papacy, the Western Empire, the schools, the friars, the civil lawyers, the bankers, the Crusades…Comprehensive coverage of the whole medieval continent in flux.”
—Eric Christiansen, New York Review of Books

“[An] absorbing book…Fried covers much in the realm of ideas on monarchy, jurisprudence, arts, chivalry and courtly love, millenarianism and papal power, all of it a rewarding read.”
—Sean McGlynn, The Spectator


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The Middle Ages and the Movies
Eight Key Films
Robert Bartlett
Reaktion Books, 2022
From Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal to Monty Python, an investigation into how eight key films have shaped our understanding of the medieval world.
In The Middle Ages and the Movies, eminent historian Robert Bartlett takes a fresh, cogent look at how our view of medieval history has been shaped by eight significant films of the twentieth century. The book ranges from the concoction of sex and nationalism in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, to Fritz Lang’s silent epic Siegfried, the art-house classic The Seventh Seal, and the epic historical drama El Cid. Bartlett examines the historical accuracy of these films, as well as other salient aspects—how was Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose translated from page to screen? Why is Monty Python and the Holy Grail funny? And how was Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky shaped by the Stalinist tyranny under which it was filmed?

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The Mind of the Middle Ages
An Historical Survey
Frederick B. Artz
University of Chicago Press, 1980
"This is the third edition of a near standard survey of the intellectual life of the age of faith. Artz on the arts, as on philosophy, politics and other aspects of culture, makes lively and informative reading."—The Washington Post

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The Modulated Scream
Pain in Late Medieval Culture
Esther Cohen
University of Chicago Press, 2010

In the late medieval era, pain could be a symbol of holiness, disease, sin, or truth. It could be encouragement to lead a moral life, a punishment for wrong doing, or a method of healing. Exploring the varied depictions and descriptions of pain—from martyrdom narratives to practices of torture and surgery—The Modulated Scream attempts to decode this culture of suffering in the Middle Ages.

Esther Cohen brings to life the cacophony of howls emerging from the written record of physicians, torturers, theologians, and mystics. In considering how people understood suffering, explained it, and meted it out, Cohen discovers that pain was imbued with multiple meanings. While interpreting pain was the province only of the rarified elite, harnessing pain for religious, moral, legal, and social purposes was a practice that pervaded all classes of Medieval life. In the overlap of these contradicting attitudes about what pain was for—how it was to be understood and who should use it—Cohen reveals the distinct and often conflicting cultural traditions and practices of late medieval Europeans. Ambitious and wide-ranging, The Modulated Scream is intellectual history at its most acute.


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Monte Cassino in the Middle Ages
Herbert Bloch
Harvard University Press, 1986

The monastery of Monte Cassino, founded by St. Benedict in the sixth century, was the cradle of Western monasticism. It became one of the vital centers of culture and learning in Europe. At the height of its influence, in the eleventh and early twelfth centuries, two of its abbots (including Desiderius) and one of its monks became popes, and it controlled a vast network of dependencies—churches, monasteries, villages, and farms—especially in central and southern Italy.

Herbert Bloch's study, the product of forty years of research, takes as its starting point the twelfth-century bronze doors of the basilica of the abbey, the most significant relic of the medieval structure. The panels of these doors are inscribed with a list of more than 180 of the abbey's possessions. Mr. Bloch has supplemented this roster with lists found in papal and imperial privileges and other documents. The heart of the book is a detailed investigation of the nearly 700 dependencies of Monte Cassino from the sixth to the twelfth century and beyond. No comparable study of this or any other great medieval institution has ever before been undertaken.

Ironically, it was the bombing of 1944, which destroyed the monastery, that led to an unexpected revelation: the discovery, on the reverse side of some panels of the doors, of magnificent engraved figures of patriarchs and apostles. These proved to be remnants of the church portal ordered from Constantinople by Desiderius in the eleventh century, which marked the beginning of the grandiose reconstruction of the abbey and its church, the latter to become a model for many other churches. In order to solve the riddle of the doors of Monte Cassino, Bloch has investigated other bronze doors of Byzantine origin in Italy and the doors of the great Italian master Oderisius of Benevento, as well as those of S. Clemente a Casauria and of the cathedral of Benevento. Also included is a study of the political and cultural impact of Byzantium on Monte Cassino and a chapter on Constantinus Africanus, Saracen turned monk, one of the most interesting figures in the history of medieval medicine.

The text is sumptuously illustrated with 193 plates; most of the more than 300 illustrations have never before been published. This three-volume work, with its nine detailed indexes, offers a wealth of information for scholars in many different fields.


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Music and Culture in Italy from the Middle Ages to the Baroque
A Collection of Essays
Nino Pirrotta
Harvard University Press, 1984

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Nature and Motion in the Middle Ages
James A. Weisheipl
Catholic University of America Press, 2018
The essays contained in this volume illustrate the work of Fr. James A. Weisheipl, whose writing and teaching have resulted in important additions to our understanding of nature and motion.

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Of Giants
Sex, Monsters, And The Middle Ages
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
University of Minnesota Press, 1999

Considers what monsters tell us about identity in the medieval period.

A monster lurks at the heart of medieval identity, and this book seeks him out. Reading a set of medieval texts in which giants and dismemberment figure prominently, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen brings a critical psychoanalytic perspective to bear on the question of identity formation-particularly masculine identity-in narrative representation. The giant emerges here as an intimate stranger, a monster who stands at the limits of selfhood.

Arguing that in the romance tradition of late fourteenth-century England, identity is inscribed on sexed bodies only through the agency of a monster, Cohen looks at the giant as the masculine body writ large. In the giant he sees an uncanny figure, absolutely other and curiously familiar, that serves to define the boundaries of masculine embodiment. Philosophically compelling, the book is also a philologically rigorous inquiry into the phenomenon of giants and giant-slaying in various texts from the Anglo-Saxon period to late Middle English, including Beowulf, Chrétien de Troyes’s The Knight and the Lion, Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, several works by Chaucer, Sir Gowther, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and more.A significant contribution to our understanding of medieval culture, Of Giants also provides surprising insights into questions about the psychosocial work of representation in its key location for the individual: the construction of gender and the social formation of the boundaries of gender identification. It will engage students of the Middle Ages as well as those interested in discourses of the body, social identity, and the grotesque. ISBN 0-8166-3216-2 Cloth £00.00 $47.95xxISBN 0-8166-3217-0 Paper £00.00 $18.95x240 Pages 5 black-and-white photos 5 7/8 x 9 MayMedieval Cultures Series, volume 17Translation inquiries: University of Minnesota Press

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The Old French Lives of Saint Agnes and Other Vernacular Versions of the Middle Ages
Alexander Joseph Denomy
Harvard University Press
This volume presents an edition of a hitherto unpublished Old French Life of Saint Agnes, ms. B.N. Fr. 1553, accompanied by a study of the language and dialect of the poem. It presents a mixture of Picard and Francian forms, and linguistic evidence points to the middle of the thirteenth century as the time of composition. The Introduction reviews the scholarship dealing with the origin and growth of the St. Agnes legend. Appendices present for the first time four other versions of the legend: another Old French version preserved in the Bibliotheque Inguimbertine, ms. 106; an Anglo-French version by Nicole Bozon, preserved in ms. Cotton, Domitian XI, of the British Museum; an Irish version, ms. 23L29 of the Royal Irish Academy; and two Old French prose versions. A further section of the book studies some eleven versions of the legend in the vernacular languages of mediaeval Western Europe. Philologists, hagiologists, and students of mediaeval literature will find this a work of unusual importance.

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Parody in the Middle Ages
The Latin Tradition
Martha Bayless
University of Michigan Press, 1996
Parody in the Middle Ages: The Latin Tradition surveys and analyzes Latin parodies of texts and documents--Biblical parody, drinker's masses, bawdy litanies, lives of saints such as Nemo (Nobody) and Invicem (One-Another), and nonsense texts--in Western Europe from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance. This book also sketches in the background to the canonical works of medieval literature: Chaucer's fabliaux, French comic tales such as the Roman de Renart, and medieval satire in general.
Bayless' study shows with great clarity that parody was a significant and vibrant literary form in the Middle Ages. In addition, her research sheds new light on clerical culture. The clerics who composed these parodies were far from meddling guardians of somber piety; rather, they appeared to see no contradiction between merriment and devotion. The wide dissemination and long life of these drolleries--some circulated for a thousand years--indicate a taste for clerical amusement that challenges conventional views of medieval solemnity.
Parody in the Middle Ages surveys in detail five of the most common traditions of parody. It provides a complete list of all known medieval Latin parodies, and also provides twenty complete texts in an appendix in the original Latin, with English translations. These texts have been collated from over a hundred manuscripts, many previously unknown. The study brings to light both a form and many texts that have remained obscure and inaccessible until now.
Parody in the Middle Ages appeals to the modern audience not only for its cultural value but also for the same reason the parodies appealed to the medieval audience: they are simply very funny. This welcome new volume will be of particular interest to students of medieval satire and literary culture, to medieval Latinists, and to those who want to explore the breadth of medieval culture.
Martha Bayless is Assistant Professor of English, University of Oregon.

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Pious and Rebellious
Jewish Women in Medieval Europe
Avraham Grossman
Brandeis University Press, 2004
This volume, an amazing act of historical recovery and reconstruction, offers a comprehensive examination of Jewish women in Europe during the High Middle Ages (1000–1300). Avraham Grossman covers multiple aspects of women’s lives in medieval Jewish society, including the image of woman, the structure of the family unit, age at marriage, position in family and society, her place in economic and religious life, her education, her role in family ceremonies, violence against women, and the position of the divorcée and the widow in society. Grossman shows that the High Middle Ages saw a distinct improvement in the status of Jewish women in Europe relative to their status during the Talmudic period and in Muslim countries. If, during the twelfth century, rabbis applauded women as "pious and pure" because of their major role in the martyrdom of the Crusades of 1096, then by the end of the thirteenth century, rabbis complained that women were becoming bold and rebellious. Two main factors fostered this change: first, the transformation of Jewish society from agrarian to "bourgeois," with women performing an increasingly important function in the family economy; and second, the openness toward women in Christian Europe, where women were not subjected to strict limitations based upon conceptions of modesty, as was the case in Muslim countries. The heart of Grossman’s book concerns the improvement of Jewish women’s lot, and the efforts of secular and religious authorities to impede their new-found status. Bringing together a variety of sources including halakhic literature, biblical and talmudic exegesis, ethical literature and philosophy, love songs, folklore and popular literature, gravestones, and drawings, Grossman’s book reconstructs the hitherto unrecorded lives of Jewish women during the Middle Ages.

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Popular Culture in the Middle Ages
University of Wisconsin Press, 1986

The culture of the Middle Ages was as complex, if not as various, as our own, as the essays in this volume ably demonstrate. The essays cover a wide range of tipics, from church sculpture as "advertisement" to tricks and illusions as "homeeconomics."


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Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages
Ethics and the Mixed Form in Chaucer, Gower, Usk, and Hoccleve
Eleanor Johnson
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Literary scholars often avoid the category of the aesthetic in discussions of ethics, believing that purely aesthetic judgments can vitiate analyses of a literary work’s sociopolitical heft and meaning. In Practicing Literary Theory in the Middle Ages, Eleanor Johnson reveals that aesthetics—the formal aspects of literary language that make it sense-perceptible—are indeed inextricable from ethics in the writing of medieval literature.
Johnson brings a keen formalist eye to bear on the prosimetric form: the mixing of prose with lyrical poetry. This form descends from the writings of the sixth-century Christian philosopher Boethius—specifically his famous prison text, Consolation of Philosophy—to the late medieval English tradition. Johnson argues that Boethius’s text had a broad influence not simply on the thematic and philosophical content of subsequent literary writing, but also on the specific aesthetic construction of several vernacular traditions. She demonstrates the underlying prosimetric structures in a variety of Middle English texts—including Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and portions of the Canterbury Tales, Thomas Usk’s Testament of Love, John Gower’s Confessio amantis, and Thomas Hoccleve’s autobiographical poetry—and asks how particular formal choices work, how they resonate with medieval literary-theoretical ideas, and how particular poems and prose works mediate the tricky business of modeling ethical transformation for a readership.

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Prayers that Cite Scripture
Biblical Quotation in Jewish Prayers from Antiquity through the Middle Ages
James L. Kugel
Harvard University Press, 2006
In the beginning, prayers were straightforward: people turned to God and asked for help. By the closing centuries of the biblical period, however, a change became observable. Prayers now began to include references to Scripture--allusions to biblical stories in which God had answered a prayer, or the evocation of specific biblical passages, or the recycling of biblical phrases in the creation of a new prayer. This process, the "Scripturalization of prayer," grew in intensity and refinement as Judaism moved from the biblical period to early post-biblical times. It is attested throughout the prayers found in the biblical apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and early piyyut, and it continued apace in the liturgical compositions of the Geonic period and still later times. This collection of essays seeks to chart the main lines of the Scripturalization of prayer over this entire period.

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Queer Iberia
Sexualities, Cultures, and Crossings from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance
Josiah Blackmore and Gregory S. Hutcheson, eds.
Duke University Press, 1999
Martyred saints, Moors, Jews, viragoes, hermaphrodites, sodomites, kings, queens, and cross-dressers comprise the fascinating mosaic of historical and imaginative figures unearthed in Queer Iberia. The essays in this volume describe and analyze the sexual diversity that proliferated during the period between the tenth and the sixteenth centuries when political hegemony in the region passed from Muslim to Christian hands.
To show how sexual otherness is most evident at points of cultural conflict, the contributors use a variety of methodologies and perspectives and consider source materials that originated in Castilian, Latin, Arabic, Catalan, and Galician-Portuguese. Covering topics from the martydom of Pelagius to the exploits of the transgendered Catalina de Erauso, this volume is the first to provide a comprehensive historical examination of the relations among race, gender, sexuality, nation-building, colonialism, and imperial expansion in medieval and early modern Iberia. Some essays consider archival evidence of sexual otherness or evaluate the use of “deviance” as a marker for cultural and racial difference, while others explore both male and female homoeroticism as literary-aesthetic discourse or attempt to open up canonical texts to alternative readings.
Positing a queerness intrinsic to Iberia’s historical process and cultural identity, Queer Iberia will challenge the field of Iberian studies while appealing to scholars of medieval, cultural, Hispanic, gender, and gay and lesbian studies.

Contributors. Josiah Blackmore, Linde M. Brocato, Catherine Brown, Israel Burshatin, Daniel Eisenberg, E. Michael Gerli, Roberto J. González-Casanovas, Gregory S. Hutcheson, Mark D. Jordan, Sara Lipton, Benjamin Liu, Mary Elizabeth Perry, Michael Solomon, Louise O. Vasvári, Barbara Weissberger


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Race and Ethnicity in the Middle Ages, Volume 31
Thomas Hahn, ed.
Duke University Press
This special issue brings together some of the most dynamic current scholarship addressing race and ethnicity in the medieval and early modern periods. The contents include:
"The Difference the Middle Ages Makes: Color and Race before the Modern World" by Thomas Hahn
"Medieval and Modern Concepts of Race and Ethnicity" by Robert Bartlett
"Black Servant, Black Demon: Color Ideology in the Ashburnham Pentateuch" by Dorothy Hoogland Verkerk
"Pagans are wrong and Christians are right: Alterity, Gender, and Nation in the Chanson de Roland" by Sharon Kinoshita
"On Saracen Enjoyment: Some Fantasies of Race in Late Medieval France and England" by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
"Medieval Travel Writing and the Question of Race" by Linda Lomperis
"Why ‘Race’?" by William Chester Jordan

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Rereading Huizinga
Autumn of the Middle Ages, a Century Later
Peter Arnade
Amsterdam University Press, 2019
*Rereading Huizinga: Autumn of the Middle Ages, a Century Later* explores the legacy and historiographical impact of Johan Huizinga’s 1919 masterwork a century after its publication. Often considered one of the most successful books in medieval European history, its reception has varied over the last hundred years, popular with non-academic readers, and appraised more critically by fellow historians and those more generally in the field of medieval studies. There is broad consensus, however, about the work’s absolute centrality, and the authors of this volume assess the *Autumn of the Middle Ages* reception, afterlife, and continued vitality.

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Revolting Remedies from the Middle Ages
Edited by Daniel Wakelin and compiled by students of the University of Oxford
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2017
For a zitty face: take urine eight days old and heat it over the fire; wash your face with it morning and night.

In late medieval England, ordinary people, apothecaries, and physicians gathered up practical medical tips for everyday use. While some were sensible herbal cures, many were weird and wildly inventive, prescribing elixirs and regimens for problems like how to make a woman love you and how to stop dogs from barking at you. The would-be doctors seemed oblivious to pain, and would recommend any animal, vegetable, or mineral, let alone bodily fluid, be ground up, smeared on, or inserted for medical benefit. Full of embarrassing ailments, painful procedures, icky ingredients, and bizarre beliefs, this book selects some of the most revolting and remarkable remedies from medieval manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. Written in the down-to-earth speech of the time, these remedies offer humorous insight into the strange ideas, ingenuity, and bravery of men and women in the Middle Ages, and a glimpse of the often gruesome history of medicine through time.

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Robert of Arbrissel
Sex, Sin, and Salvation in the Middle Ages
Jacques Dalarun
Catholic University of America Press, 2006
This book tells the fascinating story of Robert of Arbrissel (ca. 1045-1116). Robert was a parish priest, longtime student, reformer, hermit, wandering preacher, and, most famously, founder of the abbey of Fontevraud

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The Romance of the Middle Ages
Nicholas Perkins and Alison Wiggins
Bodleian Library Publishing, 2012
From chivalrous knights to damsels in distress, fire-breathing dragons, and high-walled towers, the characteristics and expectations we ascribe to stories of love and romance have their origins in some of the most beautiful and intriguing books of the Middle Ages. Encompassing Arthurian legends, Alexander the Great’s global conquests, sudden reversals of fortune, revenge, or enchantment, images and tales of medieval romance still resonate today. This beautifully illustrated history of romance legends explores the conjunctions of chivalric violence, love, sex, and piety that marked these striking and resonant stories.
Through a discussion of surviving manuscripts, printed books, and visual art, The Romance of the Middle Ages examines the development of romance as a literary genre, its place in medieval culture, and the scribes and readers who copied, owned, and commented on romance books—from magnificent illuminated manuscripts to personal notebooks. It describes the dangerous pull of desire in works by Dante, Chaucer, Malory, and many others, and traces the influence of these stories through their rewriting in Shakespeare, Spenser, Walter Scott, and Mark Twain, along with the medievalist visions of Morris, Rossetti, and Burne-Jones. The Romance of the Middle Ages then brings the story up to date by showing how later writers and artists have responded to medieval romance, including Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and J. K. Rowling, and the very different knightly casts of Monty Python and Star Wars.
The Romance of the Middle Ages is an engaging analysis of stories that still have the power to capture our imaginations long after ‘happily ever after’.

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Science in the Middle Ages
Edited by David C. Lindberg
University of Chicago Press, 1980
Despite the intensive research of the past quarter century, there still is no single book that examines all major aspects of the medieval scientific enterprise in depth. This illustrated volume is meant to fill that gap. In it sixteen leading scholars address themselves to topics central to their research, providing as full an account of medieval science as current knowledge permits. Although the book is definitive, it is also introductory, for the authors have directed their chapters to a beginning audience of diverse readers, including undergraduates, scholars specializing in other fields, and the interested lay reader.

The book is not encylopedic, for it does not attempt to provide all relevant factual data; rather, it attempts to interpret major developments in each of the disciplines that made up the medieval scientific world. Data are not absent, but their function is to support and illustrate generalizations about the changing shape of medieval science. The editor, David C. Lindberg, has written a Preface in which he discusses the growth of scholarship in this field in the twentieth century.

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The Scientific Enterprise in Antiquity and Middle Ages
Readings from Isis
Edited by Michael H. Shank
University of Chicago Press, 2001
This stimulating collection of twenty-two articles is intended not only to explore a range of scientific topics but to engage readers in historiographical debates and methodological issues that surround the study of ancient and medieval science. A convenient sampling of classic and contemporary scholarship, it will appeal to students and specialists alike.

Contributors include Francesca Rochberg, David Pingree, G. E. R. Lloyd, Heinrich von Staden, Martin Bernal, Alexander Jones, Bernard Goldstein, Alan Bowen, Owsei Temkin, David Lindberg, Steven McCluskey, Linda Voigts, Edward Grant, Bernard Goldstein, Victor Roberts, Lynn Thorndike, Helen Lemay, William Newman, A. Mark Smith, Nancy Siraisi, Michael McVaugh, and Brian P. Copenhaver.

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Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages
Robert Mills
University of Chicago Press, 2015
During the Middle Ages in Europe, some sexual and gendered behaviors were labeled “sodomitical” or evoked the use of ambiguous phrases such as the “unmentionable vice” or the “sin against nature.” How, though, did these categories enter the field of vision? How do you know a sodomite when you see one?
In Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages, Robert Mills explores the relationship between sodomy and motifs of vision and visibility in medieval culture, on the one hand, and those categories we today call gender and sexuality, on the other. Challenging the view that ideas about sexual and gender dissidence were too confused to congeal into a coherent form in the Middle Ages, Mills demonstrates that sodomy had a rich, multimedia presence in the period—and that a flexible approach to questions of terminology sheds new light on the many forms this presence took. Among the topics that Mills covers are depictions of the practices of sodomites in illuminated Bibles; motifs of gender transformation and sex change as envisioned by medieval artists and commentators on Ovid; sexual relations in religious houses and other enclosed spaces; and the applicability of modern categories such as “transgender,” “butch” and “femme,” or “sexual orientation” to medieval culture.
Taking in a multitude of images, texts, and methodologies, this book will be of interest to all scholars, regardless of discipline, who engage with gender and sexuality in their work.

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Shakespeare's Reparative Comedies
A Psychoanalytic View of the Middle Ages
Joseph Westlund
University of Chicago Press, 1984
Joseph Westlund brings recent developments in psychoanalytic thought to his elegant and sensitive readings of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, All's Well That Ends Well, and Measure for Measure. Westlund departs from the usual preoccupation in psychoanalytic criticism with conflict and guilt to rely instead on Melanie Klein's theory of reparation, which emphasizes the impulse in life to resolve and transcend conflict. Through interpretations that are new and convincing, Westlund views the interactions of characters in the six comedies as attempts to work through anger and guilt to effect reparations for themselves and for us.

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Sisters and Workers in the Middle Ages
Edited by Judith M. Bennett, Elizabeth A. Clark, Jean F. O'Barr, B. Anne Vilen,
University of Chicago Press, 1989
Focusing on medieval women with a wide range of occupations and life-styles, the interdisciplinary essays in this collection examine women's activities within the patriarchal structures of the time. Individual essays explore women's challenges to a sexual ideology that confined them strictly to the roles of wives, mothers, and servants. Also included are sections on women and work, cultural production and literacy, and religious life.

These essays provide a greater understanding of the ways in which gender has played a part in determining relations of power in Western cultures. This volume makes a vital contribution to the current scholarship about women in the Middle Ages.

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Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History, series 3, volume 17
Essays in Memory of Paul E. Szarmach
Joel T. Rosenthal
Arc Humanities Press, 2023
Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History is an annual publication of historiographical essays on the pre-modern world. As a venue for sustained investigations, it plays a significant role in the dissemination of interpretative scholarship that falls in the niche between the journal article and the monograph. This is the penultimate volume in series 3 and primarily comprises essays in memory of Paul E. Szarmach, the eminent Old English scholar and former executive director of the Medieval Academy of America and director of the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.

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Tales of a Minstrel of Reims in the Thirteenth Century
Samuel N. Rosenberg
Catholic University of America Press, 2021
An anonymous minstrel in thirteenth-century France composed this gripping account of historical events in his time. Crusaders and Muslim forces battle for control of the Holy Land, while power struggles rage between and among religious authorities and their conflicting secular counterparts, pope and German emperor, the kings of England and the kings of France. Meanwhile, the kings cannot count on their independent-minded barons to support or even tolerate the royal ambitions. Although politics (and the collapse of a royal marriage) frame the narrative, the logistics of war are also in play: competing military machinery and the challenges of transporting troops and matariel. Inevitably, the civilian population suffers. The minstrel was a professional story-teller, and his livelihood likely depended on his ability to captivate an audience. Beyond would-be objective reporting, the minstrel dramatizes events through dialogue, while he delves into the motives and intentions of important figures, and imparts traditional moral guidance. We follow the deeds of many prominent women and witness striking episodes in the lives of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionhearted, Blanche of Castile, Frederick the Great, Saladin, and others. These tales survive in several manuscripts, suggesting that they enjoyed significant success and popularity in their day. Samuel N. Rosenberg produced this first scholarly translation of the Old French tales into English. References that might have been obvious to the minstrel’s original audience are explained for the modern reader in the indispensable annotations of medieval historian Randall Todd Pippenger. The introduction by eminent medievalist William Chester Jordan places the minstrel’s work in historical context and discusses the surviving manuscript sources.

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Three Spanish Querelle Texts
Grisel and Mirabella, The Slander against Women, and The Defense of Ladies against Slanderers
Pere Torrellas and Juan de Flores
Iter Press, 2013
This bilingual edition of the Three Spanish Querelle Texts is very well-conceived and will attract a wide audience among specialists and non-specialists alike. Francomano provides the first modern English translations of texts that enjoyed European-wide celebrity in the early sixteenth century. Her introduction is the best available summary of our knowledge about Torrellas’ two texts and Flores’ Grisel y Mirabella. Her translations are more readable than the Spanish texts, dividing Flores’ elaborate, rambling sentences into more comprehensible discourse. She often captures the tone of ambiguous or mock sincerity in the pleadings of both Flores’ and Torrellas’ characters. Francomano has a special sensitivity to the ludic quality of these discourses which helps readers appreciate their expression of “male anxiety” and “female agency” in the gender politics of their era.

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Tides and Floods
New Research on London and the Tidal Thames from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century
James Galloway
University of London Press, 2010
The lands bordering the tidal river Thames and the Thames Estuary have historically been highly vulnerable to marine flooding. The most severe of these floods derive from North Sea storm surges, when wind and tide combine to drive huge quantities of water against the coast, as happened to devastating effect in 1953. This project seeks to understand the occurrence of storm flooding in the past, and to explore the ways in which people have responded to the threat. The project draws upon rich surviving documentary sources to study the impact of storm flooding upon the reclaimed marshlands bordering the tidal Thames and its estuary during the period c.1250-1550. Year-by-year accounts of the management of riverside properties have been examined and the degree to which reclaimed land was lost to the sea during the later Middle Ages assessed. The impact of population decline and agrarian recession upon the economics of coastal and river-side defence has been considered. The flood threat to medieval London’s low-lying suburbs has been investigated and the possibility that the long-term flooding of lands down-river spared the city the worst effects of North Sea storm surges explored. Parallels have also been sought in the modern policy of managed retreat or realignment. The volume concludes with an overview of the multi-faceted work of the Thames Discovery Programme, which is increasing our knowledge of many aspects of the Thames’s past, from medieval fish traps, through nineteenth-century shipbuilding, to the Blitz, which posed a new and very real flood threat to the mid-twentieth century metropolis.

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Time, Work, and Culture in the Middle Ages
Jacques Le Goff
University of Chicago Press, 1980
Jacques Le Goff is a prominent figure in the tradition of French medieval scholarship, profoundly influenced by the Annales school, notably, Bloch, Febvre, and Braudel, and by the ethnographers and anthropologists Mauss, Dumézil, and Lévi-Strauss. In building his argument for "another Middle Ages" (un autre moyen âge), Le Goff documents the emergence of the collective mentalité from many sources with scholarship both imaginative and exact.


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War and Collective Identities in the Middle Ages
East, West, and Beyond
Yannis Stouraitis
Arc Humanities Press, 2023
This book uses sociological perspectives to bring together work on war and identity in the Middle Ages relating to a range of peoples and geographical settings from Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia. Focusing on the interrelation between ideological practices and group formation, it examines the role of warfare in the emergence and decline of particular social structures, and changing patterns of collective identification. It contributes to the debate on the longue durée development of the phenomena of ethnicity and nationhood by drawing attention to the impact of war on the evolution of various types of polity and visions of community in the Middle Ages. Its use of non-European as well as European exemplars provides a wealth of fruitful comparative material, shedding new light on the relationship between medieval warfare and high-level identities.

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The Waxing of the Middle Ages
Revisiting Late Medieval France
Charles-Louis Morand-Métivier
University of Delaware Press, 2023
Johan Huizinga’s much-loved and much-contested Autumn of the Middle Ages, first published in 1919, encouraged an image of the Late French Middle Ages as a flamboyant but empty period of decline and nostalgia. Many studies, particularly literary studies, have challenged Huizinga’s perceptions of individual works or genres. Still, the vision of the Late French and Burgundian Middle Ages as a sad transitional phase between the High Middle Ages and the Renaissance persists. Yet, a series of exceptionally significant cultural developments mark the period.

The Waxing of the Middle Ages sets out to provide a rich, complex, and diverse study of these developments and to reassert that late medieval France is crucial in its own right. The collection argues for an approach that views the late medieval period not as an afterthought, or a blind spot, but as a period that is key in understanding the fluidity of time, traditions, culture, and history. Each essay explores some “cultural form,” to borrow Huizinga’s expression, to expose the false divide that has dominated modern scholarship. 

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Western Medical Thought from Antiquity to the Middle Ages
Mirko D. Grmek
Harvard University Press, 1998

A landmark work, this history of medical thought from antiquity through the Middle Ages reconstructs the slow transformations and sudden changes in theory and practice that marked the birth and early development of Western medicine.

Editor Mirko Grmek and his contributors adopt a synthetic, cross-disciplinary approach that conveys a complete and varied vision of our medical past, with attention to cultural, social, and economic forces as they have affected the historical flow of knowledge and the practice of medicine. The various chapters by an international group of scholars, isolate key ideas behind the history of medicine in the West: charity and aid for the sick; medical scholasticism; the concept of disease; intervention with surgery or drugs; and the regimen of health. Throughout, they highlight the links between socioeconomics in general, with a focus on the physician, and the scientific ideas, beliefs, and techniques behind prevailing medical practices. The result is a multifaceted history, unparalleled in its scope, of the myriad influences on the development of medical thought, and of the impact of that thought on other branches of knowledge and on human behavior across the centuries.


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Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages
R. W. Southern
Harvard University Press
A distinguished scholar surveys centuries of conflict between Christianity and Islam. Vivid, concrete examples epitomize the characteristics of successive eras. Crusades, conversion, coexistence were the choices; the need for knowledge of Moslem beliefs, R. W. Southern says, competed with “fear of contamination.” Medieval Christians faced “all the problems with which, in a different context, we are familiar.” His book distinguishes three phases: first, four centuries of indifference or distortion; second, a 13th-century attempt to evaluate Islam; finally, the 1450s—when various thinkers achieved unique insight into central issues.

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Why Study the Middle Ages?
Kisha G. Tracy
Arc Humanities Press, 2022
The study of the Middle Ages in every aspect of the modern liberal arts—the humanities, STEM, and the social sciences—has significant importance for society and the individual. There is a common belief that the peoples of the past were somehow exempt from (positive, especially) human nature, had less of a sense of morality (by any definition) than we do now, or were unaware of basic human dilemmas or triumphs. Relegating the Middle Ages to "primitive" distances us from close examination of what has not changed in society—or what has, which might not be for the better. Exploring and exploding these (mis)conceptions is essential to experience the benefits of a liberal education.

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Women, Food, and Diet in the Middle Ages
Balancing the Humours
Theresa Vaughan
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
What can anthropological and folkloristic approaches to food, gender, and medicine tell us about these topics in the Middle Ages beyond the textual evidence itself? Women, Food, and Diet in the Middle Ages: Balancing the Humours uses these approaches to look at the textual traditions of dietary recommendations for women’s health, placed within the context of the larger cultural concerns of gender roles and Church teachings about women. Women are expected to be nurturers, healers, and the primary locus of food provisioning for families, especially women of the lower social classes, typically overlooked in the written record. This work illuminates what we can know about women, food, medicine, and diet in the Middle Ages, and examines how the written medical tradition interacts with folk medicine and other cultural factors in both understanding women’s bodies and their roles as healers and food providers.

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