This episode, we follow up on a question from Ep. 90 about why the wandering worker Thomas Fuller might have fallen in with a criminal shepherd by looking at a pair of vagrancy and labor laws from the economically disrupted decades following the Black Death: the Statute of Laborers of 1351 and the Commons’ Petition against Vagrants of 1376. We also learn a bit about late medieval prisons.
Henderson, Ernest F., editor and translator. Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages. George Bell and Sons, 1892, pp. 165-168. Google Books.
“Commons’ Petition Against Vagrants” of 1376,” reprinted in R.B. Dobson, The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. MacMillan, 1970, pp. 72-74. Google Books.
Clark, Elaine. “Institutional and Legal Responses to Begging in Medieval England.” Social Science History, vol. 26, no. 3, Fall 2002, pp. 447-473. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40267786.
Geltner, Guy. “Medieval Prisons: Between Myth and Reality, Hell and Purgatory.” History Compass, vol. 4, 2006, pp. 1-14, doi: 10.1111/j.1478-0542.2006.00319.x. Available at guygeltner.net.
We finish off our Medieval True Crime miniseries with a look at two hangings from the year 1484 and explore some of the practices surrounding and meanings of hanging as a mode of execution in medieval Europe.
Knox, Ronald, and Shane Leslie, editors and translators. The Miracles of King Henry VI. Cambridge UP, 1923.
Merback, Mitchell B. The Thief, the Cross and the Wheel: Pain and Spectacle of Punishment in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. U of Chicago P, 1999.
In this (belated) episode marking our seventh anniversary, we learn about the infernal realms, straight from the devil’s mouth, going from a 11th-century Old English text to the 16th-century stage. We also learn why you shouldn’t attack your father with an ax and what demonic possession has in common with e. Coli.
Kemble, John M., editor and translator. The Dialogue of Salomon and Saturnus, with an Historical Introduction. The Ælfric Society, 1848, pp. 86-88. Google Books.
Faust Book. In Early English Prose Romances, edited by William John Thoms. Nattali and Bond, 1858. Digital text available at the Perseus Project.
Marlowe, Christopher. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus from the Quarto of 1604. Edited by Alexander Dyce. Project Gutenberg, 2009.
de Vitry, Jacques. Exempla of Jacques de Vitry. Edited by Thomas Frederick Crane, David Nutt, 1890. Google Books.
Andrew, Malcom. “Grendel in Hell.” English Studies, vol. 62, no. 5, 1981, pp. 401–410.
Robinson, Fred C. “The Devil’s Account of the Next World: An Anecdote from Old English Homiletic Literature.” Neuphilologische Mitteilungen, vol. 73, no., 1/3, 1972, pp. 363-371. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/43345366.
In this slightly belated Father’s Day episode, we return to the snarky wit of Walter Map as he explains why it’s so hard to be the man of the house.
Map, Walter. De Nugis Curialium. Translated by Montague R. James, historical notes by John Edward Lloyd, edited by E. Sidney Hartland, Cymmrodorion Record Series, no. 9, Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1923.
Jones, Kathleen W. “Mother’s Day: The Creation, Promotion and Meaning of a New Holiday in the Progressive Era.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. 22, no. 2, Summer 1980, pp. 175-196. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40754605.
Audio Credit:Young Frankenstein. Directed by Mel Brooks. 20th Century Fox, 1974. Image Credit: Detail of a feast from a Flemish Prayer Book (15/16c). Wikimedia Commons.
We return from an unplanned semester hiatus with the third installment of our Medieval True Crime miniseries, continuing to explore the 13th-century coroner’s rolls of rural Bedfordshire (plus one item from 14th-century Essex), as well as muse on why murder narratives so monopolize our mysteries and how murder was defined in medieval England.
Gross, Charles, editor. Select Cases from the Coroners’ Rolls, A.D. 1265-1413, with a Brief Account of the History of the Office of Coroner. Bernard Quarithc, 1896. Google Books.
Green, Thomas A. “Societal Concepts of Criminal Liability for Homicide in Mediaeval England.” Speculum, vol. 47, no. 4, Oct. 1972, pp. 669-694. JSTOR,www.jstor.org/stable/2856634.
Hanawalt, Barbara A. “Violent Death in Fourteenth- and Early Fifteenth-Century England.” Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 18, no. 3, July 1976, pp. 297-320. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/178340.
As we kick off the New Year, we take a brief diversion from our Medieval True Crime miniseries to explore the world of precious stones and the extraordinary properties attributed to them through a look at the Lapidary of Marbodus and a couple of other short texts.
Shackford, Martha Hale, editor. Legends and Satires from Mediæval Literature. Ginn and Company, 1913. Google Books.
Marbodus. The Lapidarium of Marbodus. Translated by C.W. King. In C.W. King, Antique Gems, Their Origin, Uses, and Value as Interpreters of Ancient History; and as Illustrative of Ancient Art, John Murray, 1860, pp. 389-417. Google Books.
Doyle, Arthur Conan. “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.” The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Project Gutenberg.
Duffin, Christopher John. “Chelidonius: The Swallow Stone.” Speculum, vol. 124, no. 1, Apr. 2013, pp. 81-103. JSTOR.
Holmes, Urban T. “Mediaeval Gem Stones.” Speculum, vol. 9, no. 2, Apr. 1934, pp. 195-204. JSTOR.