A Podcast Exploring the Wit and Weirdness of Medieval Texts

Category: Episodes (Page 1 of 15)

MDT Ep. 88: Concerning the Plight of the Paterfamilias

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.

Today’s Text

  • 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.

References

  • 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.

MDT Ep. 87: Medieval True Crime III: Death in the Countryside

Image of one man attacking another with an axe, from British Library Royal 13 B VIII f. 28.

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.

Today’s Texts

  • 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.

References

Image Credit: Detail of one man attacking another with an axe, from British Library Royal 13 B VIII f. 28.

MDT Ep. 86: Concerning the Meaning of Stones

Illustration of a jewel merchant from a manuscript of the Lapidary of Jean de Mandeville, ca. 1480, in Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS Français 9136, f. 344r.
Illustration of a jewel merchant from a manuscript of the Lapidary of Jean de Mandeville, ca. 1480, in Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS Français 9136, f. 344r.

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. 

Today’s 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.

References

  • 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.

Image: Illustration of a jewel merchant from a manuscript of the Lapidary of Jean de Mandeville, ca. 1480, in Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS Français 9136, f. 344r.

MDT Ep. 85: Medieval True Crime II: Concerning Violent Crime in the Coroner’s Rolls

Detail of Cain slaying Abel from British Library, MS Yates-Thompson 13, f. 28r.
https://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=28988

This episode, we continue our Medieval True Crime series with a trip to late 13th-century Bedfordshire as represented in its Coroner’s Rolls, as well as hear some inadvertently lyrical legalese from early 14th-century Northampton.

Also check out:

The Medieval Podcast. “Murders in Medieval London.” 8 Oct. 2020. https://www.medievalists.net/2020/10/murders-medieval-london/.

Today’s Text:

  • 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.

References

  • 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.
  • Warrin, Frank L. “Hue and Cry.” The Virginia Quarterly Review, vol. 9, no. 1, 1933, pp. 26–37. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26433779

Image: Detail of Cain slaying Abel from British Library, MS Yates-Thompson 13, f. 28r.

MDT Ep. 84: Medieval True Crime I – Concerning Miraculous Justice for a Mutilated Priest

Detail of The martyrdom of St. Leger from a 13c French Bible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leodegar#/media/File:Leger_dutchms_500.jpg

For our sixth anniversary episode, we kick off a miniseries on medieval true crime, with the account of a particularly brutal assault on a parish priest, with an additional look at medieval treatments for eye wounds, and also learn how a dead man managed to kill the warrior who slayed him.

Today’s Text

  • Knox, Ronald, and Shane Leslie, editors and translators. The Miracles of King Henry VI. Cambridge UP, 1923.
  • Guy de Chauliac, Grand Chirurgie. “Description of the Plague.” Tr.  by William A. Guy. Public Health: A Popular Introduction to Sanitary Science, Henry Renshaw, 1870, pp. 48-50. Google Books.
  • Dasent, G.W., translator. The Orkneyingers Saga. Icelandic Sagas, vol. 3, Eyre and Spottiswood, 1894. Sacred Textswww.sacred-texts.com/neu/ice/is3/is300.htm.

References

Audio Credits

  • Recording by Freesound.ord user YleArkisto used under Creative Commons Attribution license.

Image Credit: Detail of The martyrdom of St. Leger from a 13c French Bible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leodegar#/media/File:Leger_dutchms_500.jpg

MDT Ep. 83: Concerning Island Kingdoms, Bloodsuckers, and Flesh-Eaters

Detail of the Cynocephali of Nicobar, from a 15th-century manuscript of the Itinerarium (or Livre des Merveilles) of Odoric of Pordenone. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Manuscrits, Français 2810, fol. 106.

This episode, we check in once again with 14th-century traveler Odoric of Pordenone as he takes in the many lands between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, including Sri Lanka, Java, Borneo, Vietnam, and some that remain rather mysterious.This episode, we check in once again with 14th-century traveler Odoric of Pordenone as he takes in the many lands between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, including Sri Lanka, Java, Borneo, Vietnam, and some that remain rather mysterious.

Today’s Texts:

  • Odoric of Pordenone. “The Eastern Parts of the World, Described.” Cathay and the Way Thither, translated by Henry Yule, vol. 1, Hakluyt Society, 1866, pp. 43-162. Google Books.
  • Odoricus. “The Voyage of Frier Beatus Ordoricus to Asia Minor, Armenia, Chaldea, Persia, India, China, and Other Remote Parts, &c.” The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, edited and translated by Richard Hakluyt, vol. 4, Macmillan 1904, pp. 371-444. Google Books.

References:

  • Bressan, L. “Ordoric of Pordenone (1213-1331): His Vision of China and South-East Asia and His Contribution to Relations Between Asia and Europe.” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 70, no. 2 (273), 1997, pp. 1-23. JSTOR, www.jstor.com/stable/41493334.
  • Herodotus. The Histories. Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt. Revised ed., Penguin Classics, 1972. 
  • Marrow, Paul. “Grinch Historians Steal Christmas.” Pilipino Express News Magazine, 17 Dec. 2008, www.pilipino-express.com/history-a-culture/in-other-words/189-grinch-historians-steal-christmas.html.
  • Metcalf, Peter. “Wine of the Corpse: Endocannibalism and the Great Feast of the Dead in Borneo.” Representations, no. 17, Winter 1987, pp. 96-109. JSTOR, www.jstor.com/stable/3043794.
  • Valtrová, Jana. “Beyond the Horizons of Legends: Traditional Imagery and Direct Experience in Medieval Accounts of Asia.” Numen, vol. 57, no. 2, 2010, pp. 154-185. JSTOR, www.jstor.com/stable/27793840.

Audio Credits:

Image: Detail of the Cynocephali of Nicobar, from a 15th-century manuscript of the Itinerarium (or Livre des Merveilles) of Odoric of Pordenone. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Manuscrits, Français 2810, fol. 106.

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