Sarcophagus - Sisyphus, Tantalus, Ixion (by Dan Diffendale)

This episode we continue with Walter Map’s De nugis curialium and learn that politics really is hell.

Today’s Texts:

  • 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.
  • Homer. The Odyssey. Translated by A.T. Murray, Harvard University Press, 1919. [at Perseus]
  • Anglo-Saxon Riddles of the Exeter Book, translated by Paull Franklin Baum (1963). Available at:


  • Bartlett, Robert. England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings: 1075-1225. Clarendon Press, 2000.
  • Brooke, C.N.L. Introduction. De Nugis Curialium: Courtier’s Trifles, by Walter Map, edited and translated by M.R. James, revised by C.N.L. Brooke and R.A.B. Mynors, Clarendon Press, 1983.
  • Turner, Ralph V. “The Reputation of Royal Judges under the Angevin Kings.” Albion, vol. 11, no. 4, Winter 1979, pp. 301-316. JSTOR,
  • Echard, Siân. “Map’s Metafiction: Author, Narrator and Reader in De nugis curialium.” Exemplaria, vol. 8, no. 2, 1996, pp. 287-314.

Image: Sarcophagus in Vatican Museums featuring images of Sisyphus, Ixion, and Tantalus. Photo by Dan Diffendale (used under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0)