A Podcast Exploring the Wit and Weirdness of Medieval Texts

MDT Ep. 89: Interview with a Devil

Detail from British Library, Add MS 42130, f. 54v.

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.

Today’s Texts

  • 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.
  • Gregory the Great. The Dialogues of Saint Gregory, Surnamed the Great: Pope of Rome & the First of That Name. Translated by P.W., edited by Edmund G. Gardner, Philip Lee Warner, 1911. Digital text edited by Roger Pearce, 2004, https://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gregory_00_dialogues_intro.htm.  


  • 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. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/43345366.

Image credit: Detail from British Library, Add MS 42130, f. 54v.


  1. Ac

    Thanks for coming back. Missed you with much sadness.

  2. L

    Patrick is back with my favorite podcast!

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