A Podcast Exploring the Wit and Weirdness of Medieval Texts

MDT Episode 10: Concerning the Milk of Grammar

Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. Pal. germ. 848, fol. 292vIn this episode we continue with Eberhard the German’s Laborintus and learn how a teacher acquires the knowledge of grammar, along with getting some practical advice about inspiring medieval schoolchildren.

This episode’s texts:

  • Eberhard the German. “The Laborintus of Eberhard: Rendered into English with Introduction and Notes.” Trans. Evelyn Carson. Diss. Cornell University, 1930.
  • Nelson, William, ed. A Fifteenth Century Schoolbook. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956.


  • Orme, Nicholas. Medieval Schools: From Roman Britain to Renaissance England. New Haven: Yale UP, 2006.
  • Parsons, Ben. “Whipping Boys: Attitudes Towards Beating in Medieval Pedagogy.” Education Journal 191 (24 Feb. 2014): 10.
  • Thomas Aquinas. Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Vol. 1. Trans. John P. Rowan. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1961.

Image: Schoolmaster of Esslingen in Heidelberg, Universitätsbibliothek, Cod. Pal. germ. 848, fol. 292v, (first half 14th century) [via Erik Kwakkel]


  1. Susan Fraser

    I only came across your podcast about a week ago following a recommendation on the Facebook History Podcast group – and I am really enjoying it. Listening to these weird and wonderful tales and your excellent commentary plus the scholarly additions to the various subjects has livened up my daily commute no end. It has been particularly good being able to binge as I catch up, but I only have two more to go to catch up, then I’ll just have to wait for the new one every two weeks.
    [One minor comment on an English place name – Warwick is pronounced worrick (as in alas poor Yorrick) and not wor-wick.]

    • Patrick


      Thanks so much for your comment and here’s an absurdly late reply. Thanks for the note about Warwick — it’s probably a bit of karmic retribution, since I was feeling a bit smugly satisfied with myself for correctly pronouncing Berwick a few episodes earlier. And in my most recent episode, I *think* I’ve dodged a bullet with both Alnwick (though I’m not sure if I picked the right initial “a” sound) and Rievaulx. I quake in my boots over some of the Continental placenames I’m sure I’ll have to face in the future…

  2. Julia

    This was my favorite pod cast so far – I home school, so it should be pretty obvious why. I am passing this link on to my homeschool mom friends. Thanks again for recording these!

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