A Podcast Exploring the Wit and Weirdness of Medieval Texts

Tag: Meier Helmbrecht

MDT Ep. 94: Helmbrecht v Sheriff: Eve of Justice

Manuscript illustration of crows eating the eyes from a corpse (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 1951)

This episode we conclude the story of the peasant lad who spurned a humble farming life to go off live the high life with a robber knight and, as we shall see, did not ultimately get the life he expected. Here is the final part of Meier Helmbrecht.

You can get a sense of the landscape surrounding the location identified (by some scholars) as the site of the Helmbrecht Farm through this Google Street View link: https://goo.gl/maps/XrweFAqfGQEAMxxdA

Today’s Text

  • Wernher der Gartenaere. Meier Helmbrecht. In Peasant Life in Old German Epics, translated by Clair Hayden Bell, Columbia UP, 1931.

References

  • Bastow, A. “Peasant Customs and Superstitions in Thirteenth Century Germany.” Folklore, vol. 47, no. 3, Sept. 1936, pp. 313-328. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1256867.
  • Dobozy, Maria. The Saxon Mirror: A Sachsenspiegel of the Fourteenth Century. U of Pennsylvania P, 1999. Archive.org.
  • Jones, George Fenwick. Honor in German Literature. U of North Carolina P, 1959. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/10.5149/9781469657608_jones.9.
  • Lewis, Charlton T. A History of Germany from the Earliest Times. Harper & Brothers, 1874. Google Books.
  • Nordmeyer, George. “The Judge in the Meier Helmbrecht.” Modern Language Notes, vol. 63, no. 2, Feb. 1948, pp. 95-104. JSTOR,www.jstor.org/stable/2909515.
  • Price, Arnold H. “Early Places Ending in -heim as Warrior Club Settlements and the Role of Soc in the Germanic Administration of Justice.” Central European History, vol. 14, no. 3, Sept. 1981, pp. 187-199. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4545929.

Audio Credit: A Clockwork Orange. Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Warner Bros., 1972.

Image Credit: Manuscript illustration detail of crows eating the eyes of a corpse (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, fr. 1951). From The Medieval Bestiary: https://bestiary.ca/beasts/beastgallery252.htm.

Chapters

  • 00:00:00: Introduction
  • 00:23:04: Text: Meier Helmbrecht, ll. 1463-1934
  • 00:43:06: Commentary
  • 01:05:00: Riddle
  • 01:05:46: Outro

MDT Ep. 93: Helmbrecht Returns, or The Dark Robber Knight

We continue with Part 2 (of 3) of the 13th-century peasant epic Meier Helmbrecht, in which Helmbrecht returns to his family after a year as squire to a robber knight, and cultures clash accordingly.

Today’s Text

  • Wernher der Gartenaere. Meier Helmbrecht. In Peasant Life in Old German Epics, translated by Clair Hayden Bell, Columbia UP, 1931. Archive.org.

References

Image credit: detail of cabbage harvesting from a 15th-century manuscript of Ibn Butlan’s Tacuinum sanitatis, Paris, BnF, Département des manuscrits, Latin 9333 fol. 20.

MDT Ep. 92: Helmbrecht Begins, or How to Become a Robber Knight

Detail from the Luttrell Psalter. https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/the-luttrell-psalter

In this episode we learn how important good hair is to becoming a medieval cattle rustler with part one of the 13th-century poem Meier Helmbrecht.

Today’s Text

  • Wernher der Gartenaere. Meier Helmbrecht. In Peasant Life in Old German Epics, translated by Clair Hayden Bell, Columbia UP, 1931. Archive.org.

References

Audio Credit: A Charlie Brown Christmas, United Feature Syndicate, 1965.

Image Credit: Detail from the Luttrell Psalter.

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