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Communal Creativity in the Making of the 'Beowulf' Manuscript

Towards a History of Reception for the Nowell Codex

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Simon C. Thomson

In Communal Creativity in the Making of the ‘Beowulf’ Manuscript, Simon Thomson analyses details of scribal activity to tell a story about the project that preserved Beowulf as one of a collective, if error-strewn, endeavour and arguing for a date in Cnut’s reign. He presents evidence for the use of more than three exemplars and at least two artists as well as two scribes, making this an intentional and creative re-presentation uniting literature religious and heroic, in poetry and in prose.

He goes on to set it in the broader context of manuscript production in late Anglo-Saxon England as one example among many of communities using old literature in new ways, and of scribes working together, making mistakes, and learning.

Elizabeth Coatsworth and Gale Owen-Crocker

An astonishing number of medieval garments survive, more-or-less complete. Here the authors present 100 items, ranging from homely to princely. The book’s wide-ranging introduction discusses the circumstances in which garments have survived to the present; sets and collections; constructional and decorative techniques; iconography; inscriptions on garments; style and fashion. Detailed descriptions and discussions explain technique and ornament, investigate alleged associations with famous people (many of them spurious) and demonstrate, even when there are no known associations, how a garment may reveal its own biography: a story that can include repair, remaking, recycling; burial, resurrection and veneration; accidental loss or deliberate deposition.
The authors both have many publications in the field of medieval studies, including previous collaborations on medieval textiles such as Medieval Textiles of the British Isles AD 450-1100: an Annotated Bibliography (2007), the Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles (2012) and online bibliographies.

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Stephen M. Metzger

Gerard of Abbeville (d. 1272) was the foremost secular theologian at the University of Paris during the third quarter of the thirteenth century. Significantly, Gerard’s corpus includes the most comprehensive treatment of the nature and extent of human knowledge from the generation before Henry of Ghent.
Stephen M. Metzger’s study presents Gerard’s complete theory of human knowledge, which is a hierarchy extending from the knowledge acquired in faith, through scientific thought and culminating in the full vision of God by the blessed in patria. It is the fullest exposition of the life, works and thought of Gerard yet written and is augmented by the presentation for the first time of editions of several disputed questions and other texts.

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Anya H. King

Since antiquity, musk has been a valued perfume and medicine. Because the musk deer only lives in Central Eurasia, people in other locations had to trade for its musk. For medieval Islamic civilization, musk became the most important of all aromatics. The musk trade thus illuminates the nature of medieval Asian trade and musk's cultural effects on the Islamic world. Scent from the Garden of Paradise: Musk and the Medieval Islamic World examines the history of musk from its origins in Asia to its uses in the medieval Middle East, surveys the Islamic literature on musk, and discusses the roles of musk in perfumery and medicine, as well as the symbolic importance of musk in Islam.

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Edited by Johan Callmer, Ingrid Gustin and Mats Roslund

In Identity Formation and Diversity in the Early Medieval Baltic and Beyond, the Viking World in the East is made more heterogeneous. Baltic Finnic groups, Balts and Sami are integrated into the history dominated by Scandinavians and Slavs.
Interaction in the region between Eastern Middle Sweden, Finland, Estonia and North Western Russia is set against varied cultural expressions of identities. Ten scholars approach the topic from different angles, with case studies on the roots of diversity, burials with horses, Staraya Ladoga as a nodal point of long-distance routes, Rus’ warrior identities, early Eastern Christianity, interaction between the Baltic Finns and the Svear, the first phases of ar-Rus dominion, the distribution of Carolingian swords, and Dirhams in the Baltic region.
Contributors are Johan Callmer, Ingrid Gustin, Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, Valter Lang, John Howard Lind, Marika Mägi, Mats Roslund, Søren Sindbaek, Anne Stalsberg, and Tuukka Talvio.

The Battle of Kulikovo Refought

“The First National Feat”

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Kati M.J. Parppei

The battle of Kulikovo, fought between Muscovite and Tatar troops in 1380, has been considered as a crucial turning point in the national history of Russia. In The Battle of Kulikovo Refought Kati Parppei examines the layers of contemporary meanings attached to the event from the Middle Ages to the present, following the formation and establishment of the collective images and perceptions concerning the battle.

By utilizing a diverse set of sources she shows that the present image of the medieval battle was created in retrospect from the 15th century onwards by interpolating, interpreting and simplifying. The narrative themes emphasizing internal unity have been applicable to practically any political situation over the centuries, especially to ones involving external threat.

Montfort

History, Early Research and Recent Studies of the Principal Fortress of the Teutonic Order

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Edited by Adrian Boas and Rabei G. Khamisy

Montfort Castle, located in the western Galilee, was the principal fortress of the Teutonic Order, one of the three great military orders of the Crusader period. It was built in the early thirteenth century and occupied and dismantled by the Mamluk army in 1271. It is among the finest examples of Crusader spur castles. This present volume includes discussions by 23 scholars, experts in their fields, in 28 chapters covering every aspect of past and recent scholarship on the history of the Teutonic Order and the castle, travellers’ descriptions, the architecture, the geographical setting, the material culture of the garrison, and detailed descriptions of the 1926 archaeological expedition to Montfort and the ongoing work of the Montfort Castle Project.

Winner of the 2017 Verbruggen prize, awarded annually by the De Re Militari society for the best book on medieval military history. The awarding committee stated that the volume offers ‘a through exploration of all the sources, archaeological and literary, relating to an important site. A model for future work.’

Contributors are Laura Aiello, Zohar Amar, Tamar Backner, Adrian J. Boas, Nativ Dudai, Rafael Frankel, Jonathan J. Gottlieb, Lydia Perelis Grossowicz, Timothy B. Husband, Nurith Kenaan-Kedar, Rabei G. Khamisy, Robert Kool, Dorit Korngreen, Rafael Lewis, Nili Liphschitz, Cecilia Luschi, Lisa Pilosi, Mary B. Shepard, Vardit Shotten-Hallel, Kristjan Toomaspoeg, Andrea Wähning, David Whitehouse, and Mark Wypyski.

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Edited by Elizabeth Solopova

The Wycliffite Bible: Origin, History and Interpretation brings together contributions by leading scholars on different aspects of the first complete translation of the Bible into English, produced at the end of the 14th century by the followers of the Oxford theologian John Wyclif. Though learned and accurate, the translation was condemned and banned within twenty-five years of its appearance. In spite of this it became the most widely disseminated medieval English work that profoundly influenced the development of vernacular theology, religious writing, contemporary and later literature, and the English language. Its comprehensive study is long overdue and the current collection offers new perspectives and research on this, the most learned and widely evidenced of the European translations of the Vulgate.
Contributors are Jeremy Catto‎, Lynda Dennison, Kantik Ghosh, Ralph Hanna, Anne Hudson, Maureen Jurkowski, Michael Kuczynski, Ian Christopher Levy, James Morey, Nigel Morgan, Stephen Morrison, Mark Rankin, Delbert Russell, Michael Sargent, Jakub Sichalek, Elizabeth Solopova, and Annie Sutherland‎.

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Edited by Antonino de Francesco

The book aims rethinking the cultural history of Mediterranean nationalisms between 19th and 20th centuries by tracing their specific approach to antiquity in the forging of a national past.
By focusing on how national imaginaries dealt with this topic and how history and archaeology relied on antiquity, this collection of essays introduces a comparative approach presenting several cases studies concerning many regions including Spain, Italy and Slovenia as well as Albania, Greece and Turkey.
By adopting the perspective of a dialogue among all these Mediterranean political cultures, this book breaks significantly new ground, because it shifts attention on how Southern Europe nationalisms are an interconnected political and cultural experience, directly related to the intellectual examples of Northern Europe, but also developing its own particular trends.

Contributors are: Çiğdem Atakuman, Filippo Carlà, Francisco Garcia Alonso, Maja Gori, Eleni Stefanou, Rok Stergar, Katia Visconti.

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Raisa Maria Toivo and Sari Katajala-Peltomaa

Lived Religion and the Long Reformation in Northern Europe puts Reformation in a daily life context using lived religion as a conceptual and methodological tool: exploring how people "lived out" their religion in their mundane toils and how religion created a performative space for them. This collection reinvestigates the character of the Reformation in an area that later became the heartlands of Lutheranism. The way people lived their religion was intricately linked with questions of the value of individual experience, communal cohesion and interaction. During the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era religious certainty was replaced by the experience of doubt and hesitation. Negotiations on and between various social levels manifest the needs, aspirations and resistance behind the religious change.

Contributors include: Kaarlo Arffman, Jussi Hanska, Miia Ijäs, Sari Katajala-Peltomaa, Jenni Kuuliala, Marko Lamberg, Jason Lavery, Maija Ojala, Päivi Räisänen-Schröder, Raisa Maria Toivo