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Medieval Death Trip

Updated 7 days ago

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A podcast exploring the wit and weirdness of medieval texts

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A podcast exploring the wit and weirdness of medieval texts

iTunes Ratings

148 Ratings
Average Ratings
139
5
1
2
1

Love it

By Droose oooo123 - Jul 11 2019
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Very well done and a delight to listen.

Wonderful stories

By raulrey0 - Apr 27 2019
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Well researched and full of wonder.

iTunes Ratings

148 Ratings
Average Ratings
139
5
1
2
1

Love it

By Droose oooo123 - Jul 11 2019
Read more
Very well done and a delight to listen.

Wonderful stories

By raulrey0 - Apr 27 2019
Read more
Well researched and full of wonder.
Cover image of Medieval Death Trip

Medieval Death Trip

Latest release on Dec 23, 2019

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 7 days ago

Rank #1: MDT Episode 02: Concerning Another Cure for Extreme Swelling, a Sinful Clerk, & Some Lightning Bolts

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On this episode, we look at an example of the kind of odd incidents you might find preserved in a medieval chronicle -- in this case, the Lanercost Chronicle. We have three short episodes from the account of the year 1288, and then one spectacular lightning strike from 1291.

Nov 14 2014

26mins

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Rank #2: MDT Ep. 74: Concerning Bad Bishops, Buried Treasure, and an Unchaste Priest

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This episode we go to Durham with its greatest chronicler, Simeon, to first hear about the short, shameful, and Cuthbert-cursed 10th-century episcopate of Bishop Sexhelm, and then we pick up about a hundred years later with the similarly flawed bishop brothers, Aegelric and Aegelwin. Finally, we wrap up by seeing what happens when a priest who just slept with his wife gets unexpectedly called upon to perform Mass.

Today's Texts:
Simeon of Durham. Simeon's History of the Church of Durham. Church Historians of England, edited and translated by Joseph Stevenson, vol. 3, part 2, Seeley's, 1855, pp. 619-711. Google Books.

The History of Ingulf. The Church Historians of England, edited and translated by Joseph Stevenson, vol. 2, part 2, Seeleys, 1854, pp. 565-725. Google Books.

References:
Hutchinson, William. The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham. Vol. 1, G. Walker, 1817. Google Books.

Symeon of Durham. Libellus de exordio atque procursu istius, hoc est Dunhelmensis, ecclesie: Tract on the Origin and Progress of this the Church of Durham. Edited and translated by David Rollason, Oxford UP, 2000.

Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologia, 2 Part 2, Q. 76, Art. 1. Available at http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3076.htm, which reproduces the text of the Second and Revised Edition, 1920, literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province.

Jun 22 2019

36mins

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Rank #3: MDT Ep. 75: Concerning More Challenges to the Throne of Man

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This episode we encounter another saintly curse, this time at the hands of St. Maughold, the patron saint of the Isle of Man, and on our way to that miracle story, we catch up on the trials and tribulations of the Manx dynasty of Godred Crovan since we last saw them in Ep. 44. As a bonus, we'll also hear the origin story of St. Maughold, a.k.a. MacCuil the bandit, a.k.a., Cyclops, as recorded in Muirchu's Life of St. Patrick.

Today's Texts:
The Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys. Edited by P.A. Munch, translated by Alexander Goss, vol. 1, The Manx Society, 1874. Google Books.

Muirchu. Life of St. Patrick. St. Patrick: His Writings and Life, edited and translated by Newport J.D. White, Macmillan, 1920.

References:
Kinvig, R.H. The Isle of Man: A Social, Cultural, and Political History. Charles E. Tuttle, 1975.

Mood, A.W. The Folk-Lore of the Isle of Man. Brown & Son, 1891. Sacred-texts.com.

Jul 01 2019

40mins

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Rank #4: MDT Ep. 52: Concerning St. Patrick and the Magicians

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It's a special Saint Patrick's Day episode, in which we hear about the contests between the saint and some Irish magicians, as related in Muirchu's 7th-century Life of St. Patrick.

Mar 17 2018

31mins

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Rank #5: MDT Episode 03: Concerning a Vision of Heaven and Hell and a Bad Outlook for the Bishop

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First episode in a two-parter: we look at story from Symeon of Durham's History of the Church of Durham involving a person who reawakens from apparent death to share a vision of the afterlife that portends bad things for the bishop of Durham.

Nov 28 2014

23mins

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Rank #6: MDT Ep. 66: Concerning a Man Consumed by Mice and Other Plagues

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We kick our 2019 with a return to narrative history, hearing about a terrible way to die and how not to profit off the deaths of others during a plague from William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum Anglorum, and we also look all the way back to the first book of Samuel to learn how to rid oneself of some particularly uncomfortable plagues from God. We also discover how Raiders of the Lost Ark should have ended.

Today's Texts:
William of Malmesbury. Chronicle of the Kings of England. Edited by J.A. Giles, translated by John Sharpe and J.A. Giles, George Bell & Sons, 1895. Google Books.

Wycliffe, John and John Purvey. Wycliffe's Bible: A Modern-Spelling Version of the 14th-Century Middle English Translation. Edited and translated by Terence P. Noble, Createspace, 2012.

References:
Drummond, David. Mouse Traps: A Quick Scamper through their Long History. North American Trap Collectors Association, 2005.

Farber, Zev. "Unspoken Hemorrhoids: Making the Torah Reading Polite." TheTorah.com, https://thetorah.com/unspoken-hemorrhoids-making-the-torah-reading-polite/.

Kiser, Lisa J. "Resident Aliens: The Literary Ecology of Medieval Mice." Truth and Tales: Cultural Mobility and Medieval Media, edited by Fiona Somerset and Nicholas Watson, Ohio State UP, 2015, pp. 151-167. Academia.edu, www.academia.edu/11171687/Resident_Aliens_The_Literary_Ecology_of_Medieval_Mice.

Feb 11 2019

40mins

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Rank #7: MDT Ep. 47: Concerning Ragnarok

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This episode we tap into the Ragnarok zeitgeist and go back to the medieval Norse sources: Snorri Sturluson's Gylfaginning and the apocalyptic poem Völuspá.

Nov 22 2017

50mins

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Rank #8: MDT Ep. 67: Concerning a Maiden Seduced by an Incubus, or A Dunwich Horror

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For Valentine's Day, we have a tale not so much of love, but of supernatural seduction. This is the story of a chaste young woman of the town of Dunwich stalked by a devil, as reported in The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich by Thomas of Monmouth. We also take a look at real and fictional Dunwich (a town of the Lovecraft mythos), and examine what exactly (or inexactly) an incubus was thought to be.

Today's Text:
The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich, written by Thomas of Monmouth and translated by Augustus Jessopp and M.R. James. Cambridge UP, 1896. [Available on Google Books.]

References:
Bryant B.L. "H. P. Lovecraft’s 'Unnamable' Middle Ages." Medieval Afterlives in Popular Culture, edited by Gail Ashton and Dan Kline, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, pp. 113-128.

Isidore of Seville. The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville. Translated by Stephen A. Barney, W.J. Lewis, J.A. Beach, and Oliver Berghof with Muriel Hall, Cambridge UP, 2006.

van der Lugt, Maaike. "The Incubus in Scholastic Debate: Medicine, Theology, and Popular Belief." Religion and Medicine in the Middle Ages, edited by Peter Biller and Joseph Ziegler, Boydell & Brewer, 2001, pp. 175-200.

Feb 15 2019

36mins

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Rank #9: MDT Episode 04: The Violent Death of Bishop Walcher

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Episode 4 continues the story of the murder of Bishop Walcher of Durham foreseen in our previous episode. Text from Simeon of Durham's History of the Church of Durham.

Dec 13 2014

21mins

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Rank #10: MDT Ep. 73: Concerning a Mouse and a Frog

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This episode, we turn to another genre of wisdom literature: the fable. We look at four versions of the fable of the Mouse and the Frog from across one-and-a-half millennia, with quasi-classical versions from the Vita Aesopi and the Romulus Aesop and medieval elaborations on the story by Marie de France and Robert Henryson.

Today's Texts:

Life of Aesop. Translated by Anthony Alcock, Roger-Pearse.com, 4 Aug. 2018, https://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2018/08/14/life-of-aesop-translated-by-anthony-alcock/.

"The Mouse and the Frog." The Comedies of Terence and The Fables of Phædrus, translated by Henry Thomas Riley, George Bell & Sons, 1891, p. 456. Google Books.

Marie de France. "The Mouse and the Frog." The Fables of Marie de France, translated by Mary Lou Martin, Summa Publications, 1984, pp. 36-42.

Henryson, Robert. "The Taill of the Paddok and the Mous." The Poems and Fables of Robert Henryson, edited by David Laing, William Paterson, 1865. Google Books.

References:
Adrados, Francisco Rodríguez. History of the Graeco-Latin Fable. Translated by Leslie A. Ray, vol. 1, Brill, 1999.

Daly, Lloyd W., translator and editor. Introduction. Aesop Without Morals, Thomas Yoseloff, 1961, pp. 11-26.

Fox, Denton, editor. The Poems of Robert Henryson. Clarendon Press, 1981.

Kiser, Lisa J. "Resident Aliens: The Literary Ecology of Medieval Mice." Truth and Tales: Cultural Mobility and Medieval Media, edited by Fiona Somerset and Nicholas Watson, Ohio State UP, 2015, pp. 151-167. Academia.edu, www.academia.edu/11171687/Resident_Aliens_The_Literary_Ecology_of_Medieval_Mice.

Jacobs, Joseph. The Fables of Aesop. Vol. 1, History of the Æsopic Fable, 1889, Burt Franklin, 1970.

Mann, Jill. From Aesop to Reynard: Beast Literature in Medieval Britain. Oxford UP, 2009.

Martin, Mary Lou. Introduction. The Fables of Marie de France, translated by Mary Lou Martin, Summa Publications, 1984, pp. 1-30.

O'Connor, Flannery. "Writing Short Stories." Mystery and Manners, FSG, 1970, pp. 87-106.

Skillen, Anthony. "Aesop's Lessons in Literary Realism." Philosophy, vol. 67, no. 260, Apr. 1992, pp. 169-181. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3751449.

[Greek text of the fable in the Vita Aesopi, Ch. 21:]
Vita Aesopi. Edited by Antonius Westermann, Williams and Norgate, 1845, p. 54. Google Books.

[Romulus Latin Text in:]
"Mus et Rana." Phaedri Fabularum Aesopiarum libri quinque, quales omni parte illustratos publicavit Joann. Gottlob. Sam. Schwabe. Accedunt Romuli Fabularum Aesopiarum libri quatuor, quibus novas Phaedri Fabellas cum notulis variorum et suis subjunxit, edited by J. B. Gail, vol. 2, 2nd ed., N.E. Lemaire, 1826, p. 386. Google Books.

Music by Chris Lane.

May 27 2019

1hr 2mins

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Rank #11: MDT Ep. 61: Concerning the Invention of Chess

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We kick off a holiday miniseries of chess lore from William Caxton's The Game and the Playe of the Chesse with one version of how chess was invented. We then some historical corrections to this account and also hear one of the earliest written accounts of chess, the Persian Chatrang-namak.

Nov 29 2018

43mins

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Rank #12: MDT Ep. 36: Concerning the Depredations of King John

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This episode we look at the less than stellar reputation of King John during the First Barons' War, as recounted in the Melrose Chronicle, and consider the relationship of medieval texts to immediate politics.

Feb 18 2017

37mins

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Rank #13: MDT Ep. 54: Concerning Quicksand, Crusaders, and a Journey Underground

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We kick off a miniseries of texts from medieval travelers by continuing with Gerald of Wales as he sets out to tour Wales with Archbishop Baldwin, collecting stories from the region and getting involved in a few escapades of his own.

Aug 08 2018

43mins

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Rank #14: MDT Ep. 55: Concerning Good Wine, Bad Ships, and Baked Soldiers

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In the second installment of our medieval travelers series, we follow Marco Polo into the deserts of Iran and learn about the hazards of the road, including a lethal wind.

Aug 15 2018

42mins

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Rank #15: MDT Episode 18: Concerning the Lai of Bisclavret, the Werewolf

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This episode we celebrate our one-year anniversary on Halloween, with the tale of a mistreated werewolf: the Lai of Bisclavret by Marie de France.

Nov 01 2015

47mins

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Rank #16: MDT Ep. 72: An Icelandic Vision of the Afterlife

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This episode we take a look at Sólarljóð, an Old Norse poem that mixes a Christian tour of heaven and hell with the stylings of eddic poetry. We also consider what it might have in common with one of the fugues of the Great Revival.

Today's Texts:
"Song of the Sun." The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson, translated by Benjamin Thorpe and I.A. Blackwell, Norrœna Society, 1906, pp. 11-120. Google Books.

References:
Cobb, Buell E., Jr. The Sacred Harp, A Tradition and Its Music. U of Georgia P, 1978.

Larrington, Carolyne, and Peter Robinson. Introduction to "Anonymous, Sólarljóð." Poetry on Christian Subjects, edited by Margaret Clunies Ross, Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7, Brepols, 2007, pp. 287-357.

"Sólarljóð -- Anon SólVII." Skaldic Project.

Wright, Thomas. St. Patrick's Purgatory: An Essay on the Legends of Purgatory, Hell, and Paradise, Current During the Middle Ages. John Russell Smith, 1844. Google Books.

Zaleski, Carol. Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times. Oxford UP, 1987.

Audio Credit: "Greenwich" performed by Cork Sacred Harp, from the first Ireland Sacred Harp Convention, 2011. Used under CC-BY-3.0 license. https://soundcloud.com/corksacredharp/183-greenwich.

May 09 2019

53mins

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Rank #17: MDT Episode 22: Concerning Elfred the Bone-Hunter

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On this episode, we look at a couple of diggers of relics: first, Elfred (or Aelfred or Alfred), who brought the relics of the Venerable Bede to Durham Cathedral; and second, antiquarian James Raine, who dug up those same relics in the early 19th century.

Apr 12 2016

40mins

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Rank #18: MDT Ep. 30: The Battle of Hastings According to Orderic Vitalis

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We're back from our hiatus to remember the Battle of Hastings on its 950th anniversary by looking at the account of the battle in the Historia Ecclesiastica of Orderic Vitalis.

Oct 14 2016

38mins

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Rank #19: MDT Episode 27: Concerning Another Take on the Love of Edgar and Aelfthryth

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On this episode, get a different version of the story of Edgar's love for the married Aelfthryth, this time in a blending of history with courtly romance from Gaimar's L'Estoire des Engleis.

Jul 07 2016

51mins

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Rank #20: MDT Episode 19: Concerning the Hermit of the Dale

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This episode, Thanksgiving is making us feel a bit nostalgic about home comforts, so we look at the story of the Hermit of the Dale from the Chronicle of Dale Abbey.

Nov 23 2015

34mins

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