MDT Ep. 84: Medieval True Crime I - Concerning Miraculous Justice for a Mutilated Priest
For our sixth anniversary episode, we kick off a miniseries on medieval true crime, with the account of a particularly brutal assault on a parish priest, with an additional look at medieval treatments for eye wounds, and also learn how a dead man managed to kill the warrior who slayed him.
Knox, Ronald, and Shane Leslie, editors and translators. The Miracles of King Henry VI. Cambridge UP, 1923.
Guy de Chauliac, Grand Chirurgie. "Description of the Plague." Tr. by William A. Guy. Public Health: A Popular Introduction to Sanitary Science, Henry Renshaw, 1870, pp. 48-50. Google Books.
Kelleher, Richard Mark. "Coins, monetisation and re-use in medieval England and Wales: new interpretations made possible by the Portable Antiquities Scheme." Doctoral thesis, vol. 1, Durham University, 2012. Durham e-Theses, etheses.dur.ac.uk/7314/.
Audio Credits Recording by Freesound.ord user YleArkisto used under Creative Commons Attribution license. "Sudet ulvovat / Wolves howling, small pack, frost snapping" (https://freesound.org/s/243495/)
Nov 01 2020
MDT Ep. 83: Concerning Island Kingdoms, Bloodsuckers, and Flesh-Eaters
This episode, we check in once again with 14th-century traveler Odoric of Pordenone as he takes in the many lands between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, including Sri Lanka, Java, Borneo, Vietnam, and some that remain rather mysterious.
Today's Texts: Odoric of Pordenone. "The Eastern Parts of the World, Described." Cathay and the Way Thither, translated by Henry Yule, vol. 1, Hakluyt Society, 1866, pp. 43-162. Google Books.
Odoricus. "The Voyage of Frier Beatus Ordoricus to Asia Minor, Armenia, Chaldea, Persia, India, China, and Other Remote Parts, &c." The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, edited and translated by Richard Hakluyt, vol. 4, Macmillan 1904, pp. 371-444. Google Books.
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MDT Ep. 82: Concerning Plague Persecutions
This episode, we examine the persecution of Jews that occurred during the plague years of 1348-1350, including the record of well-poisoning interrogations, the pope's attempt to quell the violence, and a Jewish account of the persecutions and resistance.
* "Appendix 2: Examination of the Jews Accused of Poisoning the Wells." The Epidemics of the Middle Ages, by J.F.C. Hecker and translated by B.G. Babington, 3rd ed., Trübner & Co., 1859, pp. 70-74. Google Books. * Clement VI. Bull of 1 Oct. 1348 [Latin text]. Acta Salzburgo-Aquilejensia, edited by Alois Lang, vol. 1, VerlagsBuchhandlung Styria, 1903, pp. 301-302. Google Books. * Joseph ha-Kohen. The Chronicles of Rabbi Joseph Ben Joshua Ben Meir, the Sphardi. Translated by C.H.F. Bialloblotzky, vol. 1, Richard Bentley, 1835. Google Books.
Music credit: Hershman, Mordechai, performer. "Rochel Mevake Al Bonaiho." 1921. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, www.loc.gov/item/jukebox-39537/.
Jul 03 2020
MDT Ep. 81: Concerning More Descriptions of the Plague
As life under quarantine begins to enter a new phase, we continue our survey of plague texts, with a grab-bag of selections ranging from Petrarch baring his soul to a surgeon listing failed remedies to some Paris professors issuing pandemic guidelines to keep the country safe, which include by no means consuming olive oil.
* Capgrave, John. The Chronicle of England. Edited by Francis Charles Hingeston, Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1858. Google Books. * Dobson, Susanna, translator. The Life of Petrarch. Collected from Memoires pour la vie de Petrarch by Jacques-Francois-Paul-Aldonce De Sade, vol. 2, 7th ed., W. Wilson, 1807. Google Books. * Guy de Chauliac, Grand Chirurgie. "Description of the Plague." Tr. by Anna M. Campbell. Reprinted from Campbell, The Black Death and Men of Learning, pp. 2-3, 1931. * Guy de Chauliac, Grand Chirurgie. "Description of the Plague." Tr. by William A. Guy. Public Health: A Popular Introduction to Sanitary Science, Henry Renshaw, 1870, pp. 48-50. Google Books. * Petrarch, "Letter to Gherard, May 1349." Translated by Francis Aidan Gasquet in The Black Death of 1348 and 1349, 2nd ed., George Bell and Sons, 1908, pp. 33-34. Google Books. * "Statement of the Faculty of the College of Physicians of Paris." In The Epidemics of the Middle Ages, by J.F.C. Hecker, translated by B.G. Babington, 3rd ed., Trübner & Co., 1859, pp. 47-49. Google Books.
May 26 2020
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MDT Ep. 80: Concerning Boccaccio's Description of the Plague
We return at last for our first episode of 2020 in the midst of the covid-19 global pandemic. As such, our text for today is the famous description of the bubonic plague as it appeared in Florence in 1348 with which Boccaccio frames his tale collection, the Decameron.
Today's Text Boccaccio, Giovanni. Stories of Boccaccio (The Decameron). Translated by Léopold Flameng, G. Barrie, 1881. Google Books.
MDT Ep. 79: Concerning Cursed Christmas Carolers and an Unlikely Bishop
This Christmas Eve episode, we return to the Gesta Regum Anglorum of William of Malmesbury, to learn hear some legends of Saxony, including some overly boisterous Christmas revelers cursed to continue their revels for a whole year without rest.
Today's Text: 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. References Hecker, J.F.C. The Epidemics of the Middle Ages. Translated by B.G. Babington, 3rd ed., Trübner & Co., 1859.
McDougall, Sara. "Bastard Priests: Illegitimacy and Ordination in Medieval Europe." Speculum, vol. 94, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 138-172.
Thomas, Edith M. "The Christmas Dancers: A Legend of Saxony." The Century, vol. 59, no. 2, Dec. 1899, pp. 165-173.
Dec 23 2019
MDT Ep. 78: Concerning the Character of William Rufus and Some Scandalous Shoes
This episode, we explore a character analysis of an unpopular leader, as William of Malmesbury explains how the virtues of William Rufus transformed into his greatest vices. Along the way, we also learn why pointy shoes are indicators of moral degradation.
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.
Orderic Vitalis. The Ecclesiastical History of England and Normandy. Vol. 2. Translated by Thomas Forester, Henry G. Bohn, 1854.
MDT Ep. 77: Concerning Some Demons of the Lanercost Chronicle (and a Revenant)
This Halloween, we celebrate our fifth anniversary with five terrifying tales of demonic activity from the Lanercost Chronicle.
Today's Text: The Chronicle of Lanercost: 1272–1346. Translated by Herbert Maxwell, James Maclehose and Sons, 1913.
Nov 01 2019
MDT Ep. 76: Concerning a Glimpse into 15th-Century School Life
We return from our hiatus with an exploration of life in Tudor grammar school classroom, as described in a compilation of translation exercises composed for his students by a master of the Magdalen School, Oxford.
As a treat to all of our listeners while the regular show is on vacation for July, here's the commentary track I made for the 1981 film Dragonslayer. This was originally released this past winter just to our Patreon supporters, but now everyone can get have chance to enjoy it. Note that this includes a long introduction featuring a reading of the legend of St. George and the Dragon. If you want to jump straight to the actual commentary synced to the film, you'll need to skip ahead to around the 18-minute mark of the file.