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Medieval Death Trip

Updated 4 days ago

Arts
Books
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A podcast exploring the wit and weirdness of medieval texts

Read more

A podcast exploring the wit and weirdness of medieval texts

iTunes Ratings

135 Ratings
Average Ratings
126
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

135 Ratings
Average Ratings
126
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

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

A podcast exploring the wit and weirdness of medieval texts

Rank #1: 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 #2: 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 #3: MDT Episode 23: Concerning Some Scandalous Priests, a Sainted Astrologer, and the Dove of Death

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This episode, we return to the Lanercost Chronicle for some examples of clergy behaving in some unclergylike ways, with a particular look at the decline and fall of clerical marriage in the medieval church.

Apr 30 2016

38mins

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Rank #4: 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 #5: MDT Episode 26: Concerning the Problematic Passions of King Edgar

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On this episode, we take one more step backwards in history from last time and look at some scandalous behavior from King Edgar the Peaceful as described by William of Malmesbury.

Jun 22 2016

34mins

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Rank #6: MDT Episode 20: Concerning Trouble with the Inmates of Dale Abbey

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We celebrate the Winter Solstice with a return to the Chronicle of Dale Abbey, where attempts to capitalize on the Hermit's Dale don't go smoothly.

Dec 21 2015

30mins

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Rank #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: 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 #11: 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 #12: 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 #13: MDT Ep. 50: Concerning Fire and Fury in the Palace – Part 1

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This episode we dive into Walter Map's De nugis curialium for a satirical lesson in administrative chaos, choler, and corruption, and also how generally terrible we are.

Feb 13 2018

28mins

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Rank #14: 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 #15: MDT Ep. 31: Concerning the Revenants of William of Newburgh

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We celebrate two years of Medieval Death Trip on our Halloween anniversary with an extra spooky episode looking at the walking dead who haunt William of Newburgh's Historia rerum Anglicarum.

Oct 31 2016

37mins

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Rank #16: 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 #17: MDT Ep. 40: Fear and Trembling in Durham Cathedral

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This episode is the first in our three-part series looking at encounters with the remains of St. Cuthbert, starting in this installment with a quick look at the discovery that his body had not decayed in 698, eleven years after his death, as recounted by the Venerable Bede, and then taking a longer look at the so-called "Anonymous Account" of the inspection of his body during his translation into Durham Cathedral in 1104.

Jun 05 2017

54mins

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Rank #18: MDT Ep. 60: Concerning How the Dead Man Glámr Terrorized Thorhallstead

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For our 4th anniversary, we celebrate Halloween with one of the great tales of the unquiet dead from the Icelandic sagas -- namely, Grettis saga and the story of Grettir's fight with the revenant Glámr. We also recommend three good horror movies that relate to revenants and medieval themes.

Oct 30 2018

1hr

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Rank #19: MDT Ep. 59: Concerning Children Miraculously Saved from Fatal Accidents

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This episode we hear three tales from a miracle catalogue compiled in the hopes of winning official sainthood for King Henry VI, whose reputation needed all the help it could get after the events of his reign. We also take a look at the state of peasant parenthood in late medieval England.

Oct 22 2018

47mins

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Rank #20: 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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