Pub Date: 25 Sep 2015
Imprint: Sidestone Press
The popular romances of medieval England are fantasy stories of love at first sight; brave knights seeking adventure; evil stewards; passionate, lusty women; hand-to-hand combat; angry dragons; and miracles. They are not only fun but indicate a great deal about the ideals and values of the society they were written in. Yet the genre of Middle English romance has only recently begun to attain critical respectability, dismissed as "vayn carpynge" in its own age and generally treated by twentieth-century critics as a junk-food form of medieval literature. Chaucer's Tale of Sir Thopas has been assumed to be a satire of the romances' clichéd formulas and unskilled authors. But the romances evidently enjoyed popularity among all English classes, and the genre itself continued to flourish and evolve down to present-day novels and movies. Whatever Chaucer and his contemporaries thought of romances, they would have needed some personal familiarity with the stories and texts for comic tales such as Sir Thopas to be understood.
A century ago, Beowulf faced the same problem that the Middle English romances still face: no modern translations were published because few had heard of the poem- because there were no modern translations published. Where the romances have been printed, they have normally been reproduced as critical editions in their original language, or translated into heavily abridged children's versions, but few have been published as scholarly close line translations with notes. This book is an attempt to remedy this by making some of these romances available to the student or lay reader who lacks specialized knowledge of Middle English, with the hope that a clearer understanding of the poems will encourage not only enjoyment but also further study.
Pub Date: 31 Jul 2015
Imprint: Guy Points
The aim of this book is to provide an informed introduction to the subjects so that the reader will be able to confidently recognise Anglo-Saxon church architectural features and Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Scandinavian stone sculpture.
The contents, including illustrations and photographs, all meticulously checked on site, are drawn from the author’s extensive research and travels over many years.
Especially useful is the gazetteer section offering a selection of 127 sites providing excellent examples of the features described.
Pub Date: 07 May 2015
Imprint: Sidestone Press
The original circumstances in which archaeological remains came into being are crucial for the interpretation of the material record. Burials are first and foremost a result of a very traumatic event in a society – the death of one of its members. It is due to this context that burials represent a primary source for understanding past societies’ attitudes towards death.Barbara Hausmair traces death concepts and their influence on mortuary rituals in early medieval communities in what is today known as southwest Germany. Using the cemeteries of Bad Mingolsheim, Horb-Altheim and Weingarten as case studies, the author compares archaeological patterns based on grave goods and grave arrangements with anthropological data on age, sex, pathologies, trauma and migration patterns of the deceased. By connecting the observed patterns with social theories on human death behaviour, Hausmair dissects the complex network of the burial communities’ social structures, death concepts and the newly constructed identities of the dead in the afterlife. Her thanatological approach provides original insights into the relationships between burial practices and ideas about death in Merovingian-period Alamannia by sensibly combining theoretical considerations with a thorough analysis of archaeological material. TEXT IN GERMAN.
Pub Date: 01 May 2015
Imprint: Oxbow Books
The Southampton brokage books are the best source for English inland trade before modern times . Internal trade always matched overseas trade. Between 1430 and 1540 the brokage series records all departures through Southampton’s Bargate, the owner, carter, commodity, quantity, destination and date, and many deliveries too. Twelve such years make up the database that illuminates Southampton’s trade with its extensive region at the time when the city was at its most important as the principal point of access to England for the exotic spices and dyestuffs imported by the Genoese. If Southampton’s international traffic was particularly important, the town’s commerce was representative also of the commonplace trade that occurred throughout England. Seventeen papers investigate Southampton’s interaction with Salisbury, London, Winchester, and many other places, long-term trends and short-term fluctuations. The rise and decline of the Italian trade, the dominance of Salisbury and emergence of Jack of Newbury, the recycling of wealth and metals from the dissolved monasteries all feature here. Underpinning the book are 32 computer-generated maps and numerous tables, charts, and graphs, with guidance provided as to how best to exploit and extend this remarkable resource.An accompanying web-mounted database (http://www.overlandtrade.org) enables the changing commerce to be mapped and visualised through maps and trade to be tracked week by week and over a century. Together the book and database provide a unique resource for Southampton, its trading partners, traders and carters, freight traffic and the genealogies of the middling sort.
Pub Date: 12 Mar 2015
Imprint: Historic Towns Trust
Series: British Historic Towns Atlas
This atlas is the definitive account in maps and words of the historic royal towns of Windsor and Eton. There has never been an account of the history of Eton town, and although Windsor Castle has been much studied, the last historical account of the town of Windsor was published as long ago as 1858.The atlas contains high-quality and original maps of the two towns at key periods between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries. At the heart of the atlas lies a detailed and minutely researched map showing all the major medieval and post-medieval features in the context of a large-scale map of the towns around 1870, using Ordnance Survey maps as a source. The substantial introduction to the history of these distinctive towns charts their development over eight centuries. The atlas is presented as a large-format, high-quality A3 folder, with maps and illustrations printed at A2, allowing clear detail to be seen.All the buildings, historic sites and streets named on the maps are comprehensively documented in a detailed gazetteer, covering the history of the sites and the many sources used in compiling the maps. The value of the atlas is enhanced by the inclusion of numerous colour illustrations, including early maps and views of the towns, many of them previously unknown.For the first time, new research by historians, archaeologists and cartographers has been brought together to compile this unique and original portfolio.
Pub Date: 28 Feb 2015
Imprint: Karwansaray Publishers
The 2014 Medieval Warfare Special issue is entirely dedicated - all 84 pages - to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. It's like a normal issue, except it'll have more pages, more articles, more maps and more illustrations! Medieval Warfare Special 2014: 1453 - The Conquest of Constantinople with: - Eugenia Russel, Historical introduction – the destruction of the Oikoumeni - Kenneth Cline, Constantine XI – no room to maneuver - Murat Özveri, Mehmed ‘the Conqueror’ – A sultan of paradoxes - Nicola Bergamo, Venice, Genoa and Byzantium – difficult ‘trio' - Konstantin Nossov, The walls of Constantinople - Stephen Bennett & Nils Visser, The Conquest of Constantinople - Murray Dahm, Fallout – Contemporary reactions to the loss of Constantinople - Lukasz Rozycki, The fall of the Old World through the eyes of the “Polish janissary” - Raffaele D’Amato, The last defenders – the Roman army - Vassilis Pergalias, The final opponents – the Ottoman army - Ben Sheppard, Aftermath
Pub Date: 04 Feb 2015
Imprint: Paul Holberton Publishing
Accompanying a focused display at The Courtauld Gallery that will bring together for the first time Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s only three known grisaille paintings – the Courtauld’s Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery (which is barred from travel), The Death of the Virgin from Upton House in Warwickshire (National Trust) and Three Soldiers from the Frick Collection in New York – this book will examine the sources, function and reception of these three exquisite masterpieces. The panels will be complemented by prints and contemporary replicas, as well by other independent grisailles in order to shed light on the development of this genre in Northern Europe.
Despite his status as the seminal Netherlandish painter of the 16th century, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525–1569) remains an elusive artist: fewer than forty paintings are ascribed to him. Of these, a dozen are cabinet-sized. These small-scale works offer key insights as they often bear a personal significance for the artist and were sometimes given as gifts to friends and patrons. Presenting these works together for the first time is not only an extraordinary and unprecedented opportunity but it will be extremely revealing, considering their unusual nature in both Bruegel’s oeuvre and 16th-century art in general.
Monochrome painting in shades of grey was a mainstay of Netherlandish art from the early 15th century, most often present on the wings of altarpieces and preparatory sketches for engravings. In contrast, Bruegel’s panels constitute one of the earliest and rare examples of independent cabinet pictures in grisaille, created for private contemplation and enjoyment. This seemingly austere type of painting has often been imbued with religious or political significance. On a purely artistic level, it enabled the painter to showcase his skill by limiting his palette. The publication, which includes a technical investigation of the three panels, will provide the opportunity to reassess the practical aspects of the grisaille technique and the many ways in which this effect was achieved. Indeed, Bruegel’s three monochromatic paintings display quite different techniques, raising the question of the painter’s intent.
This is the latest in the series of books accompanying critically acclaimed Courtauld Gallery displays, following on from Collecting Gauguin (2013), Antiquity Unleashed (2013), Richard Serra (2013), A Dialogue with Nature (2014), Bruegel to Freud (2014) and Jonathan Richardson (2015).
Pub Date: 22 Jan 2015
Imprint: Viking Ship Museum
Series: Ships & Boats of the North
“A wealthy man in Denmark, citizen of the town of Schleswig, built a large ship at great expense. And the king of the country decided to join company and take part in the profits. And after he had made good half of the costs, he owned a corresponding part of the ship …”The medieval Hanseatic merchants are famous for their maritime trade network, which extended across Northern Europe from the 13th century onward. The rare quote above sheds light on a less known period, beginning in the late Viking Age, when large, elegant cargo ships were built and sailed across the sea by Scandinavian merchants.This volume presents the earliest archaeological evidence for specialised merchant seafaring in Danish waters. The cargo ship-finds of Eltang Vig, Lynæs, Karschau and Haderslev are explored in detail in order to illuminate the technology and style of a dynamic age of maritime enterprise and cultural transformation.
Pub Date: 31 Dec 2014
Imprint: Sidestone Press
This books present papers on the archaeology of the region between the river Meuse and the city of Oss (Netherlands), locally known as the "Maaskant". The papers presented in this volume discuss the period from 3000 BC until 1500 AD. The wealth of archaeological data from this region indicated this part of the Netherlands was inhabited by early farmers already 5000 years ago. The strategic location near the river did not only provide fertile grounds but also formed an intersection in transport and communication routes.
Pub Date: 08 Dec 2014
Imprint: Celtic Studies Publications
What awaits us beyond the grave is perhaps the fundamental human mystery. Visionary accounts of the afterlife are attested long before the Common Era, and loomed large in the imaginative universe of early Christianity. The medieval Irish inherited and further transformed this tradition, producing vivid eschatological narratives which had a profound impact throughout Europe as well as being works of remarkable literary and spiritual power in their own right. Under the headings ‘Soul and Body’, ‘The Seven Heavens’, ‘The Next World’, and ‘The Judgement and its Signs’, this book presents critical editions, with translation and commentary, of 26 eschatological texts from the Old, Middle, and Early Modern Irish periods, together with related material in Latin and Old English. Some of these works are here edited for the first time. Extended essays survey Irish eschatological literature a whole, and place it in its wider context; and the volume concludes with a comprehensive handlist of Irish eschatological compositions. This book consists of two volumes.
Pub Date: 17 Nov 2014
Imprint: Jules William Press
Series: Viking Language Old Norse Icelandic Series
Viking Language 2: The Old Norse Reader (the 2nd book in the Viking Language Series) immerses the learner in Old Norse and Icelandic. Readings include a wealth of Old Norse myths, legends, complete Icelandic sagas, poems of the Scandinavian gods, runic inscriptions. There is a large vocabulary and a full reference grammar. Selections from Old Norse and rune texts range from the doom of the gods at the final battle Ragnarok to descriptions of the dwarves’ gold and the ring that inspired Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and a host of modern fantasy.
Pub Date: 28 Apr 2014
Imprint: Viking Ship Museum
The Viking Age was ignited by the art of building seaworthy sailing ships and the skills to sail them on the open sea. The growth in seafaring, trade, piracy, and exploration that began to gather momentum during the 8th century CE was not limited to Europe’s northern seas, however. Ships, laden with cargo and with seafarers who met foreign cultures, created unexpected connections between people from the Arctic Circle to the oceans south of the equator.Travel accounts have handed down glimpses of these voyages to the present day. However, it is archaeological discoveries in particular which uncover the story of Viking-Age seafaring and voyages of exploration. The World in the Viking Age reveals a global history concerning ships, people and objects on the move. It is a story that challenges entrenched ideas about the past and present, and the skills and opportunities of previous generations.
Pub Date: 23 Apr 2014
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Ancient Textiles
The analysis of silk is a fascinating topic for research in itself but here, focusing on the 9th and 10th centuries, Marianne Vedeler takes a closer look at the trade routes and the organization of production, trade and consumption of silk during the Viking Age. Beginning with a presentation of the silk finds in the Oseberg burial, the richest Viking burial find ever discovered, the other silk finds from high status graves in Scandinavia are discussed along with an introduction to the techniques used to produce raw silk and fabrics. Later chapters concentrate on trade and exchange, considering the role of silk items both as trade objects and precious gifts, and in the light of coin finds. The main trade routes of silk to Scandinavia along the Russian rivers, and comparable Russian finds are described and the production and regulation of silk in Persia, early Islamic production areas and the Byzantine Empire discussed. The final chapter considers silk as a social actor in various contexts in Viking societies compared to the Christian west.
Pub Date: 01 Apr 2014
Imprint: Council for British Archaeology
Series: Scottish Burgh Survey
Situated in what now seems a remote corner of south-west Scotland, Wigtown was once an important county town. With its harbour and location at the lowest fording point of the River Cree, Wigtown was at one time part of a major network of land and sea routes, including a pilgrim route to Whithorn. The layout of the town is notable for its large market square, a reflection of its importance in the cattle trade in the medieval period.
The town achieved burgh status in the thirteenth century, by which time it was an important trading centre, and the present arrangement of streets and burgage plots dates to this time. Today the principal access route is from the north, rather than through the East and West Ports which controlled access to the great market place. The burgh arms depict a three-masted sailing ship, demonstrating the importance placed on its maritime trade.
This book examines both the town’s political history, as it passed between the earldoms of Wigtown and Douglas, and its economic history, as it competed with Whithorn, before its eventual decline in the later nineteenth century. The authors use the surviving buildings to examine the development of the town from the medieval to the modern period.
This book is part of the Scottish Burgh Survey – a series funded by Historic Scotland designed to identify the archaeological potential of Scotland’s historic towns.
Pub Date: 04 Dec 2013
Imprint: Sidestone Press
Mediterranean and West European pre-modern agriculture (agriculture before 1600) was by necessity ‘organic agriculture’. Crop protection is part and parcel of this agriculture, with weed control in the forefront.Crop protection is embedded in the medieval agronomy text books but specialised sections do occur. Weeds, insects and diseases are described but identification in modern terms is not easy. The pre-modern ‘Crop Portfolio’ is well filled, certainly in the Mediterranean area. The medieval ‘Pest Portfolio’ differs from the modern one because agriculture then was a Low External Input Agriculture, and because the proportion of cultivated to non-cultivated land was drastically lower than today. The pre-modern ‘Control Portfolio’ is surprisingly rich, both in preventive and interventive measures. Prevention was by risk management, intensive tillage, and careful storage. Intervention was mechanical and chemical. Chemical intervention used natural substances such as sulphur, pitch, and ‘botanicals’. Some fifty plant species are mentioned in a crop protection context.Though application methods look rather modern they are typically low-tech. Among them are seed disinfection, spraying, dusting, fumigation, grease banding, wound care, and hand-picking but also scarification, now outdated. The reality of pest outbreaks and other damages is explored as to frequency, intensity, and extent. Information on the practical use of the recommended treatments is scanty. If applied, their effectiveness remains enigmatic.Three medieval agronomists are at the heart of this book, but historical developments in crop protection from early Punic, Greek, and Roman authors to the first modern author are outlined. The readership of these writers was the privileged class of landowners but hints pointing to the exchange of ideas between them and the common peasant were found. Consideration is given to the pre-modern reasoning in matters of crop protection. Comparison of pre-modern crop protection and its counterpart in modern organic agriculture is difficult because of drastic changes in the relation between crop areas and non-crop areas, and because of the great difference in yield levels then and now, with several associated differences.About the author: Jan C. Zadoks, born in Amsterdam, 1929, studied biology at the University of Amsterdam, graduating in 1957. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam in 1961, with honours, and joined the Wageningen Agricultural University as a plant pathologist. He developed various courses in the area of plant disease epidemiology.
Pub Date: 30 Nov 2013
Imprint: The Highfield Press
This book is about the archaeology querns and mills, simple stone instruments which are vital to survival in a society which adopts bread as its staple. They become the ‘stones of life’, an essential ingredient in the subsistence strategy of settled agriculturalists. It might be expected that as querns and mills are commonplace in archaeology, they would be key artefacts, studied exhaustively. Alas, this is far from the case. They have been woefully neglected, although in the last decade there has been burgeoning interest throughout much of Europe and because of this, it is timely to survey the subject, adopting a broad viewpoint. A study on this scale has not been attempted since the late nineteenth century when Bennett and Elton published their magisterial work on the History of corn milling.The author is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton and a Fellow of the Societies of Antiquaries. He was awarded the Kenyon Medal of the British Academy in 2011 and the Pommerance Medal of the Archaeological Institute of America in 2012. He has had a lifelong interest in querns and mills on which he has published widely. His work includes the discovery of key mill quarries in the Mediterranean – Orvieto in Umbria and Mulargia in Sardinia, while in Britain the Lodsworth quarries remain the only ones to be found by a deliberate search strategy. The reader will be grateful to Chris Green, also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, for the clear and elegant illustrations which enhance the book and elucidate the text.