Early Modern Medievalism: The End or Creation of the Middle Ages?

Post by Dr Mike Rodman Jones, School of English Albrecht Durer’s St Jerome in his Study (1513) is a seminal work in Renaissance art history. It is also one that, in its subject, execution, and reception, divides cultural time in a way that both omits and contains the Middle Ages. St Jerome (d. 420) appears …

Eclipses and comets and portents (oh my)

Contrary to popular opinion medieval people did not think that the world was flat. Educated people worked on an Aristotelean idea that the world was round and that it had different zones (including places that were either too hot or too cold to live in). However, medieval people, just in Antiquity, did not know that …

‘þe best mylke is womman milke’: Does Breast Milk Heal? – Guest post by Erin Connelly

On a recent episode of GPs: Behind Closed Doors (Channel 5), a reality show that examines doctor-patient relationships, a young mother told her GP that she had been treating her infant’s conjunctivitis with breast milk. The GP was surprised by this treatment and advised against it, stating that it was both ineffective and unpleasant. However, …

The Lylye of Medicynes – Guest post by Erin Connelly

‘ȝif it be a pore man . . .’: Healthcare for the Rich and Poor in the Lylye of Medicynes Economic disparity has come to the forefront of public consciousness in recent years: a report produced by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum in 2014 states that ‘half of the world’s wealth is owned …

Rethinking Ravenna: review

A guest post by Maroula Perisanidi, postgraduate student in History ‘Our royalty is an imitation of yours, modelled on your good purpose, a copy of the only empire, in so far as we follow you we excel all other nations’ These are the terms used by Cassiodorus on behalf of King Theoderic (493–526) to express …

A chilly spring?

Ane doolie sessoun to ane cairfull dyte            doolie: doleful; dyte: story Suld correspond and be equiualent.                  Suld: should. So begins Robert Henryson’s The Testament of Cresseid, a story of what happened to Cresseid (or Criseyde or Cressida, depending on your preferred version) after she left Troy. Henryson’s …

Literatures of Older Scots and Middle English

If there are challenges in establishing Older Scots and Middle English as different languages (see previous blog) those are matched equally in attempting to define an Older Scots literary tradition. The Middle English literary tradition is so multifarious that to insist on separateness for Scotland seems doomed to failure. We can see, for instance, that …

Older Scots and Middle English: mutually comprehensible dialects?

The witticism that Britain and the US are countries divided by a common language might equally apply to Scotland and England. To avoid too much controversy, I am neither going to attribute the thought, nor am I going to discuss contemporary linguistic matters, but instead limit my discussion here to the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth …

Love: not for the faint-hearted?

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne, Th’assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge The dredful joy, that alwey slyd so yerne Al this meene I be love, that my felynge Astonyeth with his wonderful worchyng So soore ywys, that whan I on hym thynke, Nat wote I wel wher that I …

Past identities: medieval differences between Scotland and England

The photo attached to this blog can be replicated in many family albums. The girls here happen to be my goddaughter and her sister, on their way to visit friends and family in Scotland, but they might equally be my children on the same mission north. There remains a slight sense of travelling to a …