Category Archives: Medieval Literature

Session: Arthurian Horses

Organiser: Dr Anastasija Ropa Participants: Dr Joseph M. Sullivan Dr Eleana Creazzo Dr Sandy Feinstein   Horses in the Middle Ages were a means of transport, but, in the world of chivalry, they were also powerful symbolic vehicles. An Arthurian … Continue reading

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Medieval Welsh Horses Had Weird Names

What did the greatest Arthurian knights call their steeds? You will never guess it, unless you read he Black Book of Caermarthen – or my post. Continue reading

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What did medieval people know about Hungary?

What do the Old Norse sagas, the chronicle narrative of Jean Froissart and the Old Serbian annals have in common? How about the Dominican collection of pious exempla by Jacobus de Cessolis, Liber de moribus? Well, to give you yet another clue, think of the late French Arthurian romance of Melyador and the anonymous fifteenth-century Middle English metrical romance Capystranus. Still no nearer to the answer? Hungary and the Hungarians! Surprising as it may sound, Hungary makes a frequent and variegated appearance in a variety of medieval narrative sources across Europe, from Iceland to Italy, not to mention Germany, France, England and such close neighbours as Poland and Serbia. Continue reading

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Call for Papers Session on Arthurian Horses at the International Arthurian Conference 2017

Papers are invited for sessions on Arthurian horses, exploring different aspects of the horse and human interface in medieval Arthurian literature from a wide variety linguistic and national traditions. Continue reading

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Horse and Human Interface in the Middle Ages

Were medieval horses loved by their riders? Or were their regarded as pieces of functional machinery, discarded when they run out of order without a second thought? So many sources, both modern and medieval, refer to them as if they had been mere machines, complex but replacable. The matter-of-fact testimony of restauratio equorum, analyzed for Edwardian England by Andrew Ayton, certainly suggests as much. Likewise, knights in romances rarely stop to grieve their fallen mounts, as long as they have replacements at hand. Even Dom Duarte I in his famous The Book of Horsemanship has little to say about the personality of a medieval horses, except that it must be a ‘good horse’.
But what was a ‘good horse’ in the Middle Ages?
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Publication en ligne – Bulletin du Centre d’études médiévales d’Auxerre, 20/1, 2016

Originally posted on RMBLF.be:
Bulletin du Centre d’études médiévales d’Auxerre, 20/1, 2016. Publication en ligne accessible ici : https://cem.revues.org/14301 Table des matières : Recherche active Mathieu Béghin et Francesca Rapone – La voirie médiévale du site de la Citadelle…

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Knights and Stallions

‘In the days of Chivalry it was deemed a disgrace to ride upon a mare, and no greater indignity could be inflicted on a recreant Knight than to cause him to be placed upon one’ (Lady Charlotte Guest, The Mabinogion, 1838, vol. 1). Did you ever wonder why a knight could never ride a mare and be considered a man? Was it because the patriarchal, male-dominated chivalry admitted no female to its inner circles of power, even if that female was equine? Or should the narrative of homosocial bonding and rampant feminism be abandoned in favour of a more mundane – or indeed, of a more exotic – explanation? Was it even true that the western male elite rode only stallions, never mares, geldings or mules? Continue reading

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Horsemanship – an essential skill in the Middle Ages

‘the art of being a good horseman is one of the most important skills that lords, knights and squires ought to possess.’ (The Book of Horsemanship by Duarte I of Portugal)

Have you ever thought why horsemanship was an essential skill for almost any medieval person with any sort of ambition? Naturally, there were knights, who could not practice chivalry without a cheval, horse. However, any medieval person, peasant or knight, monk or king, housewife or lady, would have at least some practical knowledge of horsemanship. Horses were everywhere, like cars are nowadays, but there were ways in which horses were very much unlike cars. In fact, horsemanship could save your life – in this world and the next one – or lose it. Continue reading

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Call For Papers – Medieval Equestrianism at IMC Leeds 2017

Following the success of Medieval Equestrianism Sessions at the IMC Leeds 2016, we invite papers for special sessions on medieval equestrian history for the International Medieval Congress at Leeds in 2017. Continue reading

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Medieval Equestrianism: Theory and Practice

Call for papers for sessions on the Medieval Horse: Theory and Practice, at the IMC Leeds 2016 Continue reading

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