Category Archives: Medieval Literature

Sir Perceval and the Devil: Une Séduction échouée

To every success story, there is at least one, usually more than one, story of failure. If Lanval’s fairy did all the right things (see my previous post), the Devil, who adopted the guise of a beautiful forlorn female in … Continue reading

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Seduction success story: Sir Lanval

As mentioned in a previous post, there seems to have been a standard formula available to medieval would-be seductresses. Elements of the formula included tents, hot afternoons and distressed knights, all of which were necessary for a lusty lustful lady … Continue reading

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How to seduce a knight

This blog provides a rough guide to seducing a paragon of chivalry, bringing him to your feet – and to your bed – resulting in displays of chivalry by day and nights of exhausting pleasure. Caution: only a truly mighty night can endure this routine for long. But then, nothing prevents a damsel from abandoning the exhausted hero in favour of the next prey.

The formula is time-proven and recorded in at least two medieval romances, that of Sir Lanval (variously known as Sir Launfal and Sir Landevale), which contains a formula of successful seduction, and of Sir Perceval (the Lancelot-Graal cycle version entitled La Queste del saint graal), which offers a cautionary tale of failed seduction. Continue reading

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Where Bishop Aidan Got his Royal Horse

If you have read my previous post on how Bishop Aidan gave a royally turned-out horse to a beggar, you are probably wondering where did Aidan get the beast in the first place. Without further ado, I reproduce here the … Continue reading

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A horse and a kingly bridle, or a story of Christian generosity

What would you do if, going along on your business, you met with a beggar, and you were short of cash? Christian duty notwithstanding, you probably wouldn’t give the beggar your good new Jaguar with keys and all-cover insurance into … Continue reading

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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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