Category Archives: Arthurian Literature

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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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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