The Portable Medieval Reader

Front Cover
Penguin, May 26, 1977 - Fiction - 704 pages
8 Reviews
In their introduction to this anthology, James Bruce Ross and Mary Martin McLaughlin remind us that "no area of the past is dead if we are alive to it. The variety, the complexity, the sheer humanity of the middle ages live most meaningfully in their own authentic voices." The Portable Medieval Reader assembles an entire chorus of those voices—of kings, warriors, prelates, merchants, artisans, chroniclers, and scholars—that together convey a lively, intimate impression of a world that might otherwise seem immeasurably alien.

All the aspects and strata of medieval society are represented here: the life of monasteries and colleges, the codes of knigthood, the labor of peasants and the privileges of kings. There are contemporary accounts of the persecution of Jews and heretics, of the Crusades in the Holy Land, of courtly pageants, popular uprisings, and the first trade missions to Cathay. We find Chaucer, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Saint Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas and Abelard alongside a host of lesser-known writers, discoursing on all the arts, knowledge and speculation of their time. The result, according to the Columbia Record, is a broad and eminetly readable "cross section of source history and literature...as rich and varied as a stained glass window."

 

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Review: The Portable Medieval Reader

User Review  - Jeremy - Goodreads

The selections in this collection are broad enough that anyone interested in the High Middle Ages will find something to enjoy. However, the scope of the anthology is also a drawback - readers will ... Read full review

Review: The Portable Medieval Reader

User Review  - sologdin - Goodreads

these Viking readers are usually too ambitious, attempting to pack in massive amounts in limited space. A for effort, I guess, but the selections are too cursory for anything other than a general introduction. Read full review

Contents

I
II
III
IV
V
VI
vu
I WORKS OF BROAD SCOPE AND INTEREST
The Conversion and Subjugation of the Slavs
The German Push to the East
The Great German Pilgrimage
The First Contact of Crusaders and Turks
A Greek View of the Crusaders
An Arab Opinion of the Crusaders
A Crusaders Criticism of the Greeks
Why the Crusaders Failed

II SOCIETY AND POLITICS
III RELIGION AND THE CHURCH
IV THOUGHT LEARNING AND EDUCATION
V LITERATURE MUSIC AND THE VISUAL ARTS
VI LATIN CHRISTENDOM AND ITS NEIGHBORS
The Body Social
THE PRAYERS AND THINKERS
THE FIGHTERS
THE WORKERS
THE JEWS
A Revolt ofthe Commons in London
The Peasants Revolt in England
My Brother Man
Piers Plounnans Protest
The Waldensian Heretics
The Impact of the Black Death
Paris during the Hundred Years War
The Superiority of the Spiritual Authority
The Election and Coronation of a Pope
The Creation of Cardinals
The Fourth Lateran Council
A French Provincial Synod
Letter to Henry II
The Nature of a True Prince
The Independence of theTemporal Authority
The Election and Coronation of an Emperor
A German Poets Attack on the Papacy
The Seven Electors
Louis VI of France
The Coronation of Richard Lion Heart
The Deposition and Death of Richard II
An Imperialist View of the Lombard Communes
City Politics in Siena
A Petty Italian Tyrant
A Picture of a Tyrant
A Plan of Action and a Scheme for Reform
On the Supremacy of General Councils in Church and Empire
A Plea for the Reform of Germany
A Call for Common Action against the Turks
ANNA COMNENA
On the Fame of Abelard
The Later Years
Arnold of Brescia a TwelthCentury Revolutionary
Arnold of Brescia
His Own Deeds
Henry II King of England
The Emperor Frederick II
A Saintly King
Pope Boniface VIII
Dante Alighieri
Inscription for a Portrait of Dante
Giotto
Letter to Posterity
Charles the Bold and the Fall of the House of Burgundy
AnglaSaxons and Normans
The Character and Customs of the Irish
The Expedition of the Grand Company to Constantinople
The Tartar Menace to Europe
A Mission to the Great Khan
The Labours of a Friar in Cathay
A Last Mission to Cathay
Advice to Merchants Bound for Cathay
Henry the Navigators Search for New Lands
TheVision of Viands
Hymn for Good Friday
Davids Lament for Jonathan
When Diana Lighteth
To Bel Vezer on Her Dismissal of the Poet
Dawn Song
The Pretty Fruits of Love
This Song Wants Drink
Of the Churl Who Won Paradise
Gather Ye Rosebuds
The Canticle of the Sun
Of the Gentle Heart
My Lady Looks So Gentle
Beauty in Women
A Triple Roundel
Roundel
Of Pictures and Images
How to Represent the Arts and Sciences
The Identity of Individual Artists
Abbots as Builders
A Painter on His Craft
Nature as the Supreme Authority
Celtic Music and Music in General
TwoMusical Friars
An Orchestra of the Fourteenth Century
A Philosophy of History
The Problems and Motives of the Historian
The Seven Liberal Arts
The Battle of the Arts
Rules oftheUniversity of Paris
Fernando of Cordova the Boy Wonder
The Ancients and the Moderns
A Plea for the Study of Languages
Statute of the Council of Vienne on Languages
An English Humanist
In Defence of Liberal Studies
In Praise of Greek
The Mirror of Nature
Experimental Science
The Case of a Woman Doctor in Paris
The History of Surgery
The Mirror of Wisdom
The End of Man
OnLearned Ignorance
The Vision of God
A Crying Mystic
The Vision of God
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About the author (1977)

James Bruce Ross was professor of history at Vassar College and the coeditor of "The Portable Medieval Reader" and "The Portable Renaissance Reader,

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