The Monstrous Middle Ages
Bettina Bildhauer, Robert Mills
University of Wales Press, May 15, 2017 - History - 236 pages
The figure of the monster in medieval culture functions as a vehicle for a range of intellectual and spiritual inquiries, from questions of language and representation to issues of moral, theological and cultural value. Monsters embody cultural tensions that go far beyond the idea of the monster as simply an unintelligible and abject other. This text looks at both the representation of literal monsters and the consumption and exploitation of monstrous metaphors in a wide variety of high and late-medieval cultural productions, from travel writing and mystical texts, to sermons, manuscript illuminations and maps. Individual essays explore the ways in which monstrosity shaped the construction of gendered and racial identities, religious symbolism and social prejudice in the Middle Ages. Reading the Middle Ages through its monsters provides an opportunity to view medieval culture from fresh perspectives. It should be of interest in the concept of monstrosity and its significance for medieval cultural production.
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Anglo-Saxon animals Antoninus argues authorities beast Beowulf Berthold bestial Bestiaries blood Book British Library Bynum Cambridge Caroline Walker Bynum Christ Christ’s body Christendom Christian Church concept context creatures culture cynocephali darkness Deformed Discourse demons depictions described devil devouring discussion divine dragon Ebstorf Ebstorf map encounter English Essays example Exeter female feminine figure function gender Gerald of Wales Gog and Magog Golden Legend head hell hellmouth Hereford map History human hybrid iconography idol images Ireland Jeffrey Jerome Cohen Jerome Cohen Jews John Julian of Norwich late medieval legend literature London Mandeville manuscript Margery Kempe Margery’s marginal Marvels masculine Medieval Art Metamorphosis and Identity Michael Middle Ages modern monsters monstrous races motif narrative nature night night-time ox-man Oxford pagan predators representations saint sche sexual St George story Studies suggests thirteenth century three-headed Topography Trinity University Press visual vols Williams women žat žei