Middle Ages

Why study the Middle Ages?  According to Kent Emery, jr., “[a]rtistic expression, in the strict sense, ‘perfects nature,’ liberates the human spirit from the ‘bare necessities’ of its animal and cultural existence, and, moreover, shows ‘disdain’ for them.  So delicate table manners, extravagant fashion, unfunctional  architecture, contrived landscapes and gardens, conceited, indirect, and musical speech, ritualized battle, and ‘refined love’ transform and flaunt the need to eat, wear garments, erect shelters, raise crops, communicate, inflict violence, marry and procreate.  The allure of such images and the freedom they signify, as well as the contradictions they entail, were perceived more acutely amidst the physical and cultural realities of medieval life than they are in our own time” (Foreword, in: Margaret Porette, The Mirror of Simple Souls.  Trans. by J. C. Marler and Judith Grant [Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999], xii-xiii).

I might want to add that during the Middle Ages the barrier between physical reality and the transcendental was not as strong as today, and most medieval poets, painters, musicians, and other artists had easier access to the ineffable and mystical than today.  This makes their works so meaningful for us in the 21st century.  – A.C.

Medieval Italy

PPP: Glory of the Middle Ages

The best cathedrals

Cathedrals in France (with Gregorian chant)

Here follow links for medieval literature:

Video on Medieval Manuscript Technology – hilarious

The Middle Ages – Introductory Essay by Albrecht Classen

Address List of Germanists (not quite up-to-date)

Book Reviews


Introductory on-line Bibliography (WEMSK)

Digital Public Library of America (pre-1923 publications)


General Introduction (tools, terms, tips, etc.)

Allegory in the Middle Ages

Georgetown Medieval Labyrinth

Germanists in North America (newsletter)

Grotefend (medieval time tables etc.)

Jews1    Jews 2

Jews 3 (extensive, both past and present, with audio and video material)

Information Resources (addresses, conferences, journals, organizations, grants, libraries online, etc.)

Medieval Sourcebook (Fordham Univ.)

Mediaevistik (interdisciplinary journal)



O’Brien Webpage (with many links)

On-line Resources

Other Links and Resources (Debora Schwarz’ homepage)

Seven Deadly Sins and Sins versus Virtues

The Seven Liberal Arts

Aldo Scaglione, Knights at Court (1991)

Swords (Making/Welding)

Zeitschriftenliteratur (including festschriften and doctoral diss.)