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Full-Text Articles in Medieval Studies

“Donning The Skins”: The Problem Of Shapeshifting In The Saga Of The Volsungs, David Mudrak Oct 2019

“Donning The Skins”: The Problem Of Shapeshifting In The Saga Of The Volsungs, David Mudrak

Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs)

“Fafnir became so ill-natured that he set out for the wilds and allowed no one to enjoy the treasure but himself. He has since become the most evil serpent and lies now upon his hoard” (Byock 59). Regin, recounting the tale of his brother’s transformation to Sigurd, describes an act of shapeshifting, a magical transformation of one’s body. While many scholars of Icelandic sagas focus their attention on the family sagas because of the clear message they provide for the Icelandic society, the magical elements of the mythical sagas also offer insight into the cultural workings of that ...


Words Speak Louder Than Actions: The Power Of Vocality And Oral Communication In Medieval Viking Literature, Yasmine Abdel-Jawad May 2019

Words Speak Louder Than Actions: The Power Of Vocality And Oral Communication In Medieval Viking Literature, Yasmine Abdel-Jawad

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

This paper examines the nature of oral communication within medieval Nordic societies, specifically focusing on the usage of various speech acts in classic Viking literary texts. This essay explores the language employed by Viking characters, noting the ways in which they could demonstrate their power/authority through words as well as the way in which verbal ability could either elevate or diminish one’s social status.


The Impact Of The Gospel Of Matthew On The Treatment Of Violence And Self-Defense In The Medieval English And Modern American Legal Systems, Caitlyn Koch May 2019

The Impact Of The Gospel Of Matthew On The Treatment Of Violence And Self-Defense In The Medieval English And Modern American Legal Systems, Caitlyn Koch

Senior Honors Theses

There is no doubt that the Bible is filled with the concept of violence, especially in the New Testament, where Jesus faces the violence of persecution in his own life. There is also no doubt that the synoptic gospels each has its own way of addressing this violence: Mark responds to the violence with Jesus’s passivity, while Matthew, Luke, and John, each to their own extent, teach about non-retaliation and doing good to those who wrong you through their depictions of Jesus’s response to violence. Significantly, Matthew depicts Jesus’s response to violence in two different ways: first ...


John Gardner’S Grendel: The Importance Of Community In Making Moral Art, Catherine C. Cooper May 2019

John Gardner’S Grendel: The Importance Of Community In Making Moral Art, Catherine C. Cooper

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

John Gardner’s Grendel examines the ways in which humans make meaning out of their lives. By changing the original Beowulf monster into a creature who constantly questions the conflicting narratives set before him, Gardner encourages us to confront these tensions also. However, his emphasis on Grendel’s alienation helps us realize that community is essential to creating meaning. Most obviously, community creates relationships that foster a sense of moral obligation between its members, even in the face of the type of uncertainty felt by Grendel. Moreover, community cannot exist without dialogue, which perpetually stimulates the imagination to respond to ...


Semantic Shift In Old English And Old Saxon Identity Terms, David A. Carlton May 2019

Semantic Shift In Old English And Old Saxon Identity Terms, David A. Carlton

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Christianity substantially altered Germanic life during the early Middle Ages. However, no large-scale studies have attempted to visualize Christianization through macroscopic semantic trends, nor have any studies used Old Saxon as a control group to help illustrate the role of Christianity in less obvious semantic contexts. The core question of this project, then, revolves around semantic corpora and their role in clarifying sociocultural phenomena: how can a cross-section of Old Saxon and Old English semantics help clarify Christianity's role in re-shaping early medieval Germanic identity? This study uses corpus linguistics, post-colonial/historical theory, and Digital Humanities approaches to schematize ...


Vision Literature And The Monetization Of Purgatory In Twelfth- And Thirteenth-Century Europe, Peter Colon May 2019

Vision Literature And The Monetization Of Purgatory In Twelfth- And Thirteenth-Century Europe, Peter Colon

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

In twelfth- and thirteenth-century Europe, the creation and rise of Purgatory had a tremendous religious, economic, and social impact; but as it spread throughout Christendom, the phenomenon of paid indulgences did too. By analyzing the vision literature of this period, an understanding of Purgatory’s monetization is ultimately arrived at.


Children Of A One-Eyed God: Impairment In The Myth And Memory Of Medieval Scandinavia, Michael David Lawson May 2019

Children Of A One-Eyed God: Impairment In The Myth And Memory Of Medieval Scandinavia, Michael David Lawson

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Using the lives of impaired individuals catalogued in the Íslendingasögur as a narrative framework, this study examines medieval Scandinavian social views regarding impairment from the ninth to the thirteenth century. Beginning with the myths and legends of the eddic poetry and prose of Iceland, it investigates impairment in Norse pre-Christian belief; demonstrating how myth and memory informed medieval conceptualizations of the body. This thesis counters scholarly assumptions that the impaired were universally marginalized across medieval Europe. It argues that bodily difference, in the Norse world, was only viewed as a limitation when it prevented an individual from fulfilling roles that ...


"We Are Strangers In This Life": Theology, Liminality, And The Exiled In Anglo-Saxon Literature, Nathan John Haydon May 2019

"We Are Strangers In This Life": Theology, Liminality, And The Exiled In Anglo-Saxon Literature, Nathan John Haydon

Theses and Dissertations

In “‘We Are Strangers in this Life’: Theology, Liminality, and the Exiled in Anglo-Saxon Literature,” I analyze the theme of exile in the theological literature of the Anglo-Saxon era as a way of conveying the spiritual condition of eschatological separation. The anthropological theory of liminality will be applied in this dissertation as a way of contextualizing the existence of the exiled, and the multiple ways in which exile is enacted. The intervention of the theory of liminality in this dissertation offers a methodology and vocabulary for assessing what exile means in terms of a spiritual identity, how it operates in ...


Reading The Readers : Analyses Of Shakespearean And Cervantine Characters As (Dys)Functional Readers., Erin Shannon O'Reilly May 2019

Reading The Readers : Analyses Of Shakespearean And Cervantine Characters As (Dys)Functional Readers., Erin Shannon O'Reilly

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation analyzes how the protagonists of Don Quixote and The Tempest perform the act of reading. It explores how the authors create interpretive communities within their works and bring them into conflict in order to foreground the dysfunctionality of particular types of reading. While functional readers are capable of reading among and beyond diverse interpretive communities, dysfunctional readers operate within a single community to the exclusion of other possible interpretations. Chapter One examines Cervantes’s creation of multiple interpretive communities within the first six chapters of Don Quixote, and how Don Quixote acts as dysfunctional reader through his inability ...


The Body And Its Signifiers: Bodily Depictions In Niccolò De’ Conti And Odorico Da Pordenone, Antonella Dalla Torre May 2019

The Body And Its Signifiers: Bodily Depictions In Niccolò De’ Conti And Odorico Da Pordenone, Antonella Dalla Torre

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation examines textual, bodily depictions in two western European, medieval and late-medieval travel accounts, which describe the eastern travels of the Venetian merchant Niccolò de’ Conti and those of the Franciscan friar Odorico da Pordenone. My analysis show how a connection between the characterizations of the body and the process of identity definition is forged and sustained in these texts.

Through a cultural-studies perspective, my work focuses specifically on depictions of the body in Poggio Bracciolini’s account of the travels of Niccolò de’ Conti and in the text of a vernacular rendition of Odorico da Pordenone’s Relatio ...


Las Islas En La Literatura Castellana De La Baja Edad Media, Martha Elena Granados Sáenz Jan 2019

Las Islas En La Literatura Castellana De La Baja Edad Media, Martha Elena Granados Sáenz

Theses and Dissertations--Hispanic Studies

This dissertation explores references to islands in 13th and 14th century Iberian literature in a corpus of encyclopedias, travel books and chivalry novels from 1223 through 1396. I explore how island geography became part of the Medieval imago mundi. Many Medieval readers were interested in these faraway lands where, they believed, monstrous races flourished, sea monsters lurked, and Paradise awaited to be rediscovered. The physical and human geography featured in these narratives, gave birth to an imaginary, utopian, exotic, extravagant, and mysterious concept of “islandness” located in idyllic places to be interpreted as cognitive maps of the social ...


"The Double Sorwe Of Troilus": Experimentation Of The Chivalric And Tragic Genres In Chaucer And Shakespeare, Rena Patel Jan 2019

"The Double Sorwe Of Troilus": Experimentation Of The Chivalric And Tragic Genres In Chaucer And Shakespeare, Rena Patel

Scripps Senior Theses

The tumulus tale of Troilus and his lover Cressida has left readers intrigued in renditions written by both Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare due to their subversive nature of the authors’ chosen generic forms. Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde challenges the expectations and limitations of the narrative of the chivalric romance. Shakespeare took the story and turned Troilus and Cressida into one of his famous “problem plays” by challenging his audience’s expectations of the tragic genre. I endeavor to draw attention to the ways in which both Chaucer and Shakespeare use the conventions of the chivalric romance and tragedy ...


Chaucer And Malory’S Treatment Of Outlawry, Carolyn Sue Gonzalez Jan 2019

Chaucer And Malory’S Treatment Of Outlawry, Carolyn Sue Gonzalez

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The medieval outlaw appears in historical, religious, and legal texts of late Medieval England and is imagined in fiction as well, specifically in the romance narratives of Geoffrey Chaucer and Thomas Malory. Outlawry was a legal state that could be imposed. Both Chaucer and Malory, especially the latter, found themselves outside the law at different points of their lives, an item to consider when examining the authors’ representation of knights acting outside the chivalric code. Both authors populate their romances with outlawry, illustrating the ethical, legal, and social assumptions of their own times. In Chaucer and Malory, knights can sometimes ...


Finding Resources To Repair A Broken Community In William Langland’S Piers Plowman, Emma Piller Jan 2019

Finding Resources To Repair A Broken Community In William Langland’S Piers Plowman, Emma Piller

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This undergraduate thesis seeks to understand how different models of community in the William Langland's Piers Plowman develop. Langland provides his audience with various resources that can guide a Christian community in rebuilding itself when sin attempts to break it down. In exploring how the emerging market economy and Christian church of the late fourteenth century impact Medieval England, Langland provides his own reflection on how we can practice resiliency in continuing to build a better society.


Uncovering The Sources: Historical Characters In Dante's Divine Comedy, Vanessa Dimaggio Jan 2019

Uncovering The Sources: Historical Characters In Dante's Divine Comedy, Vanessa Dimaggio

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

A lack of citation of Dante’s specific source material for historical characters who appear in the Divine Comedy is widespread throughout the commentary tradition. I performed a close textual analysis of the Divine Comedy’s historical characters, comparing them with the chronicles, annals and histories of Dante’s time, using both archival research and secondary histories to do so, and interpreted those primary historical texts as potential sources consulted by Dante. The historical characters I focused on fell into three categories: 1) characters involved in the battles of Montaperti and Colle Val d’Elsa, 2) characters belonging to or ...


Hadrian Iv (1154-1159) And The “Bull” Laudabiliter: A Historiographical Review, Sebastian Lidbetter Jan 2019

Hadrian Iv (1154-1159) And The “Bull” Laudabiliter: A Historiographical Review, Sebastian Lidbetter

Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive)

This work represents an exploration into the historiography of a hotly debated historical document known as Laudabiliter. In 1155 Pope Hadrian IV (most often styled Adrian and sometimes Adrien) issued Laudabiliter to King Henry II of England. Laudabiliter states that King Henry could invade Ireland to root out the weeds of vice amongst the Irish people, who had supposedly steered away from the Catholic faith, and rule Ireland as its lord. Hadrian IV claimed the right to do this because the Donation of Constantine granted successors of St. Peter, i.e. the pope, dominion over any and all islands.

Any ...


Unusual Accidental Signs, Microtonal Inflections, And Marchetto Of Padua, Alan D. Richtmyer Sep 2018

Unusual Accidental Signs, Microtonal Inflections, And Marchetto Of Padua, Alan D. Richtmyer

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis addresses the question of how an interval roughly half the width of the minor semitone could be incorporated into the otherwise strictly diatonic framework of the medieval gamut and then asks whether certain unusual accidentals signs found in fourteenth- and early fifteenth-century sources were meant to signal such inflections.

It demonstrates that when a tone is subdivided so as to produce a microtone, the chromatic part that remains must either be made explicit, or must be transferred elsewhere in the scale so that the encompassing framework of the gamut will remain intact. It shows that when the former ...


"The Gods Have Taken Thought For Them": Syncretic Animal Symbolism In Medieval European Magic, Solange Nicole Kiehlbauch Jun 2018

"The Gods Have Taken Thought For Them": Syncretic Animal Symbolism In Medieval European Magic, Solange Nicole Kiehlbauch

Master's Theses and Project Reports

This thesis investigates syncretic animal symbolism within medieval European occult systems. The major question that this work seeks to answer is: what does the ubiquity and importance of magical animals and animal magic reveal about overarching medieval perceptions of the world? In response, I utilize the emerging subfield of Animal History as a theoretical framework to draw attention to an understudied yet highly relevant aspect of occult theory and practice. This work argues that medieval Europeans lived in a fundamentally “enchanted” world compared to our modern age, where the permeable boundaries between physical and spiritual planes imbued nature and its ...


Misassembled Monsters, Jenn Brown May 2018

Misassembled Monsters, Jenn Brown

Graduate School of Art Theses

This thesis is a narrative of personal and material history. Through my work in painting, sculpture, and installation, I seek to share my story of emotional armoring in an attempt to connect to an audience. In my work, I look to my personal memories of growing up in a small, midwestern town and armoring myself with emotional barriers against its social construct of “normalcy.” Inspired by Medieval suits of armor and the characteristics of Goth culture throughout history, I employ my work to present the stage of a theatrical battleground. Creating each of my pieces is a fight for the ...


Of The Silmarils And The Ring: J. R. R. Tolkien's Fiction And The Importance Of Creation And Art, Michael Hartinger May 2018

Of The Silmarils And The Ring: J. R. R. Tolkien's Fiction And The Importance Of Creation And Art, Michael Hartinger

Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

J. R. R. Tolkien embodies the opposing ideals of Enchantment and the Machine in the Silmarils and the One Ring respectively. These created objects oppose each other just as Tolkien’s ideals of art do. Enchantment is art’s ideal, it's purpose is to glorify and enrich the beauty of reality through subcreation. The Silmarils exhibit the delight of making and perceiving beauty. Whereas the Machine is art’s shadowy reflection that utilizes apparatuses or devices rather than personal talent in order to coerce others and reality itself. Overall Tolkien's aesthetic theories reflect many fears surrounding modern attitudes ...


Medieval Japanese Zen: Catalyst For Symbol System Formation, Kendall Ann Roper May 2018

Medieval Japanese Zen: Catalyst For Symbol System Formation, Kendall Ann Roper

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Post-modernism asserts that the world as we know it does not exist independently from the symbolic interpretations we formulate about it. This symbolic and ever unfolding interpretation of reality applies to our understanding of science as well as philosophy, to religion as well as art. In striving to describe religious experiences, various cultures have developed complex symbolic languages whose purpose is to reference a culturally understood version of sacred reality as presented through religion. Religions contribute to shaping these cultural perceptions of reality by utilizing symbolic acts, objects, events, qualities, or concepts to express otherwise inexpressible elements of a culture ...


“All The Foundation Of The Earth Becomes Desolate” Tracing Icelandic And Anglo-Saxon Connections Through A Shared Literary Frontier, Adam E. Timbs May 2018

“All The Foundation Of The Earth Becomes Desolate” Tracing Icelandic And Anglo-Saxon Connections Through A Shared Literary Frontier, Adam E. Timbs

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The mythology of migration is deeply integral to the medieval Germanic societies peopling Northern Europe and the island nations of the North Sea. Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic society construct their identities through a memory of migration that takes places within a frontier that is mythic and historical in scope. By surveying eco-critical components of Anglo-Saxon poems such as “The Wife’s Lament” and “The Husband’s Message” alongside the Icelandic sagas Egil’s saga and The Vinland sagas, a shared tradition of the frontier ideal is revealed.


Rising Above The Faithful: Monumental Ceiling Crosses In Byzantine Cappadocia, Alice Lynn Mcmichael May 2018

Rising Above The Faithful: Monumental Ceiling Crosses In Byzantine Cappadocia, Alice Lynn Mcmichael

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The design of Byzantine architecture created viewing conditions that reveal social and spatial contexts of Christian ritual, private devotion, and expressions of identity. This is apparent in the decoration of ceilings, which were crucial visual elements within spatial relationships in late antique and medieval architecture but are rarely discussed because few examples survive. However, Byzantine Cappadocia, a region that is now central Turkey, has a high number of extant medieval ceilings in its rock-cut architecture. About eighty monuments there have monumental ceiling crosses that were painted or carved in relief between the sixth and eleventh centuries. In this dissertation the ...


Winter's Bane: Part One, Jessica Molz Apr 2018

Winter's Bane: Part One, Jessica Molz

Undergraduate Honors Theses

A thesis in Creative Writing, presenting an original work of fantasy fiction drawing from Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse history, literature, culture, and mythology, with themes of heroism, sacrifice, and prejudice focusing on strong woman characters and feminist restructuring of historical tropes.


Aurality As Methexis And The Rise Of Castilian Literature: The Case Of The Siete Partidas, Maristela Verastegui Feb 2018

Aurality As Methexis And The Rise Of Castilian Literature: The Case Of The Siete Partidas, Maristela Verastegui

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Participation is the engine of cultural production. In the case of literature, the privileged modality that enables participation is auditory perception. In order to articulate a theory of literary cultural production based on auditory perception, participation needs to be analyzed in the context of Platonic methexis, understood as an embodied experience facilitated by brain mechanisms of sensory processing and cognition, which manifest in specific ways in written texts. The Siete Partidas, the first complete and systematic legal code of the Western World, provides the perfect case study to test a theory of literary cultural production based on methexis via auditory ...


Losing Shahrazad: A Distant Reading Of 1001 Nights, Taysa Mohler Jan 2018

Losing Shahrazad: A Distant Reading Of 1001 Nights, Taysa Mohler

Senior Projects Spring 2018

This project is a distant reading analysis of seven 19th and 20th-century English translations of One Thousand and One Nights or The Arabian Nights. Through the use of computer programming and distant reading, it becomes clear that the Nights' frame tale is the carrier of the internal logic and generative power of the story cycle. Further, the frame tale expresses the Nights' self-representation, which serves to undermine the historical use of the Nights as synecdoche for the Orient. Therefore, the translators that remove the frame story from their versions further the Nights' use as an Orientalist object, and take the ...


John Lydgate And His Readers, Alaina Bupp Jan 2018

John Lydgate And His Readers, Alaina Bupp

English Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Fifteenth-century poet John Lydgate holds the distinction of being both prolific and popular in his own time. Unfortunate comparisons to his literary forbear, Geoffrey Chaucer, dampened his early reputation, and Lydgate spent centuries out of favor with literary critics. In the past decade, he has enjoyed a resurgence of critical attention; this project considers why this may be and also why he remained in the critical shadows for so long. To answer these questions, I turn to Lydgate’s approach to his readers and the manuscripts and early printed books with which his early (and enthusiastic) audience would have been ...


Listening To An/Other Voice: Gender, Creativity, And The Divine In The Works Of Female Christian Mystics And Women Surrealists, Stephanie Garboski Jan 2018

Listening To An/Other Voice: Gender, Creativity, And The Divine In The Works Of Female Christian Mystics And Women Surrealists, Stephanie Garboski

Honors Theses

This thesis will compare two groups, Christian women mystics and women surrealists, by analyzing select works by Hildegard of Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Leonora Carrington, and Dorothea Tanning. This analysis will involve a comparative, theoretical approach that draws connections between the way in which both groups utilize varying literary and artistic forms, symbols, and polyglottery. I will utilize Bourdieu’s terms of cultural production as a framework in which to better understand how women of both fields are used for their creativity and supposed connection to an/other, which is the source of inspiration native to each field, God and ...


La Influencia De Boccaccio En La Literatura Catalana Medieval (1390-1495). Un Estudio De La Imitación Literaria En Bernat Metge, Bernat Hug De Rocabertí Y Joan Roís De Corella, Pau Cañigueral Batllosera Jan 2018

La Influencia De Boccaccio En La Literatura Catalana Medieval (1390-1495). Un Estudio De La Imitación Literaria En Bernat Metge, Bernat Hug De Rocabertí Y Joan Roís De Corella, Pau Cañigueral Batllosera

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation studies the impact of the works by Giovanni Boccaccio on Catalan medieval literature. The influence of Italian literature in medieval Iberian writing is traditionally understood as a key component of a wide-ranging cultural process of transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. The works of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, the tre corone, played a crucial role in that process. Boccaccio, in particular, became a model for the writing of a variety of literary genres, from misogynistic poetry to chivalric romances. His works, both in Latin and Italian, featured in the most remarkable libraries of the period as ...


Literary Culture In Early Christian Ireland: Hiberno-Latin Saints’ Lives As A Source For Seventh-Century Irish History, John Higgins Jan 2018

Literary Culture In Early Christian Ireland: Hiberno-Latin Saints’ Lives As A Source For Seventh-Century Irish History, John Higgins

Doctoral Dissertations

The writers of seventh-century Irish saints’ Lives created the Irish past. Their accounts of the fifth-and-sixth century saints framed the narrative of early Irish Christianity for their contemporary and later audience. Cogitosus’s Life of Brigit, Muirchú’s and Tírechán’s accounts of Saint Patrick, and Adomnán’s Life of Columba have guided the understanding of early Irish history from then until now.

Unlike other early texts these Lives are securely dated. Composed as tools in the discourse regarding authority in seventh-century Irish ecclesiastical and secular politics, they provide historical insights not available from other sources. In the seventh century ...