Medieval Folklore: A Guide to Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs

Medieval Folklore: A Guide to Myths, Legends, Tales, Beliefs, and Customs

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by Carl Lindahl
     
 

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Over a decade in the making, Medieval Folklore offers a wide-ranging guide to the lore of the Middle Ages—from the mundane to the supernatural. Definitive and lively articles focus on the great tales and traditions of the age and includes information on daily and nightly customs and activities; religious beliefs of the pagan, Christian, Muslim, and Jew; key

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Overview

Over a decade in the making, Medieval Folklore offers a wide-ranging guide to the lore of the Middle Ages—from the mundane to the supernatural. Definitive and lively articles focus on the great tales and traditions of the age and includes information on daily and nightly customs and activities; religious beliefs of the pagan, Christian, Muslim, and Jew; key works of oral and written literature; traditional music and art; holidays and feasts; food and drink; and plants and animals, both real and fantastical.

While most books on medieval folklore focus primarily on the West, this unique volume brings together an eclectic range of experts to treat the subject from a global perspective. Especially remarkable are the surveys of the major medieval traditions including Arab-Islamic, Baltic, English, Finno-Ugric, French, Hispanic, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Scandinavian, Scottish, Slavic, and Welsh.

For anyone who has ever wanted a path through the tangle of Arthurian legends, or the real lowdown on St. Patrick, or the last word on wolf lore—this is the place to look.

The contributors:

Ulrich Marzolph — Arab-Islamic
Thomas A. DuBois — Baltic
John McNamara & Carl Lindahl — English
Thomas A. DuBois — Finno-Ugric
Francesca Canadé Sautman — French
Samuel G. Armistead — Hispanic
Éva Pócs — Hungarian
Joseph Falaky Nagy — Irish
Giuseppe C. Di Scipio — Italian
Eli Yassif — Jewish
Stephen A. Mitchell — Scandinavian
John McNamara — Scottish
Eve Levin — Slavic
Elissa R. Henken & Brynley F. Roberts — Welsh

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Originally published in two volumes (LJ 9/15/00), this rich compendium has been streamlined to create the first one-volume companion to medieval folklore. Gathered here is a significant body of information currently available only in widely scattered sources. The 261 alphabetically arranged entries span a broad spectrum of topics, embracing major themes in folk culture and the legends and sagas of classic European literature both oral and written dating from 500 to 1500 C.E. (Only very modest attention is paid to materials from Africa, East Asia, and South Asia.) Each essay first defines the topic and then carefully addresses context, historical development, uses, motifs, and notable research. Major entries cover death, dance, music, Christmas, lesbians, funeral rituals, taverns, spirits, food, and animals in literatures from Baltic to Welsh to Jewish. Penned by 114 academic scholars, both European and American, the narratives are often ponderous and leaden, yet it must be acknowledged that within academic limits the writing is well crafted, offering insights and dimension found nowhere else. While not exhaustive, this is an extensive and fully researched work that scholars will find valuable. Richard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195147728
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/28/2002
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
1,162,004
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Carl Lindahl, author of books and articles on Chaucer, folk narrative, and festive custom, and John McNamara, who has produced many studies of the heroic and monastic lore of medieval England, are Professors of English at the University of Houston. John Lindow, Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, has published numerous books and articles on Norse myth, legend, and literature.

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