Cressida

Cressida (/ˈkrɛsdə/; also Criseida, Cresseid or Criseyde) is a character who appears in many Medieval and Renaissance retellings of the story of the Trojan War. She is a Trojan woman, the daughter of Calchas, a Greek seer. She falls in love with Troilus, the youngest son of King Priam, and pledges everlasting love, but when she is sent to the Greeks as part of a hostage exchange, she forms a liaison with the Greek warrior Diomedes. In later culture she becomes an archetype of a faithless lover.

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Calchas

In Greek mythology, Calchas (/ˈkælkəs/; Ancient Greek: Κάλχας, possibly meaning "bronze-man"), son of Thestor, was an Argive seer, with a gift for interpreting the flight of birds that he received of Apollo: "as an augur, Calchas had no rival in the camp". He also interpreted the entrails of the enemy during the tide of battle.

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Antenor (mythology)

Antenor (Greek: Ἀντήνωρ, Antḗnōr) was a counselor to King Priam of Troy in the legendary Greek accounts of the Trojan War.

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Achilles

In Greek mythology, Achilles (/əˈkɪliz/, uh-KILL-eez; Greek: Ἀχιλλεύς [a.kʰil.le͜ús]) was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. His mother was the immortal nymph Thetis, and his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons.

Achilles' most notable feat during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan hero Hector outside the gates of Troy. Although the death of Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that he was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Paris, who shot him in the heel with an arrow. Later legends (beginning with a poem by Statius in the 1st century AD) state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel. Alluding to these legends, the term "Achilles heel" has come to mean a point of weakness, especially in someone or something with an otherwise strong constitution.

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Troilus and Criseyde

Troilus and Criseyde (Modern English: /ˈtrɔɪləs ən ˈkrɛsdə/) is an epic poem by Geoffrey Chaucer which re-tells in Middle English the tragic story of the lovers Troilus and Criseyde set against a backdrop of war during the Siege of Troy. It was composed using rime royale and probably completed during the mid 1380s. Many Chaucer scholars regard it as the poet's finest work. As a finished long poem it is more self-contained than the better known but ultimately uncompleted Canterbury Tales. This poem is often considered the source of the phrase: "all good things must come to an end" (3.615).

Although Troilus is a character from Ancient Greek literature, the expanded story of him as a lover was of Medieval origin. The first known version is from Benoît de Sainte-Maure's poem Roman de Troie, but Chaucer's principal source appears to have been Boccaccio who re-wrote the tale in his Il Filostrato. Chaucer attributes the story to a "Lollius" (whom he also mentions in The House of Fame), although no writer with this name is known. Chaucer's version can be said to reflect a less cynical and less misogynistic world-view than Boccaccio's, casting Criseyde as fearful and sincere rather than simply fickle and having been led astray by the eloquent and perfidious Pandarus. It also inflects the sorrow of the story with humour.

The poem had an important legacy for later writers. Robert Henryson's Scots poem The Testament of Cresseid imagined a tragic fate for Criseyde not given by Chaucer. In historical editions of the English Troilus and Criseyde, Henryson's distinct and separate work was sometimes included without accreditation as an "epilogue" to Chaucer's tale. Other texts, for example John Metham's Amoryus and Cleopes (c. 1449), adapt language and authorship strategies from the famous predecessor poem. Shakespeare's tragedy Troilus and Cressida, although much blacker in tone, was also based in part on the material.

Troilus and Criseyde is usually considered to be a courtly romance, although the generic classification is an area of significant debate in most Middle English literature. It is part of the Matter of Rome cycle, a fact which Chaucer emphasizes.

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The Consolation of Philosophy

The Consolation of Philosophy (Latin: De consolatione philosophiae) is a philosophical work by Boethius, written around the year 524. It has been described as the single most important and influential work in the West on Medieval and early Renaissance Christianity, and is also the last great Western work of the Classical Period.

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Parlement of Foules

The Parlement of Foules (also known as the Parliament of Foules, Parlement of Briddes, Assembly of Fowls, Assemble of Foules, or The Parliament of Birds) is a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer (1343?–1400) made up of approximately 700 lines. The poem is in the form of a dream vision in rhyme royal stanza and contains the first reference to the idea that St. Valentine's Day is a special day for lovers.

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Anelida and Arcite

Anelida and Arcite is a 357-line English poem by Geoffrey Chaucer. It tells the story of Anelida, queen of Armenia and her wooing by false Arcite from Thebes, Greece.

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The House of Fame

The House of Fame (Hous of Fame in the original spelling) is a Middle English poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, probably written between 1379 and 1380, making it one of his earlier works. It was most likely written after The Book of the Duchess, but its chronological relation to Chaucer's other early poems is uncertain.

The House of Fame is over 2,005 lines long in three books and takes the form of a dream vision composed in octosyllabic couplets. Upon falling asleep the poet finds himself in a glass temple adorned with images of the famous and their deeds. With an eagle as a guide, he meditates on the nature of fame and the trustworthiness of recorded renown. This allows Chaucer to contemplate the role of the poet in reporting the lives of the famous and how much truth there is in what can be told.

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The Book of the Duchess

The Book of the Duchess, also known as The Deth of Blaunche is the earliest of Chaucer's major poems, preceded only by his short poem, "An ABC," and possibly by his translation of The Romaunt of the Rose. Most sources put the date of composition after 12 September 1368 (when Blanche of Lancaster died) and 1372, with many recent studies privileging a date as early as the end of 1368.

Overwhelming (if disputed) evidence suggests that Chaucer wrote the poem to commemorate the death of Blanche of Lancaster, wife of John of Gaunt. The evidence includes handwritten notes from Elizabethan antiquary John Stowe indicating that the poem was written at John of Gaunt's request. There are repeated instances of the word “White,” which is almost certainly a play on “Blanche.” In addition, at the end of the poem there are references to a 'long castel', suggesting the house of Lancaster (line 1318) and a 'ryche hil' as John of Gaunt was earl of Richmond (mond=hill) (line 1319) and the narrator swears by St John, which is John of Gaunt's saint's name.

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The Romaunt of the Rose

The Romaunt of the Rose (the Romaunt) is a partial translation into Middle English of the French allegorical poem, le Roman de la Rose (le Roman). Originally believed to be the work of Chaucer, the Romaunt inspired controversy among 19th-century scholars when parts of the text were found to differ in style from Chaucer's other works. Also the text was found to contain three distinct fragments of translation. Together, the fragments—A, B, and C--provide a translation of approximately one-third of Le Roman.

There is little doubt that Chaucer did translate Le Roman de la Rose under the title The Romaunt of the Rose: in The Legend of Good Women, the narrator, Chaucer, states as much. The question is whether the surviving text is the same one that Chaucer wrote. The authorship question has been a topic of research and controversy. As such, scholarly discussion of the Romaunt has tended toward linguistic rather than literary analysis.

Scholars today generally agree that only fragment A is attributable to Chaucer, although fragment C closely resembles Chaucer's style in language and manner. Fragment C differs mainly in the way that rhymes are constructed. And where fragments A and C adhere to a London dialect of the 1370s, Fragment B contains forms characteristic of a northern dialect.

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Roman de la Rose

The Roman de la Rose (French: [ʁɔmɑ̃ də la ʁoz]; "Romance of the Rose"), is a medieval French poem styled as an allegorical dream vision. It is a notable instance of courtly literature. The work's stated purpose is to both entertain and to teach others about the Art of Love. At various times in the poem, the "Rose" of the title is seen as the name of the lady, and as a symbol of female sexuality in general. Likewise, the other characters' names function both as regular names and as abstractions illustrating the various factors that are involved in a love affair.

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Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer (/ˈɔːsər/; c. 1343 – 25 October 1400), known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages. He was the first poet to be buried in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.

While he achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, and astronomer, composing a scientific treatise on the astrolabe for his ten-year-old son Lewis, Chaucer also maintained an active career in the civil service as a bureaucrat, courtier and diplomat. Among his many works are The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, The Legend of Good Women and Troilus and Criseyde. He is best known today for The Canterbury Tales.

Chaucer's work was crucial in legitimizing the literary use of the Middle English vernacular at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were French and Latin.

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The Miller's Tale

"The Miller's Tale" (Middle English: The Milleres Tale) is the second of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1380s–1390s), told by the drunken miller Robin to "quite" (requite) "The Knight's Tale". The Miller's Prologue is the first "quite" that occurs in the tales (to "quite" someone is to repay them for a service, the service here being the telling of stories).

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Canons Regular

Canons Regular are priests living in community under a rule ("regula" in Latin), usually the Rule of St. Augustine and thus Augustinian Canons, and sharing their property in common.

Distinct from monks, who live a cloistered, contemplative life and sometimes engage in ministry to those from outside the monastery, the purpose of the life of a canon is to engage in public ministry of liturgy and sacraments for those who visit their churches (historically the monastic life was by its nature lay, whereas canonical life was essentially clerical).

Distinct from Clerks Regular (Regular Clerics)—an example of which is the Society of Jesus—they are members of a particular community of a particular place, and are bound to the public praying of the Liturgy of the Hours in choir.

Secular canons, by contrast, belong to a community of priests attached to a church but do not take vows or live in common under a Rule.

Canons Regular are sometimes called Black or White Canons, depending on the color of the religious habit worn by the congregation to which they belong.

Canons live together in community and take the three vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience; though this is a later development, the first communities of Canons took vows of common property and stability. Some congregations of Canons Regular have retained the vow of stability.

Famous Canons Regular include Pope Adrian IV, Thomas à Kempis, and Desiderius Erasmus.

The Canons Regular are not to be confused with the Order of Saint Augustine. Pope Urban II wrote of two forms of religious life: the monastic (like the Benedictines and Cistercians) and the canonical (like the Augustinian Canons). He likened the monks to the role of Mary, and the canons to that of her sister, Martha. These clergy were called 'canon' because their names were kept in a list known as a 'kanon', a Greek word meaning 'rule'.

The monks sought to reflect supernatural order and stability within their monasteries, with examples of worship, farming, medical care, librarianship, learning, etc. The canons worked in the disorder of the towns and cities, where the worship, medicines, education and the skills of the enclosed Benedictines were not present to the growing numbers of urban dwellers.

By 1125 hundreds of communities of Canons had sprung up in Western Europe. Usually they were quite autonomous of one another, and varied in their ministries. One obvious place where a group of priests was required was within a cathedral, where there were many Masses to celebrate and the Divine Office to be prayed together in community. Canons often came to be associated with cathedrals, but other groups of canons also established themselves in smaller centres.

When, in and after the 11th century, the various congregations of Canons Regular were formed, and adopted the Rule of St. Augustine, they were usually called Canonici Regulares Ordinis S. Augustini Congregationis, and in England "Austin Canons" or "Black Canons", but there have always been canons regular who never adopted the Rule of St. Augustine. In a word, canons regular may be considered as the genus, and Austin Canons as the species; or all Austin Canons are canons regular, but not all canons regular are Austin canons.

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Jacques de Vitry

Jacques de Vitry, C.R.S.A., (c. 1160/70 – 1 May 1240) was a French canon regular who was a noted theologian and chronicler of his era. He was elected bishop in 1214 and made cardinal in 1229.

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Exemplum

An exemplum (Latin for "example", pl. exempla, exempli gratia = "for example", abbr.: e.g.) is a moral anecdote, brief or extended, real or fictitious, used to illustrate a point. The word is also used to express an action performed by another and used as an example or model.

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Mos Maiorum

The mos maiorum ("ancestral custom" or "way of the elders," plural mores, with maiorum a genitive plural; cf. English "mores") is the unwritten code from which the ancient Romans derived their social norms. It is the core concept of Roman traditionalism, distinguished from but in dynamic complement to written law. The mos maiorum was collectively the time-honoured principles, behavioural models, and social practices that affected private, political, and military life in ancient Rome.

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Columbus's Letter on the First Voyage

Columbus's letter on the first voyage is the first known document announcing the results of the first voyage of Christopher Columbus that set out in 1492 and reached the Americas. The letter was ostensibly written by Columbus himself, on February 15, 1493, aboard the caravel Niña, while still at sea, on the return leg of his voyage. A post-script was added upon his arrival in Lisbon on March 4, 1493, and it was probably from there that Columbus dispatched two copies of his letter to the Spanish court.

The letter was instrumental in spreading the news throughout Europe about Columbus's voyage. Almost immediately after Columbus's arrival in Spain, printed versions of the letter began to appear. A Spanish version of the letter (presumedly addressed to Luis de Santángel), was printed in Barcelona by early April 1493, and a Latin translation (addressed to Gabriel Sanchez) was published in Rome around a month later (c. May 1493). The Latin version was swiftly disseminated and reprinted in many other locations — Basel, Paris, Antwerp, etc. — still within the first year of his arrival.

In his letter, Christopher Columbus claims to have discovered and taken possession of a series of islands on the edge of the Indian Ocean in Asia. He described the islands, particularly Hispaniola and Cuba, exaggerating their size and wealth, and suggested that mainland China probably lay nearby. He also gave a brief description of the native Arawaks (whom he called "Indians"), emphasizing their docility and amenability, and the prospects of their mass conversion to Catholic Christianity. However, the letter also revealed local rumors about a fierce man-eating tribe of "monsters" in the area (probably Caribs), although Columbus himself disbelieved the stories, and dismissed them as myth. The letter provides very few details of the oceanic voyage itself, and covers up the loss of the flagship of his fleet, the Santa María, by suggesting Columbus left it behind with some colonists, in a fort he erected at La Navidad in Hispaniola. In the letter, Columbus urges the Catholic monarchs to sponsor a second, larger expedition to the Indies, promising to bring back immense riches.

A slightly different version of Columbus's letter, in manuscript form, addressed to the Catholic monarchs of Spain, was found in 1985, part of the Libro Copiador collection, and has led to some revision of the history of the Columbus letter.

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Ancestral Puebloans

The Ancestral Puebloans were an ancient Native American culture that spanned the present-day Four Corners region of the United States, comprising southeastern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. The Ancestral Puebloans are believed to have developed, at least in part, from the Oshara Tradition, who developed from the Picosa culture.

They lived in a range of structures that included small family pit houses, larger structures to house clans, grand pueblos, and cliff-sited dwellings for defense. The Ancestral Puebloans possessed a complex network that stretched across the Colorado Plateau linking hundreds of communities and population centers. They held a distinct knowledge of celestial sciences that found form in their architecture. The kiva, a congregational space that was used chiefly for ceremonial purposes, was an integral part of this ancient people's community structure.

In contemporary times, the people and their archaeological culture were referred to as Anasazi for historical purposes. The Navajo, who were not their descendants, called them by this term. Reflecting historic traditions, the term was used to mean "ancient enemies". Contemporary Puebloans do not want this term used.

Archaeologists continue to debate when this distinct culture emerged. The current agreement, based on terminology defined by the Pecos Classification, suggests their emergence around the 12th century BC, during the archaeologically designated Early Basketmaker II Era. Beginning with the earliest explorations and excavations, researchers identified Ancestral Puebloans as the forerunners of contemporary Pueblo peoples. Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in the United States are credited to the Pueblos: Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Taos Pueblo.

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