110 episodes

On Medieval Death Trip, we feature a selected medieval text (often historical, occasionally literary) that touches on the odd, the gruesome, the unexpected, and similarly curious incidents, images, or ideas. In addition to presenting the text itself, each episode features commentary and musings upon that text.

Medieval Death Trip Medieval Death Trip

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 231 Ratings

On Medieval Death Trip, we feature a selected medieval text (often historical, occasionally literary) that touches on the odd, the gruesome, the unexpected, and similarly curious incidents, images, or ideas. In addition to presenting the text itself, each episode features commentary and musings upon that text.

    MDT Ep. 106: Concerning the Hard Work of a Housewife

    MDT Ep. 106: Concerning the Hard Work of a Housewife

    For Mother's Day, we look at a 15th-century tale of a plowman who thinks that -- in terms of daily labor -- his wife has it too easy, and how he learns otherwise.

    Today's Text
    "Ballad of a Tyrannical Husband." Reliquiae Antiquae: Scraps From Ancient Manuscripts, Illustrating Chiefly Early English Literature and the English Language, edited by Thomas Wright and James Orchard Halliwell, vol. 2, John Russell Smith, 1845, pp. 196-99. Google Books. Accessed 8 Oct. 2018.
    "Ballad of a Tyrannical Husband." Edited by Eve Salisbury, TEAMS Middle English Texts Series, d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/text/salisbury-trials-and-joys-ballad-of-a-tyrannical-husband#f4. Originally published in The trials and Joys of Marriage, 2002. Accessed 8 Oct. 2018.
    Chetham's MS Mun.A.6.31. Chetham's Library, Manchester, UK, https://luna.manchester.ac.uk/luna/servlet/detail/Man4MedievalVC~4~4~507616~116868:On-a-tyrannical-husband
    "The Old Man Who Lived in the Woods." Traditional, transcribed by Sandy Paton, "Origins: More Work in a Day / Father Grumble," The Mudcat Cafe, 7 Dec. 2001, 9:41 p.m., mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=41847
    Audio Credit: Fiddle tune, "Frosty Morning" performed by Henry Reed (1966), from the Library of Congress.

    • 42 min
    MDT Ep. 105: Concerning the Voice of the Golem

    MDT Ep. 105: Concerning the Voice of the Golem

    We kick of 2024 with a look at humanity's attempts to recreate itself, first with a dip into the legends of the Golem of Prague, and then an extended discussion of the role of AI in the future of medieval studies and particularly this show.

    Today's Texts:
    Eleazar of Worms, Commentary on Sefer Yezirah, fol. 15d. In Moshe Idel. Golem: Jewish Magical and Mystical Traditions on the Artificial Anthropoid. State University of New York Press, 1990.

    Letter from Christoph Arnold to Johann Christoph Wagenseil, printed in Wagenseil's Sota, Hoc est: Liber Mischnicus De Uxore Adulterii Suspecta, Altdorf, 1674, pp. 1152-1234. Munich Digitization Center, digitale-sammlungen.de/en/view/bsb11215591

    [Anonymous golem-making text from MS Cambridge, Add. 647, fol. 18a.] In Moshe Idel. Golem: Jewish Magical and Mystical Traditions on the Artificial Anthropoid. State University of New York Press, 1990.

    Phillippson, Gustav. "Der Golem." Schoschanim: Ein Blick indie Vergangenheit. M. Poppelauer's Buchhandlung, 1871, pp. 77-81. Google Books.

    Tendlau, Abraham M. "Der Golem des Hogh-Rabbi-Löb." Das Buch der Sagen und Legenden jüdischer Vorzeit, J. F. Cast'schen, 1842, pp. 16-18. Google Books.

    Tendlau, Adam. "Der Golem des Hoch-Rabbi-Löb." 1842. In Hans Ludwig Held, Das Gespenst Des Golem, Allgemeine Verlagsanstalt München, 1927, pp 41-44. Google Books.

    William of Malmesbury. Chronicle of the Kings of England. Edited by J.A. Giles, translated by John Sharpe and J.A. Giles, George Bell & Sons, 1895. Google Books.

    • 1 hr 47 min
    Concerning the Abacus and Succubus of Gerbert d'Aurillac

    Concerning the Abacus and Succubus of Gerbert d'Aurillac

    We conclude our miniseries comparing the legends to the real life of Gerbert d'Aurillac: mathematician, pope, and alleged magician. Today's variant of the Dark Legend comes from Walter Map, and we follow that with a look at the historical Gerbert's contributions to science.

    Today's Texts:

    Map, Walter. De Nugis Curialium. Translated by Montague R. James, historical notes by John Edward Lloyd, edited by E. Sidney Hartland, Cymmrodorion Record Series, no. 9, Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1923.

    Gerbert d'Aurillac. The Letters of Gerbert with His Papal Privileges as Sylvester II, translated and edited by Harriet Pratt Lattin, Columbia UP, 1961.

    • 58 min
    "The Demon Pope" by Richard Garnett

    "The Demon Pope" by Richard Garnett

    We interrupt our regularly scheduled Gerbert d'Aurillac series with a special Halloween anniversary detour into a Victorian version of his Dark Legend: the 1888 short story, "The Demon Pope," by Richard Garnett.

    Today's Text
    Garnett, Richard. "The Demon Pope." The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales. John Lane, 1903, pp. 86-98. Google Books.

    Music Credit: "Mephisto Polka," by Franz Liszt (1882-3), performed by Sofja Gülbadamova used under a CC-BY 3.0 license (MusOpen).

    • 34 min
    Concerning the Occult Career of Pope Sylvester II

    Concerning the Occult Career of Pope Sylvester II

    We pick up our unfinished thread from the Melrose Chronicle by exploring the "Dark Legend" of Gerbert d'Aurillac, who became Pope Sylvester II allegedly through the assistance of the devil. We'll hear one version of this legend as told by William of Malmesbury, and then examine what we know about the historical Gerbert.

    Today's Texts:
    William of Malmesbury. Chronicle of the Kings of England. Edited by J.A. Giles, translated by John Sharpe and J.A. Giles, George Bell & Sons, 1895. Google Books.
    Gerbert d'Aurillac. "Letter 51." The Letters of Gerbert with His Papal Privileges as Sylvester II, translated and edited by Harriet Pratt Lattin, Columbia UP, 1961, pp. 91-92.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Concerning Danish Devastations, a Devilish Pope, a Deceitful Duke, and English Decline

    Concerning Danish Devastations, a Devilish Pope, a Deceitful Duke, and English Decline

    It's back to basics in Ep. 101 as we return to the Chronicle of Melrose to hear about the years surrounding the turnover of the English kingdom from Anglo-Saxon monarchs to Danish ones, including the mystery of the death of King Edmund Ironside and whether or not he was assassinated by a fellow English noble.

    Today's Texts:

    The Chronicle of Melrose. Edited and translated by Joseph Stevenson, The Church Historians of England, vol. 4, part 1, Seeley’s, 1856, pp. 79-242. Google Books.

    John of Worcester [erroneously identified as Florence of Worcester]. The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester. Edited and translated by Joseph Stevenson, The Church Historians of England, vol. 2, part 1, Seeley’s, 1857, pp. 167-372. Google Books.

    Gaimar. Gaimar [Metrical Chronicle]. Edited and translated by Joseph Stevenson, The Church Historians of England, vol. 2, part 2, Seeleys, 1854, pp. 729-810. Google Books.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
231 Ratings

231 Ratings

Maude The Third ,

Fascinating and Calming

I love this podcast so much. It’s both fascinating and calming. I listen several times to each episode. I’m happy as soon as I hear the odd, beautiful electro-medieval opening music and the audio detail behind the narrative throughout the episode makes it that much more engrossing.

Anth0711 ,

Tedious

And oddly entertaining podcast that is well researched, but ultimately becomes tedious.

The source material for this period is mostly obscure, while the constant analysis of etymology and such doesn’t make for a compelling listening.

VietSchlong ,

Absolute Gem

This is one of the best podcasts around.

Other than he spends way too much time defending the Hebraics from mean medieval writers. Like they don’t need your help dude, we get constantly propagandized about how good and wonderful they are everywhere every day.

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