Textual Cultures of Medieval Italy

William Robins (University of Toronto):

There are signs that we are now in the midst of another threshold moment in the study of medieval writing, similar to the consolidations and transformations of twenty-five years ago. In the intervening decades all the relevant humanistic disciplines have responded energetically to the basic imperative to see written documents (and indeed all verbal and non-verbal signs) not so much as transparent windows giving direct access to extra-textual facts, but as complicated material and social phenomena in their own right.

Available from University of Toronto Press.

Anglo-Saxon Psychologies in the Vernacular and Latin Traditions

Old English verse and prose depict the human mind as a corporeal entity located in the chest cavity, susceptible to spatial and thermal changes corresponding to the psychological states: it was thought that emotions such as rage, grief, and yearning could cause the contents of the chest to grow warm, boil, or be constricted by pressure. While readers usually assume the metaphorical nature of such literary images, Leslie Lockett, in Anglo-Saxon Psychologies in the Vernacular and Latin Traditions, argues that these depictions are literal representations of Anglo-Saxon folk psychology.

This book is part of the Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series, and is available from University of Toronto Press.

The Body Legal in Barbarian Law

The sixth to ninth centuries saw a flowering of written laws among the early Germanic tribes. These laws include tables of fines for personal injury, designed to offer a legal, non-violent alternative to blood feud. Using these personal injury tariffs, Lisi Oliver examines a variety of issues, including the interrelationships between victims, perpetrators, and their families; the causes and results of wounds inflicted in daily life; the methods, successes, and failures of healing techniques; the processes of individual redress or public litigation; and the native and borrowed developments in the various ‘barbarian’ territories as they separated from the Roman Empire.

This book is part of CMS’s Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series, and is available from University of Toronto Press.

The Politics of Law in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy

The Centre for Medieval Studies is pleased to announce the inaugural volume in its Toronto Studies in Medieval Law series, which aims to provide a venue for the publication of monographs and thematic essay collections on aspects of the ius commune, the complementary systems of Roman and canon law that formed the ‘common law’ of medieval and early modern Europe. This volume is edited by Lawrin Armstrong and Julius Kirshner, and features original contributions by international scholars on the fortieth anniversary of the publication of Lauro Martines’ Lawyers and Statecraft in Renaissance Florence, which is recognized as a groundbreaking study challenging traditional approaches to both Florentine and legal history. Available from University of Toronto Press.

Cataloguing Discrepancies: The Printed York Breviary of 1493

Andrew Hughes (with Matthew Cheung Salisbury and Heather Robbins):

The importance of investigating medieval books for the liturgical offices, perhaps the largest unexplored corpus of similar material, hardly needs to be emphasized. Liturgy was the backbone of most medieval activities, providing material for many aspects of contemporary literary endeavours. But assessing the influence in a general sense can be undertaken only after individual Uses have been defined, differentiated, and described.

Available from University of Toronto Press.

Old English Metre: An Introduction

Jun Terasawa (University of Tokyo):

Metre interacts not only with grammar and syntax but also with word-formation or the word-choice made by the poets. Old English poets tend to avoid certain metrical sequences in compounds, certain inflected forms of a given word, and certain suffixes, for example. Word-formation in the poetry is highly constrained on metrical grounds.

This book is part of CMS’s Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series, and is available from University of Toronto Press.

Sacred and Profane in Chaucer and Late Medieval Literature: Essays in Honour of John V. Fleming

Will Robins and Robert Epstein:

The profane is revealed as the point at which the sacred and the secular converge, as a place of mediation between various currents of discourse, where the domain of the sacred might be seen in either a hierarchical or a complementary relationship to the things of this world, and where corporeality and carnality might be seen as legitimate aspects of human life.

Available from University of Toronto Press.

Eye and Mind: Collected Essays in Anglo-Saxon and Early Medieval Art by Robert Deshman

Adam S. Cohen:

Deshman wove together a dense and tightly structured nexus of Early Christian, Carolingian, Anglo-Saxon, and Ottonian manuscript illuminations, ivories, textiles, mosaics, and wall paintings on the one hand, and contemporary exegetical, liturgical, and political writings on the other. In so doing, Deshman ultimately demonstrated the intrinsic connections among visual culture, theology, philosophy, political theory, and ecclesiastic doctrine and practice.

Available from Medieval Institute Publications.