Interest in “alterity” is ubiquitous in medieval studies. It undergirds Paul Binski’s and Mary Carruthers’ important research into medieval varietas; it has stimulated an interest in the “grotesque” and the “monstrous”; and it has even invited re-readings of iconic authors, such as Thomas Aquinas. In a way, it has also given rise to the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, which, in addition to containing the Vulgate and Beowulf, includes school texts (The Well-Laden Ship), Byzantine texts, Medieval Latin Lives of Muhammed,
Venantius Fortunatus, a sixth-century poet writing in Merovingian Gaul, has received increasing attention as more scholars have realised the inventiveness of late antique poetry. In his new edition and translation for the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, Michael Roberts provides for the first time an English translation of the entire corpus of Fortunatus’ poetry (minus the Vita Sancti Martini, already available elsewhere). In sum, Roberts’ edition and translation is an impressive achievement, and a very welcome volume for specialists and general
The new edition by Roberts of the poems of the 6th century Latin poet Venantius Fortunatus is doubly welcome: firstly, as representing the first complete translation into English of the latter’s occasional poetry; secondly, as forming an invaluable companion-piece to Roberts’ earlier The Humblest Sparrow. While it has become a commonplace to view Fortunatus as the link between late antique and medieval poetics, the recognition of his importance continues to grow in tandem with the critical re-evaluation of late antique
Wit, irony, drama, lament, devotion, and hope are all to be found in this sleek and elegant volume with poetry from a Byzantium ready for one more social and cultural change. In the decades to follow the composition of the texts translated in this book, appreciation for rhetoric—and especially poetry—became an essential characteristic of a close-knit group, manning church and state administration. The playful rhythm of poetry carried truth and criticism, but also Christian piety and personal emotions. John Mauropous
The present volume, published for the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, provides an essential edition of the Life of Saint Neilos of Rossano, perhaps the most complex and interesting of the bioi of Italo-Greek saints. The translation—the first into English, as mentioned in the preface—is on the whole quite correct and even. The mere fact of providing an English version will guarantee the success of the work and will bring it to the attention of a wider audience of readers interested
This volume brings together nine Latin texts, composed between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, that narrate the life of Muhammad. Taken together, these nine texts represent an interesting selection of the various Latin portrayals of Muhammad in the Middle Ages. The English translations are accurate, clear, and eminently readable. These translations make these texts, and the strange medieval European portrayal of the prophet of Islam, available to non-Latinist students and scholars and will be valuable for use in the classroom.