For our new video, we’ve teamed up with NativLang to do a two-parter about the odd history of runes!
The architectural origins and aesthetic development of the word “Sublime”.
The pagan Germanic origins of Yule and many Christmas traditions.
We here at Professor Awesome’s University like free stuff. And we like smart people. So we especially love giving free stuff to smart people.
Side note: We also love giving smart stuff to free people. And free smart stuff to free smart people. We’re just givers, really.
So, this week only, in honor of the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, in conjunction with Witan Publishing (purveyors of fine medieval scholarship), we are offering the medieval scholars in our audience TWO chances to get a free medieval e-book of their choice. Your two opportunities:
- You can submit a proposal for a book with Witan Publishing. Just click here and send in your initial submission, and mention your free book selection (from the Witan titles listed below) in the “Comments” box (also, mention if you want it in Kindle or Nook format). Whether Witan decides to pursue your project or not, you’ll get the ebook absolutely free, courtesy of Professor Awesome’s University and Witan Publishing.*
- What if you’re a medieval scholar but don’t have a project ready for publication at the moment? No problem! Everyone in attendance at Professor Awesome’s session at K’zoo can also choose a free e-book. Just comeÂ to “Irrationality as a Fruitful Methodology,” Session 504 in Schneider 1220. Unfortunately, it is a Sunday morning 8:30am session (boo!), but check out the luminaries in that session: You’ve got The Skipper (of the Englisc Listserv), The Swain (of the Heroic Age), Jenn Jordan (of Darwin Carmichael fame), Deanna Forsman (also of the Heroic Age), and Silas Mallery! All these folks PLUS a free e-book!
Do either of those, and you get to pick one of these freebies, in either Kindle or Nook formats:
- Formal Combats in the Fourteenth Century by Steven Muhlberger
Formal Combats in the Fourteenth Century presents the lifetime of scholarship by respected professor Steven Muhlberger in an accessible format that will engage both scholars and amateur enthusiasts alike. Adapted from various scholarly addresses over Muhlbergerâ€™s career, each chapter represents a different element of formal combat. Muhlberger presents formal combats as neither senseless violence, nor stylized maneuvering, but rather as controlled violence with deep personal and political implications. He examines formal combats both among nobles and non-nobles, questioning what these deeds meant practically, culturally, and morally.
- Droutâ€™s Quick and Easy Old English by Michael D.C. Drout, Bruce D. Gilchrist, and Rachel Kapelle
Michael D.C. Drout has now transformed his classic â€œKing Alfredâ€™s Grammarâ€ into a comprehensive guide for learning Old English. Appropriate for students and enthusiasts alike, Droutâ€™s Quick and Easy Old English presents the basics of the language in an accessible form. Even the most novice student can learn to read the classics of medieval literature in their original language with this system. Droutâ€™s Quick and Easy Old English covers:
- The history of Old English
- Orthography, covering the unfamiliar characters of Old English writing
- Pronouncing Old English
- Grammar, from nouns and verbs to pronouns and adjectives
- Tricks for translation
With the help of Bruce Gilchrist and Rachel Kapelle, Drout provides exercises to reinforce the lessons. After years of testing in classrooms and online, these exercises have been thoroughly vetted for accuracy by scholars around the world, and have guided countless students through their first lessons in Old English.
- Insular Art Forms: Their Essence and Construction by Robert Stevick
Dr. Robert Stevickâ€™s Insular Art Forms: Their Essence and Construction emerges as the most innovative work of his long and illustrious career. Building on years of research into medieval manuscript design and construction, Stevick has produced a masterpiece examining the ingenious ways in which insular scribes used geometry and mathematics to produce complex and beautiful designs. In addition to a detailed academic description of these processes, Stevick provides videos clearly illustrating the methods he describes, and materials for practical hands-on recreation of their methods. Insular Art Forms is the only guide that offers both a true scholarly study of these methods and the means for modern readers to reproduce them.Included along with Insular Art Forms is theÂ Insular Art Online Companion, a collection of videos created by Dr. Stevick to explain certain concepts within the work.
- Beowulf: A Verse Translation for Students by Edward L. Risden
Beowulf: A Verse TranslationÂ for Students offers the famed Anglo-Saxon epic in Modern English. NotedÂ BeowulfÂ scholar Edward L. Risden has crafted a translation that is accessible even to students with no previous familiarity with medieval literature, preserving the beauty of the original verse without sacrificing accuracy. Risdenâ€™s translation presents the tale of the warrior Beowulf and his lifetime of intrigue, heroic deeds, and battles with monsters, and his ultimate confrontation with a dragon. Risdenâ€™sÂ BeowulfÂ is the exciting yarn of adventure that should electrify the imagination of every student.
- Alfgarâ€™s Stories from Beowulf by Edward L. Risden
Alfgarâ€™s Stories from BeowulfÂ is a work of original fiction by noted medieval literary scholar Edward L. Risden adding to the traditional tale of Beowulf, a heroic Scandinavian monster-slayer. Inspired by the original epic, Risden has created a work of gripping adventure and deep emotion. In â€œGrendelâ€™s Mother,â€ Risden approaches Beowulf from the perspective of the feral monster of the same name from the epic. â€œLay of the Last Survivorâ€ tells of a fated man who finds himself alone, the sole inheritor of a violent and greedy culture. â€œScyldingasagaâ€ goes back to the past before Beowulf, to the exploits of Scyld, Beowulfâ€™s legendary ancestor, events that ultimately set the stage for the famous poem. In â€œFreawaruâ€™s Lament,â€ Risden builds on a digression in Beowulf to the story of a woman whose marriage leaves her trapped between two families in conflict that can only end in tragedy for her.
*One small caveat: It has to be a serious proposal of medieval scholarship, not a memoir of that time you went backpacking through Europe or your research into Malaysian business practices.
Sutton Hoo was the granddaddy of all medieval archeological finds, an Anglo-Saxon burial site excavated in 1939 that really captured the imagination like no other find until the Staffordshire Hoard was discovered in 2009.
But we almost lost Sutton Hoo to treasure hunters in the Tudor era.Â You can read more about that in “Sutton Hoo, Treasure Hunters, and a Lucky Escape” at the British Museum blog.
The project coordinator for the Historic Kitchens at Hampton Court came across the above image.
It’s apparently from the Luttrell Psalter (add ms 42130 f108r for all you MS geeks out there). It’s famous for being beautifully-illustrated with all sorts of crazy images. I honestly am not sure what the creature in the image is supposed to be exactly.
Dr. John Jinwright, a professor most awesome, has dug-up an old piece he wrote on the problems in interpreting and performing medieval troubadour music. SCA folks and other reenactors, take note!