Syllabus 2015

March 31  Thinking with animals
Lorraine Daston, “Intelligences: Angelic, Animal, Human,” in Thinking with Animals: New Perspectives on Anthropomorphism, eds. Lorraine Daston and Gregg Mitman (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), pp. 37-58.

Peter G. Sobol, “The Shadow of Reason: Explanations of Intelligent Animal Behavior in the Thirteenth Century,” in The Medieval World of Nature: A Book of Essays, ed. Joyce E. Salisbury (New York: Garland, 1993), pp. 109-128.

April 2  The Book of Beasts
T.H. White, The Bestiary: A Book of Beasts (1954; reprint Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2002), online at  Browse “Beasts,” “Birds,” “Reptiles and Fishes,” and read Appendix, pp. 230-70.

Dan Sperber, “Why are perfect animals, hybrids and monsters food for symbolic thought?,” Method and Theory in the Study of Religion 8-2 (1996): 143-69.

Brigitte Resl, "Animals in the Middle Ages," in A Cultural History of Animals in the Medieval Age, ed. Brigitte Resl (New York: Berg, 2007), Introduction.

April 7  Defining animals I
Albertus Magnus, On Animals: A Medieval Summa Zoologica, trans. Kenneth F. Kitchell and Irven Michael Resnick, 2 vols. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), vol. 1, book 8, tracts 1-2, 4.1, 5-6 (pp. 667-717, 726-30, 753-773); and vol. 2, book 11 (pp. 857-893). 

Pieter De Leemans and Matthew Klemm, "Philosophical Beliefs," in A Cultural History of Animals, ed. Resl, chapter 6.

April 9  Defining animals II
Albertus Magnus, On Animals, vol. 2, book 22, tract 1.5-2 (pp. 1445-1448); book 23 (pp. 1544-47); book 24 (pp. 1655-59); book 25 (pp. 1708-16); and book 26 (pp. 1739-41), and passim. 
·      Browse Albert’s lists of animals and see if you can find one from each category (quadrupeds, birds, aquatic animals, serpents and vermin) in The Medieval Bestiary: Animals in the Middle Ages, ed. David Badke, online at

Isidore of Seville, The Etymologies, book 12 (“De animalibus”), trans. Stephen A. Barney (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 247-70.

Pieter Beullens, "Animals in Medieval Science," in A Cultural History of Animals, ed. Resl, chapter 5.

April 14  The uses of animals I: Country
Walter of Henley, Husbandry, ed. and trans. Elizabeth Lamond (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1890), pp. 4-35

M. M. Postan, “Village Livestock in the Thirteenth Century,” Economic History Review n.s. 15 (1962): 219-249.

Kathleen Biddick, The Other Economy: Pastoral Husbandry on a Medieval Estate (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1989), pp. 81-128.

John Langdon, “The Economics of Horses and Oxen in Medieval England,” The Agricultural History Review 30 (1982): 31-40.

David Stone, “The Productivity and Management of Sheep in Late Medieval England,” The Agricultural History Review 51.1 (2003): 1-22.

U. Albarella, “Pig Husbandry and Pork Consumption in Medieval England,” in Food in Medieval England: Diet and Nutrition, eds. C.M. Woolgar, D. Serjeantson and T. Waldron (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 72-87.

April 16  The uses of animals II: Town
Catherine Smith, “Dogs, cats and horses in the Scottish medieval town,” Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 128 (1998): 859-85.

Kathleen Walker-Meikle, Medieval Pets (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2012), pp. 55-74, 135-42

Lisa Kiser, “Animals in Medieval Sports, Entertainments and Menageries,” in A Cultural History of Animals, ed. Resl, chapter 4.

Ernest Sabine, “Butchering in Mediaeval London,” Speculum 8 (1933): 335-53.

Krish Seetah, “The Middle Ages on the Block: Animals, Guilds and Meat in the Medieval Period,” in Breaking and Shaping Beastly Bodies: Animals as Material Culture in the Middle Ages, ed. Aleksander Pluskowski (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2007), pp. 18-31.

Dale Serjeantson, “Animal Remains and the Tanning Trade,” Diet and Craft in Towns: The evidence of animal remains from the Roman to the Post-Medieval periods, eds. D. Serjeantson and T. Waldron, BAR British Series 199 (Oxford: BAR, 1989), pp. 129-46.

Carlo Federici, Anna Di Majo and Marco Palma, “The Determination of Animal Species Used in Medieval Parchment Making: Non-Destructive Identification Techniques,” in Roger Powell: The Compleat Binder, eds. Guy Petherbridge and John L. Sharpe (Turnhout: Brepols, 1996), pp. 146-53.

Bruce Holsinger, “Of Pigs and Parchment: Medieval Studies and the Coming of the Animal,” PMLA 124.2 (March 2009): 616-23.

David E. Davis, “The Scarcity of Rats and the Black Death: An Ecological History,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 16.3 (1986): 455-70.

Michael McCormick, “Rats, Communications, and Plague: Toward and Ecological History,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 34.1 (2003): 1-25.

April 21  The uses of animals III: Rabbits and carp, warrens and fishponds
Mark Bailey, “The Rabbit and the Medieval East Anglian Economy,” The Agricultural History Review 36 (1988): 1-20.

James Bond, “Rabbits: The case for their medieval introduction into Britain,” The Local Historian 18.2 (1988): 53-57.

David Stocker and Margarita Stocker, “Sacred Profanity: The Theology of Rabbit Breeding and the Symbolic Landscape of the Warren,” World Archeology 28.2 (1996): 265-72

Christopher K. Currie, “The Early History of the Carp and its Economic Significance in England,” The Agricultural History Review 39.2 (1991): 97-107.

D. Serjeantson and C.M. Woolgar, “Fish Consumption in Medieval England,” in Food in Medieval England: Diet and Nutrition, eds. C.M. Woolgar, D. Serjeantson and T. Waldron (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 102-130.

Richard C. Hoffman, “The Protohistory of the Pike in Western Culture,” in The Medieval World of Nature: A Book of Essays, ed. Joyce E. Salisbury (New York: Garland, 1993), pp. 61-76.

Richard C. Hoffman, “Carp, Cod, Connections: New Fisheries in the Medieval European Economy and Environment,” in Animals in Human Histories: The Mirror of Nature and Culture, ed. Mary J. Henniger-Voss (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2002), pp. 3-55.

April 23  Hunting I: Falconry
An Smets and Baudouin van den Abeele, “Medieval Hunting,” in A Cultural History of Animals, ed. Resl, chapter 2.

Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, The Art of Falconry, trans. and ed. Casey E. Wood and F. Marjorie Fyfe (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1943), Prologue, Book I, chapter 1, and Book II (pp. 3-7, 105-224).

Albertus Magnus, On Animals, vol. 2, book 23 (pp. 1572-1621).

Robin S. Oggins, “Falconry and Medieval Social Status,” Mediaevalia 12 (1989, for 1986): 43-55.

Robin S. Oggins, “Falconry and Medieval Views of Nature,” in The Medieval World of Nature: A Book of Essays, ed. Joyce E. Salisbury (New York: Garland, 1993), pp. 47-60.

Rachel Hands, “‘The Names of All Manner of Hawks, and To Whom They Belong,’” Notes and Queries n.s. 18.3 (1971): 85-88.

April 28  Hunting II: Horses, dogs, deer and wolves
Gaston Phoebus, The Hunting Book of Gaston Phébus: Manuscrit français 616, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale (London: Harvey Miller, 1998).

Marcelle Thiébaux, “The Mediaeval Chase,” Speculum 42 (1967): 260-74.

Marcellet Thiébaux, The Stag of Love: The Chase in Medieval Literature (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1974), pp. 17-58.

N.J. Sykes, “The Impact of the Normans on Hunting Practices in England,” in Food in Medieval England: Diet and Nutrition, eds. C.M. Woolgar, D. Serjeantson, and T. Waldron (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 162-75.

Jean Birrell, “Deer and Deer Farming in Medieval England,” The Agricultural History Review 40.2 (1992): 112-26.

Jean Birrell, “Peasant Deer Poachers in the Medieval Forest,” in Progress and Problems in Medieval England: Essays in Honor of Edward Miller, eds. Richard Britnell and John Hatcher (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 68-88.

Aleksander Pluskowski, Wolves and the Wilderness in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2006), pp. 94-109 (“Hunting the Hunters”).

April 30--NO CLASS Work on your bibliographies, due in class May 5

May 5  Warfare and animals: Horses and doves
Carroll M. Gillmor, “Practical Chivalry: The Training of Horses for Tournaments and Warfare,” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History 13 (o.s. 23, 1992): 5-29.

Ann Hyland, The Medieval Warhorse from Byzantium to the Crusades (Phoenix Mill, UK: Alan Sutton, 1994), pp. 140-68.

Matthew Bennett, “The Medieval Warhorse Reconsidered,” in Medieval Knighthood V: Papers from the sixth Strawberry Hill Conference 1994, eds. Stephen Church and Ruth Harvey (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 1995), pp. 19-40.

R.H.C. Davis, “The Warhorses of the Normans,” in Medieval Warfare 1000-1300, ed. John France (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), pp. 85-100.

Susan B. Edgington, “The Doves of War: The part played by carrier pigeons in the crusades,” in Autour de la Première Croisade: Actes du Colloque de la Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East, ed. Michel Balard, Byzantina Sorbonensia14 (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1996), pp. 167-75.

May 7  Animals in art: Elephants and apes
G.C Druce, “The Elephant in Medieval Legend and Art,” Archaeological Journal 76 (1919): 1-73.

Nona C. Flores, “The Mirror of Nature Distorted: The Medieval Artist’s Dilemma in Depicting Animals,” in The Medieval World of Nature: A Book of Essays, ed. Joyce E. Salisbury (New York: Garland, 1993), pp. 3-45.

H.W. Janson, Apes and Ape Lore in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (London: Warburg Institute, 1952), pp. 163-98 and plates XXIII-XXXV (“The Ape in Gothic Marginal Art”).

Brigitte Resl, “Animals in Art in the Middle Ages,” in A Cultural History of Animals, ed. Resl, chapter 7.

May 12  Animals as symbol: The dove and other birds of a feather
Hugh of Folieto, The Medieval Book of Birds: Hugh of Fouilloy’s Aviarium, ed. and trans. Willene B. Clark (Binghamton, NY: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1992), pp. 117-255 (odd numbered pages).

Friedrich Ohly, “Problems of Medieval Significs and Hugh of Folieto’s ‘Dove Miniature’,” in Sensus Spiritualis: Studies in Medieval Significs and the Philology of Culture, ed. Samuel Jaffe and trans. Kenneth Northcott (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), chapter 3.

Paul Dutton, “Charlemagne, King of Beasts,” in Charlemagne’s Mustache and Other Cultural Clusters of a Dark Age (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 43-68.

May 14 NO CLASS Work on your research papers!

May 19  Talking animals: Reynard the Fox
Renard the Fox, trans. from the Old French by Patricia Terry (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992; first published 1983), Branches II & Va : Renard and Ysengrin the Wolf; Branch I: The Trial of Renard; and Branch VIII: Renard’s Pilgrimage, pp. 25-154.

Carl Pyrdum, Got Medieval, April 12, 2008: <>

May 21 Animals on trial
Peter Dinzelbacher, “Animal Trials: A multidisciplinary approach,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 32.3 (Winter 2002): 405-21.

Piers Beirnes, “The Law is an Ass: Reading E.P. Evans’ The Medieval Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals,” Society and Animals: Social Scientific Studies of the Human Experience of Other Animals 2 (1994): 27-46.

Esther Cohen, “Animals in Medieval Perceptions: The image of the ubiquitous other,” in Animals and Human Society: Changing Perspectives, eds. Aubrey Manning and James Serpell (London and New York: Routledge, 1994), pp. 59-80.

Jody Enders, “Homicidal Pigs and the Antisemitic Imagination,” Exemplaria 14.1 (2002): 201-38.

E.P. Evans, The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals (London: Faber and Faber, 1906), Appendix F: Chronological List of Excommunications and Prosecutions of Animals from the ninth to the nineteenth century, pp. 265-86.

May 26  Animals and disgust, especially cats
Alexandra Cuffel, Gendering Disgust in Medieval Religious Polemic (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007), pp. 198-239 (Chapter 6: Signs of the Beast).

Sara Lipton, “Jews, heretics, and the sign of the cat in the Bible moralisée,” Word and Image 8.4 (1992): 362-77.

Douglas Gray, “Notes on Some Medieval Mystical, Magical and Moral Cats,” Langland, the Mystics and the Medieval English Religious Tradition: Essays in Honour of S.S. Hussey, ed. Helen Philips (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1990), pp. 185-202.

Malcolm H. Jones, “Cats and Cat-skinning in Late Medieval Art and Life,” in Fauna and Flora in the Middle Ages: Studies of the Medieval Environment and its Impact on the Human Mind, ed. Sieglinde Hartmann (Frankfort am Main: Peter Lang, 2007), pp. 97-112.

Barbara Newman, “The Cattes Tale: A Chaucer Apocryphon,” The Chaucer Review 26.4 (1992): 411-23.

May 28  Saints, dragons, and other monsters
Rudolf Wittkower, “Marvels of the East: A Study in the History of Monster,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942): 159-97.

Samantha Riches, St. George: Hero, Martyr and Myth (Stroud: Sutton, 2000), pp. 140-78.

Samantha Riches, “Encountering the Monstrous: Saints and Dragons in Medieval Thought,” in The Monstrous Middle Ages, eds. Bettina Bildhauer and Robert Mills (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2003), pp. 196-218.

Howard Shilton, “The Nature of Beowulf’s Dragon,” Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester 79.3 (1997): 67-77.

Peregrine Horden, “Disease, dragons and saints: The management of epidemics in the Dark Ages,” Epidemics and Ideas: Essays on the historical perception of pestilence, eds. Terence Ranger and Paul Slack (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 45-76.

June 2  St. Francis and the animals
Fifty Animal Stories of Saint Francis as told by his companions, transcribed from the Early Franciscan Chronicles by Raphael Brown (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1958), pp. 1-96.

Francis of Assisi, “The Canticle of the Creatures,” in Early Documents. Vol. 1: The Saint, eds. Regis J. Armstrong, J.A. Wayne Hellmans and William J. Short (New York: New City Press, 1999), pp. 113-14.

Roger D. Sorrell, “Tradition and Innovation: Harmony and Hierarchy in St. Francis of Assisi’s Sermon to the Birds,” Franciscan Studies 43 (1983): 396-407.

Lee Patterson, “Brother Fire and St. Francis’s Drawers: Human Nature and the Natural World,” Medieval Perspectives 15 (2000): 1-18.

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