Our Medieval Valentine’s Day Gift to You

For two weeks now, we’ve been using Twitter to count down to the publication of the new, much anticipated fourth edition of A Short History of the Middle Ages by Barbara H. Rosenwein (#Rosenwein). We’ve shared articles about Venus, Edward the Confessor (patron saint of difficult marriages), and Persian love poetry, all to help get you in the mood for more #medieval content.

Well, Valentine’s Day has arrived, and with it, the official release of A Short History of the Middle Ages, Fourth Edition. To celebrate, we’d like to share an excerpt from the book. In the excerpt, Barbara H. Rosenwein discusses male and female troubadours, courtly love, and the emergence of romance and chivalry:

Excerpt: The Culture of the Courts (PDF)

For more, of course, you’ll have to refer to A Short History of the Middle Ages! And if you’re intrigued by the fabliau included in the excerpt—in which a priest tricks a peasant, makes love to the peasant’s wife, and gets away with it—you can read the entire poem (entitled “The Priest Who Peeked”) in Rosenwein’s accompanying sourcebook, Reading the Middle Ages: Sources from Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic World, Second Edition.

IfA Short History of the Middle Ages, Fourth Edition you’re an instructor who is scheduled to teach a course that would benefit from having A Short History of the Middle Ages and/or Reading the Middle Ages on the required reading list, please email requests@utphighereducation.com for more information about examination copies.

A note on the cover of the fourth edition: Introducing a motet (a song for two or more voices singing different words and musical lines together), two lovers sit within the letter S, the first letter of the word S’Amours (if love…). The theme here is petting, and even the animal world—signified by a dog and a rabbit—joins in the fun.


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