Medieval Death Trip
By Medieval Death Trip
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On Medieval Death Trip, we feature a selected medieval text (often historical, occasionally literary) that touches on the odd, the gruesome, the unexpected, and similarly curious incidents, images, or ideas. In addition to presenting the text itself, each episode features commentary and musings upon that text.
||CleanMDT Ep. 52: Concerning St. Patrick and the Magicians||It's a special Saint Patrick's Day episode, in which we hear about the contests between the saint and some Irish magicians, as related in Muirchu's 7th-century Life of St. Patrick.||17 3 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 51: Concerning Fire and Fury in the Palace – Part 2||This episode we continue with Walter Map's De nugis curialium and learn that politics really is hell.||14 3 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 50: Concerning Fire and Fury in the Palace – Part 1||This episode we dive into Walter Map's De nugis curialium for a satirical lesson in administrative chaos, choler, and corruption, and also how generally terrible we are.||12 2 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 49: Concerning a Medieval Marley’s Ghost||This Christmas Eve episode, we take a look a medieval forebear of the Ghost of Jacob Marley, as well as a role-model from ancient Rome.||24 12 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 48: Concerning the Sharp Wit, Unorthodox Wisdom, & Brutal Death of John the Scot||This episode as school breaks for the holidays, we look at one account of the life of translator, philosopher, and part-time court comedian John Scotus Eriugena, who allegedly met a rather bad end at the hands of disgruntled students.||16 12 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 47: Concerning Ragnarok||This episode we tap into the Ragnarok zeitgeist and go back to the medieval Norse sources: Snorri Sturluson's Gylfaginning and the apocalyptic poem Völuspá.||21 11 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 46: Concerning the Giant of Mont St. Michel||This Halloween marks our third anniversary, and we ring in our fourth year with two versions of King Arthur's famous battle with the man-eating giant of Mont St. Michel.||31 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 45: Concerning Magnus Barefoot vs. Ireland||This episode we (that is, I) wax autobiographical as we look at our first saga text, an account of the death of King Magnus Barefoot during his attempted conquest of Ireland in 1103. Also, there are some thoughts on the idea of the progress of literary technique.||28 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 44: Concerning Turnover of the Kings of Man||This episode we crack open the Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys to look at the Isle of Man and the rise of the royal house of King Orry, Godred Crovan, and King Magnus Barefoot of Norway is warned in a dream to leave Norway and never return.||18 9 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 43: Concerning the Resurrection of Cannibals||Today we plunge into some hard-core scholasticism, as we hear Thomas Aquinas wrestle with the thorny question: "If all dead bodies are resurrected at the Last Judgment, what happens to the bodies of cannibals, whose bodies are made up of the flesh of those they have eaten, who also need to be resurrected?" We also wrap up with a reflection on George Romero and the zombie apocalypse.||15 8 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 42: Concerning the Exhumation of St. Cuthbert (1827)||We conclude our three-part look at the remains of St. Cuthbert with James Raine's account of his 1827 exhumation of Cuthbert's body and the recovery of some extraordinary early medieval artifacts. Featured Music: Extracts from Franz Schubert, Piano Trio in E flat major, D. 929 and Piano Trio no. 1 in B flat major, D. 898, both composed in 1827. (via MusOpen.)||30 6 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 41: Concerning the Examination of Cuthbert’s Body (1104)||In Part II of our "Cuthbert's Body" series, we hear Reginald of Durham's description of what was found inside Cuthbert's coffin in the investigation preceding the Cuthbert's translation in 1104, and we consider what incorruptibility meant for a medieval audience.||26 6 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 40: Fear and Trembling in Durham Cathedral||This episode is the first in our three-part series looking at encounters with the remains of St. Cuthbert, starting in this installment with a quick look at the discovery that his body had not decayed in 698, eleven years after his death, as recounted by the Venerable Bede, and then taking a longer look at the so-called "Anonymous Account" of the inspection of his body during his translation into Durham Cathedral in 1104.||5 6 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 39: To the Lists!||This episode we're looking at lists: a list about list, a text akin to an early modern police blotter, and a catalogue of scholarly sessions from Kalamazoo, where I'll be heading off to this week!||9 5 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 38: Concerning Men Afflicted by Snakes and Some Serpent-Lore||This episode we slither into spring with several tales of serpent shenanigans as well as science (or it's medieval equivalent).||14 4 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 37: Concerning a Prank, a King’s Death, Manslaughter, and a False Pregnancy||In this episode, we look at some tragedies that afflicted the house of Alexander III, King of Scotland, including the deaths of almost all of his family and himself. Also, someone gets pushed in a river, and someone else gets clubbed in the head.||25 3 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 36: Concerning the Depredations of King John||This episode we look at the less than stellar reputation of King John during the First Barons' War, as recounted in the Melrose Chronicle, and consider the relationship of medieval texts to immediate politics.||18 2 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 35: Concerning Some Astronomical Anomalies and Meteorological Marvels||This episode we celebrate the winter's solstice with a grab-bag of comets, eclipses, and meteors, as well as earthquakes, tempests, and plagues.||20 12 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 34: How Battle Abbey Lost Its Divine Favor and the Death of Two Abbots||We remain at Battle Abbey for one more episode, this time learning how the people of the abbey offended God and looking at the death scenes of Abbot Walter de Lucy and Abbot Ralph.||10 12 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 33: Concerning Some Bad Houseguests||This episode, we start shifting into holiday mode with an anecdote about a bishop behaving badly at Battle Abbey.||21 11 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 32: Election Special 2016!||It's Election Day in the U.S.A., and here's a quick little tale of the election of an 11th-century bishop to take our minds off of the horrible, horrible anxiety of the day!||8 11 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 31: Concerning the Revenants of William of Newburgh||We celebrate two years of Medieval Death Trip on our Halloween anniversary with an extra spooky episode looking at the walking dead who haunt William of Newburgh's Historia rerum Anglicarum.||31 10 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Ep. 30: The Battle of Hastings According to Orderic Vitalis||We're back from our hiatus to remember the Battle of Hastings on its 950th anniversary by looking at the account of the battle in the Historia Ecclesiastica of Orderic Vitalis.||14 10 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 29: Back to School with Eberhard’s Laborintus||In this episode, we celebrate the start of a new school year with a return to Eberhard the German's Laborintus and learn more about the trials and tribulations of teaching medieval schoolchildren.||1 9 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 28: Concerning the Terrible Crimes of Philip de Bella Arbore||On this episode, we're back with Thomas of Monmouth's The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich to hear a tale of fire, fratricide, and fetters.||5 8 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 27: Concerning Another Take on the Love of Edgar and Aelfthryth||On this episode, get a different version of the story of Edgar's love for the married Aelfthryth, this time in a blending of history with courtly romance from Gaimar's L'Estoire des Engleis.||6 7 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 26: Concerning the Problematic Passions of King Edgar||On this episode, we take one more step backwards in history from last time and look at some scandalous behavior from King Edgar the Peaceful as described by William of Malmesbury.||22 6 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 25: Concerning the Deaths of Edgar and Edward in Triptych||On this episode, we look at one moment in history from three different sources -- the deaths of King Edgar and his short-reigned heir, Edward the Martyr. Sources featured: The Melrose Chronicle, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum Anglorum. Stay tuned to the very end for the new riddle!||23 5 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 24: How Edward Put His Mother to the Ordeal||It's our (shortly after) Mother's Day episode, in which we learn from Edward the Confessor how not to treat one's mother and investigate a connection between The Song of Roland and radioactive wastelands.||11 5 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 23: Concerning Some Scandalous Priests, a Sainted Astrologer, and the Dove of Death||This episode, we return to the Lanercost Chronicle for some examples of clergy behaving in some unclergylike ways, with a particular look at the decline and fall of clerical marriage in the medieval church.||29 4 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 22: Concerning Elfred the Bone-Hunter||On this episode, we look at a couple of diggers of relics: first, Elfred (or Aelfred or Alfred), who brought the relics of the Venerable Bede to Durham Cathedral; and second, antiquarian James Raine, who dug up those same relics in the early 19th century.||11 4 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 21: A New Year’s Chimera||After much delay, Medieval Death Trip is back to ring in 2016 (just not on the conventional date for New Year's Day) with a very special episode. What would it sound like if all the previous MDT episodes got together and made a monstrous baby? It might turn out a little bit like this.||24 3 2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 20: Concerning Trouble with the Inmates of Dale Abbey||We celebrate the Winter Solstice with a return to the Chronicle of Dale Abbey, where attempts to capitalize on the Hermit's Dale don't go smoothly.||20 12 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 19: Concerning the Hermit of the Dale||This episode, Thanksgiving is making us feel a bit nostalgic about home comforts, so we look at the story of the Hermit of the Dale from the Chronicle of Dale Abbey.||23 11 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 18: Concerning the Lai of Bisclavret, the Werewolf||This episode we celebrate our one-year anniversary on Halloween, with the tale of a mistreated werewolf: the Lai of Bisclavret by Marie de France.||31 10 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 17: Concerning the Ill-Gotten Casula||This episode, we turn to the Chronicle of Battle Abbey to hear a tale of extortion, divine punishment, and ecclesiastical fashion.||28 9 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 16: Concerning Coin-Eating and a Demon Child||In this episode of Medieval Death Trip, we acknowledge the recent passing of neurologist Oliver Sacks and horror writer/director Wes Craven with stories of compulsive behavior and monstrous encounters from the Lanercost Chronicle.||10 9 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 15: Concerning the Relics of Simon de Montfort||In this episode, we wrap up the Melrose Chronicle's account of Simon de Montfort with a look at the miracle stories attached to his relics.||25 8 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 14: Concerning the Death of Simon de Montfort||In this episode, we continue the tale of Simon de Montfort's struggle against King Henry III, with a look at two depictions of his final battle and death.||3 8 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 13: Concerning the Old Chariot Trick||The Trip goes on after an unexpected summer detour. This episode we celebrate the underdog blockbuster of the season, Mad Max: Fury Road, with a medieval story of vehicular deception during the Second Baron's War.||17 7 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 12: Concerning William Rufus, Treason, and Portents of the King’s Death||In this episode of Medieval Death Trip, we hear the Warenne Chronicle's account of how as King of England, William Rufus dealt with rebels and how his own death was foretold in signs and visions.||23 5 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 11: How a Blood Libel Takes Root||In this episode we finally cut to the core of the story Thomas of Monmouth tells about the murder of William of Norwich. While Thomas thinks he's telling the story of how William was murdered by Jewish citizens of Norwich, his actual text reveals quite plainly how mass hysteria and xenophobia drove such accusations.||17 4 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 10: Concerning the Milk of Grammar||In this episode we continue with Eberhard the German's Laborintus and learn how a teacher acquires the knowledge of grammar, along with getting some practical advice about inspiring medieval schoolchildren.||24 3 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 09: Concerning the Wretched Fate of a Grammar Teacher||Better late than never, it's Episode 9, wherein we hear Eberhard the German's description of his own doomed conception, after a fashion, by which he introduces his handbook of Latin composition, the Laborintus.||13 3 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 08: Concerning a Devil Pig, a Death Prophecy, and St. William’s Candles||Today, we continue with Thomas of Monmouth's tales from the shrine of William of Norwich. This time, instead of miracle cures, we get an example of a miracle injury -- in other words, a good old-fashioned smiting. On the way we get a visit from a sinister pig and learn that candles might be valued more than a life.||23 2 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 07: Concerning Some Divine Dentistry||This episode we return to the The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich to look at three cases of cures for toothache, followed by a glance at some actual medieval dental treatments. Get those worms out of your teeth!||9 2 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 06: Concerning the Year Something-Fourteen||Medieval Death Trip returns with the first episode of 2015, in which we take year-end retrospectives to the extreme and sample all the year 14s for each century covered by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, followed by a look at the great Cottonian Library Fire of 1731.||25 1 2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 05: Concerning the Burning of Croyland Abbey||On this episode, we hear an account of the great Croyland (or Crowland) Abbey fire of 1091, purportedly written by the abbot at the time, Ingulf.||26 12 2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 04: The Violent Death of Bishop Walcher||Episode 4 continues the story of the murder of Bishop Walcher of Durham foreseen in our previous episode. Text from Simeon of Durham's History of the Church of Durham.||12 12 2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 03: Concerning a Vision of Heaven and Hell and a Bad Outlook for the Bishop||First episode in a two-parter: we look at story from Symeon of Durham's History of the Church of Durham involving a person who reawakens from apparent death to share a vision of the afterlife that portends bad things for the bishop of Durham.||27 11 2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 02: Concerning Another Cure for Extreme Swelling, a Sinful Clerk, & Some Lightning Bolts||On this episode, we look at an example of the kind of odd incidents you might find preserved in a medieval chronicle -- in this case, the Lanercost Chronicle. We have three short episodes from the account of the year 1288, and then one spectacular lightning strike from 1291.||14 11 2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 01: Concerning Poisoning By Toad||Our first full episode examines a tale of pirates, prisons, and poisonous toads, and the gruesome aftermath of combining those three elements together. This episode's text is from The Life and Miracles of St. William of Norwich by Thomas of Monmouth.||31 10 2014||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMDT Episode 0: Prologue||Medieval Death Trip launches with this Prologue episode, in which the premise and basic principles of this podcast are sketched out.||31 10 2014||Free||View in iTunes|
It's hard to believe how interesting a podcast about medieval manuscripts can be. The author has a wonderful way of making you sympathise with the individuals featured in the texts. Highly recommended!
Smart and thoughtful
This podcast takes an excerpt from a medieval text and discusses and analyses it.
Both the text and the discussions serve to bring the medieval era back to life in a vibrant and fascinating way.
It has become one of my favourites and I would recommend it to anyone interested in history.
A brilliant way to return to medieval studies
I did some Medieval history at uni (including Pearl and Wynnere and Wastoure - Chaucer can last as he was "easy") but ended up in tech. Recently I wanted to get back into Medieval Studies and thought a podcast would be a good start.
Medieval Death Trip has been wonderful, lots of texts that I'd never come across before and really interesting analysis.
A must listen to if you're interested in Medieval Studies and well worth a go even if you're not