By David V. Herlihy
This anthology of judiciously chosen assets focused on medieval society and tradition offers an exciting view of Western society from its emergence as a distinctively "European" tradition within the early center a long time (ca. 500-1000), to the burgeoning scholarship and literary and creative expression of the crucial center a long time (ca. 1000-1350), and the dislocations and mess ups of the remaining center a while (ca. 1350-1500). The files provided for every interval are meant to serve reasons: an preliminary choice illustrates the society and the social milieu of the interval, whereas the second one team of readings presents examples of the executive different types of literary expression and illuminates many of the attribute cultural attitudes of the age. Many principles and beliefs of the center a long time have exerted an everlasting impression upon the tradition of the trendy global and feature been an enduring resource of enrichment for it. Readers will come clear of this assortment moved to a deeper appreciation of this actually attention-grabbing interval of background, in addition to a much broader curiosity within the wealthy and nonetheless dwelling background of the medieval global.
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Then the devil with his ministers the demons, who were cast down from heaven, saw that ignorant men, ignoring God their creator, were erring through creatures. They began to show themselves to men in diverse forms, to speak with them and to ask of them, that they offer sacrifices to them in the high mountains or in thick forests and that they worship them as God. They took for themselves the names of wicked men, who had led their lives in all crimes and impieties. Thus, one said he was Jupiter, who had been a magician and who was unchaste in so many adulteries that he took as wife his own sister, who was called Juno.
All shall come before the judgment seat of Christ. Those who were in their lives faithful and good are then separated from the evil. They enter into the kingdom of God with the holy angels. Their souls shall be with their flesh in eternal rest, never again to die. There shall be for them neither labor nor pain nor sorrow nor hunger nor thirst nor heat nor cold nor darkness nor night. Forever happy, satisfied, they shall be like to the angels of God in splendor and glory, for they merited to enter into the place whence the devil with his likeminded angels fell.
The wife does not bring a dowry to the husband, but the husband to the wife. The parents and relatives are present at the ceremony and examine and accept the presents-gifts not suited 29 to female luxury nor such as a young bride would deck herself with, but oxen, a horse and bridle and a shield together with a spear and sword. In consideration of these offerings the wife is accepted, and she in her turn brings her husband a gift of weapons. This they consider as the strongest bond, these as their mystic rites, their gods of marriage.