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Advanced Greek Readings: Gospel of John 1 First in the Series

Find yourself in need of a refresher for your Greek skills? Come join us for reading the Gospel of John in the original Greek! This module will review grammar where needed, discuss the latest lexical tools, touch on textual issues, but mostly work through this text at a relaxed pace.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Greek Readings: Gospel of John Series Series

Come join us as we continue reading the Gospel of John in the original Greek! This module will review grammar where needed, discuss the latest lexical tools, touch on textual issues, but mostly work through this text at a relaxed pace.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Greek Readings: Gospel of Matthew

Find yourself in need of a refresher for your Greek skills? Come join us for reading the Gospel of Matthew in the original Greek! This module will review grammar where needed, discuss the latest lexical tools, touch on textual issues, but mostly work through this text at a relaxed pace.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Greek Readings: Paul's Letter to the Galatians

Find yourself in need of a refresher for your Greek skills? Come join us for reading the Paul's Letter to the Galatians in the original Greek! This module will review grammar where needed, discuss the latest lexical tools, touch on textual issues, but mostly work through this text at a relaxed pace.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Latin: Aesop's Fables

Aesop’s Fables are an odd collection of stories of multiple genres, some by Aesop, others attributed to him over the centuries. According to Herodotus, Aesop lived in the sixth century BCE, indicating that some form of the fables were already traditional and hoary when Herodotus was writing in the early fifth century BCE. In the Middle Ages, Latin versions of the fables were used as intermediate texts for students learning Latin. This module picks up with that tradition for the 21st century!
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Latin: Hobbitus Ille

Latin is such a great language that many wonderful modern texts have been translated into the language: Dr. Seuss, Alice in Wonderland, Asterix and Obelix, Harry Potter…..and Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Join this module to read these beloved stories in Latin!
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Latin Readings: Cicero's Pro Archia Oration

Cicero is perhaps the preeminent Latin prose stylist. He made his fame in Rome as a barrister and senator opposed to Caesar. In this trial of the poet Archius, Cicero defends the humanities as a vital area of study earning Archius Roman citizenship rather than deportation.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Latin: Vergil's Aeneid in a Year

Vergil's Roman Epic is one of the most important and influential works of literature in Latin. Following in the style and partially in response to Homer's Greek Epics in The Iliad and The Odyssey, Vergil's work follows the story of the aftermath of the Trojan War, tracing the tale of Aeneas as he embarks upon his divinely-sanctioned quest to find a new homeland and found his people anew. This class will explore the poetic and literary aspects of this Roman Epic while focusing on a month-by-month, book-by-book translation from the Latin.
Precepted by Patrick Lyon

Advanced Old English: Ælfric's Letter to Sigeweard

For this month, we turn again to Aelfric of Eynsham, the most prolific writer in Old English. In this letter, he addresses a nobleman and tries to teach him what Aelfric considers to be the important things of the Christian faith. It is a fascinating text to read and has a little something for everyone interested in the language, literature, and culture of Early Medieval England.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Ælfric's Lives of the Saints

Saints’ Lives were a major and important genre of literature and were composed in prose and poetry. In this module we will look at three prose lives written in the 990s by Aelfric of Eynsham, from whose quill more Old English survives than even the prolific Anonymous! Those three are English figures: Kings who became saints Oswin and Edmund and the capital city saint Swithun. Then we will begin Guthlac A, one of the poetic treatments of a St Guthlac of East Anglia.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Apollonius of Tyre

This is one of the most popular tales of the Ancient and Medieval worlds! Originally a Hellenistic Greek tale, translated into Latin, and then many Latin and vernacular versions thereafter. The earliest vernacular is the Old English translation by the ubiquitous Anonymous. The tale has incest, murder, unjust punishments, hidden identities, and resolutions. Apollonius of Tyre is a corker of a tale and fun in any language!
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Cynewulf's Christ II

Cynewulf is one of the few poets whose name we know from the Old English period. He composed 4 narrative poems casting saints' lives into Old English poetry. "Christ II" is so named because it is one of three poems dealing with key moments in Christ's life: the "Advent" and Incarnation, the Ascension, and the Harrowing of Hell. This middle poem is the one we know as certainly as we can that it was composed by Cynewulf and has a number of very interesting features.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Cynewulf's Juliana

In Early Medieval English literature, there are only two poets writing in Old English whose names we know. Caedmon (technically he didn't know how to write, others wrote for him copying his oral compositions---almost all of which is now lost to us), and Cynewulf. Little is known of Cynewulf other than he had monastic training and was likely a monk. It is debated as to whether he was an eighth, ninth, or tenth century writer. Previously we had a module that worked with his poem known as "Christ II" by modern scholars and with "Fates of the Apostles". This module will work with his translation and adaptation of an early Christian saint's life, The Life of St Juliana, a virgin saint who sacrificed her life for the faith so as not to marry a pagan Roman. Great stuff occurs in this tale!
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Heroic Elegies

J. R. R. Tolkien suggested in his seminal Monsters and the Critics that Beowulf is a heroic elegy. In this module, we will translate some of the Old English Heroic Elegies such as "Deor", "Wife’s Lament", "Husband’s Message", "The Ruin", and if time others. Not only translating, the question is how these “elegies” relate to Beowulf I, or Tolkien’s own work. The module emphasizes translation and working in Old English, but also how that applies to other literature (i. e. this stuff isn’t in a vacuum!)
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Beowulf I

Spend the time reading and translating in a relaxed manner with friends! This beautiful, moving, narrative poem is a joy to work with and I hope you will join me for a month of study.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Beowulf II

Let's continue reading and translating Beowulf in a relaxed manner with friends! This beautiful, moving, narrative poem is a joy to work with and I hope you will join me for another month of study.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Genesis A 1

The long poem that scholars have named Genesis A is a retelling and adaptation of the first 22 chapters of Genesis into a Germanic heroic poem! Among the many points of interest is that this poem contains the FIRST time in intellectual history that the NARRATIVE of the Fall of the Angels is told and made a part of the Creation Story. The poem is almost as long as Beowulf, so this module will start at the beginning and get as far as we get, with plans to return to it in future modules.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Genesis A 2

This is a continuation from where we left off in Genesis A 2... The long poem that scholars have named Genesis A is a retelling and adaptation of the first 22 chapters of Genesis into a Germanic heroic poem! Among the many points of interest is that this poem contains the FIRST time in intellectual history that the NARRATIVE of the Fall of the Angels is told and made a part of the Creation Story. The poem is almost as long as Beowulf, so this module began at the beginning of the poem and now we shall continue where we left off!
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English Readings: Alice in Wonderland

Dr. Peter Baker, then of the University of Virginia, translated Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland into Old English. This module will work with and translate back into Modern English this fun and delightful text, Æðelgyðe Ellendæda on Wundorlande: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in Old English.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English Readings in Poetry: Judith and Exodus

The Early English adapted Biblical material into heroic poetry. In this module two of those poems will be translated and discussed, each only a few hundred lines.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English Readings in Prose: the Old English Boethius

Alfred the Great had Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy translated into Old English. This module will translate and comment on this translation and how it adapts the late Roman text to the early medieval context.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Riddles

This module will focus on reading a number of Riddles in Old English. The Riddles cover a wide range of subjects from the bawdy to sublime, aimed at both lower class and learned classes. In short, they are fun!
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Selections in Prose

For this module a selection of prose texts not usually encountered in readings classes will be examined. First, the Life of St. Swithun. When this is finished we will explore short selections from Alfred's Laws, a charter or two, and a will from a tenth century noble woman to round out the module.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English Series: Readings in Poetry First in the Series

Welcome to the Readings in Poetry page for the Advanced Old English Series in which students explore, in alternating months, a work of prose and then a work of poetry to introduce students to the breadth and depth of Old English texts available for study. Each month Dr. Swain surveys the group to see what they want to tackle next from month to month.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English Series: Readings in Poetry and Prose Series

In this series of Advanced Old English Readings we explore, in alternating months, a work of prose and then a work of poetry to introduce students to the breadth and depth of Old English texts available for study. Each month Dr. Swain surveys the group to see what they want to tackle next from month to month.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English Series: Readings in Prose Continuing Series

Welcome to the Readings in Prose page for the Advanced Old English Series in which students explore, in alternating months, a work of prose and then a work of poetry to introduce students to the breadth and depth of Old English texts available for study. Each month Dr. Swain surveys the group to see what they want to tackle next from month to month.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: The Blickling Homilies

April is often mostly a Lenten month (though in 2023 Easter is April 9). The collection of homilies known as the Blickling Homilies has a number of Lenten homilies, especially at the beginning of the collection. It is then fitting to have the two together! The homilies were collected together from diverse sources in the second half of the tenth century. The collection is contemporary then with the Genesis A manuscript and the Beowulf manuscript and Aelfric of Eynsham. But these prose texts appear Mercian in dialect, and would have made Tolkien happy. They are called "Blickling" because they were discovered in the library of Blickling Hall in Norfolk.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old English: Tolkien's Old English Poetry

Most people know that J. R. R. Tolkien was a scholar as well as a writer of speculative fiction. His scholarship was extensive and one of his primary areas was Old English language and literature. But fewer fans know that he also composed poetry in Old English, especially in the early stages of his career. This module will attempt to gather and translate Tolkien's Old English poetry from the various sources in HoME and other sources where they are printed.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Advanced Old Norse Readings Series

(Note: This module can be joined in any month.)

This series will help introduce students to the breadth and depth of Old Norse texts available for study. Each month, Dr. Anderson surveys the group using the Old Norse survey form to see which text students are most interested in exploring next.

Note: Please refer to the Required Texts section on a month's iteration page to see which texts the group has decided upon for a given month.

Precepted by Carl Anderson

Advanced Old Norse: Volsunga Saga First in the Series

(Note: This module can be joined in any month.)

Vǫlsunga saga (“The Saga of the Vǫlsungs”) is a medieval Icelandic retelling of one of the best-known legendary cycles of the pre-modern Germanic-speaking world – stories that influenced the operas of Richard Wagner, the fantasies of J. R. R. Tolkien, and many other modern creative artists. In this module, you will begin to translate Vǫlsunga saga and discuss both the language and how the saga’s version of the legends relate to other versions known from the medieval world.
Precepted by Carl Anderson

Advanced Old Norse: Vǫlsunga Saga Continuing Series

(Note: This module can be joined in any month.)

The Advanced Old Norse reading modules return to Vǫlsunga saga (“The Saga of the Vǫlsungs), a medieval Icelandic retelling of one of the best-known legendary cycles of the pre-modern Germanic-speaking world – stories that influenced the operas of Richard Wagner, the fantasies of J. R. R. Tolkien, and many other modern creative artists. This module picks up where previous iterations of this module left the narrative. We will translate the text of the saga and discuss both its language and how its version of the legends relates to other versions known from the medieval world. Anyone with a reading knowledge of Old Norse can join this module!
Precepted by Carl Anderson

Advanced Old Norse: Vǫlsunga Saga Continuing Series

(Note: This module can be joined in any month.)

The Advanced Old Norse reading modules return to Vǫlsunga saga (“The Saga of the Vǫlsungs), a medieval Icelandic retelling of one of the best-known legendary cycles of the pre-modern Germanic-speaking world – stories that influenced the operas of Richard Wagner, the fantasies of J. R. R. Tolkien, and many other modern creative artists. This module picks up where previous iterations of this module left the narrative: with the hero Sigurd preparing to confront the dragon Fáfnir. We will translate the text of the saga and discuss both its language and how its version of the legends relates to other versions known from the medieval world. Anyone with a reading knowledge of Old Norse can join this module!
Precepted by Carl Anderson

Advanced Old Norse: Vǫlsunga Saga Continuing Series

(Note: This module can be joined in any month.)

The Advanced Old Norse reading modules return to Vǫlsunga saga (“The Saga of the Vǫlsungs), a medieval Icelandic retelling of one of the best-known legendary cycles of the pre-modern Germanic-speaking world – stories that influenced the operas of Richard Wagner, the fantasies of J. R. R. Tolkien, and many other modern creative artists. This module picks up where previous iterations of this module left the narrative. We will translate the text of the saga and discuss both its language and how its version of the legends relates to other versions known from the medieval world. Anyone with a reading knowledge of Old Norse can join this module!
Precepted by Carl Anderson

Advanced Old Norse: Vǫlsunga Saga Continuing Series

(Note: This module can be joined in any month.)

The Advanced Old Norse reading modules return to Vǫlsunga saga (“The Saga of the Vǫlsungs), a medieval Icelandic retelling of one of the best-known legendary cycles of the pre-modern Germanic-speaking world – stories that influenced the operas of Richard Wagner, the fantasies of J. R. R. Tolkien, and many other modern creative artists. This module picks up where previous iterations of this module left the narrative. We will translate the text of the saga and discuss both its language and how its version of the legends relates to other versions known from the medieval world. Anyone with a reading knowledge of Old Norse can join this module!
Precepted by Carl Anderson

Advanced Old Norse: Volsunga Saga Series Series

(Note: This module can be joined in any month.)

Vǫlsunga saga (“The Saga of the Vǫlsungs”) is a medieval Icelandic retelling of one of the best-known legendary cycles of the pre-modern Germanic-speaking world – stories that influenced the operas of Richard Wagner, the fantasies of J. R. R. Tolkien, and many other modern creative artists. In this module, we will continue to translate the Vǫlsunga saga and discuss both the language and how the saga’s version of the legends relate to other versions known from the medieval world.
Precepted by Carl Anderson

Ancient Greek Morphology

Designed for intermediate students of Classical or Biblical Greek with roughly a year under their belts, this course will provide a detailed look at the inflectional system of Ancient Greek, moving past the memorization of paradigms to provide a rich linguistic explanation for why Ancient Greek word forms work the way they do.
Precepted by James Tauber

Hieroglyphs Reading Module: Book of the Dead

This module allows those who have completed the hieroglyphs reading module an opportunity to further explore the Egyptian language and glyphs. We will slowly read a small selection of "spells" from the Book of the Dead and discuss them and their context.
Precepted by Shawn Gaffney

Intermediate Greek Readings Series

This series will help introduce students to the breadth and depth of Greek texts available for intermediate-level study. Each month, Dr. Larry Swain surveys the group to see which text students are most interested in exploring next.

Note: Please refer to the Required Texts section on a month's iteration page to see which texts the group has decided upon for a given month.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Intermediate Latin: Gesta Romanorum

The Gesta Romanorum is a collection of tales covering all genres made in the 13th or early 14th century. The title means "Deeds of the Romans." Most of the tales have some kind of moral to the story and so are akin to Aesop's Fables; some are comedic, some dramatic. The Latin and the prose is straightforward for the most part. The collection was very influential through the rest of the Medieval period and well into the Modern. It was a source-book for preachers, dramatists (including that Shakespeare chap you may have heard tell of), poets, and even early novelists.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Intermediate Latin: Horace

Test your Latin skills by reading a great poet! Horace was a contemporary of Cicero, Vergil, Ovid and other classical poets of name. In this module we will translate and consider some of this poet's early satires, and some of his odes. The latter form influenced poets ever since including down into the modern period.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Intermediate Latin Reading: Catullus

This course is for those who have had beginning Latin and are ready to move on into reading and translating classical Latin authors.
Precepted by Larry Swain and Faith Acker

Intermediate Latin Readings Series

This series will help introduce students to the breadth and depth of Latin texts available for intermediate-level study . Each month, Dr. Faith Acker and/or Dr. Larry Swain surveys the group using the Intermediate Latin Series survey form to see which text students are most interested in exploring next.

Note: Please refer to the Required Texts section on a month's iteration page to see which texts the group has decided upon for a given month.
Precepted by Faith Acker and Larry Swain

Intermediate Latin Translation: Caesar’s Gallic Wars

Designed for students who have completed an introductory Latin textbook and wish to explore real Latin texts at a gentle pace, this class will cover the translation of selected passages from Caesar’s Gallic Wars. We will parse passages and read Caesar’s prose slowly to allow ample time for grammatical review as students try new translation techniques, and familiarise themselves with Caesar’s prose.
Precepted by Faith Acker

Intermediate Latin Translation: Martial’s Epigrammata

Designed for students who have completed an introductory Latin textbook and wish to explore real Latin texts at a gentle pace, this class will walk students through a selection of Martial’s Latin epigrams, adapting the quantity of texts and homework to meet the needs of the enrolled students. We will parse passages, review grammar and vocabulary, and translate these poems, moving somewhat slowly to allow ample time for grammatical review as students test different translation techniques and absorb new and irregular forms and devices.
Precepted by Faith Acker

Intermediate Latin Translation: The Vulgate Hester

Designed for students who have completed an introductory Latin textbook and wish to explore real Latin texts at a gentle pace, this class will walk students through Hester from the Latin Vulgate, adapting the quantity of texts and homework to meet the needs of the enrolled students. We will parse passages and work through Hester somewhat slowly to allow ample time for grammatical review as students test different translation techniques and absorb new abbreviations, grammatical quirks, and irregular or new forms.
Precepted by Faith Acker

Intermediate Latin Translation: The Vulgate Psalms

Designed for students who have completed an introductory Latin textbook and wish to explore real Latin texts at a gentle pace, this class will walk students through a selection of Psalms from the Latin Vulgate, adapting the quantity of texts and homework to meet the needs of the enrolled students. We will parse passages and read the psalms clause by clause, moving somewhat slowly to allow ample time for grammatical review as students test different translation techniques and absorb new abbreviations, grammatical quirks, and irregular or new forms.

Note: Students who took this module in 2023 are welcome to repeat it; the 2024 module will feature different psalms than its predecessor.
Precepted by Faith Acker

Latin: Augustine's Confessions

Augustine of Hippo is one of the most important thinkers and writers not only of his age but all subsequent ages as well. The Confessions was the first of its kind as an examination of a human being's interior life and thoughts. On the surface level it is a text about Augustine's journey to Christianity. On a deeper level it is an examination in psychology. And we get to read it in Latin!!
Precepted by Larry Swain

Latin: Plautus' Miles Gloriosus (the Braggart Soldier)

Plautus is one of the great playwrights of the ancient world; his surviving works influenced later drama, Medieval drama, and Shakespeare to name a few. In this play readers see the set up for many a modern situation comedy (both in TV short form and movie long form) complete with overbearing fathers, earnest and yearning young lovers, and wily but "heart-of gold" servants. 'Tis a hoot!
Precepted by Larry Swain

Latin: The Vulgate Gospel of Matthew

The Gospel of Matthew through most of Church History was the most cited and the most commented on. This module reads that gospel in Latin and discusses important points of influence that various periods of Christian thought pondered. Along the way students will be introduced to other issues such as the history of the Bible in Latin, textual criticism and transmission, classical and medieval book culture, and artistic representations of important scenes.
Precepted by Larry Swain

Middle High German 3: The Return of Brünhilde Continuing Series

This module, a continuation of the Middle High German series, picks up where the previous module left off (ie. Middle High German 2: An Epic Continuation). Although each MHG cohort learns and reads at different speeds, this module will probably continue with the 14th Âventiure of the Nibelungenlied and then switch to Hartmann von Aue’s Iwein, the German adaptation of Chrétien de Troyes’[s] Yvain, the Knight of the Lion.

As always, students are welcome to make suggestions if they would prefer a different text or even a different genre – farces, courtly epics, sermons or even legal texts are just a few examples of what we could read.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel

Readings in Middle High German: Das Eckenlied

This module, which builds on the skills taught in the previous Middle High German Modules, looks at a representative of the Medieval German aventiurehafter Dietrichepik, or legendary stories of the mythical King Dietrich von Bern (Theoderic the Great?). This song, equal parts romance and epic, tells the stories of the wannabe knight Ecke, the foolhardy giant who seeks out Dietrich von Bern and perishes in the duel, and of Dietrich von Bern’s subsequent quest to return Ecke’s disembodied head to his (Ecke’s) home of Seburg.

This module, like the other Readings in Middle High German, will both look at the poem as literature and as a chance for interested students to continue perfecting their Middle High German reading skills. We will read selections of the text in Middle High German and translate them into English. Once translated, we will then discuss the segments both in isolation and in connection with the poem as a whole. Although no English translation of the Eckenlied exists, a summary of the complete poem will be supplied.

Questions discussed in the module will include questions of genre and the relationship of the poem to oral poetry, characterization of ambiguous heroes like Ecke and his brothers, perceptions of the so-called “Heroic Age” during Medieval Europe, intertextual relationships between Dietrichepen and other heroic poems, and gender in the past-within-the-past.

The language of the Eckenlied is roughly equivalent to the language of the Nibelungenlied, so completion of the Middle High German 1 and 2 modules are strongly encouraged. If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to contact Dr. Schendel.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel

Readings in Middle High German: Herzog Ernst

This module, which builds on the skills taught in the previous Middle High German Modules, looks at another representative of the Medieval German so-called Spielmannsdichtung (pseudo-minstrel tales). It tells the story of the Duke Ernest, who after unsuccessfully waging an assassination attempt and civil war against his misled step-father (and Holy Roman Emperor) flees to the Far East as a crusader, encountering mythical creatures and far-off places reminiscent to anyone who has read the Old English Wonders of the East.

We will follow the methods used in other Middle High German modules and look at the Herzog Ernst poem both as literature and as a chance for interested students to continue perfecting their Middle High German reading skills. We will read selections of the text in the original language and translate them into English. Since it’s not entirely feasible to assume that everyone has access to a modern English translation, we will primarily discuss the translated sections, although a summary of the poem in general will be given.

Questions discussed in the module will include questions of genre (as always) and the connection between the frame story and the second narrative, monsters and the bridal-quest, the medieval political philosophy and the HRE (Holy Roman Empire), crusade poetry, and more.

The language of Herzog Ernst is roughly equivalent to the language of the Nibelungenlied, so completion of the Middle High German 1 and 2 modules are strongly encouraged. If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to contact Dr. Schendel.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel

Readings in Middle High German: König Rother

This module, which builds on the skills taught in the previous Middle High German modules, focuses on a poem that combines fairy tales, crusader epics, heroic poetry, and farces into a single masterpiece representative of the so-called Spielmannsdichtung (pseudo-minstrel tales) genre: König Rother. In this epic, the eponymous hero King Rother is in desperate need of a wife in order to secure political stability for his empire. Calling together his warriors and some violent, yet very endearing giants, he sets off for the Byzantine Empire, ready to kidnap (or free?) the princess from her overprotective (and maybe a bit incestuous) father Constantine.

The poem is a fun adventure and, for all the silliness inherent to the plot, a good window into Western Europe’s perceptions of the Byzantine Empire, its own political systems, and the idea of the miles Christianus.

In this module, we will follow the pattern of other MHG reading modules and look at König Rother both as literature and as an opportunity for language practice. We will read selections of the text in the original language and translate them into English. Questions discussed in the module will include (but are not limited to) questions of genre, the bridal-quest, and the interplay between heroic and crusader poetry.

The language König Rother is a bit more advanced than that of most MHG poetry, so completion of the Middle High German 1 and 2 modules are strongly encouraged. If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to contact Dr. Schendel.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel

Readings in Middle High German: Orendel

This module, which builds on the skills taught in previous Middle High German Modules, looks at a representative of the Medieval German so-called Spielmannsdichtung genre of short epics: Orendel. The titular hero of the epic, distantly related to the Old Norse Aurvandill, is a King with a fairy-tale mission to woo the beautiful Bride. He undergoes a number of adventures, including the discovery of Christ’s Tunic, in a paradigmatic example of a medieval Bridal Quest.

This module will both look at the poem as literature and as a chance for interested students to continue perfecting their Middle High German reading skills. We will devote ourselves to a close, philological reading of the most important passages in the text.

This module is intended both for veterans of Middle High German and for beginners. If any beginners enroll, the discussion of MHG verse will focus a bit more on foundational grammatical concepts, but there will still be enough to interest and challenge advanced MHG readers.

Discussions of the text will also look at it from a variety of perspectives, including: What is the Spielmannsdichtung genre? How do the Christian Faith and Bridal Quest narratives, which spring from two different cultural traditions, mesh? Does Orendel actually resemble in any way Aurvandill, or should questions of “Germanic origin” be put to bed? And are there any intertextual connections between this poem and other monuments of Medieval Literature?
Precepted by Isaac Schendel

Readings in Middle High German: Parzival

This module, yet another entry in Signum’s SPACE Middle High German curriculum developed by Dr. Schendel, is dedicated to the most complex and possibly best romance of the High Middle Ages: Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival, a retelling of the Grail story. With this text, which reaches nearly 25,000 lines, Wolfram von Eschenbach completes the legend originally brought to life by Chrétien de Troyes. Parzival succeeds in the Grail Quest, heals the Fisher King, and fathers the famous Swan Knight, Lohengrin. Simultaneously, Parzival’s cousin Gawan (=Gawain) succeeds in a number of quests in defense of the honor of secular knighthood. Join us for a journey through the vibrant storytelling of the Middle Ages and meet a number of fascinating characters, like Parzival’s father Gachmuret, the noble Muslim knight Feirefiz, the African Queen Belakane, and Parzival’s wife, Condwiramurs. Well-known figures like King Arthur, Kay, and the infamous Red Knight also make an appearance.

This module is dedicated to the unique language of Wolfram von Eschenbach, but we will study it by reading excerpts of Parzival. We will begin with a short overview of the life of Gachmuret, Parzival’s father. We will then continue at the pace at which the group feels most comfortable, with occasional excursions into different elements of Medieval Culture when appropriate.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel

Readings in Middle High German Series

This series will help introduce students to the breadth and depth of texts available for study in Middle High German. Each month, Dr. Isaac Schendel surveys the group to see which text students are most interested in exploring next.

Some of the texts we could explore in a given month include:
Diu Klage
Das Eckenlied
Herzog Ernst
König Rother
Orendel
Parzival

Note: Please refer to the Required Texts section on a month's iteration page to see which texts the group has decided upon for a given month.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel

Readings in Old English: The Battle of Maldon & Group Reading

The Battle of Maldon is the title given to a short (325 lines) alliterative poem commemorating a battle between the Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavian invaders on the english River Blackwater in 991. It describes the tragic fate of the ealdorman Byhrtnoð and his levy of Anglo-Saxon warriors after they agree to let the Vikings cross the river and fight with them on equal footing. The result is, predictably, a disaster, but the poem’s ambiguous language and positive depictions of Byhrtnoð and his retinue leave room for debate about the nature of the poem. Is it a criticism of foolhardiness and overconfidence? Is it a commemorative poem, a eulogy, or perhaps even a piece of wartime propaganda meant to rally the English to resist the Norse invaders? In this module, we will both read the poem in depth and discuss current scholarship on this poem.
Precepted by Isaac Schendel

The Latin Vulgate Bible Series

The Vulgate Bible is one of the most significant Latin texts ever written. Jerome's Latin translation is not only a significant literary work, but is also a more intuitive text to translate, given the familiarity of Biblical texts to many people. This series is geared towards those who already have a good grasp of the case and conjugation system of Latin as well as basic grammar and vocabulary.
Precepted by Patrick Lyon

The Vulgate Bible 1

The Vulgate Bible is one of the most significant Latin texts ever written. Jerome's Latin translation is not only a significant literary work, but is also a more intuitive text to translate, given the familiarity of Biblical texts to many people. This is the first module of the Vulgate Bible series, geared towards those who already have a good grasp of the case and conjugation system of Latin as well as basic grammar and vocabulary.
Precepted by Patrick Lyon
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