A contemporary prose rendering of the great medieval French epic, The Song of Roland is as canonical and significant as the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf. It extols the chivalric ideals in the France of Charlemagne through the exploits of Charlemagne's nephew, the warrior Roland, who fights bravely to his death in a legendary battle. Against the bloody backdrop of the struggle between Christianity and Islam, The Song of Roland remains a vivid portrayal of medieval life, knightly adventure, and feudal politics. The first great literary works of a culture are its epic chronicles, those that create simple hero-figures about whom the imagination of a nation can crystallize, observed V. S. Pritchett.The Song of Roland is animated by the crusading spirit and fortified by national and religious propaganda. This edition features W. S. Merwin's glowing, lyrical translation.
One spring day, 30 pilgrims set off from an inn in Southwark for a shrine in Canterbury. The inn keeper offers a free dinner, on their return, to the person who can tell the best story. So begins an assortment of tales from such varied characters as the Knight, the Wife of Bath and the Miller.
A clear modern prose translation of Chaucer's masterpiece of Middle English storytelling by the acclaimed poet David Wright.The Canterbury Tales has entertained readers for centuries, with its comic animal fables, moral allegories, miniature epics of courtly love, and rollicking erotic farces that bring fourteenth-century England to life on every page. The gloriously varied stories, narrated by a group of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, are peopled with saints, sinners, and ordinary mortals in a vivid panorama of the medieval world. This prose translation renders these tales as accessible and irresistible to modern readers as they were to Chaucer's contemporaries.
The story of Gilgamesh, an ancient epic poem written on clay tablets in a cuneiform alphabet, is as fascinating and moving as it is crucial to our ability to fathom the time and the place in which it was written. Gardner's version restores the poetry of the text and the lyricism that is lost in the earlier, almost scientific renderings. The principal theme of the poem is a familiar one: man's persistent and hopeless quest for immortality. It tells of the heroic exploits of an ancient ruler of the walled city of Uruk named Gilgamesh. Included in its story is an account of the Flood that predates the Biblical version by centuries. Gilgamesh and his companion, a wild man of the woods named Enkidu, fight monsters and demonic powers in search of honor and lasting fame. When Enkidu is put to death by the vengeful goddess Ishtar, Gilgamesh travels to the underworld to find an answer to his grief and confront the question of mortality.
The Secret Tradition In Arthurian Legend shows how the Arthurian legend may be structured into a workable mystery system, comprised of three primary grades of attainment. The book concludes with an exploration of the Greater Mysteries, which open awareness to the higher spiritual forces.
R.M. Liuzza's translation of Beowulf, first published by Broadview in 1999, has been widely praised for its accuracy and beauty. The translation is accompanied in this edition by genealogical charts, historical summaries, and a glossary of proper names. Historical appendices include related legends, stories, and religious writings from both Christian and Anglo-Saxon traditions. These texts help readers to see Beowulf as an exploration of the politics of kingship and the psychology of heroism, and as an early English meditation on the bridges and chasms between the pagan past and the Christian present.Appendices also include a generous sample of other modern translations of Beowulf, shedding light on the process of translating the poem. This new edition features an updated introduction and an expanded section of material on Christianity and paganism.
This narrative of events between the years 1173 and 1202--as recorded by Jocelin of Brakelond, a monk who lived in the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, in the region of West Suffolk--affords many unique insights into the life of a medieval religious community. It depicts the daily worship in the abbey church and the beliefs and values shared by the monks, as well as the whispered conversations, rumors, and disagreements within the cloister--and the bustling life of the market-town of Bury, just outside the abbey walls. This edition offers the first modern translation from the Latin to appear since 1949.