Holding it Straight: Sexual Orientation in the Middle Ages

Historians tend to be reticent about applying the phrase ‘sexual orientation’ to periods before the nineteenth century, but should we be so quick to dismiss the concept? Focusing on depictions of virgins and sodomites — two seemingly opposing categories — this talk explores how medieval encounters with sex were shaped by concepts of space and […]

Representing sodomy in the Middle Ages – Dr Bob Mills

While sodomy in Medieval Britain and Europe was seemingly regarded as unmentionable, artists developed strategies of depicting taboo practices. Dr Robert Mills (UCL History of Art) examines an era of art history that has hitherto been much neglected in studies of forbidden sexual practices and images of judgment and punishment.  (From Soundcloud) Bob Mills also […]

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Translated by J. R. R. Tolkien, read by Terry Jones

A collection of three medieval English poems, translated by Tolkien for the modern-day reader and containing romance, tragedy, love, sex and honour. Read by Terry Jones. The unabridged version length is 4.5 hours, and can be purchased here. [excerpt↓] Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Pearl are two poems by an unknown author written […]

Inside Medieval Mind: Sex by Robert Bartlett

Leading authority on the Middle Ages, Professor Robert Bartlett presents a series which examines the way we thought during medieval times. He unearths remarkable evidence of the complex passions of medieval men and women. The Church preached hatred of the flesh, promoted the cult of virginity and condemned woman as the sinful heir to Eve. […]

Courtly Love and Courtliness by A. Denomy

A substantial article for understanding key characteristics of Courtly love and its distinction from Courtliness. You will learn about its origins, influences, crucial terms, and its principles demonstrated by quotations of significant authors. Courtly Love and Courtliness Author(s): Alexander J. Denomy Source: Speculum, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Jan., 1953), pp. 44-63 Published by: Medieval Academy […]