A Collection of Medieval Sources


Religion and piety:

The Nicene Creed (AD 325)

Hypatia of Alexandria (d. AD 415): Three accounts of her life and murder

Venantius Fortunatus (d. 609): Life of St. Radegund (d. 587)

The Qur’an: Extracts from Surahs 4 and 2, on women, Moses, Jesus, and righteousness

The Hadith (extracts): On the 5 pillars of Islam; on trade

“The Origins of the Sunni/Shia split in Islam” (short article by Hussein Abdulwaheed Amin, Editor of IslamForToday.com)

        Anglo-Saxon Penitentials – the database and the manuscripts

Anglo-Saxon Penitentials – death and burial

Anglo-Saxon Penitentials – paganism, superstition, and cultic practices


Alcuin of York: The Debate between Pippin and Alcuin

Walahfrid Strabo, Hortulus (My Little Garden), translated by Raef Payne, with commentary by Wilfrid Blunt (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Hunt Botanical Library, 1966). Includes the full poem in the original Latin, with Payne’s English translation on the facing pages.

Walafrid (or Walahfrid) Stabo, Hortulus (My Little Garden): The Gourd (This extract comes from pp. 35 and 37 of  Raef Payne’s English translation, which face the corresponding Latin text on pp. 34 and 36.)

Anglo-Saxon poetry and riddles from the Exeter Book (c. 950-1000): Excerpts from The Ruin and The Wanderer, and three riddles

Aelfric’s Colloquy, c. 1000 (complete text, translated by Ann E. Watkins)

War and violence:

Accounts of Viking attacks, 789 and 793


The Gokstad Ship

Coins of Alfred the Great’s successors


Maps and images:

Map of English royal castles ordered to be securely held, 13C

Medieval correspondence:

Selected correspondence of Ralph de Neville

Extra correspondence of Ralph de Neville

Selections from Roger of Wendover (d. 1236), Flowers of History:

The instant cult of St. Hugh of Lincoln, 1200

Miracles, 1200

King John’s Loss of Normany, 1203-4

The vision of Turchill, 1206

King John taxes the clergy; the arrival of the friars in England; the Interdict, 1207-8

Rebellion, 1233-4

Aristocratic life:

The feudal compact: homages paid by the counts of Champagne, 1143-1226

        A poor knight’s household, from Chrétien de Troyes, Eric et Enide, vv. 342-546

John of Toul’s homage to the Count of Champagne, 13th cent.

Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln: Rules for the household of the widowed Countess of Lincoln, 1240 x 1242

Four English treatises on household and estate administration, later 13th cent.: Glossary of technical terms

Bartholomaeus Anglicus, On the Properties of Things: man and wife (c. 1245)

The ideal squire, from Philippe de Remi, sire de Beaumanoir‘s Blonde of Oxford (Jehan et Blonde, c. 1250-65)

Household Expenses of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, 1313-14

Christine de Pisan, The Treasure of the City of Ladies (1405): A lady’s duties

Edward, Duke of York, The Master of Game, Chaps. 33-34 (c. 1406 x 1413)

An aristocratic education, from John Harding’s Chronicle (c. 1457)

Life on the manor:

Walter of Henley, treatise on husbandry and manorial administration (late 13th cent.)

Seneschaucie (“Stewardship”), treatise on manorial administration (late 13th cent.)

Husbandry, treatise on manorial administration and yields (end 13th-beg. 14th cent.)

Four English treatises on household and estate administration, later 13th cent.: Glossary of technical terms

        Account of the Manor of Cuxham, 1316-17

Pierce the Plowman’s Crede, late 14th century: peasant life

“Ballad of a Tyrannical Husband”: a farmer exchanges chores with his wife (English, 15th cent.)

Hans Brask, Calendarium Oeconomicum: seasonal household menus and monthly tasks (Swedish, 1513-27?)

Hans Brask, Calendarium Oeconomicum: menus for New Year’s week (Swedish, 1513-27?)

Hans Brask, Calendarium Oeconomicum: servants’ rations (Swedish, 1513-27?)

Hans Brask, Calendarium Oeconomicum: description of seasonal menus and tasks (Swedish, 1513-27?)

Master [John] Fitzherbert’s Book of Husbandry: A country housewife’s work (English, first edition, 1523)

Thomas Tusser, A hundreth good pointes of husbandrie (English, 1557)

Urban life:

Guillaume de la Villeneuve, Les crieries de Paris (French, 13th cent.)

The Ménagier of Paris: The art of gardening (c. 1393)

Christine de Pisan, The Treasure of the City of Ladies (1405): responsibilities of the wives of craftsmen

Journal of a Bourgeois of Paris, 1405-1449: Death, 1418; Poverty, 1420

The Church:

Plan of a Benedictine Monastery (St. Antimo)

Raoul Glaber, Histories: Church-building and the cult of relics around the year 1000

Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida excommunicates the Patriarch  of  Constantinople (1054)

Papal election decree (1059)

Innocent III (r. 1198-1216): On papal power

The development of the Inquisition: Decree of the Council of  Toulouse (1229)

Gregory IX sends Domincan friars as Inquisitors to France (1233)

Archbishop Eudes of Rouen: Visitation of monastic and parish clergy, 1248-9

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-75), Summa theologica: Justification for the Inquisition

King Philip IV (“the Fair”) of France vs. Pope Boniface VIII, 1297-1303

Bernard Gui, Inquisitor’s Manual (c. 1307-23): the heresies of  the Waldensians or Poor Men of Lyon, and of the Cathars or Albigensians

Heresy & Inquisition (early 14th century)

Petrarch’s invectives against Avignon

St. Catherine of Siena beseeches Gregory IX to return to Rome

Jean Petit, “The Complaint of Lady Church,” 1393: Satire on the multiple popes of the Great Schism

Jan Hus: Reply to the synod of Prague, 1413; and last words at the stake, 1415

Technology, health and beauty:

New technologies of later medieval Europe

L’ornement des dames: collection of English beauty recipes, 13th century

The plague in England, 1348-9

Report of the medical faculty of the University of Paris, October 1348

Some medieval English medical recipes, 14th-15th cent.

War and violence:

Gesta francorum (“The Deeds of the Franks”), The siege of Jerusalem, 1099

Two Muslim accounts of the conquest of Jerusalem by the Franks, AH 492 [AD 1099]

        Letter from Alexander de Balliol to Edward I concerning spies, 1301

From Froissart’s Chronicles: an English knight is felled by a Parisian butcher, c. 1370; and the origins of the English Peasants’ Revolt, 1381

Journal of a Bourgeois of Paris, 1405-1449,: War, 1419; Joan of Arc, 1429-31

Clothing, Armor, and Weapons of a Mid Thirteenth-Century English Knight (by Andy Goddard, medieval re-enactor)


Illustrations for Martha Carlin and David Crouch, eds. and trans., Lost Letters of Medieval Life: English Society, 1200-1250 (2013)

The printing press