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Bernie Silver’s Cosmographia

Presented by: Anthony G. Cirilla

Key Background Texts: The Book of Genesis, Plato’s Timaeus, Aristotle’s De Caelo, Cicero’s Dream of Scipio, Virgil’s Aeneid, Plotinus’s Enneads, Macrobius’s Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, Claudian’s De raptu Proserpinae, Martianus Capella’s De Nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae, Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy

Influenced: Alan of Lille’s Plaint of Nature and Anticlaudianus, Jean de Meun’s Romance of the Rose, Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowles, the Plaints (Mars, Venus, Pitee, Fortune), Dante’s Commedia, C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy

Biography: c. 1085-1178. Said to have presented the Cosmographia to Pope Eugene III in 1147. Associated with the city of Tours, although part of his education may have been in Iberia. He also learned under Thierry of Chartres, a master of the trivium to whom the Cosmographia is dedicated. John of Salisbury appears to have been familiar with his work. He wrote an extensive allegorizing commentary on the first six books of the Aeneid, as well as the Mathematicus (a poem about math), and the Experimentarius (a poem about science).

Synopsis

Dedication to Thierry of Chartres (65): Bernardus calls Thierry a “doctor most renowned for true eminence in learning,” offering his work with entirely sincere protestations of humility.

Summary (65-66): Yes, I am summarizing the summary for you, that’s how nice I am. The first book, Megacosmos, is about how “Nature, as if in tears, makes complaint to Noys, or Divine Providence,” and Noys obliges by shaping matter into the universe. Everything in the known Neoplatonic universe gets a quick portrait. Then the second book is the Microcosmos, about how Noys send Nature on a mission to find Urania and Physis to make man.

Megacosmos (67-90)

Ch. 1 (67-9): In a highly rhetorical speech structured in the manner of a deliberative court argument, Nature argues that “bountiful Noys” ought to provide order to Silva/Hyle, insisting that it is not in keeping with God’s ethos to leave prime matter unshaped.

Ch. 2 (69-75): Noys is all like, Nature, you’re definitely my girl. Check it out – I am a personification of God’s knowledge. But “the nativity of creatures is celebrated in the divine mind; the effect which is secondary.” The plan you propose based on instincts was my plan, and now, “because you appeal at the proper time,” Make it so, Number One. (This is both a Star Trek reference and a HILARIOUS Platonic pun.) Hyle is out of control, but I’ll fix her up, and you’ll help. Nature is delighted. We are told that “Hyle was Nature’s most ancient manifestation.” We are told how Providence, using her sweet imagination, brings order to the contrary impulses within Hyle/Silva. How the four elements work and interact is discussed. Having brought “a median tendency from the imposition of law” upon matter, Noys takes a moment to congratulate herself (more of this latter). But concerned that the race of man won’t survive in the unstable world, Noys decides to fashion a world-soul, “the fountain of light,” in whom “are the images of unfailing life, the eternal likeness, the intelligible universe, sure knowledge of things to come.” And so Endelechia, the World Soul and child of Noys, is married to Silva’s offspring, the Universe. Endelechia prefers the heavenly regions to the earthly ones though… Marriage isn’t easy, you know.

Ch. 3 (75-86): Now for some plenitude principle – basically, any imaginable sphere of existence has something that dwells there. So you’ve got the Cherub, Seraphim, Thrones, Powers, Principalities, Dominions, Virtues, Archangels and Angels. Then you have the stars, their constellations and the influence they have over the fate of humanity. Then there’s the seven planets and their functions. Various rivers, seas, and mountains are described, as well as animals and the seasons. Certain lands have favor from Nature, and just as Endelechia is the soul of the world, so there is a sub-soul for various lands (83). Description of plants, fish, and birds conclude the section.

Ch. 4 (86-90): Doctrine of celestial influence and everything in its place. Relationship of fire and earth. Eternality of universe due to its perfection in creation. The universe depicts the perfect will of God. Relationship of Hyle to the cosmos reiterated. “Thus from the life of the divine mind, from the spirit of Silva, from the world soul, from the growth-principle of created life, the eternity of the universe has its rise” (88). Intelligent design, but way prettier rhetoric than your street corner creationists’. Fascinating discussion of time. Intellectual universe, then sensible universe. “Setting out from eternity, time returns again to the bosom of eternity, wearied by its long journey” (89). Bernardian time travel? Nietzsche’s Cosmic Dancer much? Time and eternity mirrors of each other. Noys is ‘pregnant of the divine will,’ giving to Endelechia “the images she conceives of the eternal patterns,” who ‘impresses them upon Nature,” who “imparts to Imarmene what the well-being of the universe demands.” Endelechia supplies souls, Nature the bodies for the souls, and Imarmene the “temporal continuity” in which those beings live.

Microcosmos (91-127)

Ch. 1 (91-3): Noys summons Natura and bids her to check out her sweet labors, which she has ‘endowed” with ‘their reforged essences with the splendor that befits them.” More firmament stuff. Motions of the planets. Celebration of the sublunary realm.

Ch. 2 (93-4): Silva is one hot cosmic matter.

Ch. 3 (94-7): Some day Noys might stop talking. Since making humanity is especially difficult, Noys bids Natura to seek out Urania and Physis. She decides to seek out Urania first. She visits Anastros, but Urania isn’t there. Now she explores the “five parallel bands set between the poles of the firmament” (95). Then she travels the Milky Way “like a highway,” She sees souls destined to be mortal, weeping over their earthly fates. But Urania is nowhere in the Zodiac, so she visits Aplanon, “highest and outermost limit of the firmament.” Apparently the universe is a Bruce Willis movie. Here in the realm of the fifth element se finds Genius/Usiarch/Pantomorphos/Omniformis, who is very shapely. Genius greets her and turns her gaze to Urania, who is star-gaizing, and Urania gets down to business immediately.

Ch. 4 (97-8): Urania recognizes Nature as coming as vicar of God and Providence’s desire for harmony. Urania notes their relationship as “sisters” born of Noys. She is reluctant, but concedes to the task because man is made from archetypal patterns. She claims the minor duty of guiding the human soul. Urania agrees to follow Natura.

Ch. 5 (98-104): Impressed, Natura goes with Urania to hang out for a beat with the “supreme and super-essential God.” Discussion of the ranks of the spirits. Tugaton, home of divine awesomesauce. They pray to the Trinity. They pass from the ethereal firmament to the realm of the planets. Here they meet the Usiarch of Saturn, whom Natura encounters in terms of his earthly impact (which is negative). T hen they pass through the realm of Jove, from which comes pleasant influence, and where lives Clotho, a human-centered version of Imarmene. Then they pass through the belligerent sphere of Mars, and come to the Helin highway, with its four seasonal influences. Sun as both warrior and poet, daughters Psyche and Swiftness. Urania loves the sphere of the sun, but suggests they stop by Lucifer and then move on to Mercury and Venus. Mercury’s influence is to heighten the influence of whatever sphere he is closest to. Magisterial Venus and her benevolent role. Moon mediating between the ether and the atmosphere. The moon is the lowest of the spheres, but transmits “Aethericon,” the “essence of bodily growth,” to the lower world. Ptolemy calls her the planet of the sun because her light is borrowed. Lucina/Huntress/Hecate.

Ch. 6 (104-5): Summary of the impressive sights just seen.

Ch. 7 (105-8): Natura sees a throng of spirits hanging out in the translunary sphere. Urania gives a lecture. 4-fold spheres: firmament, ether, atmosphere, earth. Each of these realms “has its spiritual realm, each has its angels.” God occupies the highest sphere, man the lowest. Angels and more badasser angels. The lower down the ladder, the lesser the angel. Each person granted such a being as a guardian angel. Moar higher archy: first class of awesome sublunary spirits, second class which is benevolent, third which are evil:  guardians, intermediary spirits, and renegade angels. AND FAIRIES!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!! And Summanus, Lord of Deathly Deadly Death and Dying Dead. So there you go.

Ch. 8 (109-10): So here’s what Natura has learned. Don’t be freaked out by death. Be all philosophical and stuff.

Ch. 9 (110-12): Urania is freaked out by sublunary disorder. They come to Granusion, a secretive earthly paradise. Physis is there with her daughters Theory and Practice, mediating between the elements and animal life. Physis was thinking about Nature and humanity in “a highly imaginary way,” Theory notices the guests and they are all like OMG OMG OMG HAIIII. Then Noys interrupts for more speechifying.

Ch. 10 (113-4): Noys is going to create humanity to finish the chain of being, because humans are an intermediary of earthly and divine things. His job on earth is to know stuff, and after death he’ll join us in heaven.

Ch. 11 (114-7): Your mission, which you are choosing to accept, is to form a soul from Endelechia (for Urania), a body from matter (for Physis), and unite the two through the powers of the cosmos (for Natura). To help with these tasks, Urania is given the Mirror of Providence, Natura the Table of Destiny, and Physis, the Book of Memory. The Mirror has the forms, the  has the progression of time, and the book of memory is the intellectual organization of the sensible world. “Amid so great a host of earthly natures Physis discovered only by great effort the image of man, faintly inscribed at the very end of the final page” (117).

Ch. 12 (117-8): They set to work, but Physis is frustrated by the malignity made possible by Silva.

Ch. 13 (118-122): The principles of life, unity and diversity, are used by Physis. Struggle to master the fluctuations of Silva, uniqueness of human nature. The humors, the meaning of the arrangement of the body, which is an image of the cosmos. The heavenly brain made soft so that it can learn stuff. Functions of the soul mirrored in construction of the brain: imagination, memory, and reason. Sensory perception.

Ch. 14 (123-7): Discussion of the learning faculties of man: the exalted nature of sight, inferior but indispensable hearing, tongue essential for the Arts but prone to evil and ability to taste, and smell which “both undermines and stimulates the work of the brain.” Sluggishness of touch. Dignity of the heart. Elemental components: heart is fiery, brain is wet, blood is airy, liver is earthly. The genitals are in a war against death of the race. Weakness of the body. Physis bestows the limbs, a sign of our sublunary nature.

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What exactly is the role and purpose of personification in this text? Why is Noys always doing what she is asking her personifications to do?
  2. What exactly is this text? Literary? Philosophical? Scientific? Surely a mixture – but how do these fit together?
  3. Why didn’t Bernie Silver write more about the fairies????
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Over the course of this past semester, I confessed to several of you that I was actually pretty miserable. About three weeks into the semester, as my son was screaming in my ear about an hour past his bedtime, I told my partner “I quit.” At the same time, I regularly tell people how lucky I am. I love my job. I have colleagues telling me that I’m doing a “good job.” And, presently, I’m still here, here being in this PhD program, and I don’t have any actual intention of leaving, leaving being not completing the degree program requirements.  How does that make any sense? It’s not at all a case of indecision – I think instead it’s a symptom of the multiple stresses in my life right now. And I also think it’s a matter of intention and choice in working to manifest the present I want, and not quite yet succeeding.

(more…)

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As part of my assistantship in the VFL I was assigned the job of curating an exhibition in the lobby of Pius XII Memorial Library, on display Oct.1-Nov.1 2012 . Below are some representative images and further information on its organization and content:

http://pius7.slu.edu/special_collections/

“How shal the world be served?” Aspects of the Medieval Secular World

Curated by Ashley R. Nolan

Though the term secular might suggest any range of discourses concerning the separation of church and state in contemporary culture, for the medieval audience this differentiation is much more complex. In fact, the medieval application of the word secular distinguishes the spaces of religious life—a person who lives ‘in the world’ (secular)—from a person who lives in monastic seclusion (religious).

The first part of this exhibition’s title takes its sentiment from the monk of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, whose exclamation “How shal the [earthly] world be served?” expresses his interest in earthly, rather than spiritual realms. The monk’s lavish clothing and yen for hunting further sets him at odds with the discipline of solemn study and physical labor followed by his Benedictine order, revealing fluidity—perhaps problematically—in what constitutes religious and secular pursuits. This exhibit of medieval manuscript facsimiles focuses on secular themes in vernacular and Latin manuscripts:

Secular Origins features manuscripts concerned with The Matter of Troy, or the texts that adapt the classical stories of the Trojan War, including the adventures of Aeneas.

Secular Adventure encompasses a wide assortment of early adventure narratives that span the regions of Germany, Budapest, and Spain; these facsimiles include some of the oldest and best-known manuscripts of this genre.

Secular Leisure develops the idea that those who had lots of money also had lots leisure time. These facsimiles detail some manifestations of this leisure in the hobbies of hunting and falconry, as well as in courtly love (amour courtois), and will demonstrate that the range of leisurely activities often extends into discourses of love.

Secular Health brings together a variety of texts concerned with health and wellbeing, and includes medical miscellanies, anatomical images, and herbal treatises.

Secular Animals displays an assortment of realistic and imaginary illustrations of animals. Perhaps the greatest appeal of these representations lies in the proximity with which humans interact with these animals and the imaginative influence they aroused in the medieval artists who rendered them.

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Song of Roland

On 10/4, I presented to the Woode-Walkers on the Song of Roland. Sadly, I don’t have nearly the talent Justin hopes for, and so I won’t be writing this in octosyllabic rhyming couplets, for both your safety and mine. I also won’t try to repost my entire handout, which can instead be found here. I will, however, try to cover a couple points here that I am most interested in concerning the Song of Roland.

Named Weapons

There are a number of characters in the Song of Roland who have their own named weapons (almost all swords, though one, Baligant, has a named spear). I’m fascinated by the inclusion of these weapons, because there aren’t a great deal of literary heroes who have them. I’m interested in both their origins (as trope and as items with history) and what they signify in the text.

For example, one of the obvious calls when reading the Song of Roland and noting all these named weapons is that they are a literary device to tell you to pay attention to the owner. Of all the named characters in the text of Song of Roland, only Roland, Oliver, Turpin, Charlemagne, Ganelon, and Baligant have named weapons (well, in the text – Ogier the Dane has one, but it doesn’t get mentioned in Song of Roland). These are also arguably the most important characters in the poem.  Roland, Oliver, and Turpin, all members of the doomed rearguard, have their swords (Durendal, Hauteclaire, and Almace), and they’re the only French characters in the battle who really have any lines. Charlemagne, as the great Christian and Frankish emperor, gets one (Joyeuse), and so his opponent, the Emir Baligant, must also get one (well, two – Precieuse and Maltet – maybe he overcompensates a bit). Even Ganelon gets one, though he never uses his sword – it seems to be there only to emphasize how traitorous he is (“On the relics, are in his sword Murgles, Treason he’s sworn, forsworn his faith away.” Song of Roland 46:607-8). Even though other characters seem important – the other 10 Peers, Ogier, Naimon, Marsilion – the ones with named weapons are the focal points.

I don’t think the weapons are solely a narrative device, though. They do seem to have their own history; in Karlamagnus saga (a Norse saga collecting tales of Charlemagne, Roland, and related characters), Charlemagne, in return for setting a man’s brother free, receives three swords crafted by the famous Weyland – Durendal, Cortana, and Almace. These swords eventually go to Roland, Ogier, and Turpin, respectively. Joyeuse, according to Wikipedia (yes, I know, terrible source), is on display in the Louvre – though Wikipedia also notes that it likely isn’t actually the sword of Charlemagne.  This isn’t much different from the sword of Saint Ferdinand III of Castile, whose sword, Lobera, is kept in the Seville Cathedral. Joyeuse, at least, is believed to have been Charlemagne’s real sword, so why not those of the others?

Also, Roland’s use of Durendal make it clear that these named swords – or, if not all of them, then at least his sword – were something special. While he is dying in the poem, he realizes that there might still be foes left to steal his sword, and so at first he tries to break it (and, amusingly, creating La Breche de Roland, or so legend goes); even hacking into a mountain doesn’t destroy it, though. When he finally realizes that he lacks the strength to break his blade, he lays down on top of it so that anyone who finds his body won’t immediately see it. The fact that the sword won’t break and that Roland feels a need to hide his weapon show that it isn’t Roland that makes the sword important; the sword has its own value, and he feels it is too dangerous to allow enemies to take it. This is possibly my favorite angle of discussion for the weapons – that, at least for Roland, Durendal is so important to him, and so dangerous, that he would rather destroy it then lose it to the enemy.

Someone else has done quite a bit of research on the weapons (and other items) in the Song of Roland, and that page can be found here.

After Song of Roland

The Song of Roland spawned a number of contemporary works that tell the stories of Roland, the Peers, Charlemagne, and others involved; the Karlamagnus saga is one, as is something called the Pseudo-Turpin or the Historia Caroli Magni. Ganelon even makes appearances in a number of later works – he’s in Dante’s Inferno, Canto 32, alongside Gianni de Soldanier; he shows up in two Canterbury Tales, the Shipman’s Tale (lines 193-94) and the Nun’s Priest’s Tale (line 3227).

The works I’m interested in, though, come much later. The first time I heard of the Song of Roland wasn’t through assignment in class or hearing about it from a professor or teacher – my first exposure came in late 1999, in a comic book store. I picked up a graphic novel called Roland: Days of Wrath, a retelling of the Song of Roland in comic book form, and I was hooked. I bought my first ‘real’ edition of the Song of Roland a week later. So I have an understandable interest in seeing how the work ages and what other works it has inspired, partially or in full.

The most famous is also the most tenuous: Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. King has admitted that one of his inspirations for this series was the Robert Browning poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, and in that poem, there are several things that point to the titular Roland being the character from Song of Roland. The most obvious is the name; then his status as childe – a young man of noble birth, or one about to be knighted; and finally, in the next-to-last line of the poem, he uses a slug-horn, possibly referring to the older Roland’s olifant. If Browning’s Roland is meant to be a younger version of the Song of Roland’s title character, then King’s work is just barely linked to it.

The French military apparently felt that Roland’s sword was so cool that they named a few things after it – the BLU-107 Durandal, a bomb designed to destroy airfield runways, and the SNCASE SE-212 Durandal, a 1950s-era fighter jet prototype that never made it into full production. While the plane was a failure, the bomb was a success, and is apparently still in use today.

One of my personal favorite links to the Song of Roland is truly nerdy, because I’m a huge nerd – the Song of Roland is almost directly responsible for the Paladin in Dungeons & Dragons. Gary Gygax, creator of D&D, once listed a number of books he felt were his main sources for material for the game (Appendix N), and one of those books was by Poul Anderson, called Three Hearts and Three Lions. The main character is a reincarnation of Ogier the Dane, and he is essentially the character used as the basis for the Paladin class; this isn’t unusual, because the Peers of Charlemagne were sometimes known as paladins themselves. Some translations even note Oliver as a paladin: “Both his nephew, count Rollant, as I think, And Oliver, that courteous paladin;” (Song of Roland, 43:575-6). The paladin today is not a byword for Charlemagne’s Peers, but rather the idea of a knight or warrior in service to a divine entity.

Apparently, the video game designers at Bungie (makers of the HALO series of games) are also fans, or at least familiar, with the Song of Roland and related materials; the second- or third-most popular character in the series, the AI who is the Master Chief’s constant companion, is named Cortana, after the sword of Ogier the Dane. The Halo games have several other references like this – the MJOLNIR armor, HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL prototype armor, and Project GUNGNIR, among others. Cortana wasn’t Bungie’s first use of something from the Song of Roland material – in 1995, when Bungie created a sequel to their game Marathon, they named it Marathon 2: Durandal; like Cortana, Durandal was an artificial intelligence. I find it interesting that both of these artificial intelligence characters were named after weapons, since that seems to denote their purpose as weapons.

While there’s quite a bit more I could cover, I think I’ll just stop there and see what others have to say.

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The Annolied is a hagiography of Saint Anno, a theocrat who lived from 1010 to 1074, who was immensely popular with his parishioners but not terribly popular with rival bishops or other political rivals. The text sets up his history with two backgrounds, first sacred and then secular history, which are integrated in the person of Saint Anno. After discussing his ascent to sainthood, the text portrays a blasphemer Volprecht being punished by having his eyes destroyed for denying Anno’s saintliness, and then restored after giving confession. The text ends with a sentence on remembering the signs God has given us.

My reading of this poem’s aesthetic of “two worlds which combine to make a third,” that is, human beings, is symbolized by the combination of the sense of sight and of sound in the written world, which itself combines with the twofold (secular and sacred) history of the human race, which explains the aesthetic purpose of Volprecht’s mode of punishment. For the meeting I brought in a paper I am revising for publication, which essentially presents this thesis statement. Thomas Rowland helpfully pointed out some imprecisions in my language, initially objecting to the notion that the Annolied, in any simplistic sense, privileges one part of the sensorium over the other. He’s quite right – both the aural and visual knowledge play key roles in this text, although the roles do, I think, play out a bit differently with different emphasis. Thomas also pointed out the deeply political nature of this text, something covered in scholarship such as Benjamin Arnold’s essay in the bibliography, but Thomas drew out some very useful passages where the poem seems to be valorizing some sense of Germanic pride, or at least pride of Cologne. Thomas also brought up the notion of “spots,” whether present or absent, being a sign of holiness – such as the Pearl maiden being without spot, and some points of comparison between the Annolied and the 7 fold history of the world found in Bede.

Beth asked why the secular details were so expanded, which may have many reasons, but I think at least two are appropriate: first, the poem seems, as Thomas pointed out, to be very politically motivated, and secondly that the disparity of sacred versus secular is something combined by the guiding aesthetic of the poem – secular history is not simplistically separate from sacred history. Beth also pointed out an apt parallel between Volprecht’s punishment and Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus.

Amanda Barton brought up Mircea Eliade (sp?), a theologian I confess no conversance with, but who apparently has worked with the notion of believing without seeing. She also mentioned the oral nature of confession in Catholicism, which seems connected to the sensibilities of the poem in interesting ways.

Below is the handout I gave for the poem. Comments and questions are welcome.

Annolied (ca. 1077-81): “Song of Anno”, a.k.a, Eyeball Explosions

Early Middle High German Hagiography of “Saint Anno” (ca. 1010-1074):

  1. Sacred History: Creation, Fall of Lucifer and Adam, Christ’s Victory, Disciples Evangelize, Cologne Christianized, Anno among the saintly bishops. (st. 1-7)
  1. Secular History: Origin of Cities, Ninus founds Nineveh, Four Beasts of Daniel Prophesies Translation of Empire: Babylon, Chaldea, Greece (Alexander), Rome. Caeser – Backtrack to Troy – Caesar, Augustus, birth of Christ, Rome Christianized by Peter, Cologne Christianized by Romans, Anno is 33rd bishop to preside in Cologne since then. (st. 8-33)
  2. History of Anno: Anno welcomed to Cologne, Ecclesiastical Rockstar, Wholly Holy, makes 5 monasteries, including Siegburg (where he is now buried), Persecution by secular lords and compared to David, Holds a Grudge, Gets Sick, starts going to heaven but he has a stain on his heart, so he forgives Cologne and is admitted into heaven. Performs many miracles. Volprecht, servant of a nobleman named Arnold, goes in league with the Devil and starts to blaspheme against God and all of the saints, including Anno. When he begins to insult Saint Anno one of his eyes melts. He persists in defaming Anno until he has a stroke, falls to the ground, and his other eye goes shooting out. He is persuaded to confess, and then his eyes grow back and he is reconciled to Arnold and to God. Final comparison between Anno and Moses, then closes with comments about the goodness of God. (st. 34-49)

Guiding Aesthetics:

  1. 3 Worlds, the material and the spiritual which make up the third, the human
  2. Concern to show Anno as a positive figure (hagiography)
  3. Concern to have ecclesiastical literature stand up to heroic literature (chronicle)

Important Background:

  1. Patristics – i.e., Augustine
  2. Numerology
  3. Orality and Literacy

My Take:

I think the best way to read this poem is as establishing a sacred aesthetic of the sensorium, to use Ong’s terminology. Hearing and seeing are the two stressed senses, and while seeing is important, it is hearing which rules the day – hearing which represents best the spiritual world. With the deep code of numerical structure, it is the ear, not the eye, which for most in the audience will matter, and the punishment of the servant suggests that visual knowledge must be subordinated to auditory knowledge to attain spirituality for the lay person. But this is reversed for the ecclesiaste: Anno is not admitted into heaven until the visual stain on him is removed. And yet the stain is something only heard about through the song, thus reasserting the primacy in right-hearing over right-seeing in the pursuit to live the good life.

Relevant Primary Sources:

Augustine’s City of God (Latin)

Vita Annonis (Latin)

Kaiserchronik (Middle High German)

Book of Daniel (Probably Latin rather than Hebrew-Aramaic?)

Relevant Secondary Sources:

Arnold, Benjamin. “From Warfare on Earth to Eternal Paradise: Archbishop Anno II of Cologne, The History of the Western Empire in the Annolied, and the Salvation of Mankind.” Viator 23 (1992): 95-113.

Batts, Michael S. “Numerical Structure in Medieval Literature (with a Bibliography).” Ed. Stanley N Werbow.  Formal Aspects of Medieval German Poetry. University of Texas Press, 1969. 93-122.

—. “On the Form of the Annolied.” Monatshefte 52.4 (1960): 179-182.

Dunphy, R. Graeme. “Historical Writing in and after the Old High German Period.” Ed. Brian Murdoch. German Literature of the Early Middle Ages. Camden House, 2004. 201-226.

—. Dunphy, R. Graeme. Opitz’s Anno: The Middle High Gerrman Annolied in the 1639 edition of Martin Opitz. Glasgow, 2003.

Green, D.H. Medieval Listening and Reading: The primary reception of German literature 800-1300. Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Schultz, James A. Sovereignty and Salvation in the Vernacular, 1050-1150. Western Michigan University, 2000.

Thurlow, P. “Augustine’s City of God, Pagan History and the Unity of the Annolied.” Reading medieval studies: annual proceedings of the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies in the University of Reading 6 (1980): 44-67.

Walshe, M. O’C. “Early Middle High German Literature.” Medieval German Literature. Harvard UP, 1962. 34-70.

Whitesell, Frederick R. “Martin Opitz’ Edition of the ‘Annolied’.” The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 43.1 (1994): 16-22.

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After thoroughly enjoying Colin Havard’s delightful stories about his memories of and knowledge about the Inklings, I began to think about what other kinds of events the Woode-walkers should organize i nthe future. A large turnout, skillful moderation (with two moderators no less), and inquisitive audience moved my imagination, and in my mind I thought thoughts and dreamed dreams that might have been put this way: “Today SLU; tomorrow the world!” After a second or two, reality returned to my thinking, along with the original question: What can the Woode-walkers do next to sustain its initial success with its Pub Talks?

For me, the question raises an interesting dilemma. How far should this reading group of medievalists go to reach a broad audience? Certainly Tolkien and Lewis were scholars of medieval language and literature, but I suspect much of the audience in our Pub Talk with Colin Havard were interested more in the connection to Tolkien and Lewis as literary producers, if not more, than in their still-important scholarship. This is not a bad thing at all. Indeed, many of us came to be medievalists because of our initial enjoyment of Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia. So, is it important to reach wider audiences when planning events as medievalists? I do not have an answer, but I wonder if others ponder this as well.

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