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“The Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library is a project of extraordinary intellectual and cultural value, splendidly edited and handsomely presented. I look forward to many happy hours re-reading the classics of the medieval and Byzantine tradition as they appear in this new series.”—Harold Bloom

The Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library is a groundbreaking new facing-page translation series designed to make written achievements of medieval and Byzantine culture available to both scholars and general readers in the English-speaking world. It will offer the classics of the medieval canon as well as lesser-known gems of literary and cultural value to a global audience through accessible modern translations based on the latest research by leading scholars in the field.

With works ranging from The Vulgate Bible to the lives of saints, and genres as diverse as travelogues, scientific treatises, and epic and lyric poetry, this new series will bring a vibrant medieval world populated with saints and sinners, monsters and angels, kings and slaves, poets and scholars, to a new generation of readers who will discover cultures and literatures both hauntingly familiar and wonderously alien.

In order to do justice to the scope of the medieval world, the series commences with a focus on three languages—Byzantine Greek, Medieval Latin, and Old English—and will incorporate additional vernacular languages in the future.

The Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library was recently profiled in Harvard Magazine.

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

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1.Cover: The Vulgate Bible, Volume I: The Pentateuch: Douay-Rheims Translation

The Vulgate Bible, Volume I: The Pentateuch: Douay-Rheims Translation

Edgar, Swift

The Vulgate Bible was used from the early Middle Ages through the twentieth century in the Western European Christian (and, later, specifically Catholic) tradition. This volume elegantly and affordably presents the text of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, beginning with the creation of the world and the human race, continuing with the Great Flood, God’s covenant with Abraham, Israel’s flight from Egypt and wanderings through the wilderness, the laws revealed to Moses, his mustering of the twelve tribes of Israel, and ending on the eve of Israel’s introduction into the Promised Land. This is the first volume of the projected six-volume set of the complete Vulgate Bible.

2.Cover: The Arundel Lyrics. The Poems of Hugh Primas

The Arundel Lyrics. The Poems of Hugh Primas

McDonough, Christopher J.

This volume presents two complementary medieval anthologies containing lyrics by two outstanding Latin poets of the second half of the twelfth century. The collection is further augmented by verse as varied as Christmas poems and satires on the venality of the Roman Curia and immoral bishops.

3.Cover: The <i>Beowulf</i> Manuscript: Complete Texts and <i>The Fight at Finnsburg</i>

The Beowulf Manuscript: Complete Texts and The Fight at Finnsburg

Fulk, R. D.

Beowulf is one of the finest works of vernacular literature from the European Middle Ages. For the first time in the history of Beowulf scholarship, the poem appears alongside the other four texts from its sole surviving manuscript: the prose Passion of Saint Christopher, The Wonders of the East, The Letter of Alexander the Great to Aristotle, and (following Beowulf) the poem Judith.

4.Cover: The Vulgate Bible, Volume II: The Historical Books: Douay-Rheims Translation, Part A

The Vulgate Bible, Volume II: The Historical Books: Douay-Rheims Translation, Part A

Edgar, Swift

This second volume of a six-volume set of the complete Vulgate Bible presents the Historical Books of the Bible, which tell of Joshua’s leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, the leadership of judges and kings, Israel’s steady departure from many of God’s precepts, the Babylonian Captivity, and the return of Israel from exile.

5.Cover: The Vulgate Bible, Volume II: The Historical Books: Douay-Rheims Translation, Part B

The Vulgate Bible, Volume II: The Historical Books: Douay-Rheims Translation, Part B

Edgar, Swift

This second volume of a six-volume set of the complete Vulgate Bible presents the Historical Books of the Bible, which tell of Joshua’s leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, the leadership of judges and kings, Israel’s steady departure from many of God’s precepts, the Babylonian Captivity, and the return of Israel from exile.

6.Cover: The Rule of Saint Benedict

The Rule of Saint Benedict

Benedict of Nursia
Venarde, Bruce L.

One of the most influential texts in the Middle Ages, The Rule of Saint Benedict offers guidance about both the spiritual and organizational dimensions, from the loftiest to the lowliest, of monastic life. This new Latin–English edition has features for both first-time readers and scholars of medieval history and language.

7.Cover: Old Testament Narratives

Old Testament Narratives

Anlezark, Daniel

The Old English poems in this volume are among the first retellings of scriptural texts in a European vernacular. More than simple translations, they recast the familiar plots in daringly imaginative ways, from Satan’s seductive pride (anticipating Milton), to a sympathetic yet tragic Eve, to the lyrical nature poetry in Azarias.

8.Cover: The Vulgate Bible, Volume III: The Poetical Books: Douay-Rheims Translation

The Vulgate Bible, Volume III: The Poetical Books: Douay-Rheims Translation

Edgar, Swift

Volume III in this six-volume edition of the Vulgate Bible begins with Job’s argument with God and continues with the Psalms and the Canticle of Canticles. Its seven Poetical Books mark the third step in a thematic progression from God’s creation of the universe, through his oversight of historical events, and into the lives of his people.

9.Cover: Satires. Eupolemius

Satires. Eupolemius

Amarcius, Sextus
Pepin, Ronald E.
Ziolkowski, Jan M.

The Satires of Amarcius unrelentingly attack both secular vices and ecclesiastical abuses of the late eleventh century. The Eupolemius is a late-eleventh-century Latin epic that recasts salvation history, from Lucifer’s fall through Christ’s resurrection, fusing Greek and Hebrew components within a uniquely medieval framework.

10.Cover: Histories, Volume I: Books 1-2

Histories, Volume I: Books 1-2

Richer of Saint-Rémi
Lake, Justin

The Historia surveys a tumultuous century in which two competing dynasties struggled for supremacy, while great magnates seized the opportunity to carve out their own principalities. Richer tells of synods and coronations, deception and espionage, battles and sieges, disease and death, and even the difficulties of travel.

11.Cover: Histories, Volume II: Books 3-4

Histories, Volume II: Books 3-4

Richer of Saint-Rémi
Lake, Justin

The Historia surveys a tumultuous century in which two competing dynasties struggled for supremacy, while great magnates seized the opportunity to carve out their own principalities. Richer tells of synods and coronations, deception and espionage, battles and sieges, disease and death, and even the difficulties of travel.

12.Cover: Miracle Tales from Byzantium

Miracle Tales from Byzantium

Talbot, Alice-Mary
Johnson, Scott Fitzgerald

Miracles occupied a unique place in medieval and Byzantine life and thought. This volume makes available three collections of miracle tales never before translated into English. They deepen our understanding of attitudes toward miracles and display the remarkable range of registers in which Greek could be written during the Byzantine period.

13.Cover: The Vulgate Bible, Volume IV: The Major Prophetical Books: Douay-Rheims Translation

The Vulgate Bible, Volume IV: The Major Prophetical Books: Douay-Rheims Translation

Kinney, Angela M.

Volume IV of the Vulgate Bible presents writings attributed to the “major” prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Dire prophecies of God’s impending judgment are punctuated by portentous visions. Profound grief is accompanied by the promise of mercy and redemption, a promise illustrated best by Isaiah’s visions of a new heaven and a new earth.

14.Cover: Apocalypse. An Alexandrian World Chronicle

Apocalypse. An Alexandrian World Chronicle

Pseudo-Methodius
Garstad, Benjamin

The Apocalypse informed medieval expectations of the end of the world, responses to strange and exotic invaders, and the legend of Alexander the Great. An Alexandrian World Chronicle represented the early Christian chronicle tradition that would dominate medieval historiography. Both crossed the Mediterranean in Late Antiquity.

15.Cover: Old English Shorter Poems, Volume I: Religious and Didactic

Old English Shorter Poems, Volume I: Religious and Didactic

Jones, Christopher A.

Old English poetry offers a large number of shorter compositions, many of them on explicitly Christian themes. This volume presents twenty-nine of these shorter religious poems composed in Old and early Middle English between the seventh and twelfth centuries. These texts demonstrate the remarkable versatility of early English verse.

16.Cover: The History

The History

Attaleiates, Michael
Kaldellis, Anthony
Krallis, Dimitris

In 1039 Byzantium was the most powerful empire in Europe and the Near East. By 1079 it was a politically unstable state half the size, menaced by enemies on all sides. The History of Michael Attaleiates is our main source for this astonishing reversal. This translation, based on the most recent critical edition, includes notes, maps, and glossary.

17.Cover: The Vulgate Bible, Volume V: The Minor Prophetical Books and Maccabees: Douay-Rheims Translation

The Vulgate Bible, Volume V: The Minor Prophetical Books and Maccabees: Douay-Rheims Translation

Kinney, Angela M.

Volume V in this six-volume Vulgate Bible presents the twelve minor prophetical books of the Old Testament, as well as two deuterocanonical books, 1 and 2 Maccabees. The major prophets’ themes of judgment and redemption are further developed here by the minor prophets. Influential martyrdom narratives anticipate Christian hagiography.

18.Cover: One Hundred Latin Hymns: Ambrose to Aquinas

One Hundred Latin Hymns: Ambrose to Aquinas

Walsh, Peter G.

This volume collects one hundred of the most important and beloved Late Antique and Medieval Latin hymns from Western Europe. Ranging from Ambrose in the late fourth century to Bonaventure in the thirteenth, the authors meditate on the ineffable, from Passion to Paradise, and cover a broad gamut of poetic forms and meters.

19.Cover: The Old English Boethius: with Verse Prologues and Epilogues Associated with King Alfred

The Old English Boethius: with Verse Prologues and Epilogues Associated with King Alfred

Irvine, Susan
Godden, Malcolm R.

King Alfred’s circle of scholars boldly refashioned BoethiusConsolation of Philosophy from Latin into Old English, bringing it to a vernacular audience for the first time. Verse prologues and epilogues associated with the court of Alfred fill out this new edition, translated from Old English by Susan Irvine and Malcolm R. Godden.

20.Cover: The Life of Saint Symeon the New Theologian

The Life of Saint Symeon the New Theologian

Stethatos, Niketas
Greenfield, Richard P. H.

The Byzantine mystic, writer, and monastic leader Symeon the New Theologian is considered a saint by the Orthodox Church. The Life was written more than 30 years after Symeon’s death by his disciple and apologist Niketas Stethatos. This translation, based on an authoritative Greek edition, makes it accessible to English readers for the first time.

21.Cover: The Vulgate Bible, Volume VI: The New Testament: Douay-Rheims Translation

The Vulgate Bible, Volume VI: The New Testament: Douay-Rheims Translation

Kinney, Angela M.

Compiled and translated in large part by Saint Jerome, the Vulgate Bible influenced Western literature, art, music, education, theology, and political history through the Renaissance. Professors at Douay, then at Rheims, translated it into English to combat Protestant vernacular Bibles. Volume VI presents the entire New Testament.

22.Cover: Literary Works

Literary Works

Alan of Lille
Wetherbee, Winthrop

Alan of Lille was renowned for his learning, his contributions to systematic theology, and his Latin poetry. The works included in this volume give imaginative expression to the main tenets of Alan’s theology, but the original forms in which his vision is embodied are informed by a rich awareness of poetic tradition.

23.Cover: The Old English Poems of Cynewulf

The Old English Poems of Cynewulf

Cynewulf
Bjork, Robert E.

Other than his name, we have no biographical details of Cynewulf, not even where or when he lived. Yet his Old English poems attest to a powerfully inventive imagination, deeply learned in Christian doctrine and traditional verse-craft. He reveals an expert control of structure and a flair for extended similes and dramatic dialogue.

24.Cover: Accounts of Medieval Constantinople: The <i>Patria</i>

Accounts of Medieval Constantinople: The Patria

Berger, Albrecht

The Patria is a fascinating four-book collection of short historical notes, stories, and legends about the buildings and monuments of Constantinople, compiled in the late tenth century by an anonymous author. It is the only Medieval Greek text to present a panorama of the city as it existed in the middle Byzantine period.

25.Cover: The Well-Laden Ship

The Well-Laden Ship

Egbert of Liège
Babcock, Robert Gary

The Well-Laden Ship is an eleventh-century Latin poem composed of ancient and medieval proverbs, fables, and folktales. It was one of the few surviving works from the Middle Ages written explicitly for schoolroom use. Most of the content derives from the Bible, especially the wisdom books, from the Church Fathers, and from the ancient poets.

26.Cover: Ysengrimus

Ysengrimus

Mann, Jill

The twelfth-century Latin beast epic Ysengrimus is one of the great comic masterpieces of the Middle Ages. It recounts the persecution of the wolf Ysengrimus—who represents a hybrid abbot-bishop—by his archenemy Reynard the fox. The narrative’s details are carefully crafted to make the wolf’s punishment fit the abbot-bishop’s crime.

27.Cover: Old English Poems of Christ and His Saints

Old English Poems of Christ and His Saints

Clayton, Mary

Religious piety has rarely been animated as vigorously as in Old English Poems of Christ and His Saints. Ranging from lyrical to dramatic to narrative and showing great inventiveness, these ten anonymous poems vividly demonstrate the extraordinary hybrid that emerges when traditional Germanic verse adapts itself to Christian themes.

28.Cover: On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The <i>Ambigua</i>, Volume I

On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The Ambigua, Volume I

Maximos the Confessor
Constas, Nicholas

Maximos the Confessor is one of the most challenging and original Christian thinkers of all time. The Ambigua is his greatest philosophical and doctrinal work, in which daring originality, prodigious talent for speculative thinking, and analytical acumen are on lavish display. The result is a labyrinthine map of the mind’s journey to God.

29.Cover: On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The <i>Ambigua</i>, Volume II

On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The Ambigua, Volume II

Maximos the Confessor
Constas, Nicholas

Maximos the Confessor is one of the most challenging and original Christian thinkers of all time. The Ambigua is his greatest philosophical and doctrinal work, in which daring originality, prodigious talent for speculative thinking, and analytical acumen are on lavish display. The result is a labyrinthine map of the mind’s journey to God.

30.Cover: Saints' Lives, Volume I

Saints' Lives, Volume I

Henry of Avranches
Townsend, David

Henry of Avranches, professional versifier to abbots, bishops, kings, and a pope, displays pyrotechnical verbal skill and playfulness that rivals the Carmina Burana and collections of rhymed secular verse. Yet Saints’ Lives also stands as self-conscious heir to the great classicizing tradition of twelfth-century epic poets.

31.Cover: Saints' Lives, Volume II

Saints' Lives, Volume II

Henry of Avranches
Townsend, David

Henry of Avranches, professional versifier to abbots, bishops, kings, and a pope, displays pyrotechnical verbal skill and playfulness that rivals the Carmina Burana and collections of rhymed secular verse. Yet Saints’ Lives also stands as self-conscious heir to the great classicizing tradition of twelfth-century epic poets.

32.Cover: Old English Shorter Poems, Volume II: Wisdom and Lyric

Old English Shorter Poems, Volume II: Wisdom and Lyric

Bjork, Robert E.

Old English Shorter Poems offers tantalizing insights into the Anglo-Saxon mental landscape. These poems and charms find meaning in the loss of fortune and reputation, exile, and alienation. Wisdom also emerges as folk remedies, such as charms to treat stabbing pain, cysts, childbirth, and nightmares of witch-riding caused by a dwarf.

33.Cover: The Histories, Volume I: Books 1-5

The Histories, Volume I: Books 1-5

Chalkokondyles, Laonikos
Kaldellis, Anthony

Laonikos was one of the Greek historians of the fall of Constantinople in 1453, and the first Greek writer to treat Islam as a legitimate cultural and religious system. He viewed Byzantines as Greeks rather than Romans, and his Histories of the expansion of the Ottoman Empire stands at the origins of Neo-Hellenic identity.

34.Cover: The Histories, Volume II: Books 6-10

The Histories, Volume II: Books 6-10

Chalkokondyles, Laonikos
Kaldellis, Anthony

Laonikos was one of the Greek historians of the fall of Constantinople in 1453, and the first Greek writer to treat Islam as a legitimate cultural and religious system. He viewed Byzantines as Greeks rather than Romans, and his Histories of the expansion of the Ottoman Empire stands at the origins of Neo-Hellenic identity.

35.Cover: On the Liturgy, Volume I: Books 1-2

On the Liturgy, Volume I: Books 1-2

Amalar of Metz
Knibbs, Eric

Amalar of Metz’s On the Liturgy—one of the most widely circulated texts of the Carolingian era—addresses Christian worship from prayers to vestments to bodily gestures of celebrants. This volume adapts the text of Jean-Michel Hanssens’s 1948 edition and provides the first complete translation into a modern language.

36.Cover: On the Liturgy, Volume II: Books 3-4

On the Liturgy, Volume II: Books 3-4

Amalar of Metz
Knibbs, Eric

Amalar of Metz’s On the Liturgy—one of the most widely circulated texts of the Carolingian era—addresses Christian worship from prayers to vestments to bodily gestures of celebrants. This volume adapts the text of Jean-Michel Hanssens’s 1948 edition and provides the first complete translation into a modern language.

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