The Cambridge Songs, from the Latin Carmina Cantabrigiensia, is the most important anthology of songs from before the thirteenth-century Carmina Burana. It offers the only major surviving anthology of Latin lyric poems from between Charlemagne and the Battle of Hastings. It contains panegyrics and dirges, political poems, comic tales, religious and didactic poems, and poetry of spring and love. Was it a school book for students, or a songbook for the use of professional entertainers? The greatest certainty is that the poems were composed in the learned language, and that they were associated with song. The collection is like the contents of an eleventh-century jukebox or playlist of top hits from more than three centuries.
This edition and translation comprises a substantial introduction, the Latin texts and English prose in carefully matched presentation, and extensive commentary, along with appendices, list of works cited, and indices.