A Wealth of Information on Medieval France

Aoife (Lis) of Endless Hills shares her annotated list of websites and links dealing with Medieval France.

Greetings, all. This week's Links list is dedicated to Medieval France. I hope you enjoy this week's offering. Please feel free to pass it along wherever it will find an appreciative audience, and feel free to use it to update your own Links pages.


Museums of France
A list of links to the web pages of many museums in France. Site is in French.

The Tincture Purpure
A discussion of the color purpure (purple) in Heraldry

The Company of Ordinanace
(Medieval French Archery and Gunnery Re-enactors)
(Site Excerpt) The Company dress in authentic period costume made from the materials available in the 15th century (or as near as is possible) and portray a group of Burgundian Mercenary Gunners, Soldiers and followers from the Town of Auxerre. All the equipment used, weapons and armour are as close to being authentic as is possible with the limited amount of research material available. The Duke of Burgundy Charles Valois had a large standing army and made good use of artillery, employing large numbers of specialist gunners. Burgundy was therefore at this time rich with skilled gunners and a lot of mercenaries made good, if short lives in the armies of Burgundy.

The Way of Dining
A Medieval French Poem (translated to English) which offers more health advice than dining expertise. (Site Excerpt) To a man in good health every kind of labor before food is commendable;/To him, too, rest is expedient, When his stomach is replenished with food./Moderate exorcise relieves swelled stomachs;/It dissipates noxious humours & phlegm./It excites warmth; it is said to brace the framework of the stomach./Inactivity with rest is exceedingly hurtful to persons in good health

Images of Medieval French Armor
A thumbnail gallery of artist's representations of French Armor. A Few ladies gowns and gentlemen's outfits are included in the thumbnails.

Extant French Clothing at a site called
Extant Clothing of the Middle Ages (Cynthia du Pres Argent)
Site includes pieces of ladies clothing, some pieces of famous personages and a piece purportedly belonging to Charlemagne.

Medieval French Poetry in Translation
A gallery of thumbnails which are replicas of more moderns pages (and accompanying illustrations) of purportedly Medieval French Poetry.

King Rene's Tournament Book (Both in the original and in English Translation)
(Site Excerpt) King Ren�#039;s Tournament Book, A Modern English Translation By Elizabeth Bennett. This web site presents a modern English translation of a medieval French book on how to hold a tournament. The text, known as the traicti�de la forme et devis d'ung tournoy, was written circa 1460 by Ren�of Anjou, King of Jerusalem and Sicily. The tournament book describes a style of tournament which Ren�says he has adapted from the ancient customs of France and other countries. Although Ren�describes this tournament in vivid detail, we do not know if such a tournament was ever held in the fifteenth century.

French Medieval Drama databases
A list of links

Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis: A Late Medieval French Book of Hours
(Site Excerpt) Books of hours were among the most common devotional texts of the Middle Ages. Produced at a number of centers throughout western Europe, books of hours were status items, often elaborately illuminated, that might be tailored to the tastes of well-heeled clients, reflecting their interests in particular saints or incorporating other elements of their personal lives and commitments. The APS book, for example, incorporates four interrelated coats of arms into the borders of illustrations. A sense of the spiritual organization of time emerges through books of hours, and not only in their title. From specifying the liturgical calendar to ordering the monastic day into eight parts (matins to compline) with specific prayers and meditations for each, the books were useful in situating daily lives within a divine framework

A brief description of some medieval French woodworking (with photos)
(Site Excerpt) For each piece I have tried to give a general description as well as any technical or construction details that I found interesting. I have supplemented my notes with information from the other works listed at the end of this article. Cl 318 - Chest, 15th Century Frame and panel construction. The lid is of breadboard construction with mitred front corners (see figure). There are cove and bead moldings around the panels and a square ovolo molding around the edge of the lid.

CELT (Corpus of Electronic Texts) Medieval French Texts
(Site Excerpt) There are few literary works in Hiberno-Norman French. The larger work is the Song of Dermot and the Earl, a chanson de geste of 3458 lines of verse. The shorter is the Walling of New Ross of 220 lines, c.1275. There are poems in the early 14th century amongst the customs of Waterford in Cambridge, Corpus Christi MS 405. The work of Jofroi of Waterford also belongs in this context. Most other Hiberno-French documents are administrative (including commercial) or legal. Municipal customaries extend to about 21,200 words. See Gear�d Mac Niocaill, Na buirg�s� XII-XIV aois i (Dublin 1964), 1-70. There is a mass of parliamentary legislation, most of it quite unstudied and some instruments are lengthy. For example, the famous Statute of Kilkenny is about 4,200 words (see Tracts relating to Ireland (Dublin 1843), 27-121). To our knowledge none of these texts appear in FRANTEXT/Tr�or de la langue fran�ise/CNRS or in its American incarnation, ARTFL (the major French language text-bases).

Art and Architecture in Medieval France
many links to images of period art and architectural details.

Medieval French Culture
A list of links to literature/art sources

ORB: High Medieval France
Features a variety of original essays, literature, texts, and resources for the study of the history and culture of Medieval France.

About.com Medieval France History

Education World: Medieval France
A list of links (please be selective when choosing which to view: some seem to have no connection to medieval France at all, others are directly pertinent).

Fordham University's Medieval Sourcebook
A good jumping-off point for decent resources and research on many cultures

Music of Medieval France
While this is an album's description and contents list, there are clips you can hear online.

Medieval Maps of France
(Site Excerpt) All maps in this section are from Shepherd, William R. Historical Atlas, (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1929)

Creating French Culture: Bibliotheqe Nationale de France/Library of Congress
This online exhibition has several sections: the link is to one of many. (Site Excerpt) MONARCHS AND MONASTERIES By the mid-eighth century when the Carolingian family deposed the Merovingian dynasty, the king was more than a warlord, he was also a religious figure, the Christian leader of his subjects, the new chosen people. From the start, his dual role spawned a potent mix of religion, politics, and culture. Carolingian kings actively supported the study of religious texts which prepared monks, the "soldiers of Christ," to lead their people to salvation. Their courts served as important centers for book collection, book production, and the dissemination of antique culture throughout the West.

Literature of the French Middle Ages
An exhaustive list of links to sources for French Lit on the Web.

Wars of the Capetians From the tenth century to the Valois succession
http://www.keele.ac.uk/socs/ks45/PageHistory/4Area/Europe/France/capetia... m
(Site Excerpt) When the Captetian dynasty first came to power under Hugh Capet France was divided among many powerful lords and the King of France was an insignificant power. By the reign of Louis IX the Capetians were to become the most powerful kings in Europe and to lead several crusades. Their dynasty came to and end in 1328 when the last male Capetian died and the house of Valois inherited. The Valois succesion preceded the Hundred Years War because Edward the III of England claimed he should succeed.

Aristocratic Women in Medieval France
A book review (Site Excerpt) Were aristocratic women in medieval France little more than appendages to patrilineal families, valued as objects of exchange and necessary only for the production of male heirs? Such was the view proposed by the great French historian Georges Duby more than three decades ago and still widely accepted. In Aristocratic Women in Medieval France another model is put forth: women of the landholding elite--from countesses down to the wives of ordinary knights--had considerable rights, and exercised surprising power.

Actor's Roles from Medieval France
(Site Excerpt) Medieval actors' r�es are unusual but fascinating manuscripts. In an era before the widespread circulation of printed books, each actor learning a part in a play had to be given a special type of manuscript containing little more than those words he needed to memorise. These manuscripts, often little more than scraps of paper, were used during rehearsals, and probably discarded after the performance. By the very nature of things, few of them survive; and when they do survive, they are usually fragmentary and hard to decipher.

Medieval France Heraldry (wall paintings from 14th century)

Medieval Fortifications in France (photo archive)

Epic, Romance, and the Love of God: Medieval France and England, Useful Sources for Medieval Study
A list of links for the study of the above subject (course material for a class of the above name).

Noergate's Links list on Medieval France

Coins of Medieval France
Photos of a single French Coin

Marginal Sculpture in Medieval France: Toward the Deciphering an Enigmatic Pictoral Language.
A book review (Site Excerpt) Describes and analyzes the often grotesque figures high on the corbels or tucked under the eaves of churches and civic buildings. In trying to make sense of individual sculptures and the genre as a whole, Kenaan-Kedar (medieval art, Tel-Aviv U.) demonstrates a repertory of interest and importance, identifies themes and meanings, and traces their development through an alternative culture of artist and artisans. She focuses on Romanesque and Gothic monuments, illustrating over 120 figures in black and white, and listing more than 730 she found altogether on the 13 buildings.

Medieval Castles in France (For rent, too :)
Medieval Cities,Abbeys,Romanesque Churches Loire Valley, Poitou,Charentes,Pays de Loire France

French Medieval Armies and Navies
(Site Excerpt) The Oriflamme (meaning 'gold flame') was the sacred banner of the Abbey of St. Denis. It reportedly accompanied the French kings in their major battles, beginning with Louis VI's 1121 campaign against the emperor Henry V. It is believed that the banner's last appearance was at the disastrous battle of Maupertuis [near Poitiers] (1356), where the bearer was killed and the flag disappeared. However, some reports suggest a few later appearances. It is sometimes confused with the French king's royal standard (gold fleur-de-lis on blue), which the Oriflamme often accompanied in major campaigns.

Eurodocs: History of France, Primary Documents
A list of links divided by timeframe, which point to further links and sources.

Medieval French (the language)
Two examples of the written word in Medieval French, each consisting of the Lord's Prayer.