Review of The Jewish Annotated Apocrypha

When I learned about the publication of The Jewish Annotated Apocrypha, I was thrilled. Edited by Jonathan Klawans and Lawrence M. Wills, this is an excellent volume and worth owning for any scholar of early Judaism and early Christianity. So I decided to write up some thoughts about it. The editors emphasize a few ways … Continue reading Review of The Jewish Annotated Apocrypha

The Book of Cerne Harrowing of Hell: A Translation

Harrowing of Hell in the Tiberius Psalter (London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius C.vi; c.1050), folio 14r. This piece of dramatic liturgy retelling the Harrowing of Hell (in Latin) survives in the ninth-century Book of Cerne (Cambridge, University Library, Ll.1.10; 820x840, Mercia), on folios 98v–99v. This verse text is based on the Latin Pseudo-Augustine Sermo 160, … Continue reading The Book of Cerne Harrowing of Hell: A Translation

Brooklyn Roads: A Manuscript Provenance Story

https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/6899587060/ Brooklyn Museum, Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn NY But as my mind walks through those placesI’m wonderin’What’s come of them….Neil Diamond, “Brooklyn Roads” This is a story about trying to hunt down a medieval manuscript supposedly in the Brooklyn Museum. It all started when I agreed to contribute an introduction and translation of the Latin Life of … Continue reading Brooklyn Roads: A Manuscript Provenance Story

A Response to Shannon Chamberlain on Fan Fiction

Just yesterday, The Atlantic published an article by Shannon Chamberlain about fan fiction and sexuality. The article is a smart piece, linking fan fiction practices in the eighteenth century with current pop culture trends. A previous iteration of the article was titled "The Surprising 18th-Century Origins of Fan Fiction," which betrays some of the author's … Continue reading A Response to Shannon Chamberlain on Fan Fiction

Preaching Apocrypha in Early England: Historiographic Currents

I've been thinking for a while about posting my talk from Kalamazoo 2019, and I've finally gotten around to doing that. I was invited to present about my work on apocrypha for a session titled "Old English Homilies I: New Discoveries, New Insight," sponsored by the Dictionary of Old English (DOE) and Electronic Corpus of … Continue reading Preaching Apocrypha in Early England: Historiographic Currents

Dragons in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew

It's no secret that many people who love the Middle Ages also love dragons. We find dragons in literature like the Old English poem Beowulf, Norse sagas, saints' lives, romances, Arthurian legends, even historical chronicles. We also find dragons in modern fantasy literature inspired by medieval culture, like J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Ursula … Continue reading Dragons in the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew