Early Medieval Literature

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From Spoken Words to Written Works Since the dawns of civilizations, people have used literature not only to express their feelings and their imagination but also to narrate what happened on their surroundings. During the medieval period there was a sudden rebirth of literature. Spoken legends orally composed were transformed into written poems and hymns. New writing styles were introduced by those poets and scholars who traveled with the Crusaders – people who went on expeditions for the recovery of the Holy Land. Medieval courtyards became full of songs when the medieval composers, also known as troubadours, sang about famous battles that involved important figures such as Charlemagne, Arthur and Roland. The theory of courtly love created …show more content…
Before long, stories of Arthur, his Round Table, and his famed brotherhood of knights took off. Many years later, the legends and tales told by the bards, together with the romantic and courtly tales of King Arthur, were eventually written down and made into a book form, becoming the first written compilation or embodiment of medieval literature (Alchin). According to Leah Shopkow, a History professor at the Indiana University, Geoffrey of Monmouth, a Welsh author and cleric, was the main source of information about the legends of King Arthur. He wrote “Historia Regum Britanniae”, also known as “The History of the Kings of Britain”, in 1136. This book detailed the old Kings and history dating from the Roman era and further climaxing with the reign of King Arthur (Shopkow). Likewise, a number of other books were written by Welsh about King Arthur and his legends. For example, “Llyfr du Caerfyrddin”, also known as “The Black Book of Caernarvon”, was written in 1250 and contained stories and poems relating to the heroes of Britain in the Dark Ages, including those connected with the legend of Arthur and Merlin – a famous wizard within the Arthurian legend. Other books such as “Historia Brittonum”, “Annales Cambriae”, “Chronicon Anglicanum” and “Mabinogion” are also known to contain …show more content…
Rev. John Stacey states that John Wycliffe, born in England in 1328, was a religious reformer who translated the Bible into English. In Germany, according to Hans Hillerbrand, Martin Luther was a cleric who protested against the practice of indulgences. He wrote a book, “95 Theses”, in which he propounded two central beliefs—that the Bible is the central religious authority and that humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their deeds (Hillerbrand). Rev. Marie-Dominique Chenu confirms that, born in Italy in 1225, Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican theologian and the foremost medieval scholastic. He is mostly known for his two masterpieces, the books “Summa Theologiae” and the “Summa Contra Gentiles”. As a poet, he wrote some of the most gravely beautiful, Eucharistic hymns in the church´s liturgy

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