Archpoet suffered like Jonah & offered to castrate himself for wine

In 1164, the Archpoet begged his patron Rainald of Dassel for help. Rainald was Archbishop of Cologne and Archchancellor of Italy for the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. When Rainald came to be honored at Vienne in Burgundy, nobles, actors, musicians, and entertainers all hoped to receive gifts. The much more learned and cultured Archpoet, however, bowed his head in shame, “as if a brother to thieves {tamquam frater sim latronum}.”[1] The Archpoet had done moral wrong and been deprived of many goods. He was truly a brother to thieves in the most wicked sense of being willing to castrate himself for wine.

Jonah swallowed and spewed from whale

The Archpoet depicted himself as the biblical prophet Jonah. In his poem “As Fame sounds the trumpet {Fama tuba dante sonum},” the Archpoet explained to his patron Rainald:

Having seized Jonah by chance
as the one guilty of the sudden storm,
condemned by his ship-mates,
the gates of the whale soon swallowed him.
And thus I, deserving of death,
having lived wickedly and perversely,
I whose flesh was engulfed
(but whose heart perhaps still remains)
is guilty before you and fears you.
You perhaps will have pity on me.

Behold, your Jonah weeps,
not ignorant of his fault,
for which the whale ate him;
he wants and begs for mercy,
that from the disease he suffers,
you may release him, you whom he honors,
fears, worships, and adores.

{ Ionam deprehensum sorte
reum tempestatis orte,
condempnatum a cohorte
mox absorbent ceti porte.
sic et ego dignus morte
prave vivens et distorte
cuius carnes sunt absorte
(sed cor manet adhuc forte)
reus tibi vereor te
miserturum mihi forte.

Ecce Ionas tuus plorat,
culpam suam non ignorat,
pro qua cetus eum vorat:
veniam vult et implorat,
ut a peste qua laborat
solvas eum quem honorat
tremit colit et adorat. } [2]

Lacking the insights of meninist literary criticism, scholars haven’t understood well the whale that swallowed the Archpoet. The Archpoet’s poetic forefather Hugh Primas brilliantly depicted whores exploiting him and other love-deprived men.[3] Moreover, the Archpoet’s illustrious contemporary Walter of Châtillon described being legally, financially, and sexually swallowed by a whore:

I’ll be forced into shackles
unless I give a little to her voracious gullet.
Already my knob
and the length of my purse
have gone down the wildcat’s gaping throat.

{ cogar ad vinculum,
nisi dem poculum gule voraginis.
Iam nodulum
et burse modulum
abstulit patulum guttur viraginis. } [4]

In medieval Europe, women with strong, independent, and highly active sexuality were thought to have unusually large vaginas. The whale that swallowed the Archpoet is best understood as a rapacious whore’s vagina.[5]

Scylla on ancient Greek vase

In describing being swallowed by a rapacious whore’s whale-vagina, the Archpoet rejected men-abasing courtly love for an idolized woman. Within the structural gender injustices of heterosexual love-seeking, the Archpoet apparently was love-impoverished. Poor in this fundamental sense, he turned to a whore for sexual consolation. She engulfed his flesh, but didn’t hold his heart: “but the heart remains {sed cor manet}.” Supporting his appeal for patronage, the Archpoet extravagantly expressed his love for his patron Rainald of Dassel, the one “whom he honors, / fears, worships, and adores {quem honorat / tremit colit et adorat}.” The Archpoet represented his love for Rainald to be as a courtly lover loves his idealized beloved. The Archpoet implied that, despite his whoring, his heart always remained with his patron.[6]

The Archpoet conditionally promised to turn from sex with whores to poetry. He implored Rainald:

If you pardon this guilty man,
and if you give order to the whale,
the whale whose mouth is wide,
it may, offering its customary gap,
vomit the made-bald poet
to his very intended port,
him made thin by hunger.
Thus the poet of poets might again
write for you a pleasing work.

With my life I’ll surpass the lives of the fathers,
shunning those things that you shun;
poetry yet unheard
I’ll write for you, if you enrich me.

{ Si remittas hunc reatum
et si ceto des mandatum,
cetus cuius os est latum
more suo dans hiatum
vomet vatem decalvatum
et ad portum destinatum
feret fame tenuatum,
ut sit rursus vates vatum
scribens opus tibi gratum.

vincam vita patrum vitas
vitans ea que tu vitas.
poetrias inauditas
scribam tibi, si me ditas. } [7]

The Archpoet’s intended port contrasts with the whore’s port, the “common port” that’s a well-known figure in medieval poetry of men’s sexed protest. While the whore’s vagina is wide, the Archpoet’s penis is made thin by hunger. It can then more easily be withdrawn. The Archpoet figuratively and literally vowed to shift his creative work from his penis to his pen. He recognized himself to be like the prodigal son leaving his father:

A stream of tears flows,
those that the fugitive pours out,
he only half-alive within the whale.
I was once your adopted son,
but my plural genitive testicles,
too evil and lascivious,
have been made injurious to me.

Wanting to enjoy pleasure,
I was comparable to a brute;
with a holy man I was not holy.
For that, fearing your anger,
like Jonah before his God,
I hurried, an exile seeking flight.

Already past time, I will speak plainly:
I’m pressed by the plague of poverty,
fool that I am, who in your service,
with money, horses, food, clothing,
led all festive days.
Now more insane than Orestes,
living badly and grievously,
dishonestly tramp-wandering,
I lead all sad days.
This matter needs no witness.

{ Lacrimarum fluit rivus
quas effundo fugitivus
intra cetum semivivus,
tuus quondam adoptivus;
sed pluralis genitivus
nequam nimis et lascivus
mihi factus est nocivus.

Voluptate volens frui
conparabar brute sui
nec cum sancto sanctus fui.
unde timens iram tui
sicut Ionas dei sui
fugam petens fuga rui.

Ut iam loquar manifeste:
paupertatis premor peste
stultus ego qui penes te
nummis equis victu veste
dies omnes duxi feste;
nunc insanus plus Oreste,
male vivens et moleste,
trutannizans inhoneste
omne festum duco meste;
res non eget ista teste. } [8]

Furies pursuing Orestes

Why did the Archpoet invoke Orestes? The enraged Orestes sought, with some justification, to kill his mother. Then vengeful, female monsters relentlessly pursued him. The miserably impoverished Archpoet sought, with some justification, to withdraw from his rapacious whore-lover. Despite his wrongs, the Archpoet returned to his patron-father Rainald of Dassel. As a Christian bishop, Rainald should love generously, as did the father of the prodigal son. The Archpoet knowingly asked Rainald for goods. Expelled naked from the whale’s gap, the Archpoet rightly could hope to receive from Rainald a new cloak, an expensive ring, and an honorary feast.[9] The Archpoet sought compassion that Orestes could not have received.

After having extensively discussed, well-understood experiences like that of Jonah, Orestes, and the prodigal son, the Archpoet proposed a classical horror and blasphemy against God’s blessing. He offered to sacrifice his genitals at Rainald’s wish:

Peace’s author, avenger of strife,
be gentle to your poet,
don’t believe the inexperienced;
already with testicles put to sleep,
I live holier with hermits.
Whatever you know to be evil in me,
I will amputate, if you wish.
So that thirst would not seize us,
I will be the branch and you the vine.

{ Pacis auctor, ultor litis,
esto vati tuo mitis
neque credas imperitis;
genitivis iam sopitis
sanctior cum heremetis:
quicquid in me malum scitis
amputabo, si velitis.
ne nos apprehendat sitis,
ero palmes et tu vitis. } [10]

Men deserve choice among alternate lifestyles, such as the life of a celibate hermit or poet. But having a man amputate his testicles differs categorically. No man should be compelled to castrate himself. Resist and reject castration culture!

In the context of castration, the Archpoet’s final verse is a gross misuse of holy scripture. Jesus in the Gospel of John declares:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. … I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

{ ego sum vitis vera et Pater meus agricola est. omnem palmitem in me non ferentem fructum tollet eum et omnem qui fert fructum purgabit eum ut fructum plus adferat. … ego sum vitis vos palmites qui manet in me et ego in eo hic fert fructum multum quia sine me nihil potestis facere.

ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινή καὶ ὁ πατήρ μου ὁ γεωργός ἐστιν. πᾶν κλῆμα ἐν ἐμοὶ μὴ φέρον καρπόν αἴρει αὐτό καὶ πᾶν τὸ καρπὸν φέρον καθαίρει αὐτὸ ἵνα καρπὸν πλείονα φέρῃ. … ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος ὑμεῖς τὰ κλήματα ὁ μένων ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ οὗτος φέρει καρπὸν πολύν ὅτι χωρὶς ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν. } [11]

For Jesus’s words “I am the vine, you are the branches {ego sum vitis vos palmites},” the Archpoet himself declared to his patron Rainald “I will be the branch and you the vine {ero palmes et tu vitis}.” Thus after adoring Rainald as if he were the Virgin Mary, the Archpoet figured him as Jesus! Even worse, the biblical context of pruning branches corresponds to the Archpoet offering himself to be castrated. Men’s seminal fruitfulness is essentially linked with men’s genitals. Enraged at obstinate heretics troubling his beloved Christian community, Saint Paul hurled the ultimate insult:

I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!

{ utinam et abscidantur qui vos conturbant

ὄφελον καὶ ἀποκόψονται οἱ ἀναστατοῦντες ὑμᾶς } [12]

The Archpoet’s offer to castrate himself draws from his thirst for wine. In Christian understanding, Eurcharistic wine is transubstantiated into the blood of Christ. Men’s genitals, in contrast, are themselves God-created flesh. Men’s genitals work to fulfill the fundamental blessing of Hebrew scripture. Surely men’s thirst for women is more dangerous than their thirst for wine. Yet men’s genitals should not be sacrificed for wine or any other worldly goods.

The Archpoet, swallowed by a rapacious whore’s whale-vagina, suffered like Jonah. Like the prodigal son, the Archpoet returned impoverished to his father-patron, Rainald of Dassel. The Archpoet’s poignant, enormously learned poem wasn’t censored and canceled in relatively liberal and tolerant medieval Europe.[13] Yet castration culture, then and now, is a scandal of social justice and an insult to God. All deserve to know fully the blessing of well-tended branches producing an abundance of fruit.

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[1] Archpoet of Cologne, “As Fame sounds the trumpet {Fama tuba dante sonum}” v. 14, Latin text from the Latin Library, my English translation benefiting from those by Robert Levine (who also provides a good scholarly overview of the Archpoet) and Adcock (1994). All subsequent quotes from “Fama tuba dante sonum” are similarly sourced. The currently best edition of the Latin text is Watenphul & Krefeld (1958). For this poem, it’s essentially identical to the Latin Library text.

Rainald of Dassel was arriving to be seated in honor in Vienne in Middle Francia, part of historical Frankish Burgundia. Vienne is in the present-day Isère department of France. In “Fama tuba dante sonum,” v. 6, the word “Vienna” doesn’t refer to the present-day city of Vienna in Austria. Skinner (1973), p. 2, wrongly identifies the Archpoet’s “Vienna.”

“Fama tuba dante sonum” suggests that the Archpoet was intricately engaged with musical representation and numerical relations. Howlett (2008) pp. 245-9. Howlett concluded, “If even a fraction of this analysis is correct, the Archpoet earned both his title and his keep.” Id. p. 249.

The German band Helium Vola recorded an impressive performance of “Fama tuba dante sonum” in 2001 on its studio album Helium Vola. That performance includes only selected verses from the original poem.

Little is known about the Archpoet apart from his ten surviving, attributed poems. Godman stated:

Facts about the Archpoet are few. One of them is fundamental: the identification of him with ‘Rainald H’, a notary in the service of Rainald of Dassel, archchancellor of Italy and archbishop of Cologne, between 1158 and 1167. The complicity which distinguishes patron and client, unparalleled in the Latin literature of the Middle Ages, developed within a context of companionship. Itinerant but no vagans, our author accompanied his chief in the chancery on journeys throughout Germany, Burgundy and Italy. Places and dates of their travels are provided by charters which ‘Rainald H’ composed and copied. They leave little room for doubt that, more than any other identifiable member of his master’s entourage, he remained at Rainald of Dassel’s side.

Godman (2011) p. 31. Peter Dronke was skeptical of the claim that the Archpoet was this Rainald H. Adcock (1994) pp. xx-xxi (written by Dronke).

[2] Archpoet, “Fama tuba dante sonum” vv. 31-47. The Archpoet’s diction picks up words from the Vulgate text of Jonah. Cf. Jonah 1:3, 2:1-2. “A fish swallows a man” is a well-established folktale motif.  For discussion of this motif (ATU 1889G), Ziolkowski (2007) Ch. 2. Ziolkowski (1984), an early version of that chapter, has the great advantage of being freely accessible online.

In Jonah, the sea-creature that swallows Jonah is described as a “large fish.” Jonah 1:17. Drawing upon the description of Jonah being swallowed in Matthew 12:40, Jerome influentially declared:

In Hebrew, however, we read “large fish” for what the translators of the Septuagint and the Lord in the Gospel call a whale. The later two make clear the same thing more concisely. For in the Hebrew is said “dag gadol,” which is translated as “large fish.” There is no doubt that it means whale.

{ In hebraico autem PISCEM GRANDEM legimus pro quo LXX interpretes et Dominus in Euangelio cetum uocant, rem ipsam breuius explicantes. In hebraico enim dicitur “dag gadol” quod interpretatur PISCEM GRANDEM. Haud dubium quin cetum significet. }

Jerome, Commentary on the Prophet Jonah {Commentarius in Ionam prophetam} 2.1a, Latin text and English translation (modified insubstantially) from Duval (1973), as cited by Ziolkowski (2007) p. 388, n. 79. For related discussion, id. pp. 80-1. Jerome’s enormously influential Vulgate translation of Matthew 12:40 employed the word “cetus {whale}.”

Jonah was important in Christian exegesis. Hebrew scripture tells of a large, powerful, threatening sea-creature — Leviathan or Behemoth. See, e.g. Job 40:15-41:34. In Job 41:1 (40:20 in the Vulgate), God challenged Job, “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook {Vulgate: an extrahere poteris Leviathan hamo}?” Jesus was understood to have done just that:

Christ was the fisherman (piscator) who made himself the bait (esca) and crucified himself on the hook (hamus) in order to catch the whale (cetus).

Ziolkowski (2007) p. 82. With the help of Matthew 12:39-41 and Jonah 2:2-6, Christians understood the mouth of the whale to be the entrance to Hell, the path to “the belly of Sheol” (Jonah 2:2). Jonah’s three days in the whale’s belly prefigured Jesus’s three days in the tomb before his resurrection.

[3] The Archpoet’s “Fama tuba dante sonum” is written in the meter of Hugh Primas’s poem “I was rich and cherished {Dives eram et dilectus}.” The Archpoet’s poem also shares with Hugh’s poem the theme of a fall into poverty and disgrace from being rich and cherished. On the close relation between these poems, Dronke (1997) pp. 97-8. Dronke declared of the Archpoet:

the relation between his poetry and that of Hugh Primas are in certain respects close enough, in my view, to suggest that at some stage, perhaps around 1150, he {the Archpoet} was a disciple of Primas at Orleans.

Id . p. 96. Similarly, id. p. 99 and Adcock (1994) pp. xxi-xxii (written by Peter Dronke). With respect to the Archpoet’s “Fama tuba dante sonum,” see in particular Hugh Primas, Carmen 7 (“What are you grieving for, poet? Why cry over a whore? {Quid luges, lirice, quid meres pro meretrice?}”) and Carmen 8 (“You’ve sent out for a whore, but she won’t leave the brothel before {Iussa lupanari meretrix exire, parari}”).

Both Hugh Primas and the Archpoet were highly learned, court poets. Neither was a vagaband poet like the medieval poetic figure of Golias — “Bishop Golias as an incarnation of the libertine spirit in mediaeval culture.” Both Hugh and the Archpoet, however, contributed to that figure:

Certainly it is to Hugo of Orleans {Hugh Primas} and the Archpoet of Cologne that Golias primarily owes his substance, for without them he would be but the shadow of a name — the mere embodiment of a churlish reproach against freedom and the lust of life.

Hanford (1926) pp. 38, 57.

[4] Walter of Châtillon, St-Omer 22, “As I seek a cure for myself {Dum queritur michi remedium},” 5.6-10, Latin text from Traill (2013) p.46, my English translation benefiting from that of id. p. 47.

[5] Letaldus of Micy’s late-tenth-century poem About a Certain Fisherman Whom a Whale Swallowed {De quodam piscatore quem ballena absorbuit} seems to have informed the Archpoet’s figure of the whale. Letaldus describes the whale that swallowed the fisherman as having an “ever-gaping gullet {gutture semper hianti}.” De quodam piscatore, v. 39. Cf. Walter of Châtillon, Dum queritur michi remedium, vv. 5.7, 10. The whale has a mouth and eyes like those of the female sea-monsters Scylla and Charybdis (De quodam piscatore, v. 38). Those female sea-monsters lure men sailors to their deaths. Scylla and Charybdis are invoked in ancient and medieval men’s sexed protest. For example, Anaxilas states in Neottis:

And isn’t Phryne behaving just like Charybdis,
by grabbing the ship-owner and gulping him down, boat and all?

{ ἡ δὲ Φρύνη τὴν Χάρυβδιν οὐχὶ πόρρω που ποεῖ, τόν τε ναύκληρον λαβοῦσα καταπέπωκ᾿ αὐτῷ σκάφει }

Athenaeus, The Learned Banqueters 13.558c, ancient Greek text and English trans. Olsen (2010) pp. 238-9. See also Alan of Lille, Anticlaudianus 4.307, 314-18.

Letaldus also associated the whale with the frequently erupting Mount Etna and the Furies:

Raging like the whale, Mount Etna spews forth sulphurous fumes
and batters the bright stars with the ashes it discharges.
Scarcely otherwise, this Eumenides, incited by the swift fires,
seethes, thrusting its jaws through the loudly sounding waves.

{ Sulphureos velut ille fremens vomit Ethna vapores
lucidaque elatis diverberat astra favillis,
haut secus eumenides rapidis haec acta caminis
aestuat, altisonas fauces exerta per undas. }

De quodam piscatore vv. 73-6, Latin text from Bisanti (2010) and Wilmart (1938), English translation (with my minor changes) from Ziolkowski (2007) p. 245. In Boccaccio’s Corbaccio, the anus of the narrator’s ex-wife is described similarly to this description of Mount Etna. In outrageous caricature, a whore’s changing behavior toward a man customer, as well as her natural menstrual cycle, might be understood in relation to Mount Etna.

The Furies are ancient Greek female divinities of vengence. Often they are named with the apotropaic double-talk Euminedes (Εὐμενίδες {the kindly ones}). Double-talk is a characteristic way in which men attempt to appease women. The Furies were commonly thought to be three in number (Eumenides is a plural form for Eumedis {Εὐμενίς}). Letaldus uses Eumenides to represent a singular female Fury.

Letaldus further associated the Furies with the whale that swallowed the fisherman named Within (the fisherman’s Latin name is only inadvertently allegorical in English):

“I am Within,” he said, “whom with ravenous throat this tormenting
Eumenides has raped and engulfed in its embittering guts.

{ “Within,” ait, “sum, quem rabidis haec faucibus angens
eumenides rapuit et viscere mersit acerbo.” }

De quodam piscatore vv. 73-6, Latin text (with insubstantial changes) from Bisanti (2010) and Wilmart (1938), my English translation, benefiting from that of Ziolkowski (2007) p. 247, which has for the second quoted part, “whom with ravening throat this choking Fury has seized and submerged in it pitiless gut.” I’ve translated the two verses within the semantic range of the given Latin words, but with contextual relation to the whale swallowing the Archpoet in “Fama tuba dante sonum.” In that poem, the Archpoet described himself as “now more insane that Orestes {nunc insanus plus Oreste}.” That obscure reference makes best sense in relation to Letaldus’s association of the man-swallowing whale with the Eumenides.

Skinner superficially interpreted as comic the whale that engulfed the Archpoet:

The great fish is a particular source of fun. The monstrous size of his {sic} jaws is caricatured …  Technique is deliberately stressed at the expense of content.

Skinner (1973) pp. 1-2. The content of “Fama tuba dante sonum” is actually ingenious and full of significance.

Godman similarly effaced in conceptual abstraction the whale that engulfed the Archpoet:

Looming large in the sea of the client’s alienation from his patron, it is not only a figura of punishment but also a figure of fun.

Godman (2014) p. 218 (footnote omitted that documents “the metaphor of the sea as alienation”). Godman interpreted “Fama tuba dante sonum” as cryptically conveying signals between the Archpoet and his patron Rainald. Medieval masters, who did not marginalize men’s sexed protests under superficial, virtue-signaling labels (“anti-feminist”), probably more readily understood “Fama tuba dante sonum” than have modern professors.

[6] Skinner interpreted the Archpoet to be figuring his patron Rainald as God:

the symbolic association between Reinald von Dassel and God has almost become an identity. … the symbolic identification of the patron with the biblical Jehovah {sic} is developed by use of this extended metaphor {of the Archpoet as Jonah}.

Skinner (1973) p. 3. That’s too abstract of an interpretation. Ideologically deluded men tend to regard women as gods. The Archpoet’s god-like treatment of Rainald is explictly contextualized with respect to human love and gyno-idolatry. A more detailed and perceptive reading of the relation between the Archpoet and Rainald reconized “the complicity between them, which is expressed in their shared sense of humour.” Godman (2011) p. 57.

[7] Archpoet, “Fama tuba dante sonum” vv. 48-56, 68-71. Jewish scriptural interpreters and Christian artists understood Jonah to have lost his hair (and according to some, his clothes) when he was in the belly of the large fish. Ziolkowski (2007) pp. 85-88, Friedman (1988). A man who loses clothes and is more generally impoverished through paying women for sex is common in literary history. See, e.g. Johannes de Hauvilla, Architrenius 9.242-7; poems of Hugh Primas; and Alphabetical song concerning the evil woman {Canticum alphabeticum de mala muliere}, stanzas 9, 17, 20, 24.

[8] Archpoet, “Fama tuba dante sonum” vv. 18-30, 72-81. The phrase pluralis genitivus is clearly a grammatical metaphor for the poet’s testicles. Medieval poetry such as Alan Lille’s The Plaint of Nature {De Planctu Naturae} and Matheolus’s Lamentationes Matheoluli used grammatical metaphors for sexual organs and acts.

The Archpoet in vv. 72-81 alludes to Venantius Fortunatus’s sixth-century Easter hymn, “Hail, festive day {Salve festa dies}.” That hymn associates Jesus’s death, his harrowing of Hell, and his resurrection with Jonah’s experience after being swallowed by the large fish:

The greedy monster,
whose huge throat
had swallowed all mankind,
is now thy prey, O God!

Hail, thou festive…

The savage beast now trembling
vomits forth the victims he had made,
and the lamb tears the sheep
from the jaw of the wolf.

Hail, thou festive…

{ Inferus insaturabiliter
cava gruttura pandens,
Qui rapuit semper,
fit tua praeda, Deus.

Salve festa dies…

Evomit absorptam
trepide fera belua plebem,
Et de fauce lupi
subtrahit agrnus oves.

Salve festa dies… }

St. 17-8, Latin text and English translation from SSPX.

On the reference to Orestes, see note [5] above concering the reference to Eumenides in Letuldus of Micy’s De quodam piscatore quem ballena absorbuit. In v. 83, trutannizans is “a medieval verb of vagrancy.” Godman (2014) p. 224.

[9] Cf. Luke 15:22-3 (the prodigal son returns home to his father).

[10] Archpoet, “Fama tuba dante sonum” vv. 82-90. As v. 84 points out, celibate hermits or celibate clerics, inexperienced in the ways of women, shouldn’t naively judge men’s claims of being victimized by women.

[11] John 15:1-2, 5, Latin text (Vulgate) and Greek text (MGNT) via BlueLetterBible.

[12] Galatians 5:12, Latin text (Vulgate) and Greek text (MGNT) via BlueLetterBibleTranslations of this verse vary in explicitness. The King James Version has “cut off”; the English Standard Version and the New International Version, “emasculate”; and the New Revised Standard Version, “castrate.” Paul and his opponents are arguing over the necessity of circumcision for Christians.

[13] Such work of the Archpoet, along with similiar poems of Hugh Primas and Walter of Châtillon, was often in medieval literature compilations distinguished with the term “Goliardic.” In historical context, “Goliardic” apparently “identifies difference, otherness, potential danger.” Bridges (2012) p. 78. In contrast to modern pieties about celebrating difference and welcoming otherness, medieval culture seems to have been actually more supportive of such characteristics of symbolic works.

[images] (1) clothed Jonah going into whale’s mouth (right), naked, bald Jonah leaving whale’s mouth (left). Wall painting by Albertus Pictorin the Härkeberga Church (Uppsala County, Sweden). Painted c. 1480. Image thanks to Lars-Olof Albertson and Wikimedia Commons. (2) Sword-bearing Scylla with a sea-monster’s tail and three dog heads protruding from her waist. Painting on a Boeotian red-figure bell-crater. Made between 450 and 425 BGC. Preserved as accession # CA 1341 in the Louvre Museum (Paris). Image thanks to Jastrow and Wikimedia Commons. (3) The Remorse of Orestes or Orestes Pursued by the Furies. Painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Painted in 1862. Preserved as accession # 71.623 in the Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk, VA; USA). Image thanks to Google Art Project and Wikimedia Commons.


Adcock, Fleur, trans. 1994. Hugh Primas and the Archpoet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (review by Paul Pascal)

Bisanti, Armando. 2010. “Il Within piscator (De quodam piscatore quem ballena absorbuit) di Letaldo di Micy.” Course resource, academic year 2010-2011, University of Palermo, Italy.

Bridges, Venetia. 2012. “‘Goliardic’ Poetry and the Problem of Historical Perspective: medieval adaptations of Walter of Châtillon’s quotation poems.” Medium Aevum. 81 (2): 249-270.

Dronke, Peter. 1997. “The Archpoet and the Classics.” Ch. 4 (pp. 83-100) in Dronke, Peter. Sources of Inspiration: studies in literary transformations, 400-1500. Roma: Edizioni di storia e letteratura. Originally published in  Godman, Peter, and Oswyn Murray, eds. 1990. Latin Poetry and the Classical Tradition: essays in medieval and Renaissance literature. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Duval, Yves-Marie. 1973. Le livre de Jonas dans la litterature chretienne grecque et latine: sources et influence du Commentaire sur Jonas de saint Jerome. Paris: Etudes augustiniennes.

Friedman, John B. 1988. “Bald Jonah and the Exegesis of 4 Kings 2.23.” Traditio. 44: 125-144.

Godman, Peter. 2011. “The Archpoet and the Emperor.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. 74: 31-58.

Godman, Peter. 2014. The Archpoet and Medieval Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hanford, James Holly. 1926. “The Progenitors of Golias.” Speculum. 1 (1): 38-58.

Howlett, David. 2008. “Notes on the text and the name of the Archpoet.” Bulletin Du Cange. 66: 237-249.

Olson, S. Douglas, ed. and trans. 2010. Athenaeus VI, the learned banqueters. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Skinner, Marilyn B. 1973. “The Archpoet’s use of the Jonah-figure.” Neophilologus. 57 (1): 1-5.

Traill, David A., ed. and trans. 2013. Walter of Châtillon, the Shorter Poems: Christmas hymns, love lyrics, and moral-satirical verse. Oxford Medieval Texts. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Watenphul, Heinrich and Heinrich Krefeld, eds.. 1958. Die Gedichte des Archipoeta. Münchener Texte, 6. Heidelberg: C. Winter.

Wilmart, André. 1938. “Le poème héroïque de Létald sur Within le pêcheur.” Studi Medievali (new series) 9: 188-203.

Ziolkowski, Jan. 1984. “Folklore and Learned Lore in Letaldus’s Whale Poem.” Viator. 15: 107-118.

Ziolkowski, Jan M. 2007. Fairy Tales from Before Fairy Tales: the medieval Latin past of wonderful lies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

teacher-martyrs defy authority for peace, justice, and truth

Governments address domestic violence with billions of dollars directed through the highest fora. The world needs good government action. Looking for a way out of the COVID-19 quarantine, the greatest problem in the world today, I hoped to receive the favor of wisdom from what has been and is. I knelt before my Internet-connected computer, a marvel of human engineering. In tears I thought of my wasted intellectual efforts and the stinging pain of my failures. I lifted my face to Heaven and remembered my inspiring second-grade teacher. Then I read a story from Livy.

ancient Roman students beating their teacher

In 406 BGC, the city of Rome went to war against its rival Etrurian city Veii. The Roman consular tribune Marcus Furius Camillus led a siege of Veii’s allied city Capena. The Romans under Camillus won Capena’s surrender and looted that city in 398 BGC. Two years later, Camillus led a Roman force that violently overcame Veii. The Romans then killed all the men of Veii.

The Etrurian city of Falerii, Veii’s only remaining major ally, still defied Rome. Brutal violence against men and many men’s deaths seemed inevitable. However, the foremost scholar in Falerii undertook a daring initiative for peace:

The Faliscans customarily employed the same person as teacher and attendant of their children. They entrusted a number of boys simultaneously to the care of one man. This practice still obtains in Greece. As is commonly the case, the sons of the city leaders were under the tuition of the man regarded as their foremost scholar. This man had in peacetime regularly led the boys out in front of the city for play and exercise. During the war, he made no change in his routine. With this and that game and story, he would draw them sometimes a shorter, sometimes a longer distance from the city gate. One day, being farther away than usual, he seized the opportunity to bring the boys to the enemy Roman outposts, then into the Roman camp to the headquarters of Camillus.

{ Mos erat Faliscis eodem magistro liberorum et comite uti, simulque plures pueri, quod hodie quoque in Graecia manet, unius curae demandabantur. Principum liberos, sicut fere fit, qui scientia videbatur praecellere erudiebat. Is cum in pace instituisset pueros ante urbem lusus exercendique causa producere, nihil eo more per belli tempus intermisso, modo brevioribus modo longioribus spatiis trahendo eos a porta lusu sermonibusque variatis, longius solito ubi res dedit progressus inter stationes eos hostium castraque inde Romana in praetorium ad Camillum perduxit. } [1]

The teacher-scholar explained to Camillus that by holding the sons of the leading men of Falerii, the Romans would be able to take Falerii without having any men killed.

With all-too-prevalent contempt for men’s lives, Camillus scornfully refused this opportunity to take Falerii without any violence against men. Instead, Camillus engaged the Faliscan students in humiliating their peace-seeking teacher:

Then Camillus had the teacher stripped naked and his hands bound behind his back. He gave him up to the boy-students to lead back to Falerii. He provided them with rods to scourge the traitor as they drove him back into the city.

{ Denudatum deinde eum manibus post tergum inligatis reducendum Falerios pueris tradidit, virgasque eis quibus proditorem agerent in urbem verberantes dedit. }

A large crowd of Faliscans watched the naked teacher being flogged by his students on the way back into Falerii. Camillus’s action so impressed the men of Falerii that they decided to yield peacefully to Rome.[2] The teacher-scholar thus succeeded in preventing brutal violence against the men of Falerii — except for the brutal violence against himself. That teacher-scholar, whose name has not even been preserved, is an unrecognized martyr-hero of ancient Roman history.

Teachers who defy authority to promote peace, justice, and truth too often are martyred. Perhaps recognizing the dangers of gyno-idolatry that Lucretius so brilliantly depicted, a medieval teacher sought to teach young men about women. He urged them:

Listen to a learned
alphabetical song
about what kind is the love
and favor of women.

{ Audite alphabetica
Cantica sophistica,
Cuius sit amor generis
Et favor muliebris. } [3]

Unlike different tribes, ethnicities, or races, women and men have always led intimately related lives in all societies not doomed to extinction. What could be more important teaching for men than teaching them about women? The teacher began his alphabetic instruction with a stern warning, in the classical tradition of Lucretius, about how women affect even very learned men:

The deeply thinking academic
often turns dreamer
burning, gorged with crime
and work of perversity.

{ Altum scolasticum
Sepe facit fantasticum
Fervens, fartum sceleris
Et opus pravitatis. }

That’s a plausible description of much modern academic work on courtly love. The medieval teacher then drilled his students with the rest of the alphabetical lesson:

A woman is two-tongued,
as unstable as air;
she deceives multitudes
like thieves in the night.

A bloody beast,
she stretches out on the earth,
deriding and deceiving
the clerical estate.

A cunning Delilah,
strong in all harm,
confounding and destroying
a person’s reputation.

Eve is announced,
the deceiver of man;
beware of her presence
as one leading to damnation.

Furtively withdraw,
flee from the dancing girl;
your mind becomes demented —
recognize the courtesan.

Garrulous and fatuous,
empty of all honor,
messenger of falsehood,
collector of gossip.

He owning, not being needy,
is made into a beggar;
the proud lord
transformed into a servant.

Hellish fire,
Gehenna-like punishment,
anger and envy
for all those who are married.

Divine charity
she by herself obscures,
a wicked one creating chaos.
Cease loving her!

She circles the streets
in processions and choruses,
visits parishes,
schools, and taverns.

Mediator of Mammon
for the wretched wicked,
the death of body and soul
comes without repenting.

Neither wants to leave,
everyone wants to love,
you have the cleric ensnared
and the layman defrauded.

She deceives all men:
popes, cardinals,
monks, elders,
the one defying bishops.

She gives birth to many children
outside the law; she makes bastards.
She wants to be heirs those
she produces as common servants.

She seeks écu and obol,
groat and florin.
She doesn’t seek honor,
but stretches away from chastity.

Director of the old and young,
the poor and the rich,
she herself is dirty,
and so she makes the whole world.

She sucks in the wise,
swallows the prudent;
thus was done to Samson,
Plato, and Solomon.

She shaves off yours, keeps what’s hers;
she benumbs and tortures the soul.
She makes the good-willed
frivolous and jealous.

Vanity, silliness,
vanity of vanities —
let us render honor to God
and with him we will live.

To works of Christ
and of her husband she’s contrary;
her words and acts
are nefarious.

She sells the sacraments
of the church of Jesus;
thus she herself grabs
the benefit of divine honor.

Jealous and unstable,
frequently making changes,
on account of your gifts
she is shown to be lovable.

{ Bilinguis mulier
Instabilis ut aer
Decipit quam plures,
Velut in nocte fures.

Cruenta bestia,
Tendit ad terrestria,
Derisio, delusio
Status clericalis.

Dolosa Dalila,
Ad omne malum valida,
Confusio, destructio
Fame personalis.

Euam pronuntiat,
Viri fallatricem,
Cuius cave praesentiam
Velut damnatricem.

Furtive subtrahit,
Fugias saltatricem;
Mentis tue dementiam,
Agnosce meretricem.

Garrula et fatua,
Omnis honoris vacua,
Gerula mendacii,
Verborum comportatrix.

Habentem, non egentem
Facit mendicantem,
Dominum superbum
Transmutat in servum.

Ignis infernalis
Pena gehennalis,
Ira et invidia
Per ipsa committuntur.

Karitas deifica
Per ipsam obfuscatur;
Chaos creans malefica;
Desiste, amator.

Lustrat per plateas
Pompas et choreas,
Visitat parochias,
Scholas et tabernas.

Mediatrix Mammone,
Miseri mechantis
Mors carnis et anime
Fit non penitentis.

Neutrum vult dimmitere,
Quemquam vult amare,
Clericum decipere
Et laicum defraudare.

Omnes fallit homines,
Papales, cardinales,
Monachos, presbiteros
Discordat prelatos.

Plures parit filios
Abs lege, facit spurios,
Quos vult esse heriles,
Servos facit viles.

Querit es et obolum
Grossum et florenum
Non querit honorem
Sed tendit ad pudorem.

Rectrix senis, iuuenis,
Pauperis et diuitis,
Ipsa lutibundum
Totum facit mundum.

Sorbet sapientiam
Deglutit prudentiam,
Ut fecit Samsoni,
Platoni, Salomoni.

Tondet tua, tenet sua
Torpet, torquet animum,
Frivolum, zelotypum,
Facit benivolum.

Vanitas, fatuitas,
Vanitatum vanitas
Honorem Deo demus
Et cum eo vivemus.

Xristiani operibus,
Viro suo contraria,
Verbis et factis
Est nefaria.

Yesi vendidit
Ecclesie sacramenta,
Sic ipsa rapuit
Honoris incrementa.

Zelotypa et instabilis,
Fit sepe variabilis,
Propter tua munera
Ostenditur amabilis. }

Those are harsh, upsetting lessons. Yet they don’t encompass at length medieval paternity fraud, men’s suffering in medieval marriage, and gender-disparate medieval punishment for adultery. To understand the problem, imagine that a teacher today, even a law-school professor, taught students about imprisonment of men for sex-payment debts, abortion coercion, and rape of men. What do you think would happen to that teacher?[4]

students killing Saint Cassian of Imola

The fourth-century teacher Cassian of Imola testifies to the fate of teachers who defy authority. Cassian taught stenography to boys. As a teacher, he sternly pushed his students to learn. Cassian was also a Christian at a time when the Roman Empire persecuted Christians. Cassian refused to sacrifice at the altars of traditional Roman gods such as Cybele, Venus, Minerva, and especially Juno, goddess-wife and ruler of Zeus. A Roman official thus arranged for Cassian to be brutally killed:

He is stripped of his clothing and his hands are bound behind his back.
His flock of students, armed with their sharp pens, arrives.
As much hate as each had held in silent anger,
each freely pours forth at length, burning with gall.
Some throw their brittle tablets against his face.
The tablets shatter, with fragments flying from his brow,
waxed box-wood rumbling from impact with his blood-stained cheeks,
the broken slabs red and wet from the hits.
Others now thrust forward sharp iron pricks
whose bottom part digs furrows in wax for writing,
and whose tops efface the letter-cuts so that the rough
surface is again restored to be smooth and shining.
Christ’s follower is stabbed with one; with the other, cut up.
One part penetrates the soft guts, the other part carves off skin.
All two hundred hand-limbs together have pierced him,
and from all these wounds drops of blood drip at once.
A greater torturer was the child who pricked the skin-top,
compared to the one who penetrated deep guts.
That one, the light hitter who prevents death,
knows to be cruel through the pain of only sharp stings.
This one, as much as he strikes the interior, hidden vitals,
gives more relief by bringing death nearer.

{ Vincitur post terga manus spoliatus amictu,
adest acutis agmen armatum stilis.
Quantum quisque odii tacita conceperat ira,
effundit ardens felle tandem libero.
Coniciunt alii fragiles inque ora tabellas
frangunt, relisa fronte lignum dissilit,
buxa crepant cerata genis inpacta cruentis
rubetque ab ictu curta et umens pagina.
Inde alii stimulos et acumina ferrea vibrant,
qua parte aratis cera sulcis scribitur,
et qua secti apices abolentur et aequoris hyrti
rursus nitescens innovatur area.
Hinc foditur Christi confessor et inde secatur,
pars viscus intrat molle, pars scindit cutem.
Omnia membra manus pariter fixere ducente
totidemque guttae vulnerum stillant simul.
Major tortor erat, qui summa pupugerat infans,
quam qui profunda perforarat viscera,
ille, levis quoniam percussor morte negata
saevire solis scit dolorum spiculis,
hic, quanto interius vitalia condita pulsat,
plus dat medellae, dum necem prope applicat. } [5]

Cassian begged his students to strike him harder so that he would die more quickly and suffer less. But his students, tiring in writing with the flesh and blood of their teacher, took breaks from their work. Their teacher deprived them of holidays, yet now they had no need to ask him for a break. The students taunted their teacher with his teaching. His suffering was drawn out at length. Only Christ, showing mercy, ultimately liberated Cassian into death. Any teacher who attempted to teach his students uncomfortable truths about gender would probably suffer a similar fate.[6]

A teacher who doesn’t challenge students acts as a servant, not a teacher. Today the teacher Cassian of Imola is a little-known saint-martyr. Only a teacher with great faith, or exceptionally understanding students, would dare to follow the example of Cassian of Imola. Servants are prevalent. True teachers can scarcely be found.[7]

Saint Cassian of Imola, how wonderful is your witness! Great and praiseworthy was your courage as a teacher. You have renewed my hope. Toward true teachers may all students always show kindness and compassion.

*  *  *  *  *

Read more:


[1] Livy, History of Rome / From the Founding of the City {Ab urbe condita} 5.27, Latin text and English translation (modified insubstantially to be more easily readable) from Foster (1924). Here’s an alternate, freely accessible English translation of Canon Roberts (1912). The subsequent quotes, unless otherwise noted, are similarly sourced from Livy, Ab urbe condita 5.27.

[2] Regarding the men of Falerii, Camillus declared to his fellow Romans and the Faliscan teacher:

I, through the Roman practice of manliness, work, and weapons, will conquer them as I conquered Veii.

{ ego Romanis artibus, virtute opere armis, sicut Veios vincam. }

Livy, Ab urbe condita 5.27.8, my English translation. Camillus’s Roman practice probably would have caused the deaths of many Roman men and of all the men of Falerii.

[3] Gaspar de Rossis de Perusio (attributed), Alphabetical song concerning the evil woman {Canticum alphabeticum de mala muliere} st. 1, Latin text from Puig (1998), my English translation, benefiting from the Spanish translation of Puig (1995), pp. 40-7, and the Portuguese translation of Dias (2014) pp. 109-12. Puig (1995), p. 39, described Canticum alphabeticum de mala muliere as probably from the thirteenth century. Puig (1998) convincingly places the poem in the first half of the fifteenth century. Cf. Dias (2014). The subsequent two quotes are similarly from Canticum alphabeticum de mala muliere and cover the whole poem seriatim.

Stanzas 2 through 24 of Canticum alphabeticum de mala muliere form an alphabetic acrostic, an abecedarius. Each Latin stanza begins with a successive letter of the Latin alphabet. On the history of the abecedarius, see note [3] in my post on Angelbert’s “Aurora cum primo mane tetra noctis dividet {At the first light, dawn will separate the horrors of night},” also an abecedarius.

[4] Dias (2014), pp. 119-20, urges using Canticum alphabeticum de mala muliere in introductory-level teaching of Latin at secondary schools and universities. But if this poem were properly contextualized as literature of men’s sexed protest, any teacher teaching it surely would be in grave danger.

[5] Prudentius, Book about the Crowns {Liber Peristephanon} 9, The Passion of Saint Cassian of Cornelius’s Forum {Passio Sancti Cassiani Forocorneliensis} vv. 43-64, Latin text from Thomson (1949) vol. 2, p. 224-6, my English translation, benefiting from that of id. Subsequent quotes below concerning Cassian are similarly from Prudentius’s account. Cornelius’s Forum is the northern Italian town now called Imola. Prudentius’s account is the earliest surviving record of the martyr-saint Cassian of Imola.

Ancient and medieval teachers seem to have regularly beaten boy students. Laes stated:

A cursory glance at the ancient literary record reveals that teaching at schools went hand in hand with meting out physical punishments. Aristotle’s argument that education and pain are closely connected is embedded in a tradition of education that included violence. Even limiting ourselves to the Latin literary sources, numerous examples come to the mind. Notorious are Horace’s plagosus Orbilius; Ovid’s description of children with hands swollen from the rod; Martial’s annoyance with his neighbour, the verbally abusive schoolmaster who disturbs his sleep; and Juvenal’s biting satire on cruel and recalcitrant teachers. Manum ferulae subducere (“to withdraw one’s hand from the rod”) was a phrase that suggested the end of schooldays, or at least the transition from the grammaticus to the rhetor. In the so-called colloquia or conversation books meant for use in schools, it is stated unabashedly that the pupil who knows his lesson is praised and the one who fails is beaten.

Nothing changed in Late Antique schools. Augustine mentions the blows he got from his teachers and the fact that his parents had a good laugh over it. In his Protrepticus, Ausonius exhorts his grandson not to fear the schoolmaster. The man looks forbidding because of his age, and his hard voice and short-tempered expression seem menacing, but the child is to endure all this with philosophical resignation: it would be a sign of weakness to fear the whip, the screaming, the blows, and the harsh words. The cane (ferula), rod (virga), and whip (scutica) are referred to as tools of the master. Ausonius even offers the boy the cold comfort that both his father and mother had to go through the same — an unmistakable indication of the fact that girls, too, had to put up with physical violence at school.

Laes (2019) pp. 93-4, footnotes omitted. Coming after the lengthy account of evidence about beating boy students, the one reference to beating girl students is noticeable. Boys are subject to violent attacks on their genitals much more frequently than girls are. Men suffer death from physical violence about four times more frequently than women do. Ancient and medieval physical violence surely was predominately directed at boys and men.

According to Prudentius, Cassian’s boy students regarded him as a harsh teacher. The boy students were “bitter {amarus}” towards Cassian. They regarded him with “anger and fear {ira et metus}.” The resented that Cassian didn’t give them a “holiday {feria}.” The local church administrator knowingly told Prudentius, “no discipline is sweet for any children {nec dulcis ulli disciplina infantiae est}.”

Cassian of Tangier, thought to have been beheaded in 298 GC, is another martyr-stenographer. Cassian of Tangier was serving as a court reporter for the trial of the Christian Marcellus the Centurion in Roman north Africa. When Cassian heard the sentence of death for Marcellus, Cassian threw down his pen in disgust, denounced the verdict, and declared that he too was a Christian. Cassian was then arrested and put to death. Prudentius refers to Cassian of Tangier in Peristephanon 4.45-8.

Prudentius in Peristephanon 9 recounts a journey of men’s renewal like that of Aeneas in the Aeneid. However, Prudentius’s journey is primarily personal, yet also witnesses to a universal path. Aeneas, in contrast, works on behalf of the Trojans to refound their society in worldly terms. Cf. O’Hogan (2014).

[6] Prudentius’s account of the teacher-martyr Cassian isn’t merely about the “predicament of a Christian teacher instructing pagan pupils.” Cooper (2019) p. 34. Prudentius’s account of Cassian of Imola fundamentally concerns dissent. In a volume that she edited, Copeland declared:

the explorations of dissenting practices in this volume do not take for granted the polarity of victim and oppressor, or resistance and authority. For this binarism too is the product of normalizing historical narratives that want to assimilate the habit of dissent into knowable and interpretively actionable forms of represention. Such a “normalizing” history might, for example, render Prudentius’ legend as no more than a cautionary tale of student rebellion against pedagogical severity. Indeed, such normalizing historical narratives would reproduce the mechanisms of law iteself (pedagogicval law, the “law” of the Christian imperium) which summons dissent into legally or symbolically actionable forms of representation. But the modulations of resistence in this story, from the violent rebellion in the grammar classroom to the institutional dislocation of grammatica itself, are precisely what resist linear representation through the binarism of “orthodoxy” and “dissent.”

Copeland (1996) p. 14. Cf. Laes (2019). Copeland associates Cassian of Imola with the institutional history of grammar, but she doesn’t acknowledge modern philology’s penis problem. Morever, no voice of meninist literary criticism is heard in the volume that she edited. Graduate students taught without integrity produce tedious, mind-numbing work. See, e.g. Marshall (2015).

[7] Literary history records other teachers whom their students killed. According to writings of Gregory of Nazianzus and Sozomenus, students killed their teacher Bishop Mark in the fourth-century Thracian town Arethusa. According to the twelfth-century historian William of Malmesbury, ninth-century Germanic students stabbed to death their teacher, the philosopher Johannes Scotus Erigena. Four other medieval teachers apparently died similarly: Artemas of Pozzuoli, Archippus of Colossi, Felix of Pincis, and Cassian of Todi. Laes (2019) pp. 104-5.

[images] (1) Students of Falerii beating their teacher. Illumination (excerpt) from Guerber (1896)’s retelling of Livy’s account of Camillus taking Falerii. (2) Cassian of Imola being killed by his students. Painting made about 1500 by Innocenzo di Pietro Francucci da Imola. Via Wikimedia Commons and Regina. (3) Pink Floyd performing “Another Brick in the Wall,” Part II, from that group’s 1979 rock opera The Wall. Concert video from October, 20, 1994 at Earls Court, London, via YouTube. Early in the song are lyrics describing abusive men teachers:

But in the town, it was well known,
when they got home at night,
their fat and psychopathic wives
would thrash them
within inches of their lives.

In a 1980 broadcast interview with Jim Ladd, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd explained:

We actually, at the school I was at, had one guy {teacher} who I would fantasize that his wife beat him. Certainly she treated him like shit and he was a really crushed person and he handed as much of that pain onto us as he could and he did quite a good job of it.

Domestic violence against men should not continue to be denied, ignored or marginalized.


Cooper, Kate. 2019. “The Master’s Voice: Martyrdom and the Late Roman Schoolroom in Prudentius’s Passio Sancti Cassiani.” Pp. 33-50 in Janet E. Spittler, ed. The Narrative Self in Early Christianity: essays in honor of Judith Perkins. Atlanta, GA: SBL Press. (volume review by David Brakke)

Copeland, Rita. 1996. “Introduction: dissenting critical practices.” Pp. 1-23 in Copeland, Rita, ed. Criticism and Dissent in the Middle Ages. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Dias, Paula Barata. 2014. “La donna è mobile…: Portuguese version and commentary of the alphabetical poem about the wickedness of women (Canticum alphabeticum de Mala Muliere, anonym, XIII C.E.).” Boletim De Estudos Clássicos. 59: 105-121.

Guerber, Helene A. 1896. The Story of the Romans. New York: American Book Co.

Foster, Benjamin O., ed and trans. 1924. Livy. History of Rome. Vol. III: Books 5-7. Loeb Classical Library 172. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Laes, Christian. 2019. “Teachers Afraid of Their Pupils: Prudentius’ Peristephanon 9 in a Sociocultural Perspective.” Mouseion. 16 (S1): 91-108.

Marshall, Christabel Nadia. 2015. Rewriting Masculinity with Male Bodies: the sexualization of male martyrs in Prudentius’ Peristephanon. Thesis for Master of Arts in Classics. Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.

O’Hogan, Cillian. 2014. “An Intertextual Journey in Prudentius, Peristephanon 9.” Mnemosyne. 67 (2): 270-288.

Puig, Mercè Rodríguez-Escalona. 1995. Poesía misógina en la Edad Media latina (s. XI-XIII). Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona.

Puig, Mercè Rodríguez-Escalona. 1998. “Canticum alphabeticum de mala muliere.” Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch 33: 119–27.

Thomson, Henry John, ed. and trans. 1949. Prudentius. Loeb Classical Library 387, 398. Vol. 1, Vol. 2. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.