ORB Masthead with site navigation toolbar; see bottom 
of page for text version of toolbar

Encyclopedia | Library | Reference | Teaching | General | Links | About ORB | HOME



The list below provides you with some basic bibliography for the
study of four heroes of the Medieval period: Beowulf, Roland, the
Cid, and St. Francis of Assisi. All were historical figures, but
all became enshrined in more or less fantastic legend. They came
from various eras and stations of life, but all excited the
admiration of medieval men and women, and these men and women
pondered the meaning of their lives.
You do not need to restrict yourself to these four, but make sure
that any of your additions are heroes in the same elevated sense.
Saint Louis of France would qualify, but, for various reasons,
Saint Joan of Arc probably would not. Pope Sylvester might, but
Pope Innocent III would not. Some who might work would be Richard
I of England, Tancred of Sicily, Fernan Gonzalez of Castile,
Baldwin of Hainhault, Alfred the Great (maybe), St. Cuthbert.
A couple of suggestions. Do NOT consider the medieval works you
are reading quaint and rather primitive. Medieval literature is
highly complex, with allusions, symbols, texts and sub)texts.
Start out with the assumption that you will not be able to grasp
but a portion of the work's complexities. Above all, do not
accept things at face value.
Also, do NOT approach these heroic legends with the assumption
that they full of antiquated ideas. Medieval men and women were
concerned with important issues and, unlike we, they liked their
entertainment to provoke thought and challenge their minds. 
Here are SOME of the questions that you should be asking as you
read these works:
1. 	What is virtue?	
2.	What are the obligations of a ruler?
3.	What are the obligations of the subject?
4.	How is a person fulfilled?
5.	What is justice?	
6.	What is honor?
7.	What are the limits of the individual?
8.	What is the relationship between the individual and the
9.	What is evil, and where did it come from?
10.	Is human will free, or bound by destiny?
There are others that will occur to you during your readings. 

Beowulf. edited and with an introduction by Harold Bloom.
New York: Chelsea House, 1987. PR 1585 .B38 1987 
Beowulf. a verse translation into modern English by Edwin 
Morgan. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952. 
PR 1583 .M58 1952 
Beowulf and its analogues. translated by G. N. Garmonsway and 
Jacqueline Simpson; including Archaeology and Beowulf, by 
Hilda Ellis Davidson. (Revised 1980) London, Dent, 1980. 
PR 1583 .G28 1980 
Beowulf. illustrations by Charles Keeping, translation 
by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982
(1984 printing) PR 1583 .C76 1984 
Beowulf. a verse translation with treasures of the 
ancient North by Marijane Osborn ; with an introduction 
by Fred C. Robinson. Berkeley: University of California Press ;
London: Robert Springer/Pentangle Press, c1983. PR 1583 .O8 1983 
Beowulf. an imitative translation by Ruth P.M. Lehmann. 1st ed. 
Austin: University of Texas Press, 1988. PR 1583 .L38 1988 
Beowulf. a dual-language edition translated with an 
introd. and commentary by Howell D. Chickering, Jr. 
Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1977. PR 1583 .C48 
Beowulf. edited with an introd., notes, and new prose 
translation by Michael Swanton. 
Manchester: Manchester University Press; New York: Barnes & 
Noble, 1978. PR 1583 .S8 1978 
Bolton, W. F.
Alcuin and Beowulf: an eighth-century view. New Brunswick, N.J.:
Rutgers University Press, c1978. PR 1585 .B6 
Clark, George.
Beowulf. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1990.  PR 1585 .C55 1990 
Cook, Albert S.
Beowulfian and Odyssean voyages. New Haven, Conn.: Connecticut
academy of arts and sciences, 1926. Q 11 .C9 vol. 28, p. 1-20 
Science Library 
Damico, Helen. 
Beowulf's Wealhtheow and the valkyrie tradition. Madison, Wis.:
University of Wisconsin Press, 1984. PR 1587 .W43 D3 1984 \f
Fajardo-Acosta, Fidel. 
The condemnation of heroism in the tragedy of Beowulf: a 
study in the characterization of the epic. Lewiston, N.Y.: E.
Mellen Press, c1989.  PR 1587 .H45 F35 1989 
Girvan, Ritchie. 
Beowulf and the seventh century: language and content. 
1st ed. reissued, with a new chapter by Rupert Bruce-Mitford. 
London: Methuen, 1971. PR 1585 .G45 1971 
Greenfield, Stanley B. 
Hero and exile: the art of old English poetry. edited by George
H. Brown. London ; Ronceverte, W. Va.: Hambledon Press, 1989. 
PR 201 .G68 1989 
Huppe, Bernard Felix. 
The hero in the earthly city. Binghamton: Medieval & Renaissance
Texts & Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton,
1984. PR 1585 .H86 1984 
Interpretations of Beowulf. edited by R.D. Fulk. Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, c1991. PR 1585 .I58 1991 
Lawrence, William W.
Beowulf and epic tradition. Cambridge, Harvard University Press,
1928. PR 1585 .L3 
Leake, Jane Acomb. 
The Geats of Beowulf; a study in the geographical mythology 
of the Middle Ages. Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1967.
D 90 .G4 L4 1967 
Ogilvy, J. D.
Reading Beowulf: an introduction to the poem, its 
background, and its style. 1st ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma
Press, c1983. PR 1585 .O37 1983 
Parker, Mary A.
Beowulf and Christianity. New York: Lang, c1987. PR 1587 .C47 P37
Puhvel, Martin.
Beowulf and Celtic tradition. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier
University Press, 1979. PR 1587 .C4 P8 
Renoir, Alain. 
A key to old poems: the oral-formulaic approach to the 
interpretation of West-Germanic verse.  University Park:
Pennsylvania State University Press, c1988. PR 179 .O7 R46 1988 
Swanton, Michael James. \f
and the burden of kingship. Goppingen: Kummerle Verlag, 1982. 
PR 1587 .K55 S9 1982 
The Dating of Beowulf. edited by Colin Chase. Toronto ; Buffalo:
University of Toronto Press, c1981. PR 1585 .D37 1981 
Tripp, Raymond P
More about the fight with the dragon: Beowulf, 2208b-3182.   
Lanham: University Press of America, c1983. PR 1587 .D7 T75 1983 
Williams, David.
Cain and Beowulf: a study in secular allegory. Toronto ; Buffalo:
University of Toronto Press, c1982. PR 1587 .C3 W5 1982 
Wolff, Hope Nash.
A study in the narrative structure of three epic poems: 
Gilgamesh, the Odyssey, Beowulf. New York: Garland, 1987. 
The song of Roland. A new translation by Dorothy L. Sayers. 
Harmondsworth, Eng. Penguin Books 1957.  PQ 1521 .E5 S29 1957 
The song of Roland. newly translated into English with an 
introd. by Jessie Crosland. New York, Cooper Square Publishers,
1967. PQ 1521 .E5 C7 1967 
The song of Roland translated, with an introd., by Frederick
Goldin. 1st ed. New York: Norton, c1978. PQ 1521 .E5 G6 1978 
The song of Roland. translated with an introduction by C.H.
Sisson. Manchester: Carcanet, 1983. PQ 1521 .E5 S57 1983 
The Song of Roland. ed. Gerard J. Brault. University Park:
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1978. PQ 1521 .E5 B7 1978 
The song of Roland translated with an introduction and 
notes by Glyn Burgess. London, England: New York, N.Y., USA:
Penguin Books, 1990. 
Ashby-Beach, Genette. 
The Song of Roland: a generative study of the formulaic 
language in the single combat. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1985. 
PQ 1524 .C65 A84 1985 
Cook, Robert Francis. \f
Press, 1987. PQ 1522 .C66 1987 
Dobozy, Maria. 
Full circle: kingship in the German epic: Alexanderlied, 
Rolandslied, "Spielmannsepen". Goppingen: Kummerle, 1985. 
PT 214 .D6 1985 
Duggan, Joseph J. 
A guide to studies on the Chanson de Roland. London: Grant and
Cutler, 1976. Z 6521 .R7 D83 
Duggan, Joseph J. 
The Song of Roland; formulaic style and poetic craft. Berkeley,
University of California Press, 1973. 
Mickel, Emanuel J.
Ganelon, treason, and the "Chanson de Roland".  University Park:
Pennsylvania State University Press, c1989. PQ 1524 .G35 M53 1989
The poem of the Cid. translated by John Ormsby. New York, G. E.
Stechert, 1915. PQ 6367 .E3 O7 
The poem of my Cid. translated by Peter Such & John Hodgkinson.
Warminster: Aris & Phillips, c1987. PQ 6367 .E3 S9 1987 
De Chasca, Edmund.
The poem of the Cid. Boston: Twayne Publishers, c1976. PQ 6373
Deyermond, A. D. 
Epic poetry and the clergy: studies on the Mocedades de Rodrigo.
London, Tamesis, distributed by Grant & Cutler, 1968. PQ 6374 .D4
Duggan, Joseph J. 
The Cantar de mio Cid: poetic creation in its economic and social
contexts. Cambridge England ; New York: Cambridge University
Press, 1989. PQ 6380 .D8 1989 
Fletcher, Richard A.
The quest for El Cid. London: Hutchinson, c1989. DP 99 .F57 1989 
Menendez Pidal, Ramon. 
The Cid and his Spain. Translated by Harold Sunderland. London F.
Cass 1971. DP 99 .M43 1971 
The making of the Poema de Mio Cid. Cambridge ; New York:
Cambridge University Press, 1983. PQ 6373 .S6 1983 
Francis of Assisi: with extracts from the lives of Bonaventure,
Thomas of Celano, and the Three Companions. translated by William
Neil. Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1975.  BX 4700 .F6 N5413 
St. Francis of Assisi: the legends and lauds. edited, 
selected and annotated by Otto Karrer ; translated by N. 
Wydenbruck. London: Sheed & Ward, 1947. BX 4700 .F61 K3 1947x 
Giotto, the legend of St. Francis as depicted in the Assisi 
frescoes, and faithfully copied. by Edith M. Cowles. New York:
E.P. Dutton & Co., inc., 1931 
Habig, Marion A.
St. Francis of Assisi: writings and early biographies: English
omnibus of the sources for the life of St. Francis. 3d rev. ed.,
Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1977  BX 4700 .F6 H27 1977 
Scripta Leonis, Rufini et Angeli, Sociorum S. Francisci. The 
writings of Leo, Rufino and Angelo, companions of St. Francis.
edited and translated by Rosalind B. Brooke. Oxford, Clarendon
Press, 1970. 
The little flowers of St. Francis of Assisi. London: Burns Oates,
1953. BX 4700 .F63 E5 1953b 
The little flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi. translated T. W.
Arnold. London: J. M. Dent New York: E. P. Dutton, 1898.  BX 4700
.F63 E5 1898 
The little flowers ; &, the life of St. Francis. With the 
Mirror of perfection.  London: J.M. Dent ; New York: Dutton,
1910. 082 Ev27 no. 485 
Armstrong, Edward Allworthy. 
Saint Francis: nature mystic; the derivation and significance 
of the nature stories in the Franciscan Legend. Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1973. BX 4700 .F6 A78 
Berenson, Bernard.
A Sienese painter of the Franciscan legend. London: J.M. Dent,
1909. ND 623 .S3 B4 Art Library 
St. Francis and the song of brotherhood.  London ; Boston: Allen
& Unwin, 1980. 
Leclerc, Eloi. 
Francis of Assisi: return to the Gospel. translated by Richard
Arnandez. Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, c1983.  BX 4700 .F6
L36713 1983 
Leclerc, Eloi. 
The Canticle of creatures: Symbols of union: an analysis of 
St. Francis of Assisi. translated by Matthew J. O'Connell. 
Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press, 1977. BV 489 .F74 C37413 
Moleta, Vincent. 
From St. Francis to Giotto: the influence of St. Francis on 
early Italian art and literature. Chicago, IL: Franciscan Herald
Press, c1983. NX 663 .I8 M64 1983 
Smith, John Holland. 
Francis of Assisi. London, Sidgwick & Jackson 1972  BX 4700 .F6
S56 1972 
Sorrell, Roger D.
St. Francis of Assisi and nature: tradition and innovation 
in Western Christian attitudes toward the environment. 
New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. BT 695.5 .S68 1988 
Stubblebine, James H. 
Assisi and the rise of vernacular art. 1st ed. Cambridge: Harper
& Row, c1985. ND 2757 .A8 S88 1985  Art Library 
Trexler, Richard C.
Naked before the father: the renunciation of Francis of 
Assisi. New York: P. Lang, c1989. BX 4700 .F6 T67 1989 


Encyclopedia | Library | Reference | Teaching | General | Links | About ORB | HOME

The contents of ORB are copyright © 1995-1999 Laura V. Blanchard and Carolyn Schriber except as otherwise indicated herein.