Home Books Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature

Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature
  • Format
  • Authored by: Jay Ruud
  • Trim Size: 7-3/8 x 9-1/4
  • ISBN-10: 0816054975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-8160-5497-8
  • Status: In Stock
  • List Price: $85.00
  • Imprint: Facts On File
  • Published: 11/01/2005
  • Dewey Number: 809
  • Reading Level: Grades 9 and up
  • Pages: 752


Medieval literature encompasses a broad sweep of people, cultures, and styles. Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature offers a comprehensive account of the literary works, writers, and concepts of the Middle Ages, from 500 to 1500 CE. Covering not only European literature but also that of India, the Far East, and the Muslim world, this invaluable A-to-Z guide is one of the most inclusive single-volume references of its kind.

Approximately 700 entries list the literary works, writers, concepts, and terms from the following cultures and languages.

Coverage includes:

  • English: Old English and Middle English, including Beowulf, Chaucer, morality play, Sir Thomas Malory, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Robin Hood, and Troilus and Criseyde
  • French: Joan of Arc, Marie de France, Parzival, The Song of Roland, and Francois Villon
  • Provençal: troubadours, La Comtessa de Dia, and Peire Vidal
  • Celtic: Irish and Welsh, including Cuchulain, the The Mabinogion, Ulster cycle, and Tale of Dierdre
  • German: The Nibelungenlied,Tristan, Ulrich von Lichtenstein, and Gottfried von Strassburg
  • Old Norse: Leif Ericson, Snorri Sturluson, Egil's Saga, and skaldic poetry
  • Latin: Peter Abelard, Bede, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Brianniae, Psychomachia, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Hildegaard von Bingden
  • Japanese: Muromachi Period, The Pillow Book, The Tale of the Genji, and No drama
  • Chinese: The Story of Ying-ying, T'ao Ch'ien, Mongol dynasty, and T'ang dynasty
  • Islamic: Omar Khayyam, The Koran, The Thousand and One Nights, and Sa'di
  • Indian: Govindadasa, Mahadeviyakka, and Visnusarman
  • Miscellaneous: Spanish and Hebrew
  • Literary and Historical Terms: King Arthur, Peasants' Revolt, terza rima, Realism, ballade, and Great Schism.


Index. Appendix. Bibliography. Cross-references. Chronology.

About the Author(s)

Jay Ruud is chair of the department of English at the University of Central Arkansas. He was formerly the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD, and is a former professor and chair of the Department of Language, Literature, and Communication. He is also the author of Many a Song and Many a Lecherous Lay: Tradition and Individuality in Chaucer's Lyric Poetry.

Reviews and Awards

"While these books cover the works most studied in advanced high school courses, they also include a wealth of information about the lesser-known literature."
School Library Journal

"The articles are very well written and informative...there is a wealth of information in the form of concise biographies of authors and characters, excellent plot summaries that are developed logically and clearly, and descriptions of various techniques that are enhanced by excerpts from the original works...useful."
American Reference Books Annual

"The scope of this encyclopedia makes it a good addition for undergraduate academic libraries...Recommended."

"Recommended for high school and academic libraries."
Library Journal

“Expansive in breadth but still accessible...recommended for high-school, public, and undergraduate libraries...inclusive, easy-to-use...provide[s] a wide cross section of literature that challenge narrow views of the literature of their times.”

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