Medieval Dogs

Kathleen Walker-Meikle

Kathleen Walker-Meikle

Distributed for British Library

89 pages | 60 color plates | 6 x 7 1/2 | © 2013
Cloth $14.95 ISBN: 9780712358927 Published May 2013 For sale in North and South America only
Perhaps at no other time in Western history have animals played such a dominant role in the visual and literary arts as they did during the Middle Ages. Animals were prevalent and essential in all aspects of medieval life, and as a result, they were employed by artists for a variety of purposes: to illustrate saint’s lives, populate farm scenes, act as characters in fables, and even crawl among the very letters forming the text. And while artists used a host of animals, both real and fantastic, for these purposes, one of the most popular animals was man’s best friend.
           
Dogs were as important to humans during the Middle Ages as they are today, and this new book celebrates that association through their appearance in medieval manuscripts. A follow-up book to Kathleen Walker-Meikle’s Medieval Cats, published by the British Library in 2011, Medieval Dogs presents a wealth of dog imagery from a variety of medieval sources and is peppered with fascinating facts about the medieval view of dogs and many stories of people and their pets in the Middle Ages.
           
Among the themes explored in the accompanying text are the roles of the medieval dog, dog breeds, dogs and saints, the names of dogs, canine faithfulness, veterinary care of dogs, dog feeding, the mourning of dogs and burial practices, and medieval poetry about dogs, with translations of some short poems included here. Medieval Dogs is sure to charm dog lovers and medievalists alike.
Contents
Dogs of all kinds abound in medieval sources
John Caius’s On English Dogges (1570)
The twelfth-century abbess Hildegard of Bingen
A popular story in bestiaries
The tradition that dogs stay with their master’s corpse
The early seventh-century scholar St Isidore of Seville
The loyal dog is a popular heraldic beast
Using the image of a dog
Dogs in the Bible
Dog names in the Middle Ages
There were many legends about cynocephali
St Roch, the patron-saint of plague
The thirteenth-century preacher Stephen of Bourbon
A thirteenth-century exemplary tale
The twelfth-century writer Walter Map
The late fourteenth-century author of the Goodman of Paris
Fifteenth-century books of courtesy
The fourteenth-century poet and scholar Francesco Petrarch (1304–1374)
The fourteenth-century Dominican preacher John Bromyard
Geoffroy de la Tour-Landry
The thirteenth-century scholar Albertus Magnus
Common diseases of dogs listed by Albertus Magnus
The Master of Game
If a dog could not keep down any food
Rabies
Apparition of mysterious black dogs
Ghostly dogs
Dog collars
Dogs could sleep in kennels or baskets
Monasteries and nunneries
It was not always nuns
Ordinances made at Eltham in 1526
Astronomical manuscripts
Guillaume Machaut’s fourteenth-century The Judgement of the King of Behaigne
Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess
In the ninth century, St Edmund, King of East Anglia
The popular herbal of Pseudo-Apuleius
In Sextus Placitus’s late antique book
Beloved dog of Thierry, Abbot of St Thrond
Hunting dogs
The fifteenth-century Boke of St Albans
Pseudo-Albertus Magnus’s Book of Virtues of Herbs, Stones and Animals
A treatise of medical and magical preparations from animals

Further Reading
Credits
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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