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The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament
The ca. 1518 Translation and the Middle Dutch Analogue, Mariken van Nieumeghen

Edited by Michael Livingston

The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament
Paperback, 712 pages £31.50
Published: 2011
ISBN: 9781580441506
Format: 254mm x 178mm
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Subjects: Literary Studies, Medieval Institute Publications, Medieval Studies
Series: TEAMS Middle English Texts Series

Like the Bible upon which it is based, the metrical paraphrase is unlikely to be a text read cover-to-cover by the faint-hearted. The Paraphrase is, in several ways, a remarkable artifact of the Chaucerian period, one that can reveal a great deal about vernacular biblical literature in Middle English, about readership and lay understandings of the Bible, about the relationship between Christians and Jews in late medieval England, about the environment in which the Lollards and other reformers worked, about perceived roles of women in history and in society, and even about the composition of medieval drama. The Paraphrase-poet's proclamation that he intends to write stories "for sympyll men" (line 19) to understand the Scriptures and be engaged by them-"That men may lyghtly leyre / to tell and undertake yt" (lines 23-24)-thus combines the profit of sacred literature with the pleasure of the secular. This is Horace's utile et dulce ("both useful and pleasing") principle at its clearest, a singular example of the didacticism that characterizes so much of medieval literature, an aesthetic of pedagogic efficacy that is inseparably linked to the essential component of true pleasure in the text.

Acknowledgments Introduction The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament Prologue Book of Genesis Book of Exodus Book of Numbers Book of Deuteronomy Book of Joshua Book of Judges Book of Ruth First Book of Kings (1 Samuel) Second Book of Kings (2 Samuel) Third Book of Kings (1 Kings) Fourth Book of Kings (2 Kings) Book of Job Book of Tobias Book of Esther Book of Judith Second Book of Maccabees 7 Second Book of Maccabees 6 and 9 Explanatory Notes Textual Notes Bibliography

Michael Livingston is Associate Professor of English at The Citadel, in Charleston, S.C. He is an author of both fiction and non-fiction and has published on topics as diverse as early Christianity, Tolkien, and James Joyce.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 712 pages
 254mm x 178mm

BIC Code:
 Medieval Institute Publications


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