The Medieval Imagination by Jacques Le GoffThe Medieval Imagination by Jacques Le Goff

The Medieval Imagination

byJacques Le Goff

Paperback | December 15, 1992

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 217 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


To write this history of the imagination, Le Goff has recreated the mental structures of medieval men and women by analyzing the images of man as microcosm and the Church as mystical body; the symbols of power such as flags and oriflammes; and the contradictory world of dreams, marvels, devils, and wild forests.

"Le Goff is one of the most distinguished of the French medieval historians of his generation . . . he has exercised immense influence."—Maurice Keen, New York Review of Books

"The whole book turns on a fascinating blend of the brutally materialistic and the generously imaginative."—Tom Shippey, London Review of Books

"The richness, imaginativeness and sheer learning of Le Goff's work . . . demand to be experienced."—M. T. Clanchy, Times Literary Supplement

Title:The Medieval ImaginationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:302 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:December 15, 1992Publisher:University of Chicago Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226470857

ISBN - 13:9780226470856


Table of Contents

Translator's Note
For an Extended Middle Ages
Part One: The Marvelous
The Marvelous in the Medieval West
Part Two: Space and Time
The Wilderness in the Medieval West
The Perception of Christendom by the Roman Curia and the Organization of an Ecumenical Countil in 1274
The Time of Purgatory (Third to Thirteenth Century)
The Time of the Exemplum (Thirteenth Century)
Part Three: The Body
Body and Ideology in the Medieval West
Gestures in Purgatory
The Repudiation of Pleasure
Part Four: Literature and Imagination
Lévi-Strauss in Broceliande: A Brief Analysis of a Courtly Romance
Vestimentary and Alimentary Codes in Erec et Enide
Warriors and Conquering Bourgeois: The Image of the City in Twelfth-Century French Literature
An Urban Metaphor of William of Auvergne
Social Realities and Ideological Codes in the Early Thirteenth Century: An Exemplum by James of Vitry
Part Five: Dreams
Christianity and Dreams (Second to Seventh Century)
The Dreams of Helmbrecht the Elder

From Our Editors

The collection begins with an essay on 'the marvelous.' Le Goff highlights subtle changes in medieval attitudes and sensibilities by contrasting the marvelous (representing a 'secularization' of the supernatural after the thirteenth century) with the miraculous (depending solely on God's saving grace) and the magical (governed by Satan's destructive activity).