The Medieval Siege: Theme and Image in Middle English Romance

Hardcover | September 1, 1997

byMalcolm Hebron

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Sieges were a popular subject in medieval romances. Tales of the Crusades featured champions of Christianity capturing towns in the Holy Land or mounting heroic defences. The fall of a great city such as Troy, Thebes, or Jerusalem provided opportunities for the recreation of ancient chivalryand for reflections on historical change. Images of the siege in romances also point to other forms, such as drama and love allegory, where it represents the trial of the soul or the pursuit of the beloved. This book is the first full-length study of an important theme in medieval literature. Close reading of selected Middle English shows how writers used descriptions of sieges to explore such subjects as military strategy, heroism, chivalry, and attitudes to the past. This study also draws on a widerange of writings in several languages, to set the romances in a broad context. When they are seen against a background of military manuals, patristic commentary, pageantry, and love poetry, the sieges of romance take on deeper resonances of meaning and reflect the vitality of the theme in medievalculture as a whole.

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From the Publisher

Sieges were a popular subject in medieval romances. Tales of the Crusades featured champions of Christianity capturing towns in the Holy Land or mounting heroic defences. The fall of a great city such as Troy, Thebes, or Jerusalem provided opportunities for the recreation of ancient chivalryand for reflections on historical change. Ima...

Malcolm Hebron is an Assistant Teacher of English at Winchester College.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 8.43 × 5.43 × 0.67 inPublished:September 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198186207

ISBN - 13:9780198186205

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Table of Contents

AbbreviationsIntroduction1. The Prose Siege of Thebes, Military Manuals and the Conduct of Sieges in the Later Middle Ages2. Historical Sieges in Fourteenth Century Literature: the Siege Commander3. Sieges and Salvation: Heroic Defences at Rhodes and Belgrade and The Sege of Melayne4. Troy, Treason, and Tragedy5. The Siege of Jerusalem6. Allegorical siegesNotesBibliography

Editorial Reviews

`Hebron felicitiously combines close reading of texts with references to military realities and cultural values in this well-informed and judicious book.'Forum for Modern Language Studies Vol.36 No.2