Medieval Death Trip

On Medieval Death Trip, we feature a selected medieval text (often historical, occasionally literary) that touches on the odd, the gruesome, the unexpected, and similarly curious incidents, images, or ideas. In addition to presenting the text itself, each episode features commentary and musings upon that text.


All Episodes

MDT Ep. 106: Concerning the Hard Work of a Housewife

For Mother’s Day, we look at a 15th-century tale of a plowman who thinks that — in terms of daily labor — his wife has it too easy, and...

MDT Ep. 105: Concerning the Voice of the Golem

We kick of 2024 with a look at humanity’s attempts to recreate itself, first with a dip into the legends of the Golem of Prague, and then an extended...

MDT Ep. 104: Concerning the Abacus and Succubus of Gerbert d’Aurillac

We conclude our miniseries comparing the legends to the real life of Gerbert d’Aurillac: mathematician, pope, and alleged magician. Today’s variant of the Dark Legend comes from Walter Map,...

MDT Ep. 103: “The Demon Pope” by Richard Garnett

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Gerbert d’Aurillac series with a special Halloween anniversary detour into a Victorian version of his Dark Legend: the 1888 short story, “The Demon Pope,”...

MDT Ep. 102: Concerning the Occult Career of Pope Sylvester II

We pick up our unfinished thread from the Melrose Chronicle by exploring the “Dark Legend” of Gerbert d’Aurillac, who became Pope Sylvester II allegedly through the assistance of the...

MDT Ep. 101: Concerning Danish Devastations, a Devilish Pope, a Deceitful Duke, and English Decline

It’s back to basics in Ep. 101 as we return to the Chronicle of Melrose to hear about the years surrounding the turnover of the English kingdom from Anglo-Saxon...

MDT Ep. 100: Concerning the Litigious Origins of Printing

For our 100th episode, we look at one of the technologies that marks an endpoint for the middle ages, the printing press, and consider how Johann Gutenberg may be...

MDT Ep. 99: A Valentine’s Battle for the Kingship of Man

On Valentine’s Day 796 years ago, brother fought brother for the throne of the Isle of Man, as their fathers and uncles had done before them, another entry in...

MDT Ep. 98: Concerning the Life of Elgar the Hermit and Divine Dinner Delivery

On this episode, we get cozy for the holidays with a visit to the humble abode of Elgar, Hermit of Bardsey Island. Just don’t mind the visiting spirits or...

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