Medieval Literature Quotes

Quotes tagged as "medieval-literature" Showing 1-23 of 23
Dante Alighieri
“Amor, ch'al cor gentile ratto s'apprende
prese costui de la bella persona
che mi fu tolta; e 'l modo ancor m'offende.

Amor, che a nullo amato amar perdona,
Mi prese del costui piacer sì forte,
Che, come vedi, ancor non m'abbandona..."

"Love, which quickly arrests the gentle heart,
Seized him with my beautiful form
That was taken from me, in a manner which still grieves me.

Love, which pardons no beloved from loving,
took me so strongly with delight in him
That, as you see, it still abandons me not...”
Dante Alighieri, Inferno

Joseph Bédier
“...for most men are unaware that what is in the power of magicians to accomplish, that the heart can also accomplish by dint of love and bravery.”
Joseph Bédier, The Romance of Tristan and Iseult

Joseph Bédier
“Little son, I have longed a while to see you, and now I see you the fairest thing ever a woman bore. In sadness came I hither, in sadness did I bring forth, and in sadness has your first feast day gone. And as by sadness you came into the world, your name shall be called Tristan; that is the child of sadness.”

After she had said these words she kissed him, and immediately when she had kissed him she died.”
Joseph Bédier, The Romance of Tristan and Iseult

G.K. Chesterton
“There is something sinister about putting a leprechaun in a workhouse. The only solid comfort is that he certainly will not work.”
G.K. Chesterton, The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton Volume 28: The Illustrated London News, 1908-1910

Ned Hayes
“Every night, I slip into the empty winter land of memory.”
Ned Hayes

Christopher de Hamel
“Newcomers to manuscripts sometimes ask what such books tell us about the societies that created them. At one level, these Gospel Books describe nothing, for they are not local chronicles but standard Latin translations of religious texts from far away. At the same time, this is itself extraordinarily revealing about Ireland. No one knows how literacy and Christianity had first reached the islands of Ireland, possibly through North Africa. This was clearly no primitive backwater but a civilization which could now read Latin, although never occupied by the Romans, and which was somehow familiar with the texts and artistic designs which have unambiguous parallels in the Coptic and Greek churches, such as carpet pages and Canon tables. Although the Book of Kells itself is as uniquely Irish as anything imaginable, it is a Mediterranean text and the pigments used in making it include orpiment, a yellow made from arsenic sulphide, exported from Italy, where it is found in volcanoes. There are clearly lines of trade and communication unknown to us.”
Christopher de Hamel, Meetings with remarkable manuscripts

Anne Louise Avery
“Listen as the fox slowly and deftly unbinds his whole pack of tricks—his flattery and fine words, his warm and sugary russet charm, his bold-faced blandishments. He has brought forth a spool of raw lies and spun them into a glittering web of truth to trap them all. Every last one of them.”
Anne Louise Avery, Reynard the Fox

Hella S. Haasse
“En la forest de Longue Attente
chevauchant par divers sentiers
m'en voys, ceste année présente
où voyage de Desiriers.
Devant sont aller mes fourriers
pour appareiller mon logis
en la Cité de Destinée.
Et pout mon cœur et moy ont pris
l'ostellerie de Pensée.

Dedans mon livre de pensée
j'ay trouvé escripvant mon cœur
la vraie histoire de douleur
de larmes toute enluminée.

In het Woud van Lang Verwachten
te paard op pad, dolenderwijs,
zie ik mijzelf dit jaar bij machte
tot Verlangens' verre reis.
Mijn knechtstoet is vooruitgegaan
om 't nachtverblijf vast te bereiden,
vond in Bestemming's Stad gereed
voor dit mijn hart, en mij ons beiden,
de herberg, die Gedachte heet.

In 't boek van mijn gepeinzen al
vond ik dan, schrijvende, mijn hart;
het waar verhaal van bitt're smart
verlucht met tranen zonder tal.

Charles d'Orléans”
Hella S. Haasse, In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages

Marie de France
“Qui Deus a duné esciënce
e de parler bone eloquence,
ne s’en deit taisir ne celer,
ainz se deit voluntiers mustrer".
Prologue des Lais.”
Marie de France

“Gower is the first English writer to use "history" as an English word. He regularly rhymes the term with "memory," for to his way of thinking history and memory are correlative. That is, without history, there can be no memory; and without memory, there can be no history. But the point of historical knowledge is not to enable people to live in the past, or even to understand the past in the way we would expect a modern historian to proceed; rather, it is to enable people to live more vitally in the present.”
Russell A. Peck, Confessio Amantis: Volume 2

Joseph Bédier
“Tristan contrefit sa voix et répondit :
« Aux noces de l'abbé du Mont, qui est de mes amis. Il a épousé une abbesse, une grosse dame voilée. De Besançon jusqu'au Mont tous les prêtres, abbés, moines et clercs ordonnés ont été mandés à ces épousailles : et tous sur la lande, portant bâtons et crosses, jouent et dansent à l'ombre des grands arbres. Mais je les ai quittés pour venir ici : car je dois aujourd'hui servir à la table du roi. »”
Joseph Bédier, The Romance of Tristan and Iseult

Jean de Meun
“Will they not for their part have monkeys and marmosets to make them fine coats and doublets of leather and iron? Hands would not be a problem, for the monkeys could work with their hands, and so they would in no way be inferior to man; they could even be writers. They would never be so feeble as not to put their heads together to find ways of resisting these arms, and they would construct machines of their own with which they would inflict great harm on men.”
Jean de Meun, The Romance of the Rose

Christopher de Hamel
“The 'most precious object of the Western world' is now a national monument of Ireland at the very highest level. It is probably the most famous and perhaps the most emotively charged medieval book of any kind. It is the iconic symbol of Irish culture. It is included in the Memory of the World Register compiled by UNESCO. A design echoing the Book of Kells was used on the former penny coin of Ireland (1971 to 2000) and on a commemorative twenty-euro piece in 2012. One of its initials was shown on the reverse of the old Irish five-pound banknote. It has been illustrated on the country's postage stamps. Probably every Irish bar in the world has some reflexion of its script or decoration.”
Christopher de Hamel, Meetings with remarkable manuscripts

Christopher de Hamel
“The writing, in huge insular majuscule script, is flawless in its regularity and utter control. One can only marvel at the penmanship. It is calligraphic and as exact as printing, and yet it flows and shapes itself into the space available. It sometimes swells and seems to take breath at the ends of lines. The decoration is more extensive and more overwhelming than one could possibly imagine. Virtually every line is embellished with color or ornament.”
Christopher de Hamel, Meetings with remarkable manuscripts

“It is obvious to all who are wise that the foundation of speech will not be demolished by tempestuous events.
(translated by Kayvan Tahmasebian and Rebecca Ruth Gould)”
Jahan Malek Khatun, Divan of Jahan Malek Khatun: Persia's Great Female Sufi Poet

Geoffrey Chaucer
“His spirit chaunged house and wente ther,
As I cam nevere, I kan nat tellen wher.”
Geoffrey Chaucer

Gregory Figg
“The tall, thin serious man strode in, his dark cloak billowing so dramatically it threatened to extinguish the lamp flame with its draught. He advanced like a malevolent shadow consuming the dim orange light, filling the room with a presence almost more than human.”
Gregory Figg

“How the time passed away, slipped into nightfall as if it had never been!”
"The Wanderer" Poet

Joseph Gies
“Sometimes the pagan spirit of Roman poetry arouses qualms. Guibert of Nogent confesses in his autobiography that early in his monastic life he took up verse making and even fell into "certain obscene words and composed brief writings, worthless and immodest, in fact bereft of all decency," before abandoning this shocking practice in favor of commentaries on the Scriptures.”
Joseph Gies, Life in a Medieval City

Christopher de Hamel
“The original is displayed in a special darkened shrine now called the Treasury, at the eastern end of the library at Trinity College in Dublin, and over 520,000 visitors queue to see it every year, buying colored and numbered admission tickets to the Book of Kells exhibition. More than 10,000,000 people filed past the glass cases in the first two decades after the opening of the present display in 1992. The daily line of visitors waiting to witness a mere Latin manuscript are almost incredible. There are signposts to the 'Book of Kells' across Dublin. The new tram stop outside the gates of Trinity College is named after the manuscript. No other medieval manuscript is such a household name, even if people are not always sure what it is.”
Christopher de Hamel, Meetings with remarkable manuscripts

Juliette Benzoni
“As for... Monseigneur's feelings toward you, I think you are misinformed. You are too modest, Dame Catherine, far too modest, and I believe you know that the Duke has not forgotten you. Everyone here knows the truth about the Golden Fleece...”
Juliette Benzoni, The Lady of Montsalvy

“Como dice Aristóteles, y es cosa verdadera,
el mundo por dos cosas trabaja: la primera,
por tener mantenencia, y la otra cosa era
por haber juntamiento con hembra placentera.

Si lo dijese yo, podríaseme culpar;
dícelo gran filósofo, no se me ha de acusar;
de lo que dice el sabio no debemos dudar,
pues por obra se prueba el sabio y su hablar.

Que dice verdad el sabio claramente se prueba:
hombres, aves, animales, toda bestia de cueva,
quiere, según natura, compaña siempre nueva,
y mucho más el hombre que a toda costa se mueva.

Mucho más digo del hombre que de toda criatura;
todas en tiempo cierto se juntan, por natura;
el hombre, sin seso en todo tiempo y sin mesura,
siempre que puede, quiere hacer esta locura.

El fuego siempre quiere estar en la ceniza,
porque más arde siempre cuanto más se le atiza;
el hombre cuando peca bien ve que se desliza,
mas del mal no se parte, ça natura lo enriza.

Y yo, como soy hombre y, como otro, pecador,
tuve de las mujeres a veces gran amor;
probar hombre las cosas no es portarse peor:
saber el bien y el mal, y escoger lo mejor”
Arcipreste de Hita, Libro de buen amor

Colin Falconer
“You will love this man. Do you understand? You will love him, serve him, and obey him in all things. This is your duty to me and to France. Am I clear?’
Isabella is twelve years old and astoundingly pretty, a woman in a girl’s body. She keeps her eyes on the floor and nods her head.”
Colin Falconer, Isabella: Braveheart of France