Panel at the 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, Michigan / 7-10 May 2009
Until quite recently, the Middle English alliterative poem known as The Siege of Jerusalem has received surprisingly little critical attention. This poem survives in eight manuscripts (plus a fragment); moreover, the related couplet version of the same story, known as Titus and Vespasian, survives in twelve manuscripts. Both of these survival rates attest to a remarkable degree of popularity. Only in the last sixteen years, however, has the alliterative Siege begun to receive the critical attention that its medieval popularity merits: The Siege forms the main focus of ten articles/book chapters and one monograph since 1992. Also, two editions of the poem have appeared since 2003. As Sheila Delany aptly notes, “The Siege of Jerusalem may be a text whose time has come.”
Given the increased scholarly interest in this poem, it is time for a special session devoted to it. Thus, this panel aims to bring scholars who are currently working on The Siege of Jerusalem into discussion with one another. We are particularly interested in papers that address this poem in relation to late medieval anti-Judaism, the manuscript history of the poem, its Latin sources, or other poems of the Alliterative Revival. In addition to the alliterative Siege, we also welcome proposals on the wider Middle English narrative traditions related to 70 AD (e.g., Titus and Vespasian, the prose translation of Roger d'Argenteuil's Bible en François, or John Trevisa’s translation of Ranulph Higden’s Polychronicon).
Please submit abstracts of proposed papers (300 words), along with a completed participant information form (found at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions.html) to Alex Mueller (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 September.
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