Academic journal article Michigan Academician

Medieval Studies

Academic journal article Michigan Academician

Medieval Studies

Article excerpt

The Ubiquitous Dwarf in Chivalric Romance. Basil A. Clark, Saginaw Valley State University, Department of English, University Center, MI 48710-0001

Any reader of chivalric romance will be both struck by how frequently a dwarf appears in these stories and challenged to determine why. J. V. Harward's still not superseded book (The Dwarfs of Arthurian Romance and Celtic Tradition, 1958) explores the provenance of dwarfs in the literature and Joan Brumlik's article "The Knight, the Lady, and the Dwarf in Chretien's Erec (1992) explores the role of the dwarf in the earliest of Chretien's romances. Nonetheless, many times the dwarf just seems to be present for no compelling reason, like the one who accompanies Una and the Red Cross Knight in The Faerie Queene. My paper focuses on the various dwarfs in Chretien's collected works, expanding as relevant to other sources, Spenser, for example. My thesis is that much as certain characters are expected in the American western, the loyal sidekick or the treacherous Native American, for example, the dwarf is woven into the fabric of medieval romance to validate the structure of the genre.

The Theory of Papal Monarchy at Avignon. Thomas Renna, Saginaw Valley State University, Department of History, University Center, MI 48710-0001

Recent historians often describe the defenses of papal primacy at the time of Popes Clement V and John XXII as simply extensions of the theocratic claims over the temporal powers. …

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