Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Brewer, J.S., James F. Dimock and George F. Warner, eds., Giraldi Cambrensis, Opera. (London: Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts (Rolls Series, No. 21), 8 vols.) Read this source online

Text name(s): Symbolum Electorum; De Rebus a Se Gestis; Gemma Ecclesiastica; De invectionibus; De Menevensi Ecclesia Dialogus; Vita S. David; Vita S. Ethelberti; Speculum Ecclesiae; De Vita Galfridi; Archiepiscopi Eboracensis sive certamina Galfridi Eboracensis archiepiscopi; Topographia Hibernica, Expugnatio Hibernica; Itinerarium Kambriae; Descriptio Kambriae; Vita S. Remigii; Vita S. Hugonis; De Principis Instruction Liber

Number of pages of primary source text: 3000

Author(s): 

Dates: 1183 - 1206

Archival Reference: BL Cottonian Tiberius B. xiii; Trinity College, Cambridge, R. 7. 11.

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin

Translation: 

  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • British Isles
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Wales

County/Region: 

Record Types: 

  • Chronicle, Annals
  • Letter
  • Literature - Verse
  • Treatise - Political

Subject Headings: 

  • Clergy - Monks, Nuns, Friars
  • Clergy - Priests, Bishops, Canons
  • Conversion
  • Crusades
  • Economy - Crafts and Industry
  • Education / Universities
  • Family / Children
  • Government
  • Law - Canon
  • Material Culture: Food, Clothing, Household
  • Monasticism
  • Nobility / Gentry
  • Papacy
  • Philosophy / Theology
  • Piety
  • Political Thought
  • Religion - Institutional Church
  • Royalty / Monarchs
  • Saints
  • Travel / Pilgrimage
  • War - Military History
  • Women / Gender

Apparatus: 

  • Index
  • Glossary
  • Appendix
  • Introduction

Comments: 

These volumes contain the writings of Gerald of Wales also known as, Giraldus Cambrensis or Giraldus de Barri (c. 1146-1223). He was the son of a Welsh woman and a Norman nobleman living in Wales. He studied in Paris before returning to the British Isles where he became a member of the ecclesiastical hierarchy as the archdeacon of Brecknock. He was also directly involved with may of the political and military activities of his time (most notably Henry II’s conquest of Ireland and archbishop Baldwin’s tour through Wales) and is, therefore, a good source to for the history of this period.

The first volume contains portions of two treatises written by Gerald as well as many of his poems and letters (some of which were collected in the “Symbolum Electorum”). The first treatise, entitled De Rebus a se Gestis, is an autobiographical account terminating in the year 1200 with the author’s departure from Wales. The second treatise concerns the time that the author spent in Rome.

The second volume is Gerald’s Gemma Ecclesiastica (Jewel of the Church), which reminds the clergy of their sacred duties.

The third volume contains Gerald’s “De Invectionibus” (a text attacking his enemies), his “De Menevensi Ecclesia Diologus” and his Lives of Saint David and Saint Ethelbert.

The fourth volume contains his treatise criticizing the monastic orders entitled “Speculum Ecclesiae” and his “Life of Galfrid”.

The fifth volume is a copy of Gerald’s most popular works: “Topographia Hibernica” and “Expugnatio Hibernica”. “Topographia Hibernica” was written in 1188 and is based on the author’s personal experiences in Ireland. The “Expugnatio Hibernica” contains a description of Henry II’s conquest of Ireland and is possibly Gerald’s most valuable work.

The sixth volume is Gerald’s “Itinerarium Kambriae, Descriptio Kambriae”. This work was completed in 1191 and describes Archbishop Baldwin’s travels through Wales to preach the Crusade. It also gives information about Wales itself.

The seventh volume contains Gerald’s Lives of St. Remigi and St. Hugo.

The eighth and final volume contains Gerald’s “De Principis Instructione Liber” (Book on the Instruction of a Prince) and the index for volumes 1-4,8.

These texts are also available onlien through the Medieval and Modern Thought Text Digitization Project: http://standish.stanford.edu/bin/search/advanced/process?sort=title&browse=1&clauseMapped%28creatorBrowse%29=Giraldus%2C+Cambrensis%2C+1146%3F-1223%3F

Introduction Summary: 

Each volume has its own introduction. The first volume gives a detailed and well-written biographical sketch of the author, Giraldus de Barri (Gerald of Wales).

Cataloger: SES

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