Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Waddell, Helen, trans., Mediaeval Latin Lyrics (New York: Norton)

Text name(s): Cathemerinon ; The Epitaph of Alcuin; The Archpoet's Confession.

Number of pages of primary source text: 279


Dates: 0 - 1250

Archival Reference: The texts in this book are drawn from a variety of manuscripts and editions.

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Translated into English.
  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: Translations appear on facing pages. The author provides lyrical verse translations with varying degrees of fidelity to form and literal content.

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Europe


Record Types: 

  • Literature - Verse

Subject Headings: 

  • Classics / Humanism
  • Literature - Devotional
  • Cosmology
  • Piety
  • Saints - Cults / Relics
  • Literatyrd - Didactic
  • Clergy - Anticlericalism


  • Index
  • Appendix
  • Bibliography


“Lyric” is a broad and elusive genre-category which is perhaps best defined as a short verse composition dealing with subjective experience, traditionally connected to music. This, category, needless to say, can encompass a vast array of form, subject matter, and tone.

This edition provides a wide array of medieval Latin lyrics up to the thirteenth century. The editor seeks to provide a wide survey of the range of subject matter addressed by Latin verse including (but in no way limited to) ecclesiastical satires, pastoral lyrics, Ovidian love poems, devotional songs, poems in honor of saints, poems of moral exhortation, poems about nature and cosmology, and poems in praise of kings.

The editor also includes works of Petronius and poems from the Appendix Vergiliana on the ground that these works are precursors to the Latin Poetry of the Middle Ages.

An appendix provides biographical and manuscript information.

Although serious scholars will want critical editions and scholarly translations of the Latin, this volume is still useful as an introduction to the study of medieval Latin lyric. It is also of interest as an important milestone in the rise of popular medievalism in the first half of the 20th century.

Introduction Summary: 

A very brief preface includes some remarks on the present volume.

Cataloger: JPR