Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Wright, Thomas, The Latin Poems Commonly Attributed to Walter Mapes (London: The Camden Society) Read this source online

Text name(s): The Confession of Golias; The Archpoet's Confession; Confessio Goliae; Dialouge Between Water and Wine; Dialogus Inter Aquam et Vinum; The Dispute Between the Heart and the Eye; Disputatio Inter Cor et Oculum

Number of pages of primary source text: 371


Dates: 1000 - 1300

Archival Reference: The editor works from a variety of Manuscript sources.

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Translated into English.
  • Translated into French.
  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: The majority of the texts are untranslated, though an appendix contains a selection of Medieval and Early Modern vernacular translations and imitative pieces, in both French and English.

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • France
  • England


Record Types: 

  • Literature - Verse

Subject Headings: 

  • Literature - Comedy / Satire
  • Clergy - Anticlericalism
  • Classics / Humanism
  • Reform



This volume contains a number of Latin texts, as well as a few vernacular ones, that can generally be classified as the work of goliards , a group of churchmen from the 12th and 13th centuries who wrote poems whose matter tends to be wine, women, and gambling, as well as poems to ridicule abuses by the establishment, especially the Church. Whether in the form of a wild, rollicking celebration of springtime, flowers, and love or an acerbic tirade against the abuses of corrupt clergy, goliardic verse typically displays an impressive command of intricate verse forms and a thorough acquaintance with classical sources.

The title of this mid-19th century volume is derived from the once-held supposition that a large body of poetry could be attributed to Walter Mapes (sometimes written Map, Maps). As the editor notes, this attribution had been discredited even at the time of this volume’s publication. In the more than a century and a half since this volume’s publication much scholarship has been done on the identities of the authors of the works contained in this volume.

While this volume may not be especially valuable for learning about modern scholarly consensus, it is an excellent public-domain source for its Latin texts and little known vernacular translations, as well as its historical status as a very early piece of medieval literary scholarship.

Introduction Summary: 

The introduction (21pp) provides a brief history of the incorrect attribution of the works in this voulme to Walter Mapes, an account of the origin and use of the term Goliard , a short summary of the volume’s contents, as well as the editorial principles that this volume employs.

Cataloger: JPR