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  • Writer's pictureZoe Franznick

The Maniculum Podcast: A Warm Welcome

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

Wes hāl! Hello! We're so glad you've decided to check out The Maniculum Podcast, where we point the finger at the Middle Ages. But what gives us the right to start pointing fingers anyway? Let us introduce ourselves.

Your hosts are Mac and Zoe: two medievalists whose love of the Middle Ages is only matched by a love of geekdom. Together, we are working to make medievalism more accessible to a wider audience, and to bridge the gap between academia and pop culture.

Mac is a current PhD candidate specializing in English Linguistics. His dissertation focuses on the place of alcohol in magico-medical texts such as Bald’s Leechbook — his other interests include D&D, science fiction, stitching, and making jokes that only he finds funny. Occasionally, you’ll hear Delilah, his doggo, in the background chiming in with her own opinions on the text.

Zoeis a current M.Phil student specializing in magic, myth, and narrative theory. Her dissertation focuses on the nature and characterization of magic in Old and Middle English legends, like Beowulfand King Arthur. Her other interests include creative writing, D&D, video games, and competitive fencing. She's currently working remotely on her dissertation while globetrotting to wherever the next fencing competition is!

How the podcast works: each episode, we take turns presenting a new medieval text. These texts can be legends, histories, myths, travel accounts, or any other curious manuscript we find tucked away. After going through the text with many bunny trails and diversions along the way, we break it down into segments and give it a final rating. Some of our segments include:

  • All Tow-brast:we pick the best death in the story - either the most dramatic, most gory, or sometimes, the most ridiculous.

  • Comitatus:We assemble a D&D adventuring party from the characters in the tale - who would be a good rogue, and which fighter proves worthy to be in the party?

  • The Court:We each pick out a mortal character from the tale to whisk away to our own digital fairy court.

  • Grant Me Þe Gomen:we adapt part of the text to fit a Dungeons & Dragons game! Whether animal companions, quests, or magical items, we collect the best medievally-inspired tricks with which you can torment your players.

  • How Many Ages Hence:Many times, elements of medieval stories can be found in our culture today. In this segment, we see if we can find any lingering relics of language or culture from the story on trial.

  • The Dungeon Master's Dictionary: There are a lot of great medieval terms to enliven a home D&D game or fantasy novel, and we bring them to you each episode!

  • The Final Rating:After the tale has concluded, we rate it according to its historicity, boldness, weirdness, and just how much we like it. It may not be the most objective scale, but it accurately reflects how much we think you'll enjoy reading the tale yourself!

  • The Leech's Corner:Our final segment each week reviews medieval medical cures and remedies. The Maniculum Podcast takes no responsibility if you choose to try them out, but if you do, write us!

We do our best to accurately research, source, and cite the works we use, and make them available to you, too! Each episode has a corresponding blog post which includes further breakdowns of the big ideas in each text as well as cites our sources and references. We also have the Maniculum Library, which actively collects resources and recommendations for writers, scholars, and geeks alike! We update our collection of Master Lists after each new episode, so be sure subscribe and stay updated!

Are we missing something? Let us know! We'd love to add more knowledge to our ever-growing compendium. Chat with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Thanks for checking us out! If you like our content, please share it! If you want to support us,rate and review on iTunes, find us on Patreon, or buy us a coffee so we can keep making content you love.

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