A translation of The Book of the Civilised Man by Daniel of Beccles brings to light the social and cultural life of medieval people in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries through a previously little-known text.
Known in Latin as Urbanus magnus, it is a complex and illuminating text which covers an array of topics related to social mores in the Middle Ages, including: how to be a good and moral citizen, how to dine courteously, how to maintain standards of hygiene, how to regulate your diet, and how to run your household.
Often described as one of the earliest ‘courtesy texts’, this translation will reveal a text which cannot be easily categorised in any genre but is relevant widely for anyone with an interest in medieval life. An expansive text of enormous breadth, this translation will provide scholars new insight in areas such as social hierarchy, citizenship, morality, friendship, family ties, household administration, food consumption, standards of etiquette, and much more.
1. Introduction to Urbanus magnus
1.1. Text and Narrative
1.2. Thematic analysis
1.3. Authorship and Composition
1.4. Use, Influence and Scholarship
1.5. Translator’s Notes
2. Translation of Urbanus Magnus: The Book of the Civilised Man
2.1. Section I
2.2. Section II
2.3. Section III
2.4. Section IV
Appendix A: The Manuscripts of Urbanus magnus
Appendix B: Urbanus magnus in MS O1