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March 6, 2013

Trivia, March 6, 2013

Name one plant used to produce a pigment which, mixed with egg yolk, was often substituted for gold in medieval painting.

Please send trivia responses by email to emsdgs@umn.edu with "Trivia" in the subject line. Local trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

February 13, 2013

Trivia, February 13, 2013

In what city is Saint Thomas Aquinas's heart preserved?

Please send trivia responses by email to emsdgs@umn.edu with "Trivia" in the subject line. Local trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

December 18, 2012

Trivia, Winter Break Hiatus

Look for a new trivia question in the first week of spring semester. Until then, please send your suggestions for future trivia questions to cmedst@umn.edu.

November 28, 2012

Trivia, November 28, 2012

According to Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, a certain creature is said to be especially hostile to oysters. This creature waits patiently for the oyster to open its shell, inserts a pebble that prevents the oyster from completely closing its shell, and then devours the oyster's flesh. Name this oyster-eating creature.

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with "Trivia" in the subject line. Local trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

November 14, 2012

Trivia, November 14, 2012

As Thanksgiving feasting approaches, remember to eat your leafy greens. Collards are a staple in kitchens of the American South. The name "collard" is a corruption of what older name for the primitive cultivated cabbage of the middle ages, commonly included in pottage and said to sharpen sight, ease gout, and heal ulcers?

Please send trivia responses to emsdgs@umn.edu with "Trivia" in the subject line. Local trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug by sending us an email or visiting the office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

October 11, 2012

Trivia, October 10, 2012

What wireless technology is named for a 10th-century Danish king? Bonus point if you explain the logo for this technology.

Please send trivia responses to emsdgs@umn.edu with "Trivia" in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

September 27, 2012

The Return of Trivia, September 26, 2012

Identify the Trecento Italian composer and musician who gave his name to a cadence that became ubiquitous in French and Italian music of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.

Please send trivia responses by email to emsdgs@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

May 2, 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Trivia, April 30, 2012

Marigolds were used in cooking during the Middle Ages and remain in use today. What expensive spice did they frequently replace in recipes in medieval Europe?

Congratulations to Thomas Heebøll-Holm who is this week's trivia winner. Pier Gerlofs Donia rebelled against the Duke of Saxony, the Burgundians, and the Hapsburgs after his village was attacked by the Black Band in 1515. (An honorable mention goes to Katie Robison, who also wrote in with the correct answer.)

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

April 23, 2012

The Pirates! Trivia of Misfits, April 23, 2012

What famous Dutch rebel and pirate fought against the Duke of Saxony, the Burgundians, and the Hapsburgs after his village was attacked by the Black Band in 1515?

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

April 3, 2012

We Have a Trivia, April 3, 2012

Who was the youngest individual elevated to the papacy?

Congratulations to John Manke who is this week's trivia winner. Zeus chose Zagreus to be his heir, but after being consumed by the Titans his heart (or some other part of his body) was planted in Semele/Luna and was reborn as Dionysus. (An honorable mention goes to Diane Anderson for guessing Dionysus.)

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line.

March 26, 2012

Wrath of the Trivia

What Greek god did Zeus appoint as his heir, provoking jealousy among the Titans, who then painted their faces and distracted the young god with toys before dismembering and eating him?

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

March 5, 2012

Trivia Carter, March 5, 2012

In alchemical tradition, what metal was associated with the planet Mars?

No one responded with the answer that we were looking for last week when asking about the "frost fairs" of London. The Old London bridge, which was pierced by nineteen small arches served as something of a barrier to the river and restricting water flow and dampening the impact of the tides. The addition of water wheels and other construction all served to make the river much more susceptible to freezing.

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

February 26, 2012

The Forgiveness of Trivia, February 20, 2012

What fifteenth century prince was primarily responsible for unifying the Albanian highland law, the Kanun?

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

December 22, 2011

Mission: Trivia - Ghost Protocol, December 21, 2011

In M.R. James's "Twelve Medieval Ghost Stories" (English Historical Review XXXVII, 1922), a number of Latin texts from fifteenth century Yorkshire recount the encounters between everyday people and the spirits of the dead. In one, a female ghost is forced to wander after her death with cobwebs hanging in strands from her right hand. What had she done to deserve her fate?

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line.

December 8, 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Trivia, December 5, 2011

What are the origins of the word "kinky," and why is it derogative?

Congratulations to Grant Hermanson, who was the sole correct respondent to last week's rather enigmatic trivia challenge. In 1896, George Wood, who along with Orin Sands and Mark Taylor owned a Boston-based flour company, attended a performance of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. They introduced "King Arthur Flour" later that year, and it became the flagship brand for Sands, Taylor, and Wood. The company was renamed King Arthur Flour in 1996.

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

December 2, 2011

Arthur Trivia, November 28, 2011

After seeing and being impressed by Camelot, at what point did Sir Orin, Sir George, and Sir Mark band together to form their own Round Table out of wood and sand with the help of a taylor?

Congratulations to Basit Qureshi, who was randomly chosen from several correct answers as last week's trivia winner. The Carpathians, Καρπάτῆς όρος, can be found in the modern nations of Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland.

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall.

November 16, 2011

My Week with Trivia, November 14, 2011

What (modern) European nations encompass the mountain range whose name derives from the Greek, Καρπάτῆς όρος?

Ron Akehurst provided the correct answer to last week's trivia challenge. Justinian's Digest replaced crucifixion with either hanging or burning alive as the summum supplicium.

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

October 3, 2011

The Ides of Trivia, October 3, 2011

Why are the following days considered unlucky? October 3, November 28, February 26, April 10, June 10, and August 1.

The correct answer to last week's trivia challenge was pot-de-fer! Congratulations to Brian Hill and Linda Johnson for providing the correct answer. Since this was a two week challenge, both are eligible for a prize!

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line. Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by sending us an email or visiting our office in 1030 Heller Hall. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

September 22, 2011

Machine Gun Trivia, 9/19/2011

Gunpowder was known in medieval Europe at least as early as 1216, when it was mentioned by Roger Bacon, and Muslim forces used various cannon and firearms in combat in Iberia and against the Mongols. But what was the first use of a gunpowder weapon to be described in Europe, appearing in French and English manuscripts from the 1320s?

There were no correct responses to last week's question. Late Gothic and Eastern European chant (14th - early 15th C) is usually notated in Hufnagelschrift, so called because the musical notes are shaped so that they look like horseshoe nails.

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line.

September 12, 2011

Straw Trivia, 9/12/2011

Vivian Ramalingam provided the correct response for last week's trivia contest and has also supplied our new question. Last week's answer was that the trivium was comprised of grammar, logic, and rhetoric and the quadrivium of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Honorable mention goes to Kit Gordon for also getting the correct answer.

What is the connection between medieval scholar Professor Wendy Hoofnagle (Department of Languages and Literatures, University of Northern Iowa) and the study of late Gothic medieval chant?

Please send trivia responses by email to cmedst@umn.edu with Trivia in the subject line.

April 27, 2011

Fast Trivia, 4/25,2011

With Lent now over, it seems like a good time to ask a question about fasting. During traditional fasts, Christians were expected to abstain from all animal products, with the exception of fish. What animals were the exceptions to the exception, eaten during fasts even though they were not technically fish? There are at least four correct answers, so the winner will have to strive for completeness, as well as explain the reason for the exception.

Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by contacting Sharon at cmedst@umn.edu. Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

April 19, 2011

The Greatest Trivia Ever Sold, April 18, 2011

Over 750 towns were founded in southwest France over 150 years during the 13th and 14th centuries. Built for the purpose of defense, the taxing of trade, or just for settling the wilderness, what were these new towns called?

Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by contacting Sharon at cmedst@umn.edu. Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

April 17, 2011

Soul Trivia, 4/11/2011

According to Gregory of Tours, how did Mummolus, general of King Gunthrum of Burgundy (c. 532-592), attempt to prevent the rebellious Duke Gunthram Boso and his men from crossing the Rhone?

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

April 11, 2011

Your Trivia, 4/5/2011

What films with plots that take place in the Middle Ages have been nominated for at least three Academy Awards? For the sake of argument, we'll define the Middle Ages here as the 4th century to the 15th century so that we can avoid sand and sandals epics and the Elizabethan era. However, Shakespearean adaptations with medieval settings still count.

Trivia winners can arrange to pick up a CMS mug or stationery set by contacting Sharon at cmedst@umn.edu. Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

March 12, 2011

Red Trivia Hood - 3/8/2011

What is the medieval word for the tail of a long hood or hat, also used to refer to the tail of a cowl in modern academic dress regalia?

Congratulations to Barbara Jabr, who was randomly chosen as the winner from among the correct respondents to last weeks question (honorable mentions go to Frank Akehurst and Catalina Rodriguez). Ramon Llull was the inventor of the Llullian Circle, and was active in a wide variety of other philosophical and theological pursuits.

February 22, 2011

I Am Number Trivia - 2/21/2011

The four humors aside, the stars also had a major influence over the human body according to theories of medieval medicine. If a patient complained of pain in the kidneys, what constellation's baleful influence would be indicated?

Randomly chosen from several correct respondents, Nico Parmley was the winner of last week's trivia challenge! Tribonian was made quaestor sacri palatii in the year 530 and was one of the commissioners responsible for compiling the Corpus Juris Civilis under the Emperor Justinian.

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

November 14, 2010

Cedar Trivia

What medieval river's estuary ended in a series of rapids and waterfalls that was sometimes called Essoupi (the Swallower), Stroukon (the Runner), Gelandri (the Shrieker), or Leanti (the Laugher) and served to hamper traffic along the "Amber Road?"

Vivian Ramalingam correctly answered last week's question, identifying the pictured instrument as a gusli, an Eastern European cousin of the psaltery and the even older monochord, originally used in Russia or the Ukraine during the 12th or 13th century.

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

October 27, 2010

Never Let Me Trivia - Week of October 25

What British crown dependency is the only remaining part of the Duchy of Normandy and continued to function under "feudal" laws until 2008?

The only completely correct answer to last week's question was once again provided by Ron Akehurst! Hashshashin leader Hassan-i Sabbah took over the fort of Alamut in 1090 after recruiting followers from the Shi'a of the region who were dissatisfied with Seljuk rule. After infiltrating Alamut with his own people, Hassan offered 3000 dinars to Mahdi, the Zaydi 'Alid lord who held the castle, and he had little choice but to accept. Another story holds that Hassan tricked Mahdi by offering the money for as much territory as could be covered by a bull's hide and then cut the hide into strips and spread them around the perimeter of the fort.

May 5, 2010

Trivia Extremely Dangerous

When did the Hashshashin establish their stronghold at Alamut and whom did they take the fortress from?

Recent winners Ron Akehurst and Vivian Ramalingam both correctly answered last week's trivia question. Owls were seen as evil creatures that lived in darkness, and were detested and mobbed by other birds. Medieval Christian thinkers saw parallels with the Jews, who showed that they preferred darkness to light when they rejected Christ.

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.


Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com. Also feel free to send ideas for future trivia questions.

April 26, 2010

Dr. Trivia - Week of April 19 and 26

What is the oldest known existing stone representation of a winged Christian angel?

No attempt was made to answer last week's trivia question, so I'll allow it to stand for one more week. For a hint, I'll add that the representation comes from the fourth century.

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

April 16, 2010

Kick-Trivia: Week of April 16

According to Paul the Deacon's History of the Lombards, how did the noble daughters of the treacherous Romilda of the Langobards manage to escape from the lust of the invading Avars?

Please send trivia responses (or ideas for future questions) by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

March 30, 2010

Clash of the Trivia - Week of March 29

What was unusual about the trial of Pope Formosus, held in 897? (And, no, the question doesn't have anything to do with the trivia title theme this week, sorry.)

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com

March 23, 2010

How to Train Your Trivia - Week of March 22

According to the hadith narrated by Abu Sa'id, and transmitted by Tirmidhi, how many poisonous dragons will torment an unbeliever in his grave until the time of resurrection?

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

March 17, 2010

The Girl with the Trivia Tattoo - Week of March 15

According to Saxo Grammaticus (and others), who rescued Þóra borgarhjörtr, daughter of the Earl of Gotland, from the lindworm that encircled her home?

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

March 9, 2010

Trivia Zone - Week of March 8

According to the 10th century scholar Al-Qadl Abu-Qasim at-Tanukhi, Al-Mansur's palace in Baghdad was surmounted by a green dome, and atop the dome was a statue. What did the statue depict and what was its significance?

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

March 3, 2010

Alice in Trivialand - Week of March 1

In the late eleventh century, what two Catalan noblemen had a falling out over an inheritance dispute that led to the one dying in a "hunting accident" and the other ceding the inheritance to the dead man's son before undertaking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem that coincided with the First Crusade?

As there were no correct responses, the following hint is provided: The two individuals in question were twin brothers. The question was also edited slightly as it originally read "dead man's brother" rather than "dead man's son," and while I could make a technical argument for that being true, it was unfortunately a confusing mistake.

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.triva@gmail.com.

February 23, 2010

A Couple of Trivia - Week of February 22

In the late eleventh century, what two Catalan noblemen had a falling out over an inheritance dispute that led to the one dying in a "hunting accident" and the other ceding the inheritance to the dead man's brother before undertaking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem that coincided with the First Crusade?

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.triva@gmail.com.

February 15, 2010

Valentine's Trivia - Week of February 15

There were no correct answers to last week's question, though Tim Jones does get the no-prize for writing that Margaret was still a little Norwegian princess in 1288 when she supposedly made her decree. The question will stand for another week to give everyone another chance, but I will provide a hint.

According to a legend first recorded in a 1606 pamphlet entitled "Love, Courtship and Matrimony," in 1288 Queen Margaret of Scotland decreed that during a leap year any woman was legally allowed to do what? Later, during the Early Modern period, when this custom was actually observed for some time, women who enacted their right were required out of fairness to wear a red dress while doing so.

February 9, 2010

From Trivia with Love - Week of February 8

According to a legend first recorded in a 1606 pamphlet entitled "Love, Courtship and Matrimony," in 1288 Queen Margaret of Scotland decreed that during a leap year any woman was legally allowed to do what? And, for a completely worthless bonus point, what is the most obvious indication that the story is ahistorical?
Send answers to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com

January 19, 2010

Trivia: The Trivia of Eli

Since 1996, over 60 newly discovered gravestones, shaped from granite into oblong cylinders and containing Hebrew and Aramaic inscriptions, are the first known physical evidence of a 13th century Jewish community in what region of the world?
Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.triva@gmail.com.

November 19, 2009

Trivia--Week of 19 November 2009

What Persian historian, responsible for writing (or at least commissioning) a history of the Mongols that became an entire chronicle of world history, served as Chief Minister of the Ilkhanate before being executed in 1318?

Please send trivia responses by email to umn.cms.trivia@gmail.com.

November 13, 2009

Trivia--Week of 12 November 2009

According to Stephen of Bourbon, what was the name of the animal venerated by a local tradition north of Lyons where otherwise orthodox Christians observed a rite that they claimed could heal sick or injured children?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line "trivia" directly to Gabriel Gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com).

November 6, 2009

Trivia--Week of 5 November 2009

In Dante Alighieri's conception of the afterlife, where can you find the souls of sinners with their eyes sewn shut as disembodied voices shout about the fate of Cain?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line "trivia" directly to Gabriel Gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com). Previous weeks' trivia results will be announced en masse NEXT WEEK. We apologize for the continued delay.

October 29, 2009

Trivia--Week of 29 October 2009

What early medieval saint did Pope Benedict XVI defend in a recent speech?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line "trivia" directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com). Previous weeks' trivia results will be announced en masse NEXT WEEK.

October 22, 2009

Trivia--Week of 22 October 2009

What is the given name of the titular figure in an Anglo-Saxon poem about a sea creature that can pretend to be an island in order to lure sailors to their doom?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line "trivia" directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com). Previous weeks' trivia results will be announced en masse once a new prize has been decided on.

October 15, 2009

Trivia--Week of 15 October 2009

What book, surviving from the early 10th century, consists of just a palimpsest of a few wooden tablets and wax pages, but suggests the early origins of an Eastern European heresy as the author records prayers in which the place of God is taken by that of an Armenian prophet named Alexander?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line "trivia" directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com).

October 1, 2009

Trivia--Week of 24 September 2009

Name the eighth century settlement on the Volkhov River that served as an important trading post and later as a capital city for a dynasty that then moved to Kiev and went on to survive in one form or another until shortly after the death of Ivan the Terrible.

Answers to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) with the subject line "trivia" by noon on Wednesday, 30 September.

September 17, 2009

Trivia--Week of 17 September 2009

According to popular legend, what British insult was first used by English and Welsh longbowmen after they had won the battle of Agincourt in 1415?

Answers to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) with the subject line "trivia" by noon on Wednesday, 23 September.

September 10, 2009

Trivia--Week of 9 September 2009

Trivia questions will be posted again starting on the 16th!

May 13, 2009

Trivia--Week of 13 May 2009

What was the name of the wife of the Emperor who created the corpus juris civilis?

Answers to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) with the subject line “trivia” by noon on Wednesday, 20 May.

April 30, 2009

Trivia--Week of 29 April 2009

At the Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, how is the sponsoring “Societas Fontibus Historiae Medii Aevi Inveniendis, vulgo dicta” more colloquially referred to (bonus points for knowing what they do as well)?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia” directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com).

April 15, 2009

Triva--Week of 15 April 2009

In the attached photograph, it’s fairly obvious who’s rising out of the book. However, who is trapped under it and what sort of book is it that has crushed him?
book.jpg

Please send trivia answers directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) with the subject line "trivia."

Answer: The picture is from folio 85r of the 13th century German law code Sachsenspiegel. http://www.sachsenspiegel-online.de/cms/ It is believed to have been compiled and translated from Latin by the Saxon administrator Eike von Repgow. Here, Repgow is being crushed by his own book, while two wrong-doers kick him in the head.

April 8, 2009

Trivia--Week of 8 April 2009

Who is widely credited as having invented the form of musical notation that we still use today?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia” directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by noon on Wednesday 8 April.

Answer: Guido of Arezzo

April 1, 2009

Trivia--Week of 1 April 2009

Which Canterbury Tale has a possible reference to the tradition of April Fool’s Day?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia” directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by noon on Wednesday 8 April.

Answer: The Nun's Priest's Tale, which makes reference to "March 32nd."

March 25, 2009

Trivia--Week of 25 April 2009

The life of Alexander the Great, written in Czech in the late 13th or early 14th century, is known as what?

Answer: The Alexandreis, based on a Latin version of Alexander’s life.


Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia” directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by noon on Wednesday 1 April.

March 18, 2009

Trivia--Week of 18 March 2009

Ermengard, the first wife of Louis the Pious, died while traveling to what city along with her husband and the court?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia” directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by noon on Wednesday 25 March.


Answer: She was on route to Tours, but took sick in Angers, where she died.l

March 11, 2009

Trivia--Week of 11 March

What famous thing, depicting the Norman invasion of England in 1066, was parodied during the opening sequence of The Simpsons?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia” directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by noon on Wednesday 18 March.

March 4, 2009

Trivia--Week of 4 March 2009

In “The Short Lay of Sigurd,” what does Brynhild do when she hears that the man she loves is dead?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia” directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by noon on Wednesday 11 March.

Answer: She laughed.

February 18, 2009

Trivia--Week of 17 February 2009

In the romance Yvain, the knight Yvain comes across a palace gate that is described as functioning like what sort of device?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia” directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by noon on Wednesday 25 February.

Answer: A rat trap.

February 11, 2009

Trivia--Week of 11 February 2009

What English charter promised the immediate return of all Welsh hostages?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia" directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by noon on Wednesday 4 February.


Answer: The Magna Carta.

January 28, 2009

Trivia--Week of 28 January

What 7th century legal code mandated that a woman may only wed a man older than herself?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia? directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by noon on Wednesday 4 February.

Answer: The Visigothic Code

January 21, 2009

Trivia--Week of 21 January

Over a typical Romanesque monumental portal, in what position does Christ appear?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia? directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com)

Answer: In the "axial" position (ie, the horizontal center).

January 14, 2009

Trivia--Week of 14 January

Who devised the "floating man" thought experiment, and where was he at the time?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia? directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com)


Answer: Avicenna, while imprisoned in the castle of Fardajan near Hamadhan.

December 26, 2008

Trivia, week of 26 December 2008

In the 13th century, short pieces of Occitan prose were written as introductory pieces to poetry. These detailed the life of the troubadour or provided a preface to or commentary on the poem that followed. What were these two sorts of introductory pieces called?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia? directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com)


Answer: vidas and razos.

December 19, 2008

Trivia, week of 19 December 2008

In the medieval romance “The Youth of Alexander the Great,? Alexander has a troubling dream. In it, he is represented by an animal. What is that animal and what does it emerge from?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia? directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com)

Answer: A dragon which emerges from an egg.

December 12, 2008

Trivia--Week of 12 December

Who was the Governor of Tripoli in 1565?

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia? directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com)

Answer: Dragut or Turgut Reis.

December 10, 2008

Trivia--Week of 5 December

This week’s eNews trivia: what nation’s people invented the ‘traction trebuchet?’

Please send trivia responses in email with the subject line “trivia? directly to gabriel gryffyn (ggryffyn.cms@umn.edu)

Answer: China! Winner of the contest this week: Steve Bivans.

October 17, 2008

Trivia--Week of 28 November

This week’s eNews trivia question is: What did Odin whisper in Balder's ear while Balder lay on his funeral pyre? Please submit answers in email to Gabriel Gryffyn ( href="mailto:ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com">ggryffyn.cms@gmail.com) by Friday, 24 October at 12:00pm.

Learning Abroad

This summer, English Department PhD student Gabriel Gryffyn traveled to Ireland to attend the Summer School in Mediaeval and Modern Irish Language and Literature at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. The intensive two week program included courses in Modern and Old Irish in the morning with lectures on Medieval and Early Modern Irish Literature and its Transmission and Early Irish Law and Society, and the Learned Orders in the afternoon.

Gabriel was able to begin her foray into learning the twisty but beautiful mess that is Old Irish as well as use the excellent resources in the libraries both at DIAS and Trinity College, Dublin. She also had the opportunity to visit the medieval buildings at Glendalough in County Wicklow.