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132ARTHURIANA about the East, and about all the known world. Perhaps Higgins's greatest contribution is to heighten our appreciation for the rhetoric ofthe various authors, who emerge in Higgins's study as literary artists, crafting new personae as witnesses to the world that each new reader ofthe TraveL· enters excitedly into. MICHAEL CALABRESE California State University, Los Angeles ANN hyland, TheHorsein theMiddleAges. Foreword byJoan Thirsk. Thrupp, Stround, Gloucestershire: Sutton, 1999, Pp. xii, 180, illustrations, isbn: 0-7509-1067-4. $35.95. The medieval world was as much influenced by the horse as modern society by the car. Even though cultural historians such as Joachim Bumke have paid considerable attention to the medieval horse (Höfische Kultur, 1986, vol. 1, 236-240), Ann Hyland's monograph, a highly detailed and richly illustrated study fills a gap insofar as she covers the wide range ofaspects pertinent to horses such as their use as farm animals, for transportation, in knightly tournaments and combat, in hunting, in courier (mail) service, and even such issues as horse care and veterinarian treatment. The extensive list ofprimary sources used for this study, and the equally long list of secondary sources indicate the extent to which the author embarked on original research and also culled her information from a large number of previous sources. Curiously, though, she has disregarded one of the most important German studies on this topic, Beate Ackermann-Arlt's Das Pferd und seine epische Funktion im mittelhochdeutschen 'Prosa-Lancelot' (Berlin-New York: de Gruyter, 1990). Hyland begins her investigation with the question of the European horse's origin going back to prehistoric times from where she takes us down to eleventh-century England. To a large extent she focuses on the conditions in England, but at times she also draws from continental sources. One of the most impressive elements of this book proves to be the use of many clearly marked subcategories making it very easy for the reader to find the relevant information while leafing through it (unfortunately these are not included in the table ofcontents). In her chapter on 'Everyman's Horse,' for instance, Hyland discusses the role of horses on pilgrimages, then travel licences, the horse's gait, monastic pleasure riding, laws governing horse ownership and dealing in horses, customs (heriot and mortuary), occasional abuse ofthe animals, superstitious beliefs involving horses, horse stealing, border infractions and theft ofhorses, equine sport and entertainment, and horse racing. Other chapters, such as the one dealing with farming and commerce, provide even more technical and biological information about the involved horses. Here we learn about various horse diseases, specific duties to be carried out by horses, and individual types of horses used in agriculture. The equipment used for riding horses is also introduced and carefully discussed, accompanied by many valuable illustrations and photos. In another chapter Hyland examines horse treatment and horse raising on the estates of the landed gentry, assembling astoundingly detailed data. Hunting on horseback was one of the most important medieval pastimes for the European aristocracy, but hunting was also practiced by many other cultures. Hence REVIEWS133 Hyland also briefly considers hunting in the Orient, in Byzantium, in the Mongolian empire, among the Mamluks, the Turks, Persians, Syrians, and the Indians. Moreover, the author also closes in on the tournament and discusses many ofits features involving the hotse. The large number of illustrations helps the reader to gain a significantly better understanding of key factors and provides references to individual types of horses and their equipment. These visual sources include tapestry, sculpture, seals, paintings, woodcuts, book miniatures, carvings, photos ofconcrete objects, drawings, and others. The book's greatest strength—its astonishing level ofdetailed information—might also be its drawback as too many aspects are considered here and cannot be covered thoroughly enough. On the one hand the reader will be pleased to notice that many eastern European and Middle Eastern cultures have been consulted for this monograph, but this also implies that too little attention has been spent on subtle but important differences. Nevertheless, Hyland has at least made the effort to open various windows toward neighboring countries where often the most valuable horses had come from during the Middle Ages...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1539
Print ISSN
1078-6279
Pages
pp. 132-133
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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