Research Programs: Digital Humanities Fellowships

Period of Performance

7/1/2009 - 6/30/2010

Funding Totals

$75,400.00 (approved)
$75,400.00 (awarded)

"The Siege of Jerusalem," 14th-Century English Poem: A Critical Edition and Electronic Archive of Textual Transcriptions

FAIN: FX-50055-08

Timothy Linwood Stinson
North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC 27607)

The Siege of Jerusalem Electronic Archive consists of three parts: 1) an archive of xml-encoded transcriptions of the nine surviving manuscripts of the anonymous fourteenth-century poem The Siege of Jerusalem linked to digital images of all 231 extant manuscript leaves; 2) a critical edition of the poem; 3) an introduction that establishes the poem's enormous socio-cultural importance and articulates how the archive serves as a model of the opportunities that digital technologies offer for the representation of medieval texts and textuality. The goal of this project, in short, is to provide a publication-ready set of texts and tools for teaching and studying this poem while simultaneously showing through both example and analysis the ways in which digital media have augmented and fundamentally altered our ability to think about, publish, and use medieval manuscripts and their texts.

Media Coverage

The Siege of Jerusalem poem as digital media (Media Coverage)
Publication: IHR blog
Date: 7/28/2016

New Dimensions For Old Manuscripts (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Matt Shipman
Publication: NC State News
Date: 7/28/2016

Associated Products

Siege of Jerusalem Electronic Archive (Database/Archive/Digital Edition)
Title: Siege of Jerusalem Electronic Archive
Author: Timothy L. Stinson
Abstract: An online archive comprising transcriptions and images of all extant manuscript copies of The Siege of Jerusalem accompanied by critical texts and extensive introductory materials. Under contract with The Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts.
Year: 2010
Primary URL:
Access Model: Open access


MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions Seal
Date: 6/1/2014
Organization: Modern Language Association

Makeres of the Mind: Authorial Intention, Editorial Practice, and The Siege of Jerusalem (Article)
Title: Makeres of the Mind: Authorial Intention, Editorial Practice, and The Siege of Jerusalem
Author: Timothy L. Stinson
Abstract: This essay outlines the advantages of digital editions: the maintenance of competing textual authority; no longer having to select one text above another; the ability to see different versions of the text (and translations); and the retention and comparison of diplomatic and scribal composition. The Siege of Jerusalem is used as a case study to reinforce these arguments, focusing on the alleged anti-Semitism of the poem, especially the horrific and heart-breaking incident of the Jewish mother eating her baby.
Year: 2010
Access Model: Subscription (print journal)
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Yearbook of Langland Studies

Confession, Vengeance, and the Destruction of Jerusalem (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Confession, Vengeance, and the Destruction of Jerusalem
Author: Timothy L. Stinson
Abstract: Following the Edict of Expulsion of 1290, Jews and Judaism continued to be targeted by English poets, preachers, and chroniclers via retellings of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD by Roman forces. These narratives anachronistically imagined the destruction of Jerusalem as retribution for the Crucifixion, when in fact the siege occurred centuries before the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity. Examples of such works include the alliterative Siege of Jerusalem, chronicle histories of John of Tynemouth and Ranulf Higden, and theatrical versions performed as late as 1622, when a play entitled Titus and Vespatian was recorded at the court of James I. The goal of this paper is twofold. I will first demonstrate how a single 15th-century manuscript, Cleveland Public Library MS W q091.92-C468, interweaves the history of Jerusalem with the history of England itself. The manuscript opens with a brief geographical text surveying Biblical lands and begins “Iosephus of Iewis the noble was the first auctour of the book of policronica.” This is followed by an abridged version of the prose Brut, a comprehensive history of England, and the brief poem Cur mundus militat. The manuscript closes with the sole surviving Middle English prose translation of Roger D’Argenteuil’s Bible en François, which details the fall of Jerusalem. As such, English history is bracketed by Josephan history, and the reader is invited to understand it through this lens. My second goal is to show that this positioning of texts is emblematic of the significant place that Jerusalem occupied in late medieval English memory. I will pay particular attention to 1) the role that ‘curated memory’ played in the sacrament of confession and in medieval sermons, which often urged a mindfulness of past transgressions, and 2) the purpose of narratives featuring ‘successful’ conquests of Jerusalem in an era of failed crusades to recapture the city.
Date: 11/07/2014
Conference Name: Remembering Jerusalem: Imagination, Memory, and the City