Walter of Chatillon was one of the leading Medieval Latin poets, who flourished at the high point of Medieval Latin literature - the later twelfth century. This volume presents the Latin text and facing English translation of Walter's shorter poems, including love poems, satires, and (largely Christmas) hymns. His satirical poems, often written in Goliardic hexameters, of which he was an accomplished master, are fine examples of the form. The allusiveness of his hymns makes them often notoriously difficult, but they provide a fascinating insight into the mindset of the clergy of the time and the prevalence of allegorical interpretation of the Bible.
This volume provides an outline of the author's life, and adds a further fifteen poems to the previously accepted canon of fifty-two poems which appear in earlier editions of Walter of Chatillon's poetry. The introduction discusses the attribution of the additional poems, Walter's use of rhythmical and metrical verse in these poems, the relevant manuscripts, the recurring themes of the Feast of Fools, and avarice and largesse, and the arrangement of the poems. This volume makes available in English for the first time the shorter poems of an important medieval poet together with an improved Latin text. Scholars of the twelfth century will find a great deal of primary evidence on a wide variety of social and religious issues now accessible to them.