The Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature has awarded the Medium Ævum Essay Prize since 2008. The competition is run annually, with postgraduates and those recently graduated with a higher degree invited to submit an essay on a topic that falls within the range of the interests of Medium Ævum in the medieval period (up to c. 1500).

The winner of the Essay Prize will receive a cash prize of £500, together with £250 for any books available from Bennett & Kerr Booksellers (including any from the Society's own catalogue) & £250 of funding towards conference attendance. The winning article will also be considered for publication in Medium Ævum, subject to the usual editorial procedures of the journal.

The annual deadline for submissions for the Essay Prize is 1st December of the preceding year. The rules of the competition, and an online entry form, are available by clicking on the relevant menu links. Any queries can be directed to Executive Officer of the Society.


We are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2021 Essay Prize is
Dr. James Parkhouse (University of Oxford)
Legends in the Landscape: The Revenge of Weland in Southern English Toponymy
Dr. James Parkhouse
 (University of Oxford)
Legends in the Landscape: The Revenge of Weland in Southern English Toponymy
Ms. Aylin Malcolm
 (University of Pennsylvania)
All Dogs Go to Heaven: Reason, Literary Style, and Animal Cognition in Adelard of Bath’s Questiones naturales
Mr. Claudio Cataldi
 (University of Bristol)
The Medieval Tale of the Eight Hellhounds
Julia Mattison
University of Toronto
Line-Fillers in Chaucer's Verse
Proxime Accessit
Gillian Redfern
University of Manchester
Knowing Me Knowing You: Three Knowingly Northern Plays by the Wakefield Master
Georgia Henley
Reading Geoffrey of Monmouth in Wales: the Basis of the Welsh Brut y Brenhinedd in Latin Commentaries, Glosses and Variant Texts
Robert Gallagher
University of the Basque Country

Latin Acrostic Poetry in Late Anglo-Saxon England: Reassessing the Contribution of John the Old Saxon

Published in   86.2 (2017), pp. 249-74
Elizabeth Wright
University of York

Marian Hymns and Sacred Vocal Music in London, British Library, Cotton Vespasian D. vi. : Five Previously Unpublished Anglo-Latin Texts

Proxime Accessit
Megan Murton
Xavier University

The Prioress's Prologue: Dante, Liturgy and Ineffability

Christine Wallis
University of Sheffield

‘Unpublished Drypoint Annotations in Oxford, Corpus Christi College 279B’

Published in   85.1 (2016), pp. 15-32
Jill Fitzgerald
University of Illinois

‘Angelus Pacis: A Liturgical Model for the 'fæle friðowebba' in Cynewulf's 'Elene'’

Published in   83 (2014), pp. 189 - 209
Proxime Accessit
Aisling Byrne
Merton College, Oxford

A Lost Insular Version of the Romance of Octavian

Published in   83 (2014), pp. 288 - 302
No Award Made
Jennifer Jahner
University of Pennsylvania

Altera Natura: Conduct, Craft and Nature in The Owl and the Nightingale

Thomas Hinton
Jesus College, Oxford

New Beginnings and False Dawns: A Reappraisal of the Elucidation Prologue to the Conte del Graal Cycle 

Published in   80 (2011), pp. 41 - 55
Proxime Accessit
Eliza Zingesser
Princeton University

Speaking as One: Linguistic Diversity and Moral Unity in Troubadour Chansonnier Y (Bibliothèque Nationale de France MS. fr. 795)

Elizabeth Boyle
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Neoplatonic thought in medieval Ireland: the evidence of Scéla na esérgi

Published in   78 (2009), pp. 216 – 30
Kathleen Palti
University College, London

An Unpublished fifteenth-century carol collection: Oxford, Lincoln College MS Lat. 141

Published in   77  (2008), pp. 260 – 78
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 - 12:00am