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WALTER MAP: THE CONTENTS AND CONTEXT OF DE NUGIS CURIALIUM by Dr. JULIETTE WOOD Walter Map enjoyed a considerable reputation for learning and wit during his long career as a courtier in the service of Henry II. After his death, he acquired an even wider reputation as a medieval poet and writer of fiction because of an erroneous attribution to him of a number of Goliardic poems and Arthurian romances. Once these false attributions have been discounted, Map's one genuine fictional work remains the De Nugis Curialium1 written in the latter part of the twelfth century and containing a number of reminiscences about contemporary kings and famous men, descriptions of contemporary religious orders, folktales, a long tract against the institution of marriage, and comments on such widely differing topics as the Crusades and the heretic Waldensians. The disorganized nature of the work, indeed some stories are incomplete, suggests that it was left unfinished by Map and edited after his death.2 Only one manuscript of the work exists (Bodley 851) and this dates from the fourteenth century. Some sections can be dated, although not all, and it is likely that Map worked on this compilation intermittently during the latter years of the twelfth 1 Walter Map, De Nugis Curialium, Courtiers' Trifles edited and trans- lated by M. R. James revised by C. N. L. Brooke and R. A. B. Mynors (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1983) all references to the text follow this edition unless otherwise stated. Walter Map's De Nugis Curialium trans. M. R. James notes by J. E. Lloyd edited by Sidney Hartland, Cymmrodorion Record Series no ix (London 1923); Master Walter Map's Book De Nugis Curialium (Courtiers' Trifles) trans by Frederick Tupper and Marbury Bladon 2Ogle (London, 1924). J. Hinton, 'Walter Map's De Nugis Curialium: its plan and composition' Publications of the Modern Language Association of America xxxii (1917), 132.