Episode 98: The Great Debates

Magna Carta is often presented as the culmination of a dispute between King John and his barons, but it didn’t settle the debate. In fact, the charter actually sparked a new debate over the power of the king.  That debate was one of many being held during the early 1200s when the art of debate permeated education, the legal profession, and even poetry.  This period also witnessed the composition of the first major debate poem in Middle English called “The Owl and the Nightingale.”