Parergon is the journal of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (Inc.) - known as ANZAMEMS.

Parergon publishes articles on all aspects of medieval and early modern studies. We are especially interested in material that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries and takes new approaches. Parergon asks its authors to achieve international standards of excellence. The article should be substantially original, advance research in the field, and have the potential to make a significant contribution to the critical debate. Parergon does not accept submissions that have already been published elsewhere.

Parergon is edited from the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the Australian National University, is fully refereed, and has an international Advisory Board.

Parergon is available in electronic form as part of Project MUSE (From Volume 1 (1983)), Australian Public Affairs - Full Text (from 1994), and Humanities Full Text (from 2008).

Parergon is included in the Clarivate Analytics Master Journal List of refereed journals and in the European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH), and is indexed for nine major database services, including ABELL, IMB and Scopus.


What is Parergon’s approach to Open Access?

Parergon has an Open Access policy.

The main provisions are as follows:

  • Authors retain their own copyright, rather than transferring it to Parergon/ANZAMEMS;
  • Authors can make the "accepted version" (post-print) and the "submitted version" (pre-print) of their article freely available on the Web;
  • They cannot use the Project MUSE file for this purpose; they must use either their own Word/PDF copy or a copy derived from the printed version of Parergon.

This policy complies with the ARC's Open Access requirements.


Purchasing Back Issues of Parergon

Select back issues of Parergon (Vol. 28, 2011-Vol. 37, 2020) are now available via a print-on-demand service. Each back issue costs $130.00 AUD (note: this includes postage and handling). To purchase a back issue please contact the ANZAMEMS Executive Administrator, Dr Marina Gerzic via email (


Cover of Parergon 38.2 revealed!
Posted 19 November 2021

The front cover of Parergon 38.2 (which will be published in late-2021) features the following image:

38.2 Cover

Three Soldiers and a Boy, Giambattista Tiepolo (early 1740s), published 1785, etching, 14.2× 17.6 cm (plate), 23.4 × 30.8 cm (sheet), from the Vari Capricci series, 3rd edn, published 1785 by Giandomenico Tiepolo. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, purchased with funds donated by the National Gallery Women’s Association, 1996. Accession number 1996.569.3. This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of the Joe White Bequest.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo of Venice (1696–1770), also known as Giambattista (or Gianbattista) Tiepolo, was a prolific Italian painter and printmaker, who worked in Germany and Spain as well as Italy. This etching is one of ten Capricci (caprices) in horizontal format produced in the 1740s as a prelude to twenty-three Scherzi di Fantasia (tricks of fantasy) completed around 1758 and posthumously published by his son. Here a youth relaxes on his abdomen in a posture of observation close to the trio of soldiers who enthral him. They rest on high ground, sparsely littered with trees, antiquities, and an unread scroll, where the cast of the Capricci series always meet. The pyramid of soldiers is fixed by a standing figure holding a banner whose peak, beside another pole, is echoed by two cypress trees receding in diminishing perspective towards a ramshackle town and mountains below a billowing cumulus sky. The standing figure is certainly a soldier, because he wears fitted armour, but there is a quality of make-believe about the cloths wrapped around his head and the makeshift banner, especially since his face looks younger than the recumbent onlooker, who sports what might be the hint of a moustache and sideburn as if he were almost ready to join the patriotic cause of the soldiers resting in an interlude of some timeless, dynastic war—a classical inversion of the Flight into Egypt. Despite the apparent bald patch on the crown of the onlooker’s head—probably awkward line work intended to convey sunlight reflected from his hair, like other empty highlights on his body—there is no doubt he is a youth, because he already appeared naked in the same posture in the foreground of Apollo and the Continents on the ceiling of the Palazzo Clerici at Milan (1739), and because his lively undulating body contrasts sharply with the brawny musculature of the nearest soldier, whose back curves against us in apparent exhaustion or despondency as he sits gazing with another adult companion at a shield. No one knows the meaning of Tiepolo’s etchings, the only body of privately produced work in his oeuvre. They are like episodes in a plotless novel whose spontaneous sophistication Pierre-Jean Mariette, a contemporary connoisseur, applauded as ‘dreams that passed through his head’. Here, however, we might surmise that the discrepancy between the naïve enthusiasm of the onlooker and the enigmatic gaze (shifted to the left but still seeming to hail us) of the standing ‘child-soldier’ signifies the difference between those who know (whether real or otherwise, and of whatever age) and those who are ignorant of what they wish for. Heralding victory over time, the artist’s signature appears on the cracked surface of an obelisk on the left, from which spinous vegetation sprouts to affirm a series of horizontals that counteract plunging depth and diagonal gazing.

Richard Read, The University of Western Australia


Parergon mentioned in The New Yorker!
Posted 9 August 2021

Parergon has been recently been mentioned in the prestigious magazine The New Yorker. A feature piece written by Rebecca Mead, 'Where Did that Cockatoo Come From?' (New Yorker, 28 June 2021) highlights research by Heather Dalton, Jukka Salo, Pekka Niemelä, and Simo Örmä about the discovery of the oldest-known European illustrations of an Australasian cockatoo, in a manuscript dating from the 13th Century. The groundbreaking study, was published by Parergon in 2018: "Frederick II of Hohenstaufen’s Australasian Cockatoo: Symbol of Detente between East and West and Evidence of the Ayyubids’ Global Reach", Parergon 35.1 (2018): 35-60,


Parergon 38.1 revealed!
Posted 8 February 2021

The front cover of Parergon 38.1 (which will be published in mid-2021) features the following image:

38.1 Cover

Bible, Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 17 February 1483, f. 36b.
De Beer Collection, Special Collections, The University of Otago, Dunedin., New Zealand

One leaf (paper) from the Nuremberg Bible: Exodus, Chap. X and Chap XI, the Israelites in Egypt Gothic type; Printed in double columns on both sides of the page; 402 x 284 mm (fol). Woodcuts and initials are hand-coloured. Anton Koberger of Nuremberg (b. about 1445; d.1513) was a goldsmith before he became a printer and bookseller. He began printing about 1470, his first dated book being Alcinous's Disciplinarum Platonis epitome, 24 November 1472. In 1483, he produced a German Bible and in 1484, the first book printed in the Hungarian language. Koberger was primarily a publisher, an entrepreneur par excellence, who, by 1500 had produced as many as 200 works and sold them through the various agencies he had in cities. He employed traveling salesmen, and issued one of the first advertising circulars. According to statements, Koberger had some twenty-four presses operating a day for his printing and employed over a hundred workmen.

Information courtesy of Special Collections, The University of Otago.


New Twitter Account for Parergon!
Posted 12 October 2020

Parergon's new Twitter account is now live! You can now follow the journal on Twitter at @ParergonJournal.

Parergon content is promoted through both the ANZAMEMS and Parergon Twitter accounts (@ANZAMEMS and @ParergonJournal).


Parergon 37.2 revealed!
Posted 25 May 2020

The front cover of Parergon 37.2 (which will be published in mid-2020) features the following image:

37.2 Cover

G. F. Folingsby, First meeting between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (1879), oil on canvas, 156.1 × 120.9 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased with a Government grant, 1879. Photo: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

This painting, part of the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, provides a very different vision of Anne Boleyn than we have become used to. Anne is presented as a passive figure in white, looking down and avoiding the gaze of the overbearing King. Modern representations of Anne imagine her as an agentic, ambitious woman who pursued Henry in order to accrue power. However, Victorian representations of Anne were more likely to emphasise her virtue, and present her as the innocent victim of the King’s sexual attentions. This painting reveals how dramatically understanding of the familiar story of Henry VIII and his six wives is shaped by the moment in which it is told. In the background, we see Cardinal Wolsey surreptitiously spying on the scene, not knowing that his failure to procure the divorce for Henry would lead to his downfall. George Frederick Folingsby was known for his paintings of historical scenes, and the rich detail of both Anne and Henry’s outfits is evidence of his talent in capturing details of costuming. Folingsby was the Director of the National Gallery of Victoria from 1882 to 1891.

Stephanie Russo, Macquarie University


Parergon issues (from 2015–2019) currently free to access on Project Muse!
Posted 18 May 2020

Some exciting news: all issues of our journal Parergon from 2015–2019 are currently available for free via Project MUSE!


Cover for Parergon 37.1 revealed!
Posted 14 October 2019

The front cover of Parergon 37.1 (which will be published in mid-2020) features the following image:

37.1 Cover

Bühner & Keller natural horn, c. 1800. Period Instrument Collection of the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington. Purchased c. 1987 from Edward White, French horn player with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

"The natural horn was made in the workshop of Strasbourg-based wind instrument manufacturers Gabriel Sébastian Bühner (1753–1816), Isaac Keller (c. 1739–1802) and his nephew Jean Keller (1776–1833). Established in 1794, their firm Bühner & Keller was a highly successful business that produced all manner of woodwind and brass instruments, including flutes, oboes, clarinets, basset horns, bassoons, horns and trumpets. The outside rim of the bell is stamped ‘BUHNER & KELLER A STRASBOURG’ and the instrument remains in what appears to be its original case, complete with a set of nine crooks, which enable the horn to be played in a range of different keys. This was a necessity when performing as part of an orchestra, since prior to the introduction of valves to brass instruments in the early nineteenth century, natural horn players were restricted to the limited number of notes in the harmonic series. These were produced by modulating the tension of their lips, with individual pitches also able to be lowered by applying the technique of hand-stopping. Despite this innovation, some nineteenth- and twentieth-century composers – most notably Johannes Brahms – much preferred and continued to write for the natural horn."

Samantha Owens, Victoria University of Wellington


Cover for Parergon 36.2 revealed!
Posted 13 May 2019

The front cover of Parergon 36.2 (which will be published in late-2019) features the following image:

36.1 Cover

‘Voyage to the Moon’ - Photo © Jeff Busby for Victorian Opera, Musica Viva, and ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.

Astolfo (Sally-Anne Russell) recovers Orlando's sanity from the moon, after convincing the Guardian of the Moon, Selena (Emma Matthews), to help save his friend's life. From the opera, Voyage to the Moon, by Michael Gow (librettist and director), Calvin Bowman and Alan Curtis (composer-arrangers), and Matt Scott and Christina Smith (designers).

Based on a famous episode in Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso, Voyage to the Moon reimagined the Baroque operatic form known as a 'pasticcio', presenting a collage of pre-existing pieces by composers such as Handel and Vivaldi, as well as newly-composed music in the Baroque style. The opera was a collaboration between Victorian Opera, Musica Viva and the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. It premiered at the Melbourne recital centre in January 2016, before touring Australia


Cover for Parergon 36.1 revealed!
Posted 14 November 2018

The front cover of Parergon 36.1 (which will be published in early-2019) features the following image:

36.1 Cover

Christchurch, University of Canterbury, MS 3r. ‘Feast Day of the Decollation of St John the Baptist’. Noted missal leaf, fifteenth century, England; single folio, 2 columns on parchment; 304 x 212mm.

"Canterbury MS 3 is a single leaf from a fifteenth-century English missal book. The missal provided the prayer and song performed on the feast day marking the beheading of St John the Baptist (29 August). The text itself is based on a homily for the feast day by the Venerable Bede. The quality of the parchment and script places this example at the lower spectrum of the book trade. The scribe made some effort at decoration, albeit with a somewhat unpractised hand, adding a decorative border between the two columns in red and blue ink and incorporated grotesque faces into a number of initials. The use of grotesques complements the themes of the text, conjuring the image of the evil Herod and Salome, with whom the story of John the Baptist is linked. The lack of extensive illumination and miniature painting found in higher-grade examples marks this as a practical, high-use text. The official directions and instructions for those officiating at the Mass are rubricated in red. Rubrics aided the use of missals as mnemonic devices for things already learned by heart by those participating in the Mass. The precise directions laid out in the missal guaranteed the correct performance of the rites. Canterbury’s missal leaf has suffered significantly at later hands, which could reflect the religious upheaval that occurred in Early Modern England. The scarring and marks on the parchment indicate that it was reused as a pastedown, part of the binding of another book. The recycling of documents for the Mass was common in the book trade during the Reformation."

Anna Milne-Tavendale, Independent Scholar

For more information: Treasures of the University of Canterbury Library, edited by Chris Jones & Bronwyn Matthews with Jennifer Clement (Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2011).


Parergon goes global!
Posted 27 June 2018

Parergon went global yesterday with various news agencies including BBC News, ABC News, and The Guardian featuring research published in the latest issue (35.1) on the discovery of the oldest-known European illustrations of an Australasian cockatoo, in a manuscript dating from the 13th Century.

Links to stories:

The full article features in the latest issue of Parergon (35.1). Details are: Heather Dalton, Jukka Salo, Pekka Niemelä, and Simo Örmä, "Frederick II of Hohenstaufen’s Australasian Cockatoo: Symbol of Detente between East and West and Evidence of the Ayyubids’ Global Reach." Parergon 35.1 (2018): 35-60.

You can read more about this groundbreaking research at The University of Melbourne's blog, Pursuit: Heather Dalton, 'How Did A Cockatoo Reach 13th Century Siciliy,' Pursuit (25 June 2018).


New front cover for Parergon!
Posted 15 June 2018

Parergon has undergone a slight makeover. As well as a new cover colour scheme and title font, from issue 35.1 the front cover of Parergon will feature medieval or early modern related objects from collections across Australia and New Zealand.

The front cover of Parergon 35.1 features the following illustration:

Marcus Gheeraerts (Flemish, b. 1561, d. 1635/36), Margaret Hay, Countess of Dunfermline, 1615, oil on canvas, 1130 x 885 mm stretcher size, 1255 x 1005 mm frame size, 1-1974. De Beer/Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Given 1974 by Mary, Dora, and Esmond de Beer.

35.1 Cover


New Parergon Editor and Reviews Editor!
Posted 28 April 2017

At the 2017 ANZAMEMS AGM, Professor Susan Broomhall, of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at The University of Western Australia, was elected as the new editor of Parergon. Also at the AGM, Dr Hélène Sirantoine, of the Department of History at The University of Sydney, was elected the new Reviews Editor. Congratulations Sue and Hélène!

In addition, the meeting formally voted to award our previous editor, Associate Professor Anne M. Scott, Honorary Life Membership of ANZAMEMS in honour of her many years of service to both ANZAMEMS and Parergon. It is a fitting tribute for the many hours of work Anne has put into the Association—most of them behind the scenes.


Launch of the new Parergon website
Posted 20 February 2017

At the ANZAMEMS Conference in Wellington, Professor Andrew Lynch, on behalf of editor A/Prof Anne M. Scott, launched the new Parergon website. Professor Lynch was introduced by Dr Chris Jones, the President of ANZAMEMS. The website contains all the information required to submit to the journal, and those who attended the launch were given a virtual tour of the new site and the submission system by ANZAMEMS Committee Member Aidan Norrie.