Medieval Peasant



Medieval Peasant in the news

New Year's in the Lobby 

Creative Loafing Atlanta - Jan 10 10:15 AM
Playing catch-up with Bob Amick... By Cliff Bostock.
In a new light 
Boston Globe - Jan 06 3:21 AM
MARGINEA -- On a December night in the forested foothills of the Carpathian range, epic borderland that marks a new edge of modern Europe after Romania joined the European Union on Monday, darkness and fog conspired. Sight shrank to 10 feet, two. History dissolved, the future fled, the present hid.

'Dancing in the Streets' by Barbara Ehrenreich - Jan 05 3:07 PM
In the 21st century, most people have experienced at least a watered-down version of what author Barbara Ehrenreich calls collective joy. Many are susceptible to flashes of communal ecstasy in stadiums or auditoriums, nightclubs or public parks, at concerts and dances and sports events.

The case for royalty in Myanmar 
Asia Times - Jan 04 2:38 AM
The forlorn hope of progressive political change in Myanmar using all modern means suggests that reaching back in time and resurrecting the long-dismantled monarchy could provide a prescription to cure the ills of one of the world's most isolated countries, which on Thursday honored the 59-year anniversary of its independence from colonial rule.

- Medeival Peasant

Here is an article on Medieval Peasant.

For the genealogist George Edward Cokayne or his work see Cokayne's Complete Peerage.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder's The Land of Cockaigne, painted Medeival Peasant in 1567. Oil on panel. Currently in the collection of the Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany.

Cockaigne or Cockayne (IPA: /kɔˈkeɪn/, /kɒˈkeɪn/) is Medeval Peasant a mythical medieval land of plenty, where all the harshness of Mediveal Peasant medieval peasant life does not exist.


  • 1 Etymology of Cockaigne
  • 2 Descriptions
  • 3 Traditions
  • 4 Cockaigne Meideval Peasant in the arts
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 External links and references

Etymology of Cockaigne

The word Cockaigne derives from Middle English cokaygne, traced to Middle French (païs de) cocaigne[1] "(land of) plenty," ultimately adapted or derived from a word for a small sweet cake sold to children at a fair (OED). The Dutch equivalent is Luilekkerland ("lazy luscious land"), and the German equivalent is Schlaraffenland (also known as "land of milk and honey"). In Spain, where cucaña is the cognate word for "fool", an equivalent place of Cockaigne is named Jauja, after a rich mining region of the Andes.

In the 1820s, the name Cockaigne came to be applied jocularly to London[2], as the land of Cockneys[3], and thus "Cockaigne", though the two aren't linguistically connected otherwise. The composer Elgar used the title "Cockaigne" for his overture (1901) and suite evoking the people of London.

The Dutch village Kockengen was named after Cockaigne.


Like Atlantis and El Dorado, the land of Cockaigne was a fictional utopia, a place where, in a parody of paradise, idleness and gluttony were the principal occupations. In Specimens of Early English Poets (1790), George Ellis printed a 13th century French poem called "The Land of Cockaigne" where

the houses were made of barley sugar and cakes, the streets were paved with pastry, and the shops supplied goods for nothing.

According to Columbia University Press' reference to Herman Pleij's Dreaming of Cockaigne (2001),

roasted pigs wander about with knives in their backs to make carving easy, where grilled geese fly directly into one's mouth, where cooked fish jump out of the water and land at one's feet. The weather is always mild, the wine flows freely, sex is readily available, and all people enjoy eternal youth.

According to the New York Public Library (ref.), Cockaigne was a

medieval peasant’s dream, offering relief from backbreaking labor and the daily struggle for meager food.

The Brothers Grimm collected and retold the fairy tale in The Tale About the Land of Cockaigne (Das Märchen vom Schlaraffenland).


A Neapolitan tradition, extended to other Latin-culture countries, is the Cockaigne pole, a horizontal or vertical pole with a prize (like a ham) at one end. The pole is covered with grease or soap and planted during a festival. Then, men try to climb the pole to get the prize. The crowd laughs at the often failed attempts to hold to the pole.

Cockaigne in the arts

  • Cockaigne was depicted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in The Land of Cockaigne (1567, above).
  • The book, Dreaming of Cockaigne, by Herman Pleij (Columbia University Press, 2001) offers the most complete modern collection of information on the topic.
  • The musical play, The Golden Dream, by Joe Syiek [3] tells the story of oppressed peasants who yearn for, attain and ultimately lose their ideal of Cockaigne.
  • The album Land of Cockayne by Soft Machine, 1981.
  • Cockaigne is the name of the kingdom which Princess Narda in the comic strip Mandrake the Magician comes from.
  • Cockaigne (In London Town) is a concert overture composed by Edward Elgar in 1901.
  • Ego sum abbas Cucaniensis (I am the Abbot of Cockaigne) is a movement in Carl Orff's secular cantata, Carmina Burana.
  • "Bruegel in the Land of Cockaigne" is the heading of the second chapter of T. J. Clark's 2002 Tanner Lectures on Human Values "Painting at Ground Level".[4]
  • In the popular cookbook The Joy of Cooking, the author's favorite recipes include "Cockaigne" in the name, (e.g., "Fruit Cake Cockaigne"), explained in the foreword to the 1975 edition as after the name of the Becker country home in Anderson Township, near Cincinnati, Ohio. [4]
  • Cockaigne is the name of a small Australian record label, run by musicians Dave Graney and Clare Moore.

See also

  • Afterlife
  • Arcadia
  • Atlantis
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain
  • Economic scarcity
  • El Dorado (myth)
  • Fiddler's Green
  • Fountain of Youth
  • Garden of Eden
  • Golden age
  • Heaven
  • Index of fictional places
  • Kingdom of the Saguenay
  • Krita Yuga
  • Utopia
  • Utopianism
  • Ys


  1. ^ The modern French is cocagne, a dolt.
  2. ^ OED notes a first usage in 1824.
  3. ^ "Cockney" from a "cock's egg", an implausible creature (see also basilisk).
  4. ^ See articles in Cincinnati Enquirer, October 25, 2006,[1] and on CBS News website, November 1, 2006.[2]

External links and references

  • Original text and translations of poems of Cokaygne
  • Dreaming of Cockaigne from Columbia University Press
  • The Golden Dream musical play
  • on Cockaigne
  • on Cockaigne
  • on Cockaigne
  • on Cockaigne
  • New York Public Library: Cockaigne
Search Term: "Cockaigne"