Medieval News

School pupils from St Ninian's Primary School uncovering the medieval harbour of Cambuskenneth Abbey © GUARD Archaeology Ltd

Glimpse of medieval trade revealed along the River Forth

Over two weeks in September, the Cambuskenneth Harbours project brought together a wide range of experts and local volunteers to investigate the medieval harbour of Cambuskenneth Abbey, which lies on the River Forth near Stirling.

Photo by Nikki Davidov, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Byzantine-era mosaic map restored in Israel

Although the Byzantine-era church that existed about 1500 years ago in southern Israel no longer exists, its mosaic floor has now been restored and shows a map revealing a scene of streets and buildings from an Egyptian town.

Saint Philip by the Master of the Rimini Altarpiece - photo courtesy The Getty Museum

Beautiful 15th century sculpture now on display at the Getty Museum

The Getty Museum is now showing its latest acquisition – a rare medieval alabaster sculpture of Saint Philip by the Master of the Rimini Altarpiece.

Global Middle Ages Project

Global Middle Ages Project launches website

The Global Middle Ages Project, founded in 2007 by Geraldine Heng and Susan Noakes, features six digital projects.

Mounting from a reliquary, produced in Northumbria in the 8th century. The mounting have been modified and was used as a brooch. It was found in a woman's grave from the second part of the 9th century, in Buskerud, Norway - Photo courtesy University of Oslo Museum of Cultural History

The Vikings and clothing accessories they brought home

New study on the use of imported objects in Viking Age Scandinavia

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Medieval Articles

Oslo city centre, shortly after Breivik's car bomb detonated. Photo by N. Andersen / Wikipedia

The new knighthood: Terrorism and the medieval

Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik describes himself as a member of a neomedieval, underground paramilitary group known as the Knights Templar.


Said in jest: Who’s laughing at the Middle Ages (and when)?

The essay begins with a negative image of a medieval scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is used to point out that the scene is a knowing parody rather than founded on a genuine belief in an unmitigatedly dark age

Gawain and the Green Knight

Courtesy and Politeness in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

A close reading of three selected passages of the Middle English alliterative romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight provides a detailed picture of fictional and fairy-tale manifestations of courtly and polite behaviour in Middle English, a period that imported many new terms of courtesy and politeness from French.

Henry V depicted in A Chronicle of England: B.C. 55 – A.D. 1485 (1864)

Henry V, Flower of Chivalry

Kingship and chivalry were not separate constructs in late medieval didactic works, chronicles and biographies which praised ideal qualities like loyalty largesse, honour and above all prudence that were essential for both kings and knights.

12th century manuscript from England showing two pigs and a man with an axe - British Library MS Lansdowne 383   f. 8

Livestock and animal husbandry in early medieval England

Major themes in the zooarchaeological record regarding livestock and animal husbandry in England from the 5th to 11th Centuries AD are reviewed.

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Medieval Videos

Researching Architectural History Through Archaeology: The Case of Westminster Abbey

For half a millennium, scholars have researched and written about the history and architecture of Westminster Abbey, using documents and visual inspection. One might therefore assume that the architectural history of this iconic building is well understood, and in some respects it is.

Teaching Math in the Middle Ages

Today I would like to talk about the places mathematics and mathematical pedagogy in particular appear in the Latin writing of the medieval world.

Capital and Corporal Punishment in Anglo-Saxon England

Jay Gates, Nicole Marafioti and Valerie Allen speak about Capital and Corporal Punishment in Anglo-Saxon England

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Medieval Books

Using LEGO to show the history of medieval England

Learn more about the great new book Medieval Lego, by Greyson Beights

Recipes from The Tudor Kitchen

Get recipes on A Dysschefull of Snowe – Strawberries on Snow and Steamed Asparagus Spears in Orange Sauce

Book Review: Rise of the Wolf, by Steven A. McKay

Bottom line: I can’t recommend this novel strongly enough. You should buy it now.

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Medieval Movies & TV

Said in jest: Who’s laughing at the Middle Ages (and when)?

The essay begins with a negative image of a medieval scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is used to point out that the scene is a knowing parody rather than founded on a genuine belief in an unmitigatedly dark age

Secret Gestures and Silent Revelations: The Disclosure of Secrets in Selected Arthurian Illuminated Manuscripts and Arthurian Films

This paper explores visual language and iconic systems central to the representation of the Arthurian cycle in thirteenth and fifteenth century Gothic illuminated manuscripts and in two Arthurian films; its focus is the theme of courtly love and crucial revelations of the secret or hidden.

Movie Review: Dangerous Beauty

Late 16th century Venice, where a woman can be a nun, a wife or a courtesan. For Veronica Franco, the free spirited girl scorned by because of her lack of wealth, the choice is an obvious one…

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More Medieval History

Cracking down on illegal gambling in Medieval Livonia

Just like their modern day counterparts, medieval cities had to deal with their own criminal underworlds – the sex trade, gambling, and violence taking place within their walls. At the International Medieval Congress, held earlier this month at the University of Leeds, these issues were explored as part of session #706: Perceiving and Regulating Vices.

Imprisonment, Execution and Escape: Medieval History and the National Curriculum

The final talk in Sesson #1041, Engaging the Public with the Medieval World, looked at what English children are being taught in school. How much medieval history is in the new programme that was released in September 2014? Megan Gooch, Curator at the Historic Royal Palaces breaks down the English system for us in her paper, ‘Imprisonment, Execution, and Escape: Medieval History and the National Curriculum’.

Making the Castle a Home: Creating an Immersive Medieval World Using Live Costumed Interpreters

How does the use of unscripted, adaptive, historical interpretation boost the tourist experience? Right on the heels of our look at the Tower of London’s visitor engagement, we heard a paper from Lauren Johnson, Research Manager for Past Pleasures, the oldest historical interpretation company in the UK who educate and entertain the public at historical sites, museums, on stage and and on TV.

‘But Where are the Dungeons?’: How to Engage the Public at the Tower of London

A talk about how historical sites, like the Tower of London engage the public. How to handle visitor expectations, what do people come t see and how to tell history in a captivating but accurate manner.

The Experience of Growing Up in Medieval Society

This session (#508) was one of several at Leeds devoted to exploring childhood in the Middle Ages. Our presenters talked about the stereotypes of adolescence, and what the coroner’s rolls revealed about the deaths (and lives) of medieval children.

The Archer’s Loss: England’s War, Fate’s Arrows

As England crumbles, so does Thomas as he rails against the world which has snatched life and love away from him so savagely. The end of the 116 year struggle between old foes shall be the making and breaking of a boy yet to develop into a man….

Book Review: The Iron King, by Maurice Druon

Touted by George R.R. Martin as the original Game of Thrones, Druon’s series has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently, and can be found in major bookstores.

What’s New in Medieval Historical Fiction

Learn more about these books: See the Sister Fidelma mysteries Wikipedia entry Visit, website for the authors Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear The Buried Giant review – Kazuo Ishiguro ventures into Tolkien territory – review by Tom Holland in The Guardian ‘The Invention of Fire’ is a thrillingly written 14th-century murder mystery […]

Teaching Historical Theory through Video Games

The potential of video games for teaching history is receiving increasing recognition. However, the greatest emphasis is on their use as tools in secondary education. The few studies focusing on undergraduate education demonstrate the use of games to create an immersive historical experience with counterfactual options.

Minecraft and the Middle Ages

It is one of the most popular video games ever created. Moreover, educators are finding ways to use Minecraft as a teaching tool, and one that could be ideal for learning about the Middle Ages.

Gareth Hinds’ Beowulf

Dark and visceral, the graphic novel version of Beowulf created by Gareth Hinds is considered to be one of the most successful adaptations of the Old English tale.

Using LEGO to teach the Middle Ages

Here are a few ideas that teachers can use to teach the Middle Ages with LEGO

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