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Archives for March 2009

The Tactics and Strategy of Alexius Comnenus at Calavrytae, 1078

I shall thoroughly analyze the battle for which we have two seperate and detailed accounts. One is provided by the Alexiad of Princess Anna Comnena, the daughter of Domestic of the Schools, who led the imperial forces. The other is by the eldest son of the leader of the insurgents, Nicephorus Bryennius, also named Nicephorus Bryennius.

The Apology of Demetrius Cydones: A Fourteenth-Century Autobiographical Source

The Apology of Demetrius Cydones: A Fourteenth-Century Autobiographical Source By Frances Kianka Byzantine Studies / Etudes Byzantines, Vol. 7:1 (1980) Introduction: Thanks to the efforts of a number of scholars, the ideas and activities of Demetrius Cydones are in the process of becoming better known.  Most of his writings have now been edited and published […]

Constantine VIII and Michael Psellos: Rhetoric, Reality, and the Decline of Byzantium, AD 1025-28

Constantine VIII and Michael Psellos: Rhetoric, Reality, and the Decline of Byzantium, AD 1025-28 By Gary J. Johnson Byzantine Studies / Etudes Byzanines, Vol. 9:2 (1982) Introduction: In the seventh book of his Chronographia and by way of elucidating the reign of Emperor Issak Komnenos (1057-59), Michael Psellos proffers a rhetorical exposition on the decline […]

The Emperor Majorian’s Secret Embassy to the Court of the Vandal Gaiseric

Was Procopius recounting history or simply preserving a legend? Did he compose it originally or was it take from another source and inserted merely as a diversion from his main narrative?

The Conquest of Silves: A Contemporary Narrative

The Conquest of Silves: A Contemporary Narrative By John E. Slaughter The Journal of the American Portuguese Cultural Society, Vol. 2 (1968) Introduction: The capture of Silves from the Moors was a celebrated event in the history of the Reconquista in Portugal, as well as in the annals of the Crusades. Its fame was due […]

Basic Elements of Islamic Portugal: A Survey

Basic Elements of Islamic Portugal: A Survey By Geoffrey Luiz Gomes The Journal of the American Portuguese Cultural Society, Vol. 5 (1971) Introduction: Conquered shortly after the initial Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in 711, Portugal formed at the time the western extremity of Visigothic Spain.  Less than five centuries later, Portugal would be […]

Some Monte Cassino Scribes in the Eleventh Century

Some Monte Cassino Scribes in the Eleventh Century By Francis Newton Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Vol. 7 (1975) Introduction: The revival of the venerable monastery of St. Benedict on its hill at Cassino was begun in the year 950 with the return of Abbot Aligern and a band of monks to the site ravaged by […]

The Treaties of the Carolingians

The Treaties of the Carolingians By Francois L. Ganshof Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Proceedings of the Southeastern Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Vol. 3 (1967)  Introduction: I intend to investigate how the Carolingians managed to conclude their treaties.  Let us first of all start with a definition.  I think we can give the word treaty […]

1367: The Founding of the Spanish College at Bologna

1367: The Founding of the Spanish College at Bologna By Berthe M. Marti Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Proceedings of the Southeastern Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Vol. 3 (1967)  Introduction: The subject of my talk today concerns one aspect of the history of medieval education.  I have limited myself to a minor chapter of […]

The Uniqueness of Florence’s Renaissance Experience

Examines writing of Florentines about how they viewed their city, its arts and culture and its people.

Interview with Julian Luxford

In March 2009, Julian Luxford of the University of St. Andrews made international headlines with a discovery of a passage in a 15th-century manuscript that contained an account of Robin Hood – see the news item here –  to know a little more about this find, we interviewed Dr. Luxford by email: 1. Could you explain how you came […]

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight By R.E. Kaske Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Proceedings of the Southeastern Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Summer 1979, edited by G.M. Masters (Chapel Hill, 1984) Introduction: It is startling to recall that when I first began lecturing on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, I could find only […]

The Saxon Statement: Code in the Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry is thus often largely take at face value, and no serious attemtp seems to have been made to look beyond the work’s representation of the Norman point of view to the possibility that the Saxons who designed and stitched it might have employed covert devices in order to reveal occurences closer to the truth, which the Designer sought to articulare even the some of the facts were suppressed by the Norman conquerors.

Monotheism between Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity

Monotheism between Pagans and Christians in Late Antiquity By Stephen Mitchell and Peter Van Nuffelen Peeters, 2009 ISBN: 978-90-429-2242-6 The fourth century was a major religious battleground. The rise of Christianity, and in particular its dominance from Constantine onwards, marked an important shift in the religious history of the Mediterranean. Christianity saw this change as […]

William of Saint-Amour, De periculis novissimorum temporum

De periculis novissimorum temporum, by William of Saint-Amour Edited and translated by Guy Geltner Peeters Publishing, 2008 ISBN: 978-90-429-2010-1 Vowing to lead a life of voluntary poverty in imitation of Christ, the medieval mendicant orders swept across Latin Christendom with their zealous preaching and exemplary charity. But their golden age was short-lived. As they grew […]

Books about Medieval England

Here is a listing of recent books about medieval England: Tributes to Kathleen L. Scott: English Medieval Manuscripts and their Readers Edward the Confessor: The Man and the Legend Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance Two Medieval Outlaws: Eustace the Monk and Fouke Fitz Waryn Anselm & Becket: Two Canterbury Saints’ Lives Gildas’s De Excidio Britonum […]

Books about the Crusades

Here is a listing of new books that deal with the Crusades: Jerusalem in the North: Denmark and the Baltic Crusades, 1100-1522 The Social Structure of the First Crusade The Crusades and the Christian World of the East: Rough Tolerance Crusaders and Crusading in the Twelfth Century Crusaders and Settlers in the Latin East The […]

Seljuk Architecture and Urbanism in Anatolia

Seljuk Architecture and Urbanism in Anatolia By Ali Uzay Peker European Architectural History Network Newsletter, No. 1 (2008) Introduction: This essay provides a guide to the most important Seljuk sites in the city of Konya and offers an overview of Seljuk history and of Seljuk cities in Anatolia. Seljuk is a general name given to the Turcoman […]

The Painted Churches of Northern Moldavia

The Painted Churches of Northern Moldavia By Vlad Bedros European Architectural History Network Newsletter, No.3 (2008) Introduction: When Moldavia joined the Byzantine Commonwealth at the beginning of the fifteenth century, monastic communities, seeking spiritual perfection in isolated valleys or clearings, benefitted from regular donations granted by the orthodox rulers who were eager to replicate the imperial tradition […]

Reading Theology to the Brothers: The Background to St. Anthony’s Opus Dominicale

Reading Theology to the Brothers: The Background to St. Anthony’s Opus Dominicale By Paul Spilsbury Commercium: An Electronic Journal of Franciscan Studies, Vol. 1 (2008) Abstract: Anthony of Padua (c. 1190-1231) was a prominent and influential figure in the Franciscan tradition, yet remains virtually untouched by English-speaking Franciscan scholars of the modern world. The present article is […]

Volcanoes and the Climate Forcing of Carolingian Europe, A.D. 750-950

In the reign of Pippin III, the severe winter of 763–64 provoked famine, and that surely explains the suspension of the major effort by the king to conquer Aquitaine the following summer.

Historical Dictionary of Medieval China

Historical Dictionary of Medieval China By Victor Cunrui Xiong Scarecrow Press, 2009 ISBN: 9780810860537 The crucial period of Chinese history, 220-960, falls naturally into contrasting phases. The first phase, also known as that of “early medieval China,” is an age of political decentralization. Following the breakup of the Han empire, China was plunged into civil […]

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