Archives for February 2013

Byzantine wine press discovered in Jaffa

Archaeological excavations in the Israeli city of Jaffa have uncovered what was likely a wine press that dates back to the Byzantine era.

The Saga of a Viking Age Longhouse in Iceland

A documentary about the excavation of a Viking Age longhouse in Iceland. Can historical texts and sagas help archaeology. Created by Jesse Byock and Adam Fish.

The Story of Byzantine

This short documentary tells the story of Byzantine.

Modern finance in the Middle Ages

In this short video, Professor Adrian Bell of the University of Reading discusses the parallels between financial crises today and those 800 years ago – including credit crunch, sovereign default, foreign exchange and rate rigging.

Lotions and Potions: Medical Books from the Middle Ages

Medicine existed long before it was a science taught at medieval universities. This lecture takes the audience to the eleventh and twelfth centuries, when the first medical handbooks were translated from Arabic into Latin, the learned language of the West.

Horses for Courses? Religious Change and Dietary Shifts in Anglo-Saxon England

The spread of Christianity across England over the course of the Anglo-Saxon period brought new worldviews, ways of acting and dietary habits.

“A Furore Normannorum, Libera Nos Domine!” A Short History of Going Berserk in Scandinavian Literature and Heavy Metal

The following essay aims to portray the history of the motif from Old Norse literature to its presence in today’s culture and particularly in heavy metal music. I aim to show how the motif is used to act as both a channel for aggression and as social criticism.

The historical basis of Lycanthropism or: where do Werewolves come from?

Werewolves, Lycanthropes or Man-Wolves appear in many German, French and Scandinavian stories. Nowadays there exists an image of these creatures, which combines almost all the aspects of the werewolf-myths around the world, that was brought to us by Hollywood.

To Be A Prince In The Fourth/Tenth-Century Abbasid Court

This paper explores one aspect of the personal world that constituted the fourth/ tenth century caliphal court by focusing on the life and career of the Abbasid prince Abu al-ʿAbbas, eldest son of the caliph al-Muqtadir (AH 295–320/CE 908–932).

“In Muliere Exhibeas Virum”: Women, Power and Authority in Early Twelfth Century Anglo-Norman Chronicles

This thesis analyses the relationship of women with power and authority within the context of the evidence provided by early twelfth-century Anglo-Norman chronicles between 1095 and 1154.

Animals on Trial

The history of animals in the legal system sketched by Evans is rich and resonant; it provokes profound questions about the evolution of jurisprudential procedure, social and religious organization and notions of culpability and punishment, and funda-mental philosophical questions regarding the place of man within the natural order.

Kings and Courtesans: A Study of the Pictorial Representation of French Royal Mistresses

As France emerged from the Middle Ages, the monarchy began to establish itself as a more stable institution and a curious development took place: the French kings began to install official mistresses at court. With this official status these women became parallel members of the royal family. They lived like queens, with various estates granted to them by the kings.

Faerie Folklore in Medieval Tales: An Introduction

Defining the term ‘faerie’ is not easy; some definitions include only specific, pre-Christian types of mythological creatures while other definitions include all of the spirits, angels and supernatural animals as well as the souls of the dead. I will take a middle road and include the spirits and the souls of the dead, since the dead and the faeries have an intimate connection in the folklore of the British Isles.

Scotland’s Pope: Benedict XIII

Scotland’s Pope: Benedict XIII J. H. Baxter (Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University ofSt. Andrews)  Scot’s Magazine (1929)  Abstract In the latter half of the month of August, five hundred years ago, a short, simple and significant ceremony took place in the papal palace on the rocky peninsula of Peñiscola, that miniature Gibraltar […]

Singing the Self: the Autobiography of the fifteenth-century German singer and composer Johannes von Soest

Johannes von Soest (also referred to as Steinwart or Steinwert) was a German singer, composer and poet. He is the author of a vernacular autobiography in couplets which is not only one of the few examples of late medieval German autobiography but also one of the very few surviving autobiographical documents written by a musician in this period.

Monarchy and nobility in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099-1131: establishment and origins

The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, established by the victorious crusaders in Palestine in July 1099, was one of the first colonial societies of the Middle Ages.

Why did the English people stop eating horses in the Middle Ages?

People living in Anglo-Saxon England were turned off the idea of eating horses once they became Christian as they believed it was ‘pagan’ food, argues a new research paper.

The Islamic Scholar Who Gave Us Modern Philosophy

Abū al-Walīd Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Rushd—or Averroës, as he was known to Latin readers—was born in 1126 at the far western edge of the Islamic world, in Córdoba, Spain.

Mary of Guelders, Queen of Scotland

Mary was born c. 1434, the daughter of Arnold, Duke of Guelders and Catherine of Cleves, a great aunt of Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII of England.

The Cone of Africa . . . Took Shape in Lisbon

The year that Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic and Isabel and Ferdinand expelled the Jews from Spain, an unheralded event took place. A cartographer in Lisbon, Portugal, drew an amazing map detailing the coasts of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and western Africa.

Thieves of Pleasure: A vicious fraternal war rewards Alfonso VI with the artistic and poetic treasures of al-Andalus

As the balance of power began to shift from Muslim to Christian, a power struggle erupted among Christian rulers that would continue for generations, even as the light of Arabic poetry burned bright enough to influences centuries of Western verse.

What was the Investiture Controversy a Controversy About?

This thesis will aim to demonstrate that the Investiture Controversy was primarily a clash originating from fifth century ideas which were put into practice and developed by an eleventh century papacy.

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