Archives for October 2014

Þur sarriþu þursa trutin: Monster-Fighting and Medicine in Early Medieval Scandinavia

This paper seeks evidence among our extensive Scandinavian mythological texts for an area which they seldom discuss explicitly: the conceptualisation and handling of illness and healing.

Slippery When Wet: Madness and Eroticism in the Countess Elizabeth Bathory

The Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a 16th century Hungarian noblewoman, is purported to have killed and bathed in the blood of 600 virgin girls

Before the Dawn: Monks and the Night in Late Antiquity and Early Medieval Europe

Various aspects of daily monastic life prepared monks for this primary nightly labor, the emotional and psychological effects of which were probably further heightened by physiological reactions to chronic sleep deprivation.

Paranormal Activity in Medieval England: The Ghosts of Byland Abbey

And while he was going back along the road heard a terrifying voice yelling far behind him, as if it were on a mountain. A moment later it yelled again but this time nearer. A third time he heard the voice shouting at the crossroads ahead of him, and then he saw a pale horse.

Which Historical Figure Are You?

Find out how good you would be as a world ruler. Or some random significant person.

The (Attempted) Alliance of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Valdemar II of Denmark: the Infante Fernando’s Marriage Reconsidered

This paper presents the evidence for a lost marriage alliance between Castile and Denmark, contextualizes the marriage within the larger framework of Alfonso VIII’s international relations, and finally, demonstrates that the match can help to underscore the importance of crusading lineages in the affairs of the Castilian royal family.

Memento Mori: Medieval Images of Death

In honour of All Hallows’ Eve, let’s take five minutes to look at how death was expressed in art in the late Middle Ages.

How to Make a Medieval Costume in Under Four Minutes

Luke Seinen shows how to make a medieval costume in under 4 minutes! Just in case you needed something to wear for Halloween. Plus more videos on medieval costumes and looks.

The Re-medievalization of Halloween

From punkin chunkin to the newfound popularity of witches, the festival of Halloween is reaching back to the Middle Ages for its traditions. Is this a good thing for medievalists?

Edward II and his Children

Kathryn Warner, author of Edward II: The Unconventional King, takes a look at the English king’s three sons and two daughters.

Bede’s Temple as History

Another IHR paper, this time, a talk given about Bede’s writing and his interest in the image of the Temple and its relation to Christianity. This paper also examined how Bede’s views shifted over time. How did Bede view Judaism? Was he truly ambivalent?

An aspect of Alcuin: ‘Tuus Albinus’ – peevish egotist? or parrhesiast?

In over 270 letters from about a decade and a half, alcuin of york (†804) informed, advised, consoled and admonished contemporaries, reacted to current events, and maintained a circle of friends and partners in reciprocal prayer that extended from Jerusalem to Ireland and from rome to salzburg. Alcuin left york in the 780s to become a friend and chief advisor to Charlemagne.

What is the Splendor Solis?

The most beautiful and well known illuminated alchemical manuscript in the world.

This Week in Medieval Manuscript Images

Over 40 medieval manuscript images found on Twitter this week – including some to inspire you to get spooky for Halloween, try a maze, or build Noah’s Ark!

The Gold of the Staffordshire Hoard

Research carried out on the Staffordshire Hoard has revealed that Anglo-Saxon goldsmiths were sophisticated enough to make gold appear more golden.

Which Assassin’s Creed Character Are You?

Assassin’s Creed and its sequels have created some memorable characters. Which assassin would you be?

Top 10 Most Famous Swords of the Middle Ages

Our list of the top 10 swords – real and fictional – from the Middle Ages

Mythical Millenaries: The Victorian Quest for the Historical Alfred

Now that we are learning to hear Asser’s voice not through the ears of the Victorians, but with our own ears, with no reason at all to fear the voice of an intelligent and sophisticated hagiographer, we will at last be hearing a voice which Alfred himself heard.

The Anglo-Saxon War-Culture and The Lord of the Rings: Legacy and Reappraisal

Considering the scarcity of the Anglo-Saxon influence in modern war-literature in general, one may wonder and stop by a work like The Lord of the Rings or Silmarillion, which few would be willing to categorise as serious war-literature.

The Goddess Frig: Reassessing an Anglo-Saxon Deity

The world of the Anglo-Saxon gods will forever remain a mystery to us, existing just beyond the reach of written history.

‘Sons of athelings given to the earth’: Infant Mortality within Anglo-Saxon Mortuary Geography

For 20 or more years early Anglo-Saxon archaeologists have believed children are under-represented in the cemetery evidence.

The Ebstorf Map: tradition and contents of a medieval picture of the world

The Ebstorf Map, the largest medieval map of the world whose original has been lost, is not only a geographical map.

Ghost Commandery: Shaping Local Templar Identity in the Cartulary of Provins

What makes the case of this cartulary particularly interesting is that the Templar house in Provins was not established until 1193, sixty years after André’s gift. In 1133, there were no Templars living in Champagne at all.

Classical trends in Byzantine and Western Art in the 13th and 14th centuries

During the last two centuries before the Renaissance of the arts in Italy in the 15th century, different waves of classical trends marked the artistic creation of both Byzantine and western worlds.

Beyond the Border. The aristocratic mobility between the kingdoms of Portugal and León (1157- 1230)

During the reigns of Fernando II and Alfonso IX, the kingdom of León became home to several Portuguese aristocrats. Their relations with the Galician and Leonese nobility helped them create many cross-border ties and a powerful network of family-based relationships which heavily influenced the course of the main political conflicts of this period.

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