Archives for November 2014

The Viking (1928): ‘Where Norse maids wear rather short skirts and cute winged metal helmets’

For its corny helmet and scantily clad damsels in distress with matching horns or wings, it asks the right question humanity has been asking from the beginning.

Latin Grammar in the Cathedral School: Fulbert of Chartres, Bonipert of Pécs, and the Way of a Lost Priscian Manuscript

The starting point of the classical tradition in medieval Hungary is marked by a letter written by Bishop Fulbert of Chartres in Northern France to Bishop Bonipert of Pécs in Southern Hungary.

The Morality of Misogyny: The Case of Rustico Filippi, Vituperator of Women

At the outset of his influential study on Rabelais, Mikhail Bakhtin makes an interesting observation. The scholar dedicates several pages to detail how the French author’s critical reception changed over time. Bakhtin illustrates how the attempt to comprehend an author can frequently be stymied by the cultural changes that occur across the centuries.

The Anglo-Saxon runic poem: a critical reassessment

I consider the runic poem in its most basic form, as a runic alphabet, and compare its runes and rune-names with the other Anglo-Saxon runic material collected in the Thesaurus.

Fossil Sharks’ Teeth: A Medieval Safeguard Against Poisoning

In the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, particularly between the thirteenth and the sixteenth century, the most common way of eliminating one’s enemy was by poisoning his food or drink at a banquet.

The Lindisfarne Gospels: A Living Manuscript

This article questions how current and previous owners have marked the Lindisfarne Gospels, created 1,300 years ago. Their edits, which would be frowned upon today, are useful for historians to understand how the Gospels have been valued by previous owners and thus why they are so treasured today.

‘Hag of the Castle:’ Women, Family, and Community in Later Medieval Ireland

In a letter written as part of his work for the Irish Department of the Ordnance Survey in 1840, Thomas O’Conor recorded his reaction to a “Sheela- na-gig” sculpture—the image of a naked woman shown exposing her genitalia (fig. 1)—that he saw on the old church at Kiltinane, Co. Tipperary.

What Is Your Middle Earth IQ?

Are you an expert on the vast and timeless worlds crafted by Tolkien?

‘Archaic Mark’: A Remarkable Manuscript Treasure or a Modern-Day Counterfeit?

Is this miniature codex is a valuable fourteenth-century manuscript of the Gospel According to Mark—or a clever modern counterfeit?

Circa 1000

Three Yale University faculty members discussing ‘Circa 1000,’ a graduate course that looks at happenings worldwide at the turn of the 10th century.

Connecting Roman and Medieval Climate and Historical Change: Five Challenges for the 21st Century

Michael McCormick discusses use of latest tools of climate science, human genetics and computer science to better understand the history of Medieval Europe and Rome,

Medievalism on the Move: Open Access in the Academy

Panel discussion held at the 29th International Conference on Medievalism, on October 24, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Reflections on the Renaissance Papacy

In popular culture, the Renaissance papacy (c. 1417-1534) seems an intriguing mixture of highs and lows.

Five new books on the Middle Ages worth a look!

War, famine, murder, sex and politics – what you can read about from the Middle Ages!

Strange Bedfellows : The Rise of the Military Religious Orders in the Twelfth Century

Although they were devout members of a pacifist religion, they were also its dominant military force. By the most basic tenants of Christianity, the Military Orders should never have existed.

Horrible history: where did the most grisly moments in British history take place?

Find out about the most gruesome moments in British history, and the locations where they took place!

Five Books to Start Your Journey Back to the Middle Ages

Maybe you’re just at the beginning of this love affair with the past, or you know someone who is, and you’re looking for a place to get a good overview of the period before you dive right in.

Book Review: Knight of Jerusalem: a Biographical Novel of Balian d’Ibelin

Knight of Jerusalem is not simply an academic work of history dressed up as fiction – it is a well-plotted, tightly written tale that vividly depicts the life and times of an intrinsically interesting historical figure.

CONFERENCES: The Stellinga, the Saxon Elite, and Carolingian Politics

This is my summary of a paper presented at the Institute of Historical Research on the causes of the Stellinga uprising in the Carolingian period.

A Treasury of Virtues – Sayings of the Caliph ‘Ali

‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 40 H/661 AD) was one of the most important figures in early Islamic history.

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