Archives for December 2014

The Year in Review: 1014

We take a look back at the year that was – but we go back a thousand years to 1014. It was an eventful year, with the death of kings, the crowning of an emperor, two major battles and a tsunami hitting parts of Europe.

Ancient and Medieval Hoards discovered in Croatia

A demonstration of metal detecting equipment in Croatia has led to the uncovering of hoards of coins and artefacts that date back to the ancient and medieval periods.

Castle Planning in the Fourteenth Century

Although in this paper it is proposed to follow trends in domestic demands and observe their effect on the form of the castle, this aspect should not properly be treated in isolation and if little mention is made of the military element it must be remembered that this is, nevertheless, always present.

Magic in the Cloister

St. Augustine’s Abbey can be viewed as a centre of magical studies in the late Middle Ages because of the large and diverse collection of magic texts present in the library, the number of monks interested in unorthodox studies and the ways in which magic was integrated within the monastic context

Netflix’s Marco Polo – Review of Season 1

The Netflix original series Marco Polo premiered on December 12th to mostly negative reviews. Here is why you should ignore them and give it a try.

The Vikings and Genetics

What can DNA tells us about the Vikings?

Steamy Syrian Scandals: Matthew Paris on the Templars and Hospitallers

Matthew Paris is a major source of information on the Templars and Hospitallers. But we ask: ‘How far can this Mad Monk be trusted? Was he in the pay of the Evil Emperor?’

This Week in Medieval Manuscript Images

We begin with several images depicting the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, which took place of December 29, 1170, followed by another 30 interesting medieval manuscript images that have been tweeted out in the last seven days.

Shaping a Saint’s Identity: The Imagery of Thomas Becket in Medieval Italy

This article sets out to trace the visual responses to the sainthood of Thomas of Canterbury outside of his original cultural context, namely in Italy, where his cult was readily received, integrated and modified.

The Lion’s Roar: Anger in the Dispute between Henry II and Thomas Becket

The purpose of this paper will be to analyze representations of anger in the sources on Becket’s life and the place of anger in the dispute, and to assess what that suggests about understandings and uses of anger in twelfth-century English politics.

Flying over the Middle Ages

The growing popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles, such as quadcopters, is leading to some spectacular videos of medieval sites.

The Best of for 2014

The most popular features of the year on – and some of our personal favourites…

The Hundred Years War and the Making of Modern Europe

English and French nationalism were forged through centuries of bitter military rivalry that carved out a new European, and ultimately global, order.

Top 10 Medieval News Stories of 2014

This year offered medievalists many interesting stories, with scholars starting to unlock the secrets of medieval artifacts.

Sweotol Tacen / A Clear Token: The Anglo-Saxon Tacen and the Medieval Donor’s Model

The Anglo-Saxon patron often commissioned images in which he or she bears a visual rendering of his or her donation.

God is Great, God is Good: Medieval Conceptions of Divine Goodness and the Problem of Hell

The medieval notions of goodness and hell seem to make God more a sadistic torturer than a caring parent.

Horticultural Landscapes in Middle English Romance

Gardens played a significant role in the lives of European peoples living in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

A Christmas Crib as a Meek Heart of the Late Mediaeval Christian

In the summer of 2013 the Rijksmuseum acquired a rare Late Gothic Christmas Crib (c. 1510-20). In the 15th century tangible aids – devotionalia – were promoted to support meditation, to accomplish as it were a link between God and the soul of the believer.

2015 Medieval Art Calendar for Sale

Stefan Sauer is selling a calendar based on initials on Codex Gottwicensis 235, a 15th-century illustrated manuscript created by an anonymous monk from Stift Göttweig, Austria.

Bah! Humbug! Complaining about holiday gifts 1600 years ago

Christmas has long been associated with gift giving, but one suspects that Asterius of Amasea would not like seeing all those presents under the Christmas tree!

What’s the forecast for 2015? A Medieval Twelve Days of Christmas forecast reveals all

Is a BBQ summer on the cards in 2015? Will farmers make hay next year? And is there a political scandal on the election horizon? Well take a peek out of the window with the University of Reading’s Medieval Weather Forecast guide on the 12 days of Christmas and you’ll find out!

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