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Archives for October 2015

Gargoyles: Mysterious Monsters of the Middle Ages

I love gargoyles. While there are so many beautiful pieces of sculpture that have survived the Middle Ages, like so many people, I’m drawn to those strange and ugly funny faces, not least of all because I can’t figure out what they’re for.

Celtic Mythology in the Arthurian Legend

The aim of this thesis is to find out whether there are some aspects, themes or symbols of the pagan Celtic mythology that appear in the Arthurian legend and if so, what role they play there and to what extent they influence the legend.

Sacrificial Magic and the Twofold Division of the Irish Ritual Year

The historical development of St. Martin’s Day in Ireland, and its relationship with the more ancient festival of Samhain is examined, revealing circumstances that saw much of the ritual nature of Samhain being adopted within a Christian context in the medieval period.

Medieval Monsters and the Anxiety towards the Alien

Similar to many monsters or aliens in our current science fiction culture, some medieval monsters could be dangerous and life threatening.

The Mythical Ghoul in Arabic Culture

Though the ghoul has origins as old as the Mesopotamian civilization, Arabs were largely responsible for popularizing it. Because Islam incorporated this being in its doctrine, the ghoul remained a source of fear and mystery in the Arab culture.

‘One Thing I Know’: Werewolves Are a Thing

In his Otia Imperialia, Gervase of Tilbury tells of many strange creatures he knows all about. One of these creatures is the werewolf.

Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen, by Sara Cockerill

Eleanor was a highly dynamic, forceful personality whose interest in the arts, politics and religion were highly influential in her day – and whose temper had even bishops quaking in their shoes.

Agincourt 600 Celebrated with Pomp and Pageantry at Westminster Abbey

600 years ago, the bells of Westminster Abbey rang out as word arrived in London that Henry V had defeated the French in Agincourt. 600 years later to the very day, the bells pealed out again to commemorate a medieval battle where the English were vastly outnumbered but still came home victorious.

How Much Do You Know About Ancient and Medieval Africa?

Test your knowledge and see if you can guess these sites of ancient and medieval Africa

Do You Know The Meaning Of These 21 English Words From Centuries Past?

Quit twattling and take the quiz – these were words spoken in England from the Middle Ages and Early Modern eras…

The End of the Ancient Other World: Death and Afterlife between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Peter Brown gives lectures on ‘Gloriosus Obitus: Death and Afterlife 400-700 AD’ and ‘The Decline of the Empire of God: From Amnesty to Purgatory’

Necromancy from Antiquity to Medieval and Modern Times

In the Old Norse saga there is peculiar technique of divination called utiseta that is practised on burial mounds.

Knights, Rulers, Pilgrims and Writers: Female Characters in Medieval Children’s Books

Female characters in modern children’s literature have been shown to be represented in a stereotypical manner, but gender in historical fiction for children has received little scholarly attention.

Monsters and the Exotic in Early Medieval England

The dominant literate culture of early medieval England – male, European, and Christian – often represented itself through comparison to exotic beings and monsters, in traditions developed from native mythologies, and Classical and Biblical sources.

‘Hann lá eigi kyrr’: Revenants and a Haunted Past in the Sagas of Icelanders

From Antiquity to the present day, the idea of the dead returning to interact with the living has greatly influenced human imagination, and this has been reflected in literature — the product of that imagination.

Grief, Gender and Mourning in Medieval North Atlantic Literature

This dissertation explores the relationship between grief, cultural constructs of gender, and mourning behaviour in the literatures of medieval Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia, and Iceland

Medieval Monastic Library to be recreated online

Durham University and Durham Cathedral have teamed to digitally recreate a medieval monastic library.

The Medieval Magazine: From Samhain to Halloween (Issue 39)

It’s our Halloween issue – we take a look at the medieval origins of the festival.

What Viking Weapon Would You Wield?

Use this quiz to find out what Viking Weapon you would wield in combat!

Celebrating Agincourt 600 at the Wallace Collection

This week, historians around the world are gearing up to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, one of the most significant battles of the Hundred Year’s War.

Agincourt 1415: The Battle

What you haven’t got is an ordered advance – you’ve got complete and total chaos.

Five Myths about the Battle of Agincourt

Anne Curry explains that ‘no other battle has generated so much interest or some much myth’ as the Battle of Agincourt, fought on October 25, 1415.

Medieval Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery

Of the four medieval #placestosee in Lisbon, Jerónimos Monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, was my favourite. The monastery is located in Belém, a suburb of Lisbon, that is famous for the 16th century monastery, as well as for its world famous pastry shop, Pastéis de Belém…

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