This year marks the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare (1564-1616). The British Library has honoured his contribution to English literature and the stage in a celebratory exhibition that runs until September 6th. British Library curators, Julian Harrison and Zoë Wilcox, have crafted an impressive exhibit that covers Shakespeare’s importance in ten acts.
‘This is a vile fish of no value; therefore cook it the way you want.’ ~ Liber de Coquina, a 14th century cookbook.
Take this quiz and find out where you’d live in Westeros…unless you’re part of the Night’s Watch of course.
In a world where religion played a far greater role in society than it does in the modern day, it is no surprise that those living in the medieval period desired a close association with the church. Nowhere is this association clearer than with the aristocracy of the time.
Like a lot of historians, I’m hugely interested in reading primary sources – the words of medieval people themselves – but it can often be difficult to find them. Lucky for us, Dr. Joan Ferrante and her team have made a website that features letters to and from medieval women, all translated into English, all for free.
Let’s take five minutes to look at what may be the most famous hospital of the Middle Ages: The Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem
This week we take a look at crime in the Middle Ages, offering five accounts of murder from medieval Oxford as well as the strange history behind the tale of the Pied Piper.
A civilized and intelligent man should choose, in the city as well as the country, the place most advantageous for the time of the year, pleasant, delightful, charming where he may build, where he may devote his efforts to farming, where he may relax with his artistic interests, where he may, in sum, commune with the gods themselves, an easy accomplishment for a man of the greatest integrity and learning.
Depending on where you lived, there might be wild boar, red deer, hares, red squirrel and other creatures in the forests to hunt for food, that is unless they were in a royal forest and you didn’t have the king’s permission to hunt there.
DH projects seem to be springing out of the proverbial ground like so many mushrooms over the last few years.
One of the best presentations I saw at the International Congress on Medieval Studies this year was by Erik Kwakkel from Leiden University.
Dr. Lloyd Ridgeon talks about the role of Sufi women in the medieval period. Ridgeone examines positive and negative portrayals of Sufi women in a wide range of texts.
This week we start taking looking back at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, with reports on Scott Bruce’s paper ‘Imagining Subterranean People and Places in the Middle Ages’ and Erik Kwakkel speaking about his work in online media. Plus Tintagel Castle, dancing, Marie de France, Krakens and more on Anne of Brittany.
The medievalism of the FX television series Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014) is not inherently obvious. Set in Northern California, the series follows a fictional outlaw motorcycle club (MC) modeled on real gangs including the Hells Angels. Critics, fans, and creators alike discuss the series as an extended adaptation of Hamlet, and the broad narrative of the series is indeed a family tragedy.
Anne of Brittany was born in the Castle of Nantes on January 25, 1477. A sister named Isabeau was born a few years later. Her father was Duke Francis II of Brittany and her mother was Marguerite, sister of the Comte de Foix.
London is an old city, with over 2,000 years of history under its belt. When did London have its first mayor? Who were some of Londons best loved, most reviled, and scandalous mayors from days gone by? The role of mayor has a long and rich history going back over 800 years to the reign of Richard the Lionheart (1157-1199). We’re hoping back in time to take a look at three of London’s more memorable mayors.
As medievalists gather in Kalamazoo, Michigan for the International Congress on Medieval Studies, we offer tips and reminisces about the largest conference related to the Middle Ages.
Those who have ever suffered similar misfortunes can judge from their own experiences how great my agitation and anxiety were at the moment.
Existential crises and questions of faith in times of hardship are not modern phenomena. Medieval people routinely questioned their faith, most poignantly when it came to death.
A talk about the famous tale of Alexander the Great’s exploits, The Alexander Romance. The story was retold in numerous versions, and many different languages, from the fourth to the sixteenth centuries and was a popular romance during the Middle Ages.
Our review of Toni Mount’s fascinating look at medicine in the Middle Ages in – Medieval Medicine: Its Mysteries and Science by Toni Mount.
This week’s issue explores a 15th century astrological text and the practical advice it gives. Read also about cats, Seljuqs, King Arthur, Dante and Viking runestones.
Are you wondering which days it might be best not to get out of bed? In the Middle Ages they wondered that as well, and made use of astrology and signs from the heavens to help them figure this out. A helpful writer from the 15th century even made a list of ‘Perilous Days’