Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle - photo by James Turner

While Caernarvon was the ultimate manifestation of Anglo-Norman occupied Wales wrought into stone and mortar, Pembroke was its beating heart. Today ensconced upon a spur of rock, the Cleddau estuary flowing gently by, Pembroke Castle stands still, its long shadow silent and serene.

Hostages in Old English Literature

Byrhtnoth - photo by Andrew Barclay / Flickr

Hostages in Old English Literature examines the various roles that hostages have played in Anglo-Saxon texts, specifically focusing on the characterization of Æscferth in The Battle of Maldon.

Can We Talk About Religion, Please? Medievalism’s Eschewal of Religion, and Why it Matters

Photo by Geraint Rowland / Flickr

With this essai I would like to advocate for a reconsideration of religion as an essential topic for medievalism studies.

Medieval Empires

Medieval Empires

Throughout the medieval era, many multi-ethnic states emerged – some lasting for just a generation, while others would endure for centuries. Here is our list of twenty empires from the Middle Ages, starting with the most successful.

Final Month to See British Library’s Magna Carta Exhibit

Magna Carta, London copy, 1215, on display in Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy. Photography © British Library. Cotton Augustus II. 106

It’s August, and summer has begun its inevitable wind down. Unfortunately, this means the British Library’s spectacular exhibit, Magna Carta: Law, Liberty and Legacy is winding down as well. This is the final month to catch a glimpse of the famous 800 year old document before the exhibit comes to a close on September 1st.

Early Norse Navigation Tools

viking ship sail

These two pieces of navigation equipment were at the time as cutting edge as the iphone, the ipad, and the GPS is today. They allowed the sailors to navigate large stretches of open water without sight of land and successfully reach their destination as safely as possible.

Hildegard’s Cosmos and Its Music: Making a Digital Model for the Modern Planetarium

Margot Fassler lecture

The work reported on in this talk is a collaborative effort involving forces performative, scholarly, and technological. Because of the way Hildegard describes her understanding of the cosmos in the treatise Scivias, the model unfolds in two acts.

Lughnasa and Lammas: Summer Holidays Lost and Found Again

John Linnell - The Harvest Cradle 1859

For centuries two holidays were celebrated by neighboring peoples on the same day. The people were the Celts and the Anglo-Saxons, and their holidays were Lughnasa and Lammas respectively.

‘Wine-contamination’ of the Adriatic: Examples of punishing wine smugglers from medieval Dubrovnik

Wine in the 16th century

Strict import-export regulations of the medieval Dubrovnik (Ragusean) authorities included also a rather rigid control of the wine trade.

Which Baltic God/Goddess Are You?

Olaus Magnus - On the Heathen Lithuanians Idolatrous  (1555)

Have you ever wondered who were/are the last pagans in Europe? Baltic Gods were never forgotten. Lithuanians have so many however who from the main ones do you resemble the most – Perkūnas, Žemyna, Vėlinas, Ragutis, Milda or Laima?

The Viking Age: A Reader

viking age reader

I can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone who is interested in Vikings, especially those who are creating classes or researching. Good primary source collections are hard to find, and this is definitely one of them.

Places to See: Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle. Photo by Medievalists.net

I spent a soggy, but fun filled Sunday in Sussex at Arundel Castle during International Joust Week July 21-26th. Even without the jousting, the castle is well worth the visit if you are looking for a quick day trip outside of London. History of Arundel Castle The castle’s history dates back to the Norman period. […]

Fish commoditization and the historical origins of catching fish for profit

A Brixham trawler by William Adolphus Knell,

Herring trade expanded in the late 1300s with the introduction in Holland of an improved curing process that allowed the salting of fresh herring in barrels at sea.

Management of penile tumours during the Byzantine period

Paul of Aegina, as pictured in a 16th-century woodcut.

In the Byzantine period, surgery appeared to have been highly developed, as one may conclude from the surgical material included mainly in the works of Oribasius of Pergamus and Paul of Aegina.

Performing the Seven Deadly Sins: How One Late-Medieval English Preacher did it

British Library Yates Thompson 21   f. 165   Seven Deadly Sins

Some preachers, it is true, shunned certain of the rhetorical embellishments characteristically recommended in the artes predicandi.

Medieval Jews on Christianity

medieval Jewish manuscript - British Library Additional 14761   f. 35   The Simple Son

Whatever medieval Jews said, or thought, about Christianity, one may be sure that very little of it was good.

Menstruation: curse or blessing?

Zodiac sign of Virgo in a 15th century manuscript - Photo by e-Codices / Flickr

Menstruation in our lifetime has been commonly called ‘The Curse’. Our sisters in the 16th century, however, welcomed this cleansing as a fertility sign from God, through the moon that determined the tides of all that flowed on the earth.

Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle - Photo from Flickr

Stirling Castle is intimately entwined with the history of Scotland and her monarchy, a significance which is recognized and presented throughout its numerous components with admirable vigour.

Explore the Medieval Jewish Trail in Winchester

Winchester medival Jewish trail map

Visitors to Winchester have a new way to explore the English city’s medieval Jewish past. Winchester City Council and the University of Winchester have launched a new city trail telling the story of this community.

Maria the Prophetess: Mother of Alchemy

Engraving depicting Maria Prophetissima from Michael Maier's book Symbola Aurea Mensae Duodecim Nationum (1617).

One of the first female scientists, Maria, the Jewess also referred to as Maria the Prophetissa and Maria, Sister of Moses, whose inventions and designs of equipment are used in laboratories today.

BOOK REVIEW: The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau

The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau

Joanna Stafford, our intrepid ex-Dominican super sleuth is at it again. This time, she’s hurled straight into the midst of plotting and deception at Henry VIII’s court.

Medieval Studies and STEM

Medieval Studies and STEM

Here are 15 ways that medieval studies and STEM are working together.

What Is Medieval European Literature?

medieval armenian manuscript - Photo by Retlaw Snellac Photography / Flickr

It is a great pleasure for us to publish the first issue of Interfaces. A Journal of Medieval European Literatures, offering free availability for all.

An Eye for Odin? Divine Role-Playing in the Age of Sutton Hoo

Sutton Hoo helmet at the British Museum

This paper presents some new observations concerning the construction of the Sutton Hoo helmet, as a point of entry to a wider discussion of pre-Christian religious and ideological links across Scandinavia.

Rich and Powerful: The Image of the Female Deity in Migration Age Scandinavia

Sif (1909) by John Charles Dollman

I believe serious blunders have been made concerning the identification of males and females. It
is simply inadmissable to interpret any figure with open, shoulder-length hair as female when all the evidence for the centuries in question shows females have only been depicted with long hair tied in the Irish ribbon knot.

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