10 Gift Ideas for the Medieval History Lover

lewis chessmen gift

If you have a medievalist in the family and are wondering what to get them for the upcoming holiday season, then you have come to the right website! Here are our picks for great gifts that have a little medieval in them.



It’s Black Friday! Here’s a little inspiration for that scholar, blogger, or aspiring writer on your holiday list.

Early Medieval Celtic Art in Britain and Ireland: A Curator’s Perspective

Gundestrup Cauldron. Silver. Gundestrup, northern Denmark, 100 BC–AD 1. © The National Museum of Denmark.

Martin Golberg, Senior Curator at the National Museums of Scotland, travelled to the British Museum to give audiences perspective on the various pieces in the exhibit as well as an introduction to what constitutes “Celtic” art.

Fredegund’s Deadly Dinner


One of the great villains in Gregory of Tours’ The History of the Franks is Fredegund. The sixth-century Merovingian queen was responsible, according to Gregory, for a lengthy list of murders and attempt assassinations, including against her own family members. She even murdered those men who failed to carry out her assassinations.


Book: Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty - Dan Jones

Here are a few recent releases for medievalists hunting for Black Friday books and early Christmas gifts!

Heirs of Genghis Khan

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It all begin in the year 1190 when Genghis Khan managed to bring together the different nomadic tribes of Mongolia in a single, powerful army of 200,000 men.

The Way of St. James (Camino de Santiago): The Temple of the Stars


A documentary about the famous pilgrimage route from the Middle Ages

For the Knyʒhtys tabylle and for the Kyngges tabylle: An Edition of the Fifteenth-Century Middle English Cookery Recipes in London, British Library’s MS Sloane 442

Medieval Cooking - A cook at the stove with his trademark ladle; woodcut illustration from Kuchenmaistrey, the first printed cookbook in German, woodcut, 1485

The present thesis offers an edition of some fifteenth century Middle English cookery recipes, more specifically those of the Sloane 442 manuscript (MS Sloane 442), located at the British Library, London. The cookery recipes of this collection were most likely meant for the tables of the upper classes

If Books Could Talk: Medieval Manuscripts in Iowa

iowa medieval manuscripts

The paper, bindings, bookplates, repairs, stains, handwritten notes, stamps and markings all leave traces that give clues to how they were made, where they have been, and can even tell about the lives of the people who have read them. We’re finding clues and following up with research to find out more.

Deviants, Donestre, and Debauchees: Here be Monsters

The earliest surviving illustration of a donestre consuming an unwary traveller. British Library MS Cotton Vitellius A.XV, fol. 103v (detail), late 10th or early 11th century

The donestre, a mediaeval race of lion-headed polyglots with a taste for human flesh, demonstrate an ancient form of monstrous transgression by their corporeal violation of both social and natural law.

Medieval Oslo recreated on Minecraft

minecraft medieval oslo

A new Youtube video is showing the results of a project by history students at the University of Oslo where they recreate how a city looked in the Middle Ages. ‘Oslo recreated to year 1300′ was made by undergraduates taking part in the university’s Oslo in the Middle Ages course under John McNicol. The project involved […]

The Anglo-Saxon Age: The Birth of England

martin wall anglo saxon england

Martin Wall takes us on a journey into a period that still remains mysterious, into regions and countries long forgotten, such as Mercia and Northumbria.

I’ll Eat My Hat If It’s Richard: Dr. Turi King on the Impact of the Richard III Project

Dr. Turi King giving her talk on the discovery of Richard III at the 'Making the Medieval Relevant' conference

Turi King discusses some of the more humorous circumstances surrounding Richard III’s discovery, the science behind the dig, and the media onslaught that ensued.

Who Would You Be if You Lived in the Middle Ages?


Do you dream of courtly love, castles, and jousting matches? Let’s find out who you would be if you traveled back in time to one of history’s most legendary periods.

The Medieval Magazine: Issue 43 – How to Murder a Byzantine Emperor

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In this week’s issue you can read about Byzantine Emperors, Anglo-Saxon England, Fabliaux, medieval manuscripts and what advice a mother gave to her son in the 9th century.

Is Ashgate Publishing about to close?


With Ashgate Publishing’s American office closing this week, and its British office rumoured to do the same next month, it seems that days are numbered for one of the most important publisher’s in the field of medieval studies.

Free Online course – Exploring English: Magna Carta

magna carta online course

The British Council and FutureLearn are teaming up to offer a free online course on Magna Carta aimed at non-native English speakers. The course, Exploring English: Magna Carta, begins next week.

The Use of the Lead and Line by Early Navigators in the North Sea?

Viking ship depicted in Nordische Fahrten. Skizzen  und Studien (1889)

This paper draws attention to the lack of information as to how early North Sea sailors navigated, particularly during the one thousand year period that followed Roman times.

Making Medievalists Merry!

Medievalists.net - PhD Tote Bag

Making a list and checking it twice? Looking for something for Black Friday? Shopping for a scholar? Check out our shop for some items with a medieval bent!

The Snow Baby: A Cautionary Tale

A snow flake under the microscope - image by ZEISS Microscopy / Flickr

Most of the time, fabliaux are lighthearted and lusty, but occasionally they stray into dark humour, like ‘The Snow Baby’.

Between A Rock And A Hot Place: The Role Of Subjectivity In The Medieval Ordeal By Hot Iron

12th century depiction of an ordeal by hot iron

This article discusses various forms of ordeals, such as the ordeal of hot iron, and analyzes whether, and to what extent, these ordeals could have served as ‘rational’ forms of adjudication during the period.

Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table

medieval tastes

In his new history of food, acclaimed historian Massimo Montanari traces the development of medieval tastes, both culinary and cultural, from raw materials to market and captures their reflections in today’s food trends.

The Struggle is Real: Where are the Medieval Economists?!

Dr. Daniel Curtis presenting his talk at, "Making the Medieval Relevant" at the University of Nottingham.

Another fascinating paper from “Making the Medieval Relevant” was given by Daniel Curtis, a specialist in Social and Economic History, and a professor at the University of Utrecht.

The Sick and The Dead: Medieval Concepts of Illness and Spinal Disability

christina lee talk

There is an often erroneous idea that past societies were a) very sick, and b) didn’t care about the sick. This as I want to show is not the case. I will show examples of illness, but I also want to show that ideas of what is sick and what needs healing are not the same as our own.

Book Talk: Ivory Vikings, by Nancy Marie Brown

Ivory Vikings

Nancy Marie Brown speaking on her new book Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them, at Cornell University on October 15, 2015

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