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How the medieval past can be used for today’s challenges

Let us, in other words, return to the medieval era…

Rómverja saga: an introduction and a translation

Rómverja saga is an Old Icelandic translation of three Latin works on historical themes from the classical period. In this thesis, I provide the first English translation of this little-known text in the hope that it might prove a resource for scholars interested in the reception of Latin literature in the medieval period.

The archaeology of the Black Rat in Roman to Medieval Europe

David Orton is Lecturer in Zooarchaeology at the University of York

The Making of Flateyjarbók: What we are learning about Iceland’s National Treasure

Made in the last quarter of the 14th century, Flateyjarbók (Book of Flatey) is probably the finest manuscript that Iceland has ever produced.

Medieval Geopolitics: The Invention of the Idea of “Political Community”

How a distinctively post-feudal, later medieval understanding of “political community” evolved in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Large-scale whaling in northern Scandinavia may date back to 6th century

The intensive whaling that has pushed many species to the brink of extinction today may be several centuries older than previously assumed. This view is held by archaeologists from Uppsala and York whose findings are presented in the European Journal of Archaeology.

Cadw to take over Caergwrle Castle

Cadw, the historic environment service of the Welsh Government, has reached an agreement to become the custodian of Caergwrle Castle. This will be forty-third castle in Cadw’s care, but the first to be added in 25 years.

The economy of Norwegian towns c. 1250-1350

The aim of this thesis is to explain why differences arose between Norwegian, Danish and English towns with regard to their economic functions

Echoes of Legend: Magic as the Bridge Between a Pagan Past and a Christian Future in Sir Thomas Malory ‘s Le Morte Darthur

It the goal of this thesis to show how magic and Christianity form a symbiotic relationship in which both are reliant on each other in order to be successful in the medieval romance.

The Female Audience of the Manuscripts of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

This thesis finds evidence that women used the manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales in an informal way, and the books were potentially kept in close proximity at home.

10 Medieval Tips to Solve a Murder

Ten observations made by the Chinese physician Song Ci (1186–1249 AD) on whether or not a person was a victim of homicide.

Campaign for Second Viking Coloring Book is Live on Kickstarter

Help support the creation of Volume 2 of The Viking Coloring Book on Kickstarter.

Stolen Christopher Columbus letter found, returned to Spain

US government officials announced last week the recovery of a 525-year-old copy of Christopher Columbus’ letter describing his discoveries in the Americas.

Medieval Manuscripts: Henry VIII’s personal calendar

The Hours of Henry VIII reveals interesting details of its composition. The calendar is especially rich in images, embellished not only with the traditional pictures of the labors of the months and the signs of the zodiac, but also with vignettes, in the side and bottom margins, illustrating the main feasts cited with the months.

The Vasa: Gustav II Adolf’s Glorious and Doomed Warship

On the 10th of August 1628, the Vasa sank in Stockholm harbour, thus ending the career of the most powerful warship that Sweden had ever seen.

Book Review: Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders

Beyond its incredible, stunning pictures, Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders by Sherry C.M. Lindquist and Asa Simon Mittman, explores the medieval love of monsters in all their glory and complexity in a book that transcends its purpose as an accompaniment to an exhibit – it’s a book in which to lose yourself in your love of medieval manuscripts.

How well do you know Beowulf?

It is one of the most popular epic tales from the Middle Ages. If you have read Beowulf, can you remember what’s missing from these ten passages?

Survival to amputation in pre-antibiotic era: a case study from a Longobard necropolis (6th-8th centuries AD)

This is a remarkable example in which an older male survived the loss of a forelimb in pre-antibiotic era.

Hveiti ok Hunang: Viking Age Icelandic Mead?

This paper will try and draw out the picture of mead in Viking Age Iceland, a picture worth elaborating on due to the importance of Icelandic sources of information for an even larger culture.

All roads lead to Rome: The rescue of Augustine’s library in the 5th century AD

How did Augustine’s writings take their first, crucial steps in a centuries-long journey? How did they succeed in defeating the odds?

‘Viking Age Destruction’ found to have preserved key parts of Scotland’s largest Pictish fort

When one of Scotland’s most powerful Pictish forts was destroyed by fire in the 10th century – a time when Vikings are known to have been raiding the Moray coastline – it brought to a rapid end a way of life which had endured for centuries.

Medieval Youtube: From Byzantine anime to best medieval video games so far this year

Here are ten Youtube videos from the last month that will inform, entertain, and delight medievalists.

Renaissance Woman: The Life of Vittoria Colonna

Ramie Targoff’s Renaissance Woman tells of the most remarkable woman of the Italian Renaissance: Vittoria Colonna, Marchesa of Pescara.

The Architectural Setting of English Romanesque Sculpture

Malcolm Thurlby considers English Romanesque sculpture in the context of its architectural matrix, focusing on specific carved elements such as portals, tympana, capitals, and figural reliefs.

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