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What Happens to a Widow Who’s Un-Widowed?

By Danièle Cybulskie One thing that can definitely be said for the modern age is that it is much, much easier to communicate. Now, it’s expected for people to check in with each other on a regular basis, after doing anything remotely dangerous, and after disaster strikes. In the Middle Ages, it was often a […]

Love Between Muslim and Jew in Medieval Spain: A Triangular Affair

We will soon find that, in affairs of love as in so many others, Muslims and Jews in Christian Spain were not in an exclusive dialogue.

Marrying the Mongol Khans: Byzantine Imperial Women and the Diplomacy of Religious Conversion in the 13th and 14th Centuries

Marrying the Mongol Khans: Byzantine Imperial Women and the Diplomacy of Religious Conversion in the 13th and 14th Centuries By AnnaLinden Weller Scandanavian Journal of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, Volume 2 (2016) Concerning this matter also a dread and authentic charge and ordinance of the great and holy Constantine is engraved upon the sacred table […]

History and Fiction in the Kings’ Sagas: The Case of Haraldr Harðráði

History and Fiction in the Kings’ Sagas: The Case of Haraldr Harðráði By Alison Finlay Saga-Book, Volume XXXIX, 2015 Haraldr harðráði was the other invader of England in 1066. If he had been as successful in his confrontation with the English king Harold Godwinsson at Stamford Bridge as he had been just five days earlier […]

The 1381 Rising in Bury St Edmunds: The Role of Leaders and the Community in Shaping the Rebellion

The 1381 Rising in Bury St Edmunds: The Role of Leaders and the Community in Shaping the Rebellion By Joe Chick PONS AELIUS: Newcastle University Postgraduate Forum E-Journal, Edition 13, 2016 Leadership is a central theme in popular perceptions of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. The image of the rebel leader Wat Tyler face-to-face with […]

The Economics of Guilds

The Economics of Guilds By Sheilagh Ogilvie Journal of Economic Perspectives,Volume 28, Number 4, 169–192 (2014) Occupational guilds have been observed for thousands of years in many economies: ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome; medieval and early modern India, Japan, Persia, Byzantium, and Europe; and nineteenth-century China, Latin America, and the Ottoman Empire. Guilds were most prevalent […]

‘To Avoide All Envye, Malys, Grudge and Displeasure’: Sociability and Social Networking at the London Wardmote Inquest, c.1470–1540

‘To Avoide All Envye, Malys, Grudge and Displeasure’: Sociability and Social Networking at the London Wardmote Inquest, c.1470–1540 By Charlotte Berry The London Journal, 42:3, 201-217 In 1540, the men chosen as members of the jury for the Aldersgate wardmote set down a series of regulations ‘for good rule and order to be kepte and observed […]

Holy Blood Devotion in Later Medieval Scotland

Holy Blood devotion in later medieval Scotland By Richard Oram Journal of Medieval History, Volume 43, Issue 5, 562-578 Sometime in 1440 the townsfolk of Aberdeen watched the performance of a ‘certain play of ly Haliblude played at the Windmill Hill’ just outside their burgh. Plays of such a spiritual nature were part of the established […]

What Exactly is the Forum Confessionis? Secrecy and Scandal in Church Governance

What Exactly is the Forum Confessionis? Secrecy and Scandal in Church Governance (12th – 14th Centuries) By Arnaud Fossier Academia.edu First of all, let us establish the difference between secrecy and privacy. In latin, secretum comes from secernere which means to isolate, to distinguish or to put some-thing aside. According to this etymology, «secret» or «secrecy» refers to […]

Encounters with Alcabitius: Reading Arabic Astrology in Premodern Europe

Encounters with Alcabitius: Reading Arabic Astrology in Premodern Europe By Margaret Gaida PhD Dissertation, University of Oklahoma, 2017 The most popular text on astrology in medieval Europe was al-Qabīṣī’s Kitāb al‐mudkhal ilā ṣināʿat aḥkām al‐nujūm, or Alcabitius’s Introductorius ad magisterium iudiciorum astrorum, which was translated from Arabic into Latin by John of Seville in the […]

Beekeeping from Antiquity Through the Middle Ages

Beekeeping from Antiquity Through the Middle Ages By Gene Kritsky Annual Review of Entomology, 2017. 62:249–64 Humans and honey bees have a long history of association. It is likely that proto-humans were interacting with honey bees long before the appearance of Homo sapiens, as chimpanzees will modify branches into a variety of tools to tear into […]

Medical Auxiliaries from the Physician’s Viewpoint in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Medical Texts

Medical auxiliaries from the physician’s viewpoint in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance medical texts: codifying professional skills or establishing a hierarchy? By Dina Bacalexi and Mehrnaz Katouzian-Safadi Scientiae 2017: Disciplines of knowing in the Early Modern World, Apr 2017, Padoue, Italy Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance medical treatises written by physicians contain information pertaining to various categories of […]

The Irish DNA Atlas: Revealing Fine-Scale Population Structure and History within Ireland

The Irish DNA Atlas: Revealing Fine-Scale Population Structure and History within Ireland By Edmund Gilbert, Seamus O’Reilly, Michael Merrigan, Darren McGettigan, Anne M. Molloy, Lawrence C. Brody, Walter Bodmer, Katarzyna Hutnik, Sean Ennis, Daniel J. Lawson, James F. Wilson and Gianpiero L. Cavalle Nature: Scientific Reports 7:17199, 2017 Located off the North-Western seaboard of Europe, Ireland’s geographic situation is […]

St Albans Cathedral Finds Lost Abbot

Archaeologists from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust (CAT) working at St Albans Cathedral have discovered the grave of John of Wheathampstead, a former Abbot of national and international renown, who died in 1465, and whose burial site had remained a mystery up until now. In an extremely rare development, the team also discovered three papal seals, […]

Are These the Bones of Santa Claus?

A new radio carbon analysis of a relic claimed to be part of St. Nicholas’ pelvis suggests the bone could possibly be authentic. Using a micro-sample of bone fragment originally held in Lyon, France, Professor Tom Higham and Dr Georges Kazan, the Directors of the Oxford Relics Cluster at Keble College’s Advanced Studies Centre, tested […]

The Rise and Spectacular Fall of the Templars: An Interview with Dan Jones

Dan Jones gives us the scoop on his new Templar book, Knightfall, and what’s next up his sleeve.

Julian of Norwich: The Quiet Voice of Contemplation

However you encounter Julian, whether for the first time or the hundredth, no doubt you will hear the quiet voice of a lifetime of contemplation.

Book Review: Three Sisters, Three Queens

Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory pulls together the lives of Margaret Tudor, her younger sister Mary, and Katherine of Aragon.

Northmen: The Viking Saga 793-1241 AD

In his new book Northmen: The Viking Saga, 793 – 1241 AD, John Haywood gives an overview of the age of the people we now call Vikings.

Medieval Advice for Students Away From Home

By Danièle Cybulskie Over the last few weeks, countless parents have kissed their sons and daughters and sent them off to study away from home, loading them up with advice and admonitions to take good care of themselves. Hundreds of years ago, medieval parents were loading up their own children with love and advice, too. […]

Fighting to Win: The Art of Sword Combat in The Early Modern Period

By Danièle Cybulskie Usually, writing about the Early Modern Age isn’t my deal, but it was definitely an interesting time. This was the period in which men went around in puffy pants with rapiers at their hips, ready to duel anyone who ridiculed the puffiness of their pants. And if you’re going to wander around […]

The Emergence of “Regnal” Sovereignty at the Turn of the Fourteenth Century

By Andrew Latham Introduction As the 13th century ended, two basic models of sovereignty – understood as the supreme authority to command, legislate and judge – were in circulation in Latin Christendom.  On the one hand, there was the dualist model.  On this view, the societas christiana was divided into two domains or orders – […]

Did Henry VIII Suffer from Head Trauma?

By Danièle Cybulskie It’s a question that pretty much anyone looking at the arc of his life ends up asking: what happened to Henry VIII? From a hugely-admired prince, to a widely-feared king, the transformation in Henry’s behaviour and outlook would seem like the stuff of fiction, but for the fact that history bears out […]

Book Review: A Palace for Our Kings

When I first picked it up, I prepared myself for what I imagined might be a dry read – after all, wasn’t it just going to be a list of comings and goings? But Wright has put together an enjoyable, extremely readable history of a palace that held an important place in medieval history.

How to Make Medieval Artists’ Tools

by Danièle Cybulskie If there’s one thing medieval people loved, it was writing educational treatises. Sometimes, these were a little on the fantastic side – like bestiaries or travel literature – but other times, they were extremely useful how-to manuals. I particularly love the how-to manuals because they can teach us so much about medieval […]

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