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The Medieval Magazine (Volume 2 Issue 22)

This issue looks at where King Harold fell, an Anglo-Saxon cemetery, London in 7 drinks, and much more!

Isabelle of Angoulême: Jezebel of the Middle Ages?

Matthew Paris (d.1259) said in one of his chronicles of the history of England that, ‘she ought to be called a wicked Jezebel, rather than Isabel.’

Did Medieval People Believe in King Arthur?

By Danièle Cybulskie If you’ve ever had your doubts that King Arthur was a real, living, breathing human being at some point, you’re not alone. Despite the many, many histories that “prove” that Arthur was definitely this or that – tenacious Briton, Roman military man, leader of hunky Sarmatians – the evidence is pretty thin. […]

The Medieval Magazine (Volume 2 Issue 21)

This issue looks at Point Rosee, The Battle of the Bastards, remedies for infertility, and much more! Inside this issue: About the Festival of Archaeology There’s a Lot of Dirt: How Archaeology Works How the Battle of the Bastards Squares with Medieval History Vikings Unearthed: A response to the Point Rosee Documentary Lady Arabella Stuart Medieval Tournament […]

Can you move in armour? An Experiment in Mythbusting

In this video we have recreated the deeds of the famous knight Jean le Maingre, known as Boucicaut, which were put in writing in the early 15th century.

Medieval Mysteries: Miscellanies and Mix Tapes

By Danièle Cybulskie In thinking this week about the medieval mysteries we’ll never solve, it struck me that one of the most fun questions that I – and everyone else who loves medieval books – ponder is why the particular stories in them are put together the way they are. Most medieval manuscripts that aren’t […]

Book Review: Assassin’s Creed: Trial by Fire

By Danièle Cybulskie Assassin’s Creed: Trial by Fire, a compilation of the first five comic books in the new Assassin’s Creed series, comes from the same writers that brought us the immensely popular Kill Shakespeare, a comic series that playfully wreaked havoc with Shakespeare’s canon, while drawing in a whole new audience to his plays. Written […]

Christine the Astonishing

By Danièle Cybulskie This week, I read the story of Christine the Astonishing for the first time (in Medieval Writings on Female Spirituality, translated by Elizabeth Spearing), and it struck me that while it’s meant to be the story of a holy woman’s life, it also gives us an intimate look at what was likely […]

Anne of Bohemia, Queen of England

By Susan Abernethy King Richard II’s first wife Anne has the distinction of being the only English queen from Bohemia. The marriage was a by-product of the schism within the Papacy in the fourteenth century. When the young Anne came to England, one of the chroniclers described her as a “scrap of humanity”. Anne was […]

The Fantastical Shoemaker and the Head of Death

By Danièle Cybulskie This week, I came across one of those great medieval stories that is just too good not to share: “The Fantastical Shoemaker of Constantinople”. This twisted tale comes from Walter Map’s twelfth-century miscellany De Nugis Curialium or Courtiers’ Trifles, and all quotes you’ll find below come from Richard Sowerby‘s reader-friendly translation in the great collection […]

Saint Eadburh, Daughter of King Edward the Elder

By Susan Abernethy Eadburh, daughter of King Edward the Elder and grand-daughter of King Alfred the Great, was dedicated to the Nunnaminster at Winchester when she was a young child. The only contemporary historical evidence regarding her is a Winchester charter dated from 939 in which she was the beneficiary of land at Droxford in […]

Jeanne de Valois, Queen of France and Duchess of Berri

By Susan Abernethy Jeanne de Valois was the daughter, sister, and wife of kings. She was born with disabilities and suffered through a miserable marriage. In the end she became devoted to and died in a religious life, eventually becoming a saint. Jeanne was known as Jeanne de France, Jeanne de Valois and Joan de […]

The Poetry of Trauma: On the Crécy Dead

By Danièle Cybulskie Time and again, I’ve heard medieval knights referred to as “killing machines”, bred for a lifetime of battle and destruction. Difficult as it may be, it’s critical to for us to remember that every one of the men mired in mud and blood on the battlefield was not a machine, but a […]

Epistolae: Letters of Medieval Women

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.

The Ideal Medieval Hospital: St. John of Jerusalem

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

Grief and Spiritual Crisis in the Middle Ages

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.

When Bread Grew on Trees

Medieval people ate a lot of bread. A lot. They ate pounds of bread every day, and even used it as plates – or trenchers – which sounds both practical and delicious (although trencher bread was usually stale).

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