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A Most Convenient Relationship: The Rise of the Cat as a Valued Companion Animal

three-medieval-cats

Of all the animals domesticated by humans the cat is one of the most unique.

Holy War – Holy Wrath: Baltic Wars between regulated Warfare and Total Annihilation around 1200

Baltic lands in the Carta Marina

The Baltic crusades of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were in principle aimed at converting infidels and establishing a new Christian plantation in the wilderness, but the contemporary narrative sources repeatedly tell of crusaders systematically chasing down pagans and annihilating them with the sword.

An Approach to Crusading Ethics

Priests Exhorting Crusaders by Gustave Doré

A crusade was a form of holy war, but holy war was itself only one expression of a wider concept, that of sacred violence.

Women and Catharism

Cathar memorial - photo by Delphine Ménard/ Flickr

Participation of women in sustaining and spreading the dualist heresy known as Catharism in Languedoc in the first half of the thirteenth century was greater than the passive role generally assigned to them in medieval society

Japanese medieval trading towns: Sakai and Tosaminato

17th century map of the route from Osaka to Jedo - created by Jacob van Meurs

Trade was essential to the development of urban forms in medieval Japan.

Heavenly Healing or Failure of Faith? Partial Cures in Later Medieval Canonization Processes

The Healing of Palladia by Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian, by Fra Angelico

When thinking of miracles as source material for the conceptions and everyday life of the laity, miracles with remaining symptoms provide an interesting sub-type of a healing miracle.

Medieval Advice for Students Away From Home

Medieval Students

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. […]

The Copernican System: A Detailed Synopsis

Nicolas Copernic, Nicolai Copernici Torinensis De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, libri IV, Nuremberg, Iohannes Petreius, 1543 (R. 69C, Université de Liège)

Dissatisfied with the problems of the geocentric system inherited from Claudius Ptolemy, Nicholas Copernicus began the change from geocentrism to heliocentrism.

The Extent of Indigenous-Norse Contact and Trade Prior to Columbus

voyages_of_the_vikings

The full extent of Norse exploration in North America is a growing field and the extent of their contact and trade with Indigenous Americans is becoming increasingly known.

Kings, Wars, and Duck Eggs: Interpretations of Poetry in Egil’s Saga

Egill Skallagrímsson in a 17th century manuscript of Egils Saga

Although Egil’s Saga is memorable enough for its bloodshed, feuds, and comically disgusting mead-hall scenes, the one characteristic which most distinctly sets it apart from the other Icelandic sagas is its extensive use of poetry.

Science and Nature in the Medieval Ecological Imagination

God as Geometer, The Frontispiece of Bible Moralisee

This dissertation explores the intersections between nature and culture in medieval literature and art with particular focus on Geoffrey Chaucer’s House of Fame, the thirteenth-century French Bible Moralisée, and William Langland’s Piers Plowman.

The Lancastrian Retreat from Populist Discourse? Propaganda Conflicts in the Wars of the Roses

Henry V

This article explores an aspect of the propaganda wars that were conducted between the Lancastrian and Yorkist sides during the series of conflicts historians refer to as the Wars of the Roses.

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

The Art of Sword Combat by Joachim Meyer

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

Homage of Edward I to Philip IV from Jean Fouquet's Les Grandes Chroniques de France

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 – […]

The Life of Saint Euphrosyne of Połack

Alexey Kuzmich "Crying Euphrosyne of Polotsk" 1992, oil on canvas, 120,7 x 100 cm

Saint Euphrosyne (c. 1105-1167) was the granddaughter of the famous prince of Polack, Usiaslau (Vseslav) whose long reign (1044-1101) and many exploits – in particular his determined struggle against Kiev – made such an impression on his contemporaries that they refused to believe him to be an ordinary mortal

The sons of Eadmund Ironside, Anglo-Saxon king at the court of Saint Stephen

Edmund II of England and his family - Edward the Exile, Edgar the Ætheling, Saint Margaret of Scotland, Edmund , Cristina

Eadmund Ironside died shortly after his agreement with Canute, King of Denmark, deciding the boundaries of his realm. His decease took place on 30th November 1016.

The Statutes of the Teutonic Knights: A Study of Religious Chivalry

Codex Manesse, UB Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. germ. 848, fol. 264r: Der Tannhäuser

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of the religious military orders, and of the Teutonic Knights in particular, within the process of change in developing the concept of a religious and a Christian warrior during the Crusades, or, in other words, how the existing Latin ideal of religious retreat was adapted, blended and attached to the chivalric image of Western Europe in the Holy Land, as reflected in the statutes of the Teutonic Knights.

From Ringwork to Stone Fortification: Power and the Evolution of Anglo-Norman Castles in North-Eastern Ireland

Trim Castle - photo by Anna & Michal / Flickr

It focuses on two key and archaeologically well-explored castles: Trim and Carrickfergus, and their supporting fortification networks.

Book fastenings and furnishings: an archaeology of late medieval books

Photo by judy dean / Flickr

Throughout the late medieval period, books were an integral part of religious monastic life, and yet such objects have received little attention from an analytical archaeological perspective, despite the significant quantity of metal book fittings recovered from archaeological sites.

The Western presence in the Byzantine Empire during the reigns of Alexios I and John II Komnenos (1081-1143)

byzantium

Contacts between Byzantium and the West increased during this period, which witnessed significant events like the First Crusade and the expansion of the Italian trading communities.

Augustine of Hippo and the Art of Ruling in the Carolingian Imperial Period

The earliest known portrait of Saint Augustine in a 6th-century fresco, Lateran, Rome

This thesis investigates how the political thought of Augustine of Hippo was understood and modified by Carolingian-era writers to serve their own distinctive purposes.

Hy-Brassil: Irish origins of Brazil

Brasil as shown in relation to Ireland on a map by Abraham Ortelius (1572)

The name Brazil is probably the sweetest sounding name that any large race of the Earth possesses

Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon genomes from East England reveal British migration history

Old-Map-England

British population history has been shaped by a series of immigrations, including the early Anglo-Saxon migrations after 400 CE. It remains an open question how these events affected the genetic composition of the current British population.

The Florentine Archives in Transition: Government, Warfare and Communication (1289–1530 ca.)

Florence a 1500

Focusing on the important case of Florence, the administrative uses of records connected to government, diplomacy and military needs will be discussed, and evidence will be provided that such documentary practices accelerated significantly during the so-called Italian Wars (from 1494 onwards).

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