History of Poland During the Middle Ages


The roots of the first Polish dynasty – the Piasts (from the 9th century to 1370) – came from Major Poland.

Hearing medieval voices

Illumination from the Liber Scivias showing Hildegard receiving a vision and dictating to her scribe and secretary

Hearing voices without external stimuli: in the popular imagination, auditory hallucination is most often understood as a symptom of severe mental disorders.

The Diagnosis and Treatment of Wounds in the Old English Medical Collections: Anglo-Saxon Surgery?


Early medieval England was a dangerous environment with a high risk of physical harm, which could result from warfare, day-to-day lawlessness, or accidents in the home or the workplace.

A Revolutionary Reform: How William the Conqueror Conquered the Church

William the Conqueror - Harley 624   f. 145

The aspect of William’s rule that this work is primarily focused on is his effect on the church. The changes to the church in England can only be described as revolutionary.

Kingship-in-Death in the Bayeux Tapestry

The funeral procession of Edward the Confessor as depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry

The interpretation of the purpose of the Bayeux tapestry hinges on two key scenes, Harold’s oath-taking at Bayeux and the death-bed of King Edward.

The Linguistic Influence of the Norman Conquest (11th Century) on the English Language

Detail to the Old English Illustrated Hexateuch showing the construction of the Tower of Babel.

In this paper I present some historical facts that took place regarding the Norman Conquest in England, then, I discuss the different Linguistic influences on English which appears to lend support to the fact that the French Normans had a major effect on the English Language.

A Collapse of the Eastern Mediterranean? New results and theories on the interplay between climate and societies in Byzantium and the Near East, ca. 1000–1200 AD

16th century map of the  Eastern Mediterranean

The reflection about the impact of climate on human society goes back to antiquity. It has gained renewed intensity with the discussion about climate change and its possible anthropogenic causes in the last decades.

Embracing Death, Celebrating Life: Reflections on the Concept of Martyrdom in the Order of the Knights Templar


This article aims at shedding light on this neglected aspect of Templar spirituality and discusses the implications of this concept’s manifestation throughout the order’s history.

Charlemagne ‘Father of Europe’: A European Icon in the Making


At his death in 814, the Emperor Charlemagne ruled over much of what we now call France, Germany, the Low Countries and modern Italy. As his myth developed he became associated with an even more extensive community. that of a united Christendom.

BOOK REVIEW: A Year in the Life of Medieval England by Toni Mount

A Year in the Life of Medieval England by Toni Mount

Author Toni Mount is back again, but this time with an in-depth look at daily life in Medieval England. Her book, A Year in the Life of Medieval England, explores war, medicine, marriage, disputes, work, and cooking. A fascinating almanac of bits and bobs about Medieval England from the most most mundane, to the most important events in its history.

Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Portrayal of the Arrival of Christianity in Britain: Fact or Fiction?

Decorated initials 'C'(umque) and 'K'(imbelinus) in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britanniae. Photo courtesy British Library

I would like to suggest that an open-minded approach to a reading of the Historia Regum Britanniae shows that Geoffrey does not entirely deserve his reputation.

Mob Politics: The Political Influence of the Circus Factions in the Eastern Empire from the Reign of Leo I to Heraclius (457-641)

Ruins of the Hippodrome, from an engraving by Onofrio Panvinio in his work De Ludis Circensibus (Venice, 1600.)

This thesis explores the political motivations behind the factions’ violent behaviour, the evidence for their involvement in the military, and their role in accession ceremonies.

The Fortunes of a King: Images of Edward the Confessor in 12th to 14th Century England

Edward the Confessor - British Library MS Royal 14 B VI

This thesis is an iconographic study of Saint-King Edward the Confessor. It focuses on the political and devotional functions of his images in twelfth to fourteenth century England.

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


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


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.

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