The Use of the Lead and Line by Early Navigators in the North Sea?

Viking ship depicted in Nordische Fahrten. Skizzen  und Studien (1889)

This paper draws attention to the lack of information as to how early North Sea sailors navigated, particularly during the one thousand year period that followed Roman times.

Between A Rock And A Hot Place: The Role Of Subjectivity In The Medieval Ordeal By Hot Iron

12th century depiction of an ordeal by hot iron

This article discusses various forms of ordeals, such as the ordeal of hot iron, and analyzes whether, and to what extent, these ordeals could have served as ‘rational’ forms of adjudication during the period.

Guns in Scotland: the manufacture and use of guns and their influence on warfare from the fourteenth century to c.1625

Detail from a contemporary drawing of Edinburgh Castle under siege in 1573, showing it surrounded by attacking batteries

Guns first came into use in Western Europe in the fourteenth century and the Scots were using them by the 1380s.

Ponderous, Cruel and Mortal: A Review of Medieval Poleaxe Technique from Surviving Treatises of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

Pollaxe combat depicted in the Fiore Furlan dei Liberi da Premariacco, circa 1410

There is no weapon more evocative of the brute force in violence both public and private, a weapon that seems to be perhaps epitomize and even enshrine violence on a grand scale.

‘Pirates, robbers and other malefactors’: The role played by violence at sea in relations between England and the Hanse towns, 1385 – 1420

The summary execution of Störtebeker, 1401; woodcut by Nicolaus Sauer from 1701

This thesis will argue that the impact of specific phenomena, particularly the activities of the Vitalienbrüder, on Anglo-Hanseatic relations has been not only neglected but misunderstood, and that attention to English sources can help flesh out our understanding of the Vitalienbrüder’s history.

National-Ethnic Narratives in Eleventh-Century Literary Representations of Cnut

Matthew Paris's (early 13th-century) impression of the Battle of Assandun, depicting Edmund Ironside (left) and Cnut (right)

This article takes literary representations of Cnut, the Danish conqueror of England, as a case study of the construction of English identity in the eleventh century.

The Heloise of History

Raymond Monvoisin depiction of Heloise in the 19th century

This thesis seeks to determine the historical role of the twelfth-century abbess Heloise, apart from the frequently cited and disputed letters exchanged between her and Peter Abelard.

Bras in the 15th Century? A Preliminary Report

medieval lingerie - photo courtesy University of Innsbruck

Four linen textiles resemble modern time bras. The criterion for this classification is the presence of distinctly cut cups. The two more fragmented specimens appear to be a combination of a bra and a modern dirndl blouse.

The Making of a Legend: The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok and the TV series ‘Vikings’

Ragnar Lothbrok Vikings

Thus neither The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok nor ‘Vikings’ are immediately recognisable as straight works of history, although they both have certain strongly historical elements to their content.

Medical Lore in the Bestiaries

9th century image from the Physiologus

Some time in the first part of the Christian era, perhaps as early as the second century, there emerged a curious collection of zoological fables and religious moralizations called Physiologus.

Recycling in Britain after the Fall of Rome’s Metal Economy

Photo by Jeff Kubina / Wikimedia Commons

In actual fact, the bulk of contemporary evidence — which happens to be material rather than textual — clearly argues that the people of fifth- and early sixth-century eastern Britain were much more involved in subsistence agriculture than warfare, and that most people during much of this period lived in highly circumscribed worlds in a ranked, rather than a steeply hierarchical, society

Scribal Practice in the Beowulf Manuscript


There was a time, not too long ago, when we thought we knew a great deal more about Beowulf than we do now.

Hidden Complexities of the Frankish Castle

Ruins of Montfort Castle - Photo by Ariel Gera / Wikimedia Commons

This thesis is devoted to crusader castles and has a geographical focus on the Near Eastern regions.

Shrews, Rats, and a Polecat in the ‘Pardoner’s Tale’

Rethinking Chaucerian Beasts

The animals of particular interest to us are creatures that function in two distinct ways: as familiar dead metaphors and as familiar live animals.

Crucifix, calvary, and cross: materiality and spirituality in Great War landscapes

Canadian war graves near Ypres, Belgium.

First World War landscapes are a complex layering of commemorative materialities and spirituality, in which the past is recycled and memory perpetuated in the present.

Old Companions, Noble Steeds: Why dogs and horses were buried at an Early Medieval settlement along the Old Rhine


Excavations at the Early Medieval site of Oegstgeest, located in the Dutch Rhine estuary, have yielded the burials of three horses and three dogs

Masculinity and Crusade: the influence of martial activity in the Latin East on Norman and Frankish warrior identity, the material culture, c. 1095-1300

The Morgan Bible, 13th century

This dissertation argues that masculine identity in the era of the Crusades developed with Christological and martial focus.

The medical licensing examination and the world of the physician officers in Korea’s Joseon Dynasty

Map of Gongju area, part of Korea during the Joseon dynasty

This article aims to describe the world of physician officers during the Joseon Dynasty.

Skriðuklaustur monastery: Medical Centre of Medieval East Iceland?

Excavation site of Skiðuklaustur in Iceland from the fifteenth century.  Photo by Christian Bickel / Wikimedia Commons

Skriðuklaustur monastery was the youngest of nine cloisters operated in Iceland during the Catholic period of the Middle Ages.

Science and Religion in the Middle Ages

Science and Religion in the Middle Ages

Why did science and natural philosophy suffer such disparate fates in the two great civilizations of Christendom and Islam?

The first case of pagophagia: the Byzantine Emperor Theophilus

Emperor Theophilus, in the Chronicle of John Skylitzes

This paper describes a unique case of snow consumption by the Byzantine Emperor Theophilus (829-842 AD), who according to the narrations of the historians and chroniclers of those times was an ice eater, developing a pathologic craving for iced water and snow.

The ‘Miracle of Childbirth’: The Portrayal of Parturient Women in Medieval Miracle Narratives

14th century birth scene, from British Library Royal 2 B VII   f. 48

This paper explores how tales of difficult births found in medieval miracle narratives can contribute to our understanding of the experience of pregnancy and childbirth in twelfth-century England.

Expert examinations of wounds in the criminal court or justice in Cocentaina (Kingdom of Valencia) during the Late Middle Ages

Medicine and law in the Middle Ages

Among the activities of doctors in the courts, one in particular stood out: the examination of wounds.

Nursing and Caring: An Historical Overview from Ancient Greek Tradition to Modern Times

Nurse and patient - from a lithograph by Noël Dorville, c. 1901.

Just like modern medicine, nursing also uses the Hippocratic Medical heritage as its base and therefore Hippocrates could be seen as a ‘ shared forefather’ for health care professionals.

Technological Determinisms of Victory at the Battle of Agincourt

The Battle of Agincourt from Enguerrand de Monstrelet, Chronique de France. French. Manuscript op parchment, 266 ff., 405 x 300 mm. Brugge(?), c.1495

This article takes issue with the deterministic conclusions of a recent study by three scientists who investigated the effects of wearing armour on soldier exhaustion during the battle of Agincourt.

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