Teaching Historical Theory through Video Games

Sid Meier's Civilization IV

The potential of video games for teaching history is receiving increasing recognition. However, the greatest emphasis is on their use as tools in secondary education. The few studies focusing on undergraduate education demonstrate the use of games to create an immersive historical experience with counterfactual options.

Simply Walking into Mordor: How Much Lembas Would The Fellowship Need?

fellowship of the ring

The Fellowship of the Ring were supposed to travel from Imraldis to the forges of Mt. Doom in order to destroy the One Ring of Sauron.

Medieval Queens and Queenship: the Present Status of Research in Income and Power

This representation of Margaret of Anjou comes from Illuminations From the Books of the Skinners Company, AD 1422. It was entered in the roll of the fraternity of Our Lady in 1475.

This paper presents some thoughts and conclusions on the state of a multidisciplinary field of Medieval Studies, queens and queenship, concentrating mainly on issues of income and power.

Last Laughs: Torture in Medieval Icelandic Literature

Hrafnkels saga

Medieval Icelandic literature is full of violence, calculated and reasoned violence, narrated in such a way as to focus largely on issues of personal honor and justice, less so on the spectacle of blood so common in the modem Hollywood action film.

Literature in an Apocalyptic Age; or, How to End a Romance

Yvain fighting Gawain. Medieval illumination from Chrétien de Troyes's romance, Yvain, le Chevalier au Lion

No literature of the Middle Ages has so successfully captured the imagination of recent times as has the medieval romance.

Secret Gestures and Silent Revelations: The Disclosure of Secrets in Selected Arthurian Illuminated Manuscripts and Arthurian Films

excalibur film

This paper explores visual language and iconic systems central to the representation of the Arthurian cycle in thirteenth and fifteenth century Gothic illuminated manuscripts and in two Arthurian films; its focus is the theme of courtly love and crucial revelations of the secret or hidden.

The Justinianic Reconquest of Italy: Imperial Campaigns and Local Responses

Gothic war map - created by Cplakidas / Wikicommons

This article examines a particular aspect of Justinian’s campaigns against the Ostrogoths in Italy, one that is often overlooked, yet one that is essential to the understanding of these wars

Malory’s Arthur and the Politics of Chivalry

The Death of King Arthur by James Archer (1823–1904)

The jury is back and the verdict is in. In Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, a major reason the Round Table falls is that its political apparatus and the chivalric ethos in which that apparatus is grounded are inadequate for maintaining a stable kingdom.

Senses of the Past: The Old English Vocabulary of History

Page from Beowulf, now at the British Library

How did the Anglo-Saxons think about history?

Reporting Scotland in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

The initial page of the Peterborough Chronicle, marked secondarily by the librarian of the Laud collection.

The aim of this paper is to explore the changing way in which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports events in northern Britain, beyond the Anglo-Saxon territories, in the hope of gaining a better understanding both of events in that region and, perhaps more interestingly, the way in which the Chronicle was constructed.

Financing the tribute to the Kingdom of Jerusalem: An urban tax in Damascus

Near_East_1135

After a brief introduction to legal taxation and Saljuq fiscal policy, the philological problems in the definition of a specific due, al-fissa, illegitimate according to the sharia, will be addressed along with its political function and history. This due was levied in Damascus for the tribute to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Demon Possession in Anglo‐Saxon and Early Modern England: Continuity and Evolution in Social Context

A miniature in the British Library Yates Thomson MS 26, with Saint Cuthbert's hand healing a paralytic

Sometime between around 687 and 700, a distraught father brought his raving son, in a wagon, to the island of Lindisfarne, where the holy relics of Saint Cuthbert were kept.

Rollo, Viking Count of Normandy

Statue of Rollo in Falaise - photo by Michael Shea

n recounting what is known of Viking history and the sagas which were written about in the Middle Ages, Clements tells the story of Hrolf the Walker, otherwise known as Rollo or Rolf.

‘There Came a Hart in at the Chamber Door’: Medieval Deer as Pets

medieval deer

John of Maidstone paid a visit to Gregory de Rokesle, then mayor of London. With him, he brought some writs from court, which he left on a counter in Gregory’s chamber, presumably for his review, before they were dispatched to Boston and elsewhere. This routine matter was disrupted, however, when a hart (the male red deer), which was in the house, entered the chamber and devoured the writs.

The Origins of Cistercian Sign Language

monastic sign language

The present study begins with a discussion of the different forms of non-verbal communication used in early medieval monastic communities, with an emphasis on the sources for the use of sign language among Cluniac monks.

The Medieval Cathedral: From Spiritual Site to National Super-Signifier

Cologne Cathedral - Photo by globetrotter_rodrigo / Flickr

Although the cathedrals were often mutilated, emptied of their relics, treasures, and clergy, their close association with national glory and the sense of fascination that association had brought about kept them from being closed or destroyed entirely.

Why Did Valarte Die? Death of a Danish Knight during Expedition to West Africa in mid-15th Century

Africa Map from 1502

‘The fame of their affair having spread through the different parts of the world, it arrived at the Court of the King of Denmark and Sweden and Norway; and as you see how noble men venture themselves with the desire to see and know such things’

Sexual Violence in the Early Medieval West

Early Medieval Europe

What kind of acts do we consider as sexual violence in relation to the early Middle Ages? And in particular: does the phenomenon come down to a forced sexual act (in the broadest sense of the word, i.e. in a situation whereby somebody against the will of another person achieves sexual satisfaction)?

The Ghosts of Chroniclers Past: The Transmission and Legacy of the Chroniques of Jean Froissart in the Anchiennes Cronicques d’Engleterre compiled by Jean de Wavrin

Charles Vi of France - British Library  Royal 14 D VI   f. 161

This article investigates the transmission and the transformation of Froissart’s Chroniques into the Wavrin compilation through a close reading of an episode in manuscript context.

Reconstructing the past in medieval Iceland

map of iceland

This paper examines the relationship between the Sagas of Icelanders, which are concerned with tenth- and eleventh-century events, and the contemporary sagas of the mid-thirteenth century.

Genoa: The cog in the new medieval economy

View of Genoa by Christoforo de Grassi (after a drawing of 1481)

Journalist and author Nicholas Walton writes about medieval Genoa’s economy, trade and role in the Black Death. Walton recently published a book on Genoese history entitled, “Genoa: La Superba”

The Politics of the Gate: Byzantine City Walls and the Urban Negotiation of Imperial Authority

Restored section of the Theodosian Walls at the Selymbria Gate.  Photo by  Bigdaddy1204 / Wikicommons / Flickr

From its violent birth as the surviving portion of a civilization engulfed by invaders to its violent death as a lone city overwhelmed by irresistible assault, the Byzantine Empire was a state walled against perpetual siege.

Localizing the Holy Land: The Visual Culture of Crusade in England, circa 1140-1307

Holy Sepulchre Chapel, Winchester Cathedral  - photo by Christophe.Finot / Wikicommons Media

Analyzing diverse visual material, from images of the military orders on seals, and monastic maps of Palestine in manuscripts, to royal chambers with paintings of holy warfare and the display of Holy Land relics at court, my project juxtaposes sacred and secular commissions made for crusaders and affiliates of chivalric culture.

The Scale of Slave Raiding and the Slave Trade in Northumbria and Ireland, 7th-11th Centuries

15th century map British Isles - Photo: Brooklyn Museum

Slave raiding and the slave trade in early medieval Northumbria and Ireland were transcultural and inter-regional processes, involving the enslavement and transportation of people across permeable borders.

Broaching the subject: the geometry of Anglo-Saxon composite brooches

milton north field brooch - Photo by Kotomi_ / Flickr

The glittering and gleaming artifacts that can be found in Anglo-Saxon archaeological sites capture the imagination, conjuring up images of a warrior culture that displayed its wealth through wearable objects.

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