The Life of Lady Katherine Gordon

Parkin Warbeck (Wikicommons)

This week, Susan Abernethy brings us an article on Lady Katherine Gordon.

The Funeral of Queen Elizabeth of York, the First Tudor Queen of England

Portrait of Elizabeth of York, now at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Elizabeth of York, Queen to King Henry VII of England, died in the Tower of London on February 11, 1503. She had given birth to a daughter Katherine on February 2 and never recovered. The death was a shock to her husband, her children and to the nation.

Medieval Survivals In Modern Rome

Torre Dei Capocci Roma (The Capocci Tower). Built in the Arcioni family in the 12th century. (Wiki Commons).

An analysis of medieval buildings in Rome with “defensive” characteristics has been ongoing for the past four years (towers, fortified houses, fortifications on ancient monuments).

Osthryth, Queen of the Mercians

Mercia - from An English history with illustrations and maps, by E.S. Symes 1905

Osthryth was one of the few women mentioned by the Venerable Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. She was born into a time of great strife. There was much tension and bad blood between the ruling houses of the various kingdoms in England before unification, especially between Mercia and Northumbria.

The Historicity of Imperial Bride-Shows

The emperor Theophilus chooses his empress A.D. 829. - created by Val Cameron Prinsep (1838-1904)

Seven independent Byzantine sources record that five times in the eighth and ninth centuries the winner in a competition of beautiful women became the bride of an emperor or future emperor.

Harold Godwinson in Wales: Military Legitimacy in Late Anglo-Saxon England

King Harold Godwinesson

On January 6, 1066, Harold Godwinson ascended the throne of England. He succeeded King Edward the Confessor who had died after reigning for twenty-three years over the English people.

Historical evolution of forest management in Europe and in Japan

The forest in the black fog by Claudia Dea

This paper describes in brief the historical evolution of forest management in Europe and in Japan and the motivations of these changes. In particular, the paper analyses three periods: pre-industrial (from the Middle-ages until the mid-17th century), industrial (from the mid-17th until the mid-20th century) and the post-industrial period (from the late-20th century until today)

Nunneries as an Alternative to Marriage

Nunneries as an Alternative to Marriage By Cornelius Oudenaarden The Endnote, Vol.2 (2005) Introduction: The first particular saith that you shall be obedient: to wit to him and to his commandments whatsoever they be, whether they be made in earnest or in jest, or whether they may be orders to do strange things, or whether […]

The Associative Branches of the Irish Barnacle: Gerald of Wales and the Natural World

Barnacle Goose depicted in Gerald of Wales Topographia Hiberniae - British Library Royal 13 B.VIII, f.8v

There are many birds here that are called barnacles, which nature, acting against her own laws, produces in a wonderful way.

Early Medieval Muslim Graves in France: First Archaeological, Anthropological and Palaeogenomic Evidence

Three Muslim graves in France - photo by Patrice Pliskine, Inrap

Given all of these data, we propose that the skeletons from the Nimes burials belonged to Berbers integrated into the Umayyad army during the Arab expansion in North Africa.

Ingroup identification, identity fusion and the formation of Viking war bands


The lið, a retinue of warriors sworn to a leader, has long been considered one of the basic armed groups of the Viking Age.

Iron Age boathouses in Arctic Norway viewed as multifunctional expressions of maritime cultural heritage

Reconstructed Viking boathouse in KarmøyReconstructed Viking boathouse in Karmøy, Norway - photo by 	PrevinNK / Wikimedia Commons

Boathouses have been in use in Norway for at least 2000 years and c. 850 structures pre-dating the 16th century have been recorded.

Medieval violence and Criminology: using the Middle Ages to understand contemporary ‘motiveless’ crime

Composite woodcut print by Lukas Mayer of the execution of Peter Stumpp in 1589 at Bedburg near Cologne.

The aim of this essay is to explore how an investigation of violence in the Middle Ages can inform our understanding of ‘motiveless’ violence today. Has society moved away from the bi-dimensional relationship between deviance and entertainment?

Challenge to the Throne: the Byzantine Princess Anna Komnene and Conspiracies, 1118-1119


Today, I will focus on the latter aspect, and look at two conspiracies plans in terms of her character as a princess hungry for power.

Eadgyth, Queen Consort of Germany and Duchess of Saxony

A statue in the Cathedral of Magdeburg that is often assumed to represent Otto and Eadgyth - photo: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-26654-0005 / Biscan / CC-BY-SA 3.0

Eadgyth had an impressive pedigree. She was the grand-daughter of Alfred the Great, daughter of Edward the Elder and half-sister of Aethelstan, all of whom were powerful kings of Wessex in England. It was only by fate she ended up as the wife of Otto I, Duke of Saxony and King of Germany.

Dirhams for slaves: Investigating the Slavic slave trade in the tenth century

10,000 silver Dirhams from the 7th-9th century AD, hidden c. 820 AD - Bode-Museum

The idea that a massive trade in Slavic slaves underpinned the economic growth of Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries is not new. It is, however, most often only implicit; and at any rate, it is very rarely discussed.

The Medieval Sense of Smell, Stench and Sanitation

Medieval woman smelling a flower - British Library MS Harley 6794   f. 197v

We will see that in the medieval era, there was concern for the foul and the fragrant because smell had the ability to make people both literally sick and sick to their stomachs.

Umberto Eco and the Meaning of the Middle Ages

Umberto Eco - photo by Aubrey / Wikimedia Commons

The narrative frame around Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, which intricately removes the story itself from its ultimate reader by insinuating long journeys, lost manuscripts, and various narrative intermediaries between text and recipient, also establishes a chain of connection between the late medieval murder mystery itself and its modern retelling, thus bringing the Middle Ages into present-day reality and vice-versa

Uterine cancer in the writings of Byzantine physicians

The eminent byzantine physician Paul of
Aegina (ca. 625-690 AD).

Byzantine physicians recognized uterine cancer as a distinct disease and tried to suggest a therapeutic approach. The work of Oribasius, Aetius of Amida, Paul of Aegina, Cleopatra Metrodora and Theophanes Nonnus reflects the Hippocratic-Galenic scientific ideas as well as their own concept on this malignancy. According to their writings uterine cancer was considered an incurable disease and its treatment was based mainly on palliative herbal drugs.

Jocelin of Brakelond and the power of Abbot Samson

Detail of a miniature of the installation of abbot Baldwin and the building of the abbey at Bury St. Edmond's. From British Library MS Harley 2278 f.115v

This article reconsiders a well-known narrative source from the beginning of the thirteenth century, Jocelin of Brakelond’s Chronicle.

 Saint ­Denis

17th century image of Saint Denis

been a

Benchmarking medieval economic development: England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, circa 1290

british isles

Estimates are assembled for England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and for Britain and Ireland as a whole, of the numbers of religious houses, regular clergy, parishes, towns of more than 2,000 inhabitants, and townspeople, and the value of dutiable exports and volume of currency at the watershed date of circa 1290

The Norwegian Attack on Iona in 1209-10: The Last Viking Raid?

Photochrom print of Iona from about 1905

A closer look at what happened in and around Iona in the early 1200s, makes the interpretation that this was just another such ‘classic viking raid’ rather unlikely.

Bulls, bere and black oatmeal: Iona’s economy in the later Middle Ages

Iona Abbey - photo by Mike Beltzner

This paper will take a brief look at some of the landholdings of both the abbey and the nunnery, and at how they were used – and perhaps misused – over this period.

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