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)


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


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).

Medical Practice, Urban Politics and Patronage: The London ‘Commonalty’ of Physicians and Surgeons of the 1420s

15th century image of a Physician setting a dislocated arm

Medical practice in fifteenth-century England is often seen as suffering from the low status and unregulated practice of which Thomas Linacre later complained.

‘Do You Not Know I am a Healer?’ Royal Authority and Miracles of Healing in High Medieval Lives of Kings

Edward the Confessor

Today I’d like to place in comparative perspective the reputations for miraculous healing achieved by two high medieval royal saints: Edward the Confessor of England and Óláfr Haraldsson of Norway.

Powerful Patens in the Anglo-Saxon Medical Tradition and Exeter Book Riddle 48

exeter riddle 48

This article discusses Exeter Book Riddle 48 in light of its proposed solutions.

Soldiers to Warriors: Renegotiating the Roman Frontier in the Fifth Century

Early 14th century map of the British Isles - Codex Athous Vatopedinus 655: Add. MS 19391, f 19v-20

There has been a presumption that only the poorest soldiers remained in very small numbers by the end of the Roman period, c ad 410, if not withdrawn completely at the command of an emperor or usurper; but there are no documentary sources that validate this, and there is a considerable amount of archaeological evidence that disproves it.

How to Deal with the Restless Dead? Discernment of Spirits and the Response to Ghosts in Fifteenth-Century Europe

Ghost - image by Gallowglass / Wikimedia Commons

Discernment of spirits was embedded in late medieval theologies and ministries of death and, as such, was central to the assessment of other apparitions – like those of ghosts.

How to Make Medieval Artists’ Tools

Cennino Cennini, Madonna and Child with Angels and Saints, Galleria Moretti

by Danièle Cybulskie If there’s one thing medieval people loved, it was writing educational treatises. Sometimes, these were a little on the fantastic side – like bestiaries or travel literature – but other times, they were extremely useful how-to manuals. I particularly love the how-to manuals because they can teach us so much about medieval […]

The Troubadours and the Song of the Crusades

Troubadour playing a fiddle  - image from BnF ms. 854 fol. 49

The troubadours have been credited as giving birth to the lyrical poetry of modern European languages. Emerging in France, they were predominantly male composers from parts of Western Europe during the High Middle Ages

Young hands, old books: Drawings by children in a fourteenth-century manuscript, LJS MS. 361

LJS 361, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
University of Pennsylvania
Libraries folio 26r.

Added to manuscripts by scribes or illuminators during the production of a book, medieval marginal illuminations might include and combine defecating monks, tumbling animals, grotesques and various other ‘weirdnesses’.

Richard I and Berengaria of Navarre

Berengaria and Richard I

Berengaria of’ Navarre was brought to Richard’s court, then at Messina in Sicily, in March 1191. She accompanied the crusader-king on his journey east and they were married in Cyprus, at Limassol, on 12 May 1191.

Vampire Burials in Medieval Poland: An Overview of Past Controversies and Recent Reevaluations

Vampire Skeleton from Poland

Recently, the sensationalist interpretations of deviant burials have also permeated into (inter)national media, leading the general public to misinformation about Poland’s past and the mentalities of its medieval societies.

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