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Female Secret Agents in the Middle Ages

When we talk about spies in the Middle Ages, it’s easy to envision soldiers sneaking into enemy camps or royal messengers with a hidden agenda.

Did everyone believe in religion in medieval Europe?

One common idea about medieval Europe was that everyone were firm believers in religion. If you were a Christian, then you accepted your faith without question.

Vikings Survey Quiz

Take this quiz to discover what people believe about the Vikings and about their lasting legacy on our world today.

Life in a Small Medieval Town – The Limburg Chronicle

Some scenes of daily life from a small town in medieval Germany, recorded in the fourteenth-century.

Castle for Sale in Germany: Schochwitz Castle

This stunning castle dates from the 15th century, and has been carefully renovated with conservation of many of the original elements.

Seven Things You Didn’t Know About Medieval Dragons

Why were dragons so popular—and what was a dragon in the Middle Ages, anyway? Here are a few things you might not know about medieval dragons

The “Mona Lisa” of Medieval Art

While the subject of Da Vinci’s famous Renaissance painting is likely identifiable as Lisa del Giocondo, a.k.a. Lisa Gherardini, her enigmatic expression has captivated generations. Medieval art has its own enigma: the woman featured in the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. This tapestry set contains some of the most well-known images from medieval art, yet […]

Medieval Sources of Sovereignty: The Idea of Supreme Authority in Quanto Personam and its Glosses

Pope Innocent III’s decretal Quanto personam, issued on 21 August 1198, makes a number of claims regarding the locus, source and character of supreme authority within the Church.

Medieval Hazing: Freshmen Orientation in the Middle Ages

Anchoresses and beguines simply do not get drunk, break into lecture rooms…and play tennis. Yet this was a recurring problem at the University of Paris.

Medieval Fun: Joking about the Church in the Middle Ages

Were medieval people funny? Could they tell a good joke? Check out these stories from Poggio Bracciolini and see if you will laugh!

Fish on Friday III: From Fish Weir to Table

It’s no mystery that medieval people ate fish. The fish industry was a vital element of the medieval European economy, and fueled lots of movement around the continent. However how did they get onto the trestle tables and trenchers?

Ten Things We Learned at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America

From names of ships to mass expulsion – ten things we learned about the Middle Ages at #MAA2017

“I do medieval”: How Mechthild of Magdeburg led me into the Middle Ages

I can still remember sitting on my couch in the cold of a Midwest winter, wrapped up in six blankets, randomly picking Flowing Light of the Godhead as my first book.

Fish on Friday II: Monastic Meals

In the Middle Ages, fasting and Lenten traditions were highly evident in the monastic houses. The different Rules and Orders (take your pick from Benedictine, Carthusian, Cluniac, Cistercian, Premonstratensians, Trinitarians, Beguines, and more!) had strict rules governing their lifestyles, including their diet, nutrition, and meals. Where, When, What, and How Much? Monastic communities ate their […]

The Peasant Doctor: A Medieval Turnaround Tale

One of the best ways to learn about a culture is to figure out its sense of humour. In medieval Europe, this means looking at fabliaux: short, funny tales that demonstrate common stereotypes and jokes – usually sexual, violent, and containing a clear scapegoat.

One Year Anniversary of The Five-Minute Medievalist Book

I’m so excited to announce that this Thursday, April 6th, marks the first anniversary of my little book, The Five-Minute Medievalist!

The prank that tore apart the family of William the Conqueror

It is not surprising to hear of brothers playing pranks on each other. However, when your father is King of England, the ramifications could lead to more trouble than anyone would realize.

A Medieval Cure for Baldness

Medieval men also worried about losing their hair. They could turn to Hildegard of Bingen to provide them with a cure for baldness.

How Much Did It Cost to Build the Great Wall of China?

Admired the world over, the Great Wall of China’s construction came at a cost both in term of finances over the 2,000-year construction period, and in the lives of the military and civilians who built it.

Fish on Friday I: Economic Blessing or Dietary Sacrifice?

A lack of red meat on the medieval table meant the diners were having a humble meal, and fish was a convenient substitute protein.

Intercession and Motherhood: The Queenships of Philippa of Hainault and Anne of Bohemia

In this post, author Conor Byrne discusses the rule of two medieval queens: Anne of Bohemia and Philippa of Hainault.

10 Medieval Women You Should Know More About

Here are ten medieval women whose fascinating contributions deserve more recognition.

“One Freedom to All Human Beings”: Laura Cereta, Fifteenth-Century Women’s Champion

In medieval Italy, the nature and capabilities of women were being debated by both women and men, who fell on both sides of the argument. One voice among those was Laura Cereta’s.

Complaining about doctors in the 12th century

Doctors were around in the Middle Ages too, and according to one twelfth-century writer, many of them were failing their patients.

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