Lacklustre “Last Knights” - Movie Review

Morgan Freeman as Lord Bartok, and Clive Owen as his loyal retainer and knight, Commander Raiden in, "Last Knights".

My review of this disappointing venture featuring Clive Owen and Morgan Freeman.

Why learning numbers was so hard in medieval Europe

A German manuscript page teaching use of Arabic numerals- Ms.Thott.290.2º_150v

Most history books gloss over the introduction of numbers, but a recent article explains that ‘the uptake of the new numerals was slow, problematic, and spasmodic’

The Dangers of Eating Pears, according to Alexander Neckam

16th century painting of pears by Ulisse Aldrovandi

Pears have been a popular fruit since ancient times, but the medieval scholar Alexander Neckam raised some warnings about the eating this food (especially without wine).

Five (In)famous Medieval Break-Ups

Abelard and Heloise by Edmund Blair Leighton

The other day, a friend put me on to the very funny It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Break-Ups in History by Jennifer Wright, a modern and cheeky look at some truly awful splits from Emperor Nero to Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher (and Elizabeth Taylor).

The Medieval Magazine: The Ancient World in the Middle Ages (Issue 50)

medieval mag 50

This week we examine the medieval histories of three landmarks from the ancient world: the Pyramids, Stonehenge and the Pantheon.

How the death of a Queen led to 68,000 people being fed

Queen Matilda depicted in the 1875 book 'The Queens of England or Royal Book of Beauty'

Here lies the distinguished Queen Matilda the second,
who surpassed both young and old in her time.
Pattern of morals, life’s adornment,
she was for all.

Reclaiming Guinevere for the 21st Century

From the Idylls of the King. Vivien. Elaine. Enid. Guinevere

It’s my hope that as women continue to claim their power in modern society, they will learn from Guinevere’s mistakes, emulate her strengths, and claim her as the heroine and role model she should be.

Who Were You In Medieval Times?

Who Were You In Medieval Times

For the ladies – are you a princess or an assassin? Take the quiz to find out!

Castle for Sale: Château de la Chezotte

Château de la Chezotte - photo by  Aubussonais / Wikicommons

This 15th century castle rises 17 metres (56 feet) into the sky and comes with three floors, two round towers and a partial moat.

Epiphany: Three Kings Day

The Three Magi, Byzantine mosaic c.565, Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy (restored 18th century). As here Byzantine art usually depicts the Magi in Persian clothing which includes breeches, capes, and Phrygian caps. Wikipedia

A look at the history behind Epiphany and Twelfth Night.

The Medieval Magazine: The Book of Kells (Issue 49)

medieval mag 49

This week we take a look at The Book of Kells, one of the greatest manuscripts of the Middle Ages. Learn more about medieval Ireland, as well as sleeping in the Middle Ages and an Anglo-Saxon princess.

How did people sleep in the Middle Ages?

A sleeping man in a medieval manuscript - from British Library Royal 19 D III   f. 458

A recent book on the history of sleeping shows that during the Middle Ages people typically slept in two periods during the night.

TV Preview: Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands

tv preview beowulf return to shieldlands

Viewers in the United Kingdom will be the first to see Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands, as the new series premieres on ITV tonight at 7:00 pm. American viewers will need to wait until January 23rd, when the Esquire Network begins airing episodes.

A Medieval Guide to Predicting the Year

Calendar page for the month of January with a man drinking from a bowl - from British Library MS Additional 21114  f. 1

It’s January 1st and you want to know how the year will go? You can use this handy guide, written by a 14th century Italian merchant, in which he offers what to expect throughout year, based on which day January 1st falls on.

Medieval Hangover Cures

A drunk monk? This might be St. Arnulf of Metz (582 -640), the unofficial patron saint of beer.

Here are a few hangover cures from days gone by, because people who partied like it was 1399 also needed a little help the morning after.

Celebrating the New Year, Medieval Style

The Festival of Fools - Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525)

A look at New Year’s in the Middle Ages.

Top 10 Medieval News Stories of 2015

Credit - Will Johnston / Leicester Cathedral

What were the most important news stories of 2015 for medievalists?

My Top 5 Medieval Books of 2015

2015 Medieval Books. Photo by

2015 was a great year for books on, and 2016 promises to be better. Of all the books I read over the past twelve months, these five books were my favourite reads of 2015.

Our Top 10 Posts of 2015

medieval writing - Jean Miélot at his desk 15th century

What was our audience reading in 2015? Here is top ten posts (excluding news), which range from student letters to weird animals.

BOOK REVIEW: The Butcher Bird by SD Sykes

Books: The Butcher Bird by SD Sykes

My review of SD Sykes follow up to “Plague Land”, her latest book, “The Butcher Bird”.

Who Were You In A Past Life?

Helen of Troy by Evelyn De Morgan (1898)

Find out who you were in a past life. Were you a figure of legend or reality, myth or truth? Take the test!

The Medieval Magazine: Year in Review (Issue 48)

medieval mag 48

Most magazines are doing a review of the year 2015. Meanwhile, we take a look back at the year 1015.

BOOK REVIEW: The Lady Agnes Mystery – Volume I

Books: The Lady Agnes Mystery - Volume I by Andrea Japp

A review of the Lady Agnes Mystery by Parisienne author, Andrea Japp.

10 Beautiful Images from the Book of Kells


Irish monks spread the Christian faith all over Europe by their dedicated missions during the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries. The age-old Irish-Celtic culture began to fuse with the impressions gathered by the monks during their extended dangerous travels. At that time, also called The Time of Scholars and Saints, the Irish monasteries were influential […]

10 Natural Disasters that Struck the Medieval World

Medieval image of an earthquake, with ruins and fallen stars, and the dead in holes. British Library MS Royal 19 B XV   f. 11v

Here are ten of the most important natural disasters that took place in the Middle Ages.

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