Medieval News

minecraft medieval oslo

Medieval Oslo recreated on Minecraft

A new Youtube video is showing the results of a project by history students at the University of Oslo where they recreate how a city looked in the Middle Ages. ‘Oslo recreated to year 1300′ was made by undergraduates taking part in the university’s Oslo in the Middle Ages course under John McNicol. The project involved […]

Dr. Turi King giving her talk on the discovery of Richard III at the 'Making the Medieval Relevant' conference

I’ll Eat My Hat If It’s Richard: Dr. Turi King on the Impact of the Richard III Project

Turi King discusses some of the more humorous circumstances surrounding Richard III’s discovery, the science behind the dig, and the media onslaught that ensued.


Is Ashgate Publishing about to close?

With Ashgate Publishing’s American office closing this week, and its British office rumoured to do the same next month, it seems that days are numbered for one of the most important publisher’s in the field of medieval studies.

magna carta online course

Free Online course – Exploring English: Magna Carta

The British Council and FutureLearn are teaming up to offer a free online course on Magna Carta aimed at non-native English speakers. The course, Exploring English: Magna Carta, begins next week.

Dr. Daniel Curtis presenting his talk at, "Making the Medieval Relevant" at the University of Nottingham.

The Struggle is Real: Where are the Medieval Economists?!

Another fascinating paper from “Making the Medieval Relevant” was given by Daniel Curtis, a specialist in Social and Economic History, and a professor at the University of Utrecht.

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Medieval Articles

The earliest surviving illustration of a donestre consuming an unwary traveller. British Library MS Cotton Vitellius A.XV, fol. 103v (detail), late 10th or early 11th century

Deviants, Donestre, and Debauchees: Here be Monsters

The donestre, a mediaeval race of lion-headed polyglots with a taste for human flesh, demonstrate an ancient form of monstrous transgression by their corporeal violation of both social and natural law.

Viking ship depicted in Nordische Fahrten. Skizzen  und Studien (1889)

The Use of the Lead and Line by Early Navigators in the North Sea?

This paper draws attention to the lack of information as to how early North Sea sailors navigated, particularly during the one thousand year period that followed Roman times.

12th century depiction of an ordeal by hot iron

Between A Rock And A Hot Place: The Role Of Subjectivity In The Medieval Ordeal By Hot Iron

This article discusses various forms of ordeals, such as the ordeal of hot iron, and analyzes whether, and to what extent, these ordeals could have served as ‘rational’ forms of adjudication during the period.

Detail from a contemporary drawing of Edinburgh Castle under siege in 1573, showing it surrounded by attacking batteries

Guns in Scotland: the manufacture and use of guns and their influence on warfare from the fourteenth century to c.1625

Guns first came into use in Western Europe in the fourteenth century and the Scots were using them by the 1380s.

Pollaxe combat depicted in the Fiore Furlan dei Liberi da Premariacco, circa 1410

Ponderous, Cruel and Mortal: A Review of Medieval Poleaxe Technique from Surviving Treatises of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

There is no weapon more evocative of the brute force in violence both public and private, a weapon that seems to be perhaps epitomize and even enshrine violence on a grand scale.

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Medieval Videos

If Books Could Talk: Medieval Manuscripts in Iowa

The paper, bindings, bookplates, repairs, stains, handwritten notes, stamps and markings all leave traces that give clues to how they were made, where they have been, and can even tell about the lives of the people who have read them. We’re finding clues and following up with research to find out more.

The Sick and The Dead: Medieval Concepts of Illness and Spinal Disability

There is an often erroneous idea that past societies were a) very sick, and b) didn’t care about the sick. This as I want to show is not the case. I will show examples of illness, but I also want to show that ideas of what is sick and what needs healing are not the same as our own.

Book Talk: Ivory Vikings, by Nancy Marie Brown

Nancy Marie Brown speaking on her new book Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them, at Cornell University on October 15, 2015

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Medieval Books

The Anglo-Saxon Age: The Birth of England

Martin Wall takes us on a journey into a period that still remains mysterious, into regions and countries long forgotten, such as Mercia and Northumbria.

Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table

In his new history of food, acclaimed historian Massimo Montanari traces the development of medieval tastes, both culinary and cultural, from raw materials to market and captures their reflections in today’s food trends.

Book Talk: Ivory Vikings, by Nancy Marie Brown

Nancy Marie Brown speaking on her new book Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them, at Cornell University on October 15, 2015

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Medieval Movies & TV

Sewing the Scene: The Uses of Embroidery in Medieval Film

This paper explores how embroidery has been used in films to establish, and often destroy, feminine space and autonomy. However, the most recent addition to the medieval film canon represents a distinct change in this trend.

The Top 10 Viking Movies

YouTuber Listy McGee has created his list of the Top 10 Viking Movies

Terry Gilliam’s deleted animations from Monty Python and The Holy Grail

To celebrate the 40th anniversary theatrical re-release of ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ and the release of the 40th anniversary Blu-Ray DVD Monty Python has put together this video of Terry Gilliam’s lost animations from the film.

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More Medieval History

Making the Medieval Relevant: Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Studies on Disease and Disability

A summary of a paper given by Professor Christina Lee at the University of Nottingham’s “Making the Medieval Relevant” Conference.

Cracking down on illegal gambling in Medieval Livonia

Just like their modern day counterparts, medieval cities had to deal with their own criminal underworlds – the sex trade, gambling, and violence taking place within their walls. At the International Medieval Congress, held earlier this month at the University of Leeds, these issues were explored as part of session #706: Perceiving and Regulating Vices.

Imprisonment, Execution and Escape: Medieval History and the National Curriculum

The final talk in Sesson #1041, Engaging the Public with the Medieval World, looked at what English children are being taught in school. How much medieval history is in the new programme that was released in September 2014? Megan Gooch, Curator at the Historic Royal Palaces breaks down the English system for us in her paper, ‘Imprisonment, Execution, and Escape: Medieval History and the National Curriculum’.

Making the Castle a Home: Creating an Immersive Medieval World Using Live Costumed Interpreters

How does the use of unscripted, adaptive, historical interpretation boost the tourist experience? Right on the heels of our look at the Tower of London’s visitor engagement, we heard a paper from Lauren Johnson, Research Manager for Past Pleasures, the oldest historical interpretation company in the UK who educate and entertain the public at historical sites, museums, on stage and and on TV.

‘But Where are the Dungeons?’: How to Engage the Public at the Tower of London

A talk about how historical sites, like the Tower of London engage the public. How to handle visitor expectations, what do people come t see and how to tell history in a captivating but accurate manner.

The Last Kingdom: An Interview with Bernard Cornwell

What I find most compelling is the struggle to create a country which became England, a struggle that must have seemed hopeless at times and which roiled Britain in constant fighting. We think of England (especially) as a peaceful landscape, but in the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries it was horribly brutal and merciless.

The Archer’s Loss: England’s War, Fate’s Arrows

As England crumbles, so does Thomas as he rails against the world which has snatched life and love away from him so savagely. The end of the 116 year struggle between old foes shall be the making and breaking of a boy yet to develop into a man….

Book Review: The Iron King, by Maurice Druon

Touted by George R.R. Martin as the original Game of Thrones, Druon’s series has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently, and can be found in major bookstores.

Teaching Historical Theory through Video Games

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.

Minecraft and the Middle Ages

It is one of the most popular video games ever created. Moreover, educators are finding ways to use Minecraft as a teaching tool, and one that could be ideal for learning about the Middle Ages.

Gareth Hinds’ Beowulf

Dark and visceral, the graphic novel version of Beowulf created by Gareth Hinds is considered to be one of the most successful adaptations of the Old English tale.

Using LEGO to teach the Middle Ages

Here are a few ideas that teachers can use to teach the Middle Ages with LEGO

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