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.
The holiday season is upon us once again, which means that it’s time to get medieval and party like there’s no fifteenth century!
When I was younger, I thought that Roosevelt’s words meant that if we only have our own fear to fear, then there is nothing at all to be afraid of. Now, it seems clear to me that this means something very different…
However you encounter Julian, whether for the first time or the hundredth, no doubt you will hear the quiet voice of a lifetime of contemplation.
By Danièle Cybulskie Over the last few weeks, countless parents have kissed their sons and daughters and sent them off to study away from home, loading them up with advice and admonitions to take good care of themselves. Hundreds of years ago, medieval parents were loading up their own children with love and advice, too. […]
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 […]
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 […]
By Danièle Cybulskie If you’ve ever had your doubts that King Arthur was a real, living, breathing human being at some point, you’re not alone. Despite the many, many histories that “prove” that Arthur was definitely this or that – tenacious Briton, Roman military man, leader of hunky Sarmatians – the evidence is pretty thin. […]
By Danièle Cybulskie In thinking this week about the medieval mysteries we’ll never solve, it struck me that one of the most fun questions that I – and everyone else who loves medieval books – ponder is why the particular stories in them are put together the way they are. Most medieval manuscripts that aren’t […]
By Danièle Cybulskie Assassin’s Creed: Trial by Fire, a compilation of the first five comic books in the new Assassin’s Creed series, comes from the same writers that brought us the immensely popular Kill Shakespeare, a comic series that playfully wreaked havoc with Shakespeare’s canon, while drawing in a whole new audience to his plays. Written […]
By Danièle Cybulskie This week, I read the story of Christine the Astonishing for the first time (in Medieval Writings on Female Spirituality, translated by Elizabeth Spearing), and it struck me that while it’s meant to be the story of a holy woman’s life, it also gives us an intimate look at what was likely […]
By Danièle Cybulskie This week, I came across one of those great medieval stories that is just too good not to share: “The Fantastical Shoemaker of Constantinople”. This twisted tale comes from Walter Map’s twelfth-century miscellany De Nugis Curialium or Courtiers’ Trifles, and all quotes you’ll find below come from Richard Sowerby‘s reader-friendly translation in the great collection […]
By Danièle Cybulskie Time and again, I’ve heard medieval knights referred to as “killing machines”, bred for a lifetime of battle and destruction. Difficult as it may be, it’s critical to for us to remember that every one of the men mired in mud and blood on the battlefield was not a machine, but a […]
Like a lot of historians, I’m hugely interested in reading primary sources – the words of medieval people themselves – but it can often be difficult to find them. Lucky for us, Dr. Joan Ferrante and her team have made a website that features letters to and from medieval women, all translated into English, all for free.
Let’s take five minutes to look at what may be the most famous hospital of the Middle Ages: The Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem
One of the best presentations I saw at the International Congress on Medieval Studies this year was by Erik Kwakkel from Leiden University.
Existential crises and questions of faith in times of hardship are not modern phenomena. Medieval people routinely questioned their faith, most poignantly when it came to death.
Medieval people ate a lot of bread. A lot. They ate pounds of bread every day, and even used it as plates – or trenchers – which sounds both practical and delicious (although trencher bread was usually stale).
The @5MinMedievalist, Danièle Cybulskie,
Danièle Cybulskie, the @5minMedievalist brings us a piece on Anglo-Saxon poetry.
Danièle Cybulskie, the 5MinMedievalist, shares her five favourite Middle English romances – what are yours?
The 5MinMedievalist talks to us about the popular medieval sport of falconry!
Danièle Cybulskie, @5MinMedievalist, gives a review of Nigel A. Raab’s latest book, ‘Who is the Historian’.
It’s a common misconception that medieval minds regarded every little gadget with superstition and fear. Like us, medieval people loved wearable tech, and adapted useful gear – like sundials – to take with them on the go. In the thirteenth-century, Europeans were keen to get on board with the latest high-tech gadget to come out of Italy: eyeglasses.
For medieval people, success meant succession. Heredity was at the centre of law and order, from the king down through the ranks of society. As a result, the moment children reached marriageable age – and sometimes even before that – everyone’s focus was on their fertility.