Prostitution in the Medieval City

Brothel scene; Brunswick Monogrammist, 1537; Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Prostitution was a vice that was was considered a necessary evil because of “men’s lust”. Ecclesiastics felt that if brothels weren’t available to men in cities, they would find other inappropriate outlets for their entertainment. In an effort to curb potential problems, civic officials permitted prostitution to function within the city walls so long as it was regulated and turned a profit.

How Much Taxes Did a Medieval Peasant Pay? The numbers from Sweden

ruin of an medieval monastery named Alvastra in Östergötland county Sweden - Photo by Stefan / Flickr

A new study on taxation in late medieval Sweden has revealed fascinating details about how much peasants had to pay to the royal government in taxes.

New online database allows users to explore the families of Medieval England

Mapping the Medieval Countryside

Mapping the Medieval Countryside has announced that the beta version of their searchable English translations of inquisitions post mortem (IPMs) – a major source into the lives and legacies of thousands of families from the Later Middle Ages.

Medieval Emergencies and the Contemporary Debate

seal Philip IV of France

This article shows that medieval France formulated its own state of exception, meant to deal with emergencies, based on the legal principle of necessity.

Magna Carta Conference Offers New Insights Into The 800-year-old Document

British Library's Magna Carta, photo credit Joseph Turp

Magna Carta just celebrated its 800th birthday this past Monday. In honour of this incredible milestone, King’s College London, and the Magna Carta Project, hosted a 3 day conference dedicated to this historic document.

Foundation Myths in Medieval and Renaissance Italy

Plaque of Regola, the VII rione of Rome. (Dailyphotostream.blogspot.com)

The 3 papers featured here looked at the development of the civic identities of Florence, Genoa and Rome through art, architecture and foundation legends.

The building of Castles and the administration of Sweden

Kalmar Castle in Sweden

Throughout Sweden the King began to build castles on the basis of foreign models in the middle of the 13th century. It is about the new art of castle building under Anglo-Norman and German influence.

Þingvellir: Archaeology
 of 
the
 Althing

Law_speakerromanticised view of the 11th century Althing

The Norse General Assembly of Iceland, called the Althing at Þingvellir, was central to early Icelandic society in the Viking Age. Not only was it the high point of the annual social calendar, but it was also the focus of their ideals of justice and law-making, which the early Icelanders refined into an art.

‘Falseness Reigns in Every Flock’: Literacy and Eschatological Discourse in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381

Peasant's Revolt 1381

The literature of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, a miscellany of fourteenth-century poetry and prose penned before, during, and after the insurrection, often stresses the importance of literacy to the nonaristocratic population of England.

Women’s monasticism in late medieval Bologna, 1200-1500

Nuns

This dissertation explores the fluid relationship between monastic women and religious orders. I examine the roles of popes and their representatives, governing bodies of religious orders, and the nunneries themselves in outlining the contours of those relationships.

Serving the man that ruled: aspects of the domestic arrangements of the household of King John, 1199-1216

When banquets were dangerous for the soul

This thesis interrogates the evidence of the household ordinances from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, by using a corpus of record sources extant from 1199 onwards, which break through the façade of departmentalism to reveal the complexity of the royal household.

The Grant Atour of Metz (1405): denouncing the past, shaping the future

Metz (Porte des Allemands) German's Gate, 13th c.

In the late middle ages, the Imperial free city of Metz is firmly in the hands of the patricians: they control its entire government through associations called paraiges – and as the wealth of the city has been relying heavily on their rural possessions since the decline of the commercial role of the city, their leadership is not seriously at risk.

The Lit de Justice: Semantics, Ceremonial, and the Parlement of Paris, 1300–1600

King Charles VIII of France

The curious phrase lit de justice originated in the fourteenth century and by the first decade of the fifteenth century designated particularly important royal sessions of the Parlement of Paris.

Historian to develop online edition of the Augsburg Master Builders’ ledgers

Augsburg Master Builders' ledgers 1454, 1456/1, 1456/2 and 1463 ©: Augsburg City Archive

The German Research Foundation has awarded Professor Jörg Rogge of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz a grant of EUR 400,000 to create a digital edition of the Augsburg Master Builders’ ledgers.

Taxes, Loans, Credit and Debts in the 15th Century Towns of Moravia: A Case Study of Olomouc and Brno

Medieval Money Lenders

The paper explores urban public finance in the late medieval towns on the example of two largest cities in Moravia—Olomouc and Brno.

Women’s Devotional Bequests of Textiles in the Late Medieval English Parish Church, c.1350-1550

Medieval woman reading

My investigation is set within the context of the current high level of interest in the workings of the late medieval parish.

Norse Influences in the Organisation of the Medieval Church in the Western Isles

Norse era construction - St. Magnus Church, Egilsay, Scotland

In its definitive form of a system of local churches serving identifiable districts, usually known as parishes, grouped together under a diocesan bishop, the medieval church cannot be said to have existed in the general area of Scotland until the twelfth century. At this time, and for some three centuries previously, the islands to the north and west, with parts of the adjacent mainland, were under Norse control.

1295: The Year of the Galleys

1295 year of galleys

This lecture is about an extraordinary set of English shipbuilding accounts dating from the 1290s, when the ports of London, Southampton, Ipswich, York, Newcastle and other places constructed eight war galleys for King Edward I.

Mole removal and sliced whale meat: The accounts of a medieval noble

Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare

What did medieval nobility spend their money on? A new book takes a look at the surviving accounting records of a 14th century noble – Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare.

The Consolidation of Local Authority Through the Defense of the Church in the Royal Domain of France Under Louis VI

The_crowning_of_Louis_VI_in_Orleans

When Louis VI ascended to the throne in 1108 AD, he faced substantial challenges as the fifth monarch of the Capetian dynasty; he confronted the problem of stopping the general decline of the monarchy and achieved this in a way that reasserted the foundations of the crown as the sole dominant figure in the royal domain and a respected lord throughout the kingdom.

Medieval Prisons: Between Myth and Reality, Hell and Purgatory

medieval prisons

When were medieval prisons founded? What was life inside them like? How did contemporary observers perceive them?

Discrimination Against the Jewish Population in Medieval Castile and León

Map of Spain from 1700

I have tried to show the degree of discrimination suffered by the Jewish community in these two kingdoms in the Middle Ages through a deep analysis of the legal sources, lay as much as ecclesiastical, and also through documentary collections reflecting their practical application

Notarial Convention in the Facilitation of Trade and Economics in Mid-Thirteenth Century Marseille

Medieval banking

This paper examines Marseillaise notarial documents of 1248 from the cartulary of Girauld Amalric. Amalric’s cartulary demonstrates how notarial techniques and related legal conventions facilitated Marseille’s long- and short-distance trade.

Violence and Repression in Late Medieval Italy

Italian city states - Guelphs and the Ghibellines

Between the second half of the thirteenth century and the first half of the fifteenth, central and northern Italian city-states frequently suffered moments of disruption of the social peace because of factional battles.

Legal Centralization and the Birth of the Secular State

witch burning

This paper investigates the relationship between the historical process of legal centralization and increased religious toleration by the state. We develop a model in which legal centralization leads to the criminalization of the religious beliefs of a large proportion of the population.

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