Sumanguru Kante: The King with two Mothers

The recently translated account of The Epic of Sumanguru Kante offers some fascinating stories, including a description of how this West African ruler was born to two mothers.

Researchers find first evidence of glassmaking in sub-Saharan Africa

Scholars from Rice University, University College London and the Field Museum have found the first direct evidence that glass was produced in sub-Saharan Africa centuries before the arrival of Europeans.

Black Death spread to sub-Saharan Africa, researcher finds

After three years of work, Gérard Chouin is adamant that the medieval-era bubonic plague epidemic, the Black Death, spread to Sub-Saharan Africa and killed many people there as it did in Europe and the Mediterranean basin in the 14th century.

Animals came with medieval trade in Indian Ocean, researchers find

The earliest introduction of domestic chickens and black rats from Asia to the east coast of Africa came via maritime routes between the 7th and 8th centuries AD.

Enforcing contracts for Valencian commerce: the institutional foundations of international trade in the first half of the fifteenth century

This paper tries to explore how contract enforcement was handled in the cross-religious environment of late medieval Christian Valencia, Muslim Granada and North Africa, given the fact that each religious community has usually been assumed to apply their own set of rules through their own community courts.

The Globalised World of the Middle Ages: An archaeologist’s view

This talk outlines how archaeologists can reveal the globalised world, with examples from medieval West Africa and the Indian Ocean. What can objects tell us about how our ancestors engaged with their immediate world, and the world beyond?

How Much Do You Know About Ancient and Medieval Africa?

Test your knowledge and see if you can guess these sites of ancient and medieval Africa

Why Did Valarte Die? Death of a Danish Knight during Expedition to West Africa in mid-15th Century

‘The fame of their affair having spread through the different parts of the world, it arrived at the Court of the King of Denmark and Sweden and Norway; and as you see how noble men venture themselves with the desire to see and know such things’

The Papacy and Christian Mercenaries of Thirteenth-Century North Africa

Could one be a good mercenary and a good Christian at the same time?

Emperor Zar’a Ya’eqob (1434-68) And The Christianization Of Medieval Ethiopia

One of the most important figures in Ethiopian Christianity was the 15th century Emperor Zar’a Ya’eqob.

Medieval Morocco comes to the Louvre

The Louvre opened its Medieval Morocco: An Empire from Africa to Spain exhibition today, which will feature over 300 artefacts covering the North African kingdom’s history during the later Middle Ages.

Western relation with Ethiopia during the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period

By Hailu Kifle-Egzi

Dead and famous, or unknown but alive? Heroism and common sense in medieval Scandinavian and African tradition

Although some scholars see heroism as a characteristic of the whole Germanic tradition, a careful study of Scandinavian literature reveals that this is not the case

Did medieval sailors reach Australia?

Archaeologists hope to unravel the mystery of how coins dating back to the 10th century were found off the shores of Australia.

Black in Camelot: Race & Ethnicity in Arthurian Legend

Examining depictions of Africans in medieval and contemporary Arthurian literature, television and film.

Kongo Ambassadors, Papal Politics, and Italian Images of Black Africans in the Early 1600s

While the political and economic power of Italian states was declining in the Seventeenth Century, Italy’s cultural authority remained influential, especially in the visual arts and, of course, religion, even though Europe had been split into faith-based fragments by the Protestant Reformation after 1517.

The European Reconquest of North Africa

The chief structural features of Africa Minor are simple. The territory consists of a long strip of land bounded on the north by the Mediterranean,on the south by the Sahara, on the east by the Gulf of Tripoli and the Libyan Desert, on the west by the Atlantic.

The Cone of Africa . . . Took Shape in Lisbon

The year that Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic and Isabel and Ferdinand expelled the Jews from Spain, an unheralded event took place. A cartographer in Lisbon, Portugal, drew an amazing map detailing the coasts of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and western Africa.

The Trebuchet

Recent reconstructions and computer simulations reveal the operating principles of the most powerful weapon of its time

Rebaptism as a Ritual of Cultural Integration in Vandal Africa

Midway through the first book of his History of the Vandal Persecution, Victor of Vita narrates the story of a Vandal master who deemed it appropriate to allow his two Roman slaves, Martinianus and Maxima, to marry.

Avorio d’ogni ragione: the supply of elephant ivory to northern Europe in the Gothic era

Why, after a scarcity of elephant ivory in northern Europe during the twelfth century, was there sudden access to such large tusks around 1240?

Light through the dark ages: The Arabist contribution to Western ophthalmology

Because blindness was a major cause of morbidity in the medieval Arab world, as is the case in the developing world today, Arabist physicians developed much exposure to ophthalmological conditions, and nearly every major medical work written at the time had a chapter on diseases of the eye.

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