Recent reconstructions and computer simulations reveal the operating principles of the most powerful weapon of its time
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.
For a broader modern audience today, if taken somewhat journalistically, Pusicius’ story is an example that cuts along cultural and religious lines that presumably originate in ancient, political divisions and confirm a “clash of civilizations” thesis.
Why, after a scarcity of elephant ivory in northern Europe during the twelfth century, was there sudden access to such large tusks around 1240?
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.
While Chaucer‟s knight has traveled to and fought in Spain, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia Minor, Sir John claims to have visited the entire known world from Constantinople and the Holy Land to the farthest reaches of Asia.
According to the Book of Matthew, Jesus said that there were eunuchs made of men, who had made them- selves by their fathers to be that way for heaven’s sake, and if they have received such a procedure, then let them keep it. Jesus referred to castration as an infallible way to achieve celibacy. And records of Christian history indicate that many Christian religious figures were castrated.
By the early fourteenth century, the Mediterranean was approaching maturity as a commercial structure. Various arteries of exchange brought into its scope the full range of European, African and Asian commodities.
Although the Royal Menagerie and its animals are known from documentary records, few physical re- mains survive (O’Regan et al., 2005). Amongst the rare exceptions are two lion skulls that were recovered from the moat of the Tower of London during excava- tions in 1936-1937. These skulls were recently radio- carbon-dated to AD1280-1385 and AD1420-1480.
How, for example, did an artist produce the staggeringly realistic portrait of a negro warrior in the mid 13th century on the cathedral at Magdeburg, and what ideas lay behind this?
This paper’s argument is purposeless without the reader knowing the seventh century events of the so-called explosion of Islam, and the interpretation of which I find so contentious. Thus a brief description of the episode is necessary.
Another twelfth-century poem in the same goliardic metre as the two lines just cited, the Methamorphosis go lye episcopi, goes far beyond this passing mention of Martianus and makes a most unexpected use of the De Nuptiis.
The legend of Prester John is one of the most fascinating and powerful myths of all time. To say that Medieval Europeans knew little about the world outside of their native continent is truly an understatement. It was an age in which much was assumed rather than ascertained about the exotic lands beyond.
The Kunstmann II map (99 x 110.5 cm) records the discoveries made in the New World by Miguel Corte-Real and Amerigo Vespucci in 1501–1502.
Although the existence of these peoples was increasingly put into question during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they had not yet vanished from the face of the earth.
Current scholarship emphasizes that the old model of conversion—of, say, Christianity being actively forced onto passive and subordinate peoples—is no longer satisfactory, and instead prefers to frame the issue around concepts of cultural interaction or cultural transmission, and selective appropriation of the host religion.
This thesis challenges this common conception by demonstrating that throughout Ethiopia’s medieval period (1270-1555), the time of greatest conflict between the Ethiopian Empire and its Muslim neighbors, Muslim forces did not besiege the Ethiopian Empire.
Where was Paradise to be found? In this regard, a considerable number of different locations have been proposed.
In this paper I wish to explore the similarities and differences that these two cities exhibit in terms of their evolution, their relationship to political power, and most importantly, the ways they imagined themselves in relation to metropolitan centers in the Islamic heartland.
Research being carried out on the remains of hundreds of men, women and children from medieval Nubia has revealed they were plagued by meager diets, high infant mortality and diseases such as scurvy and tuberculosis.
How could the Berbers originate in al-Andalus when everyone knows they are the original inhabitants of North Africa? One of the goals of this article is to show that asking the question in this way is part of the problem and that it stands in the way of securing the soundness of historical interpretations of the past.
Historical records have shown that the East African coast was connected to ancient global trade networks. These early overseas contacts are evidenced by references to trading voyages in the early 1st millennium AD and in the 11th to 14th century AD.
The history of Ethiopia from the decline of Aksum until the early sixteenth century is commonly divided into three periods.