Book: Magna Carta: The Birth of Liberty - Dan Jones

Here are a few recent releases for medievalists hunting for Black Friday books and early Christmas gifts!

The End of the Ancient Other World: Death and Afterlife between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

The earliest portrait of Saint Augustine in a 6th century fresco, Lateran, Rome.

Peter Brown gives lectures on ‘Gloriosus Obitus: Death and Afterlife 400-700 AD’ and ‘The Decline of the Empire of God: From Amnesty to Purgatory’

Defenders of the Faith: Augustine, Aquinas, and the Evolution of Medieval Just War Theory

medieval warfare -  Mediaeval and modern history (1905)

Christianity has always had a difficult relationship with the concept of war. After all, it is impossible to follow Christ’s command to ‘love one’s neighbor’ on the battlefield.

Intersex in the Middle Ages

Statue of Hermaphrodite - Louvre

A brief look at how the medieval world viewed the Intersex individual.

An Apostolic Vocation: The Formation of the Religious Life for the Dominican Sisters in the Thirteenth Century

Dominican choir nuns of Notre Dame

The Dominican vocation sprang from complex historical understandings of the vita apostolica, and the Dominican women’s religio should be approached as part of these same contexts and perceptions.

Bede’s Temple as History

The Venerable Bede Translates John by J. D. Penrose (ca 1902)

Another IHR paper, this time, a talk given about Bede’s writing and his interest in the image of the Temple and its relation to Christianity. This paper also examined how Bede’s views shifted over time. How did Bede view Judaism? Was he truly ambivalent?

Two Rabbinic Views of Christianity in the Middle Ages

Picture of Medieval Jews

In the sessions of our section over the past decade, I introduced a significant distinction between two rabbinic attitudes in the Mediterranean countries during the Middle Ages of 12th and 13th centuries as to their view of Christianity.

‘Protecting the non-combatant’: Chivalry, Codes and the Just War Theory

Medieval War - Royal 16 G VI f. 427v Civil war in England - image courtesy British Library

The concept of chivalry, a traditional code of conduct idealised by the knightly class relating to times of both peace and war, dominated the medieval period and many of the scholars who contributed to the principle of jus in bello were in fact writing about chivalry.

Avignon vs. Rome: Dante, Petrarch, Catherine of Siena

Rome in 1500

In the fourteenth century the image of ancient Rome as Babylon was transformed into the positive idea of Rome as both a Christian and a classical ideal.

Hobbes, Augustine, and the Christian nature of man in Leviathan

Thomas Hobbes

Scholars of Thomas Hobbes can be loosely divided into two camps: those who believe Hobbes retained strong medieval elements in his philosophy and those who argued that Hobbes’ philosophy marks a clear break from both Ancient philosophy and Christianity.

Medieval Thought and its Architectural Expression


This dissertation will study the correlation and influences between a series of underlying beliefs and how these find expression in the architecture and setting of place.

‘The Torrent of the Human Race:’ The Concept of Movement in the Works of Saint Augustine and Its Impact on the Medieval Imagination


For Augustine, movement was essential in four respects. First, it described the nature of the relationship between an eternal God and a finite, temporal, material world. Second, movement constituted the basic imperative of the Christian message: man’s soul is compelled to move toward God or perish eternally.

Criminal Behaviour by Pilgrims in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period

Pilgrim on the Way of St. James (Jakobsweg) - 16th century image

In the early and high Middle Ages, an introspective religiosity was predominant and supported by Benedictine and Cistercian monks; thus, pil- grimages to holy places were neither as popular nor practiced as they were in the period from the late Middle Ages onwards.

Two Augustines?


Beyond the decision to keep what Christians call the Old Testament, probably the only positive Christian contribution to Jewish-Christian relations from the patristic era was Augustine’s ‘witness doctrine.’

Reality and Truth in Thomas of York: Study and Text


The investigation is conducted through a study of opposites into which being is divided. These opposites are principally the one and the many, potency and act, truth and falsity.

The Light was retreating before Darkness: Tales of the Witch hunt and climate change


Little by little, out of the old conviction —pagan and Christian— of evil interference in atmospheric phenomena evolved the belief that some people may use malign sorcery to set off whirlwinds hail, frosts, floods and other destructive weather events.

The myth of Jewish male menses

15th century depiction of Jewish men

Several scholars have asserted that medieval Christians believed that Jewish men menstruated. Their arguments, made in support of a grander claim that Jews as a collectivity were gendered feminine in Christian thought, rest on numerous misreadings.

Eriugena: The Medieval Irish Genius Between Augustine and Aquinas

Eriugena: The Medieval Irish Genius Between Augustine and Aquinas

Carolingian thinker Johannes Scottus Eriugena (810-877 CE) is the author of numerous philosophical and theological works.

Female Hospitallers in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

Knights Hospitaller

These Hospitaller brothers had sisters. The first known sister was Adelaide, who became a female Hospitaller during a chapter meeting of the Hospitallers of Saint-Gilles and Trinquetaille in 1146.

The emotion of Shame in Medieval Philosophy

Thomas Aquinas 3

In his Summa theologiae, Thomas Aquinas presents a very detailed taxonomy of emotions which is influenced by some earlier medieval theories.

Thomas Bradwardine: Forgotten Medieval Augustinian

Theologian & Philosopher

In spite of this dearth of scholarly publications on Bradwardine, he deserves serious consideration. From a church historical perspective, he represents a resurgence of a relatively pure Augustinianism in the late Middle Ages.

Consorting with the other: Re-constructing scholastic, rhetorical and literary attitudes to pagans and paganism in the Middle Ages

Augustine as depicted by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1480)

My thesis suggests that Christian culture in the late antique to medieval period consciously adapted pagan cultures for its own ends, with a particular view to the usefulness of pagan cultures.

The Conjugal Debt and Medieval Canon Law

Medieval Sex

The apostle Paul was the earliest influential spokesman for a Christian view of marriage and sexuality. Marital sex was, for Paul, a safeguard against human weakness (1 Cor. 7.1-2).

Theological Works of the Venerable Bede and their Literary and Manuscript Presentation, with Special Reference to the Gospel Homilies


Bede’s theology is complex and closely interwoven; as we can observe, the different themes are interleaved within the homilies. Though Bede was profoundly influenced by Gregory, Augustine and the other Church Fathers, he combined their theologies in a new way that has had a lasting influence.

Writers in religious orders and their lay patrons in late medieval England

Medieval Monks

Critics have long recognized that the religious orders played an important part in the production of vernacular devotional literature in late medieval England. The orders were well suited to this task. Reading and writing were an important part of the life of those who lived under a rule.

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