The Medieval Magazine (Volume 3, No. 12) : Medieval Nation

In this issue we tackle National Holidays and the development of Nations, manuscripts at the Getty, and look at courtly festivities and jousting in London. We’re also baking bread Viking style, taking a trip to Avignon, and joining the medieval navy!

This Week in Medieval Manuscript Images

We begin with several images depicting the martyrdom of Thomas Becket, which took place of December 29, 1170, followed by another 30 interesting medieval manuscript images that have been tweeted out in the last seven days.

Shaping a Saint’s Identity: The Imagery of Thomas Becket in Medieval Italy

This article sets out to trace the visual responses to the sainthood of Thomas of Canterbury outside of his original cultural context, namely in Italy, where his cult was readily received, integrated and modified.

The Lion’s Roar: Anger in the Dispute between Henry II and Thomas Becket

The purpose of this paper will be to analyze representations of anger in the sources on Becket’s life and the place of anger in the dispute, and to assess what that suggests about understandings and uses of anger in twelfth-century English politics.

The Episcopal Body and Sexuality in Late Medieval England

How was long-term celibacy thought to affect the health of religious men? How could medical knowledge help clerics to achieve bodily purity?

Ritual, Behaviour and Symbolic Communication in the dispute between Thomas Becket and King Henry II

From the dispute between Becket and Henry II we see the continuation of many traditional forms of political communication, including the use of symbolic rhetoric and items in the conduct of rituals, and also the deliberate staging of emotions.

THINGS TO SEE: Murder in the Cathedral

This is my review of the T.S. Eliot’s play, “Murder in the Cathedral”, on at St. Bartholomew in Smithfield, London.

BOOK REVIEW: A King’s Ransom – Sharon Kay Penman

A King’s Ransom is the follow up to Lionheart and tells the story of King Richard I’s imprisonment in Germany at the hands of Duke Leopold of Austria and Emperor Heinrich VI and of his battle to win back his Kingdom from his rapacious brother John.

Unpleasant Affairs That Please Us: Admonition and Rebuke in the Letter Collections of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 11th and 12th Centuries

From the Norman Conquest in 1066 up to the famous “murder in the cathedral”2 in 1170, six archbishops of Canterbury ruled over the English church…

BOOKS:Medieval Celebrities!

They may not have won any Oscars, but they were definitely medieval celebrities! Here are some great reads about some of the most famous faces of the Middle Ages

Saintly Rivals – a brief comparison of the cults of Thomas Becket and Edward the Confessor

The trajectories of these two cults make for an interesting comparison because their origins are close to each other in space and time, but also because of the many differences between them.

Making the martyr: the liturgical persona of Saint Thomas Becket in visual imagery


England: One Country, Two Courts

The tension created by the two-court system is an integral part of England’s administrative and constitutional history. Exactly how integral has generated a considerable amount of scholarly work, from explanations of the sources of the conflict, to how the disagreement over jurisdiction was addressed throughout the Middle Ages, to what impact the issue had in shaping England’s overall political development.

Comparing Pilgrim Souvenirs and Trinity Chapel Windows at Canterbury Cathedral

The story begins with two tin pilgrim ampullae2 made before 1220 in Canterbury, England, that were found centuries later, one in France (now in the Cluny Museum) and one in Norway (now in the Historical Museum in Bergen, Norway).

Saint by Association: Samson, Thomas Becket, and Simon de Montfort

The seemingly unusual companionship of Samson (of Samson and Delilah fame), Thomas Becket, the murdered Archbishop of Canterbury, and Simon de Montfort, the leader of the Barons War, has come about, for this paper, because of their mutual presence in the British Library’s Harley Manuscript 978.

Isaac of Stella, the Cistercians and the Thomas Becket Controversy: A Bibliographical and Contextual Study

Isaac of Stella, the Cistercians and the Thomas Becket Controversy: A Bibliographical and Contextual Study By Travis D. Stolz PhD Dissertation, Marquette University, 2010 Abstract: Isaac of Stella (ca. 1100-ca. 1169), an English-born Cistercian and abbot, has been dwarfed by Bernard of Clairvaux and other of his twelfth-century Cistercian contemporaries in terms of literary output and […]

Material and Meaning in Lead Pilgrims’ Signs

Material and Meaning in Lead Pilgrims’ Signs Lee, Jennifer (Indiana University – Purdue University of Indianapolis) Peregrinations, Vol.2, Issue 3 (2009) Abstract Thanks to the increase in medieval archaeology over the last half century, pilgrims‘ badges, ampullae, and other wearable tokens of devotion, most often called ―signs‖ in medieval documents, are now more numerous than any […]

Monasticism in Angevin England

Monasticism in Angevin England By Helen Steele Published Online Introduction: In 1164, King Henry II, now ten years into his reign, published the Constitutions of Clarendon. Henry was attempting to clarify the laws of England that had been left so uncertain after Stephen’s reign and the civil wars that accompanied it The Constitutions included clauses […]

Thomas Becket and the Quest for Martyrdom

Becket’s murder shocked the kingdom and brought the struggle between Church and State to the forefront.

The Bruce Dynasty, Becket and Scottish Pilgrimage to Canterbury, c.1178-c.1404

This paper seeks to question the assumption that the outbreak of prolonged Anglo-Scottish war in 1296 brought an abrupt decline in Scottish interest in St Thomas, his shrine at Canterbury and the great abbey dedicated to him in Scotland at Arbroath

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