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How did people sleep in the Middle Ages?

A recent book on the history of sleeping shows that during the Middle Ages people typically slept in two periods during the night.

The Identity of the St Bees Lady, Cumbria: An Osteobiographical Approach

USING AN OSTEOBIOGRAPHICAL approach, this contribution considers the identity of the woman found alongside the St Bees Man, one of the best-preserved archaeological bodies ever discovered. Osteological, isotopic and radiocarbon analyses, combined with the archaeo- logical context of the burial and documented social history, provide the basis for the identifica- tion of a late 14th-century heiress whose activities were at the heart of medieval northern English geopolitics.

Leiðarvísir: Its Genre and Sources, with Particular Reference to the Description of Rome

For the last two centuries, Leiðarvísir has been the subject of great interest by scholars from a variety of disciplines: not only Old Norse scholars, but also historians, geographers, toponymists and scholars of pilgrimage have studied and analysed this work.

Elisabeth of Schönau: Visions and Female Intellectual Culture of the High Middle Ages

Elisabeth of Schönau (1128/29-1164/65) was a Rhineland Benedictine who wrote numerous visionary texts. These works addressed local problems in the cloister and community, reform within the Church, and theological questions.

A Revival of Female Spirituality: Adaptations of Nuns’ Rules during the Hiberno-Frankish Monastic Movement

Before Columbanus, Irish abbots demonstrated little interest in producing monastic rules as we know them from the traditions of Benedict of Nursia and Caesarius of Arles. Preferring instruction by example to any documented tenets, Irish monasticism emphasized the conduct of the founding or ruling abbot or abbess as a model to imitate.

To Take Care of the Monks, Take Care of Christina: Christina of Markyate and the Medieval Spiritual/Material Market

In this essay I will delineate two of these emphases: (1) Christina’s powerful interaction with boundaries and the spaces they demarcate, and (2) the material/spiritual economy that develops between Christina and Geoffrey, the Abbot of the St. Albans Monastery. I will then argue that these emphases together form a message that might have been aimed at The Life’s monastic (and to some extent aristocratic) audience, perhaps even the abbots who succeeded Geoffrey.

Matthew Paris in Norway

It appears that Matthew only ever left England once, when, in 1248-9, he visited Norway to assist in settling a dispute at the Benedictine abbey of Nidarholm near Trondheim. It is on this episode that the following will focus.

The Consuetudines canonice of Lund

In this paper we shall deal with the customs in Lund, the so-called Consuetudines canonice.

The Passion of Peter Abelard

In the philosophical part of the project we chose not to use Abelardís work Dialogue of the Philosopher with a Jew and a Christian, which explains his views on different religions. Since we decided to use the Letters of Direction in order to get an overview about Abelardís view on Christianity, there appeared to be little need for the aforementioned book.

Excusing the Inexcusable: Abbots Who Diminish the Patrimony, and the Monks Who Love Them Anyway

This paper was part of the fantastic SESSION IV: Abbots between Ideals and Institutions, 10th–12th Centuries. This paper focused on the writing about abbots during the tumultuous period of Stephen’s reign.

You Are What You Eat: Hildegard of Bingen’s Viriditas

Hildegard argues in the beginning of Physica that humans become what they eat.

Organa doctorum: Gerbert of Aurillac, organbuilder?

He was born a peasant. Yet, through intelligence, political skill and uncommon good luck he came to be one of the most influential people in the Europe of his time…Pope Sylvester II.

Bernard Ayglier and William of Pagula: Two Approaches To Monastic Law

The paper examines the role of canon law in two monastic works, the Speculum monachorum (SM) (1272×74) of Bernard Ayglier (d.1282), abbot of Montecassino, and the Speculum religiosorum (SR) (c.1322) of William of Pagula, a canonist and secular priest (d.1332)

The Education of Heloise in Twelfth-Century France

This paper holds that Heloise had opportunity and one can demonstrate that other women, both secular and religious, while being located within the twelfth century of France, also had similar, if not more opportunities in education, business, and other domains that were typically thought of as impossible for women of this era.

Mary and the Jews in Anglo-Norman Monastic Culture

This thesis looks at the ways in which Benedictine monks contributed to the fashioning of images of Jews in sources related to the Marian cult in the post-Conquest period, 1066-1154.

Total St Gall: Medieval Monastery as a Disciplinary Institution

How much was a medieval monastery reminiscent of a modern prison? Or insane asylum?

Temptation and Redemption: A Monastic Life in Stone

The monks who wrote the legend of Eugenia and those of the other transvestite women/monks were explicitly including a female in an all male monastic milieu. Women, as a rule, were not allowed in male monastic enclosures; the Rule at Cluny strictly forbade any women to enter the grounds.

The Mystery of Monasticism: History, Spirituality and Vocation

What is a monk? What exactly do they do? What is the purpose of their way of life? These are the questions people often have when they first visit a monastery.

The Liturgical Context of Ælfric’s Homilies for Rogation

To search out Ælfric’s sources is also to inquire into his method of composition, to guess at the principles that guided him to some sources and away from others. Malcolm Godden has provided a remarkably full list of Ælfric’s sources, and suggests that Ælfric relied on relatively few volumes to compose his homilies.

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

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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