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Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Portrayal of the Arrival of Christianity in Britain: Fact or Fiction?

Decorated initials 'C'(umque) and 'K'(imbelinus) in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britanniae. Photo courtesy British Library

I would like to suggest that an open-minded approach to a reading of the Historia Regum Britanniae shows that Geoffrey does not entirely deserve his reputation.

The Cathedral and the City

Chartres Cathedral - photo by Atlant / wikicommons

Another fantastic talk. Professor Caroline Bruzelius talks to us about medieval art, architecture, and the role of the cathedral in Medieval society.

Cultural Exchange in the Languages and Literatures of Medieval Spain

Spanish crest from Valencia. Photo by Medievalists.net

Professor David Wacks’s fascinating discussion of the Iberian Peninsula and it’s incredible linguistic heritage.

Crusaders, Pilgrims, and Relics – Bearers of the Cross: Material Religion in the Crusading World 1095-1300

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. (Wikipedia)

The Museum of the Order of St. John is hosting a series of events and talks to promote their project: Bearers of the Cross: Material Religion in the Crusading World 1095-1300.

The Ruin: The Past Dreaming of the Past

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England. Stonehenge, Condado de Wiltshire, Inglaterra, August 12, 2014 (Wikipedia).

Danièle Cybulskie, the @5minMedievalist brings us a piece on Anglo-Saxon poetry.

The Global Side of Medieval at the Getty Centre: Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts

Ethiopian Manuscript. Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA. 'Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscript' (Photo courtesy of Dani Trynoski)

Los Angeles correspondent, Danielle Trynoski takes through the, ‘Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts’ exhibut at the Getty Museum.

Movie Review: Pope Joan – Medieval Legend Comes to Life Onscreen

Film: Johanna Wokalek as Pope Joan

Released in 2009, also under its German title, ,Die Päpstin,, ,Pope Joan’ recounts the medieval legend of Johanna von Ingleheim, a woman who disguised herself as a man, lived as a monk, and eventually went on to become pope in the ninth century.

Friendship, Betrayal, War: “Soldier of God” Movie Review

Soldier of God - Rene, a French Templar Knight who survives the Battle of Hattin. Played by Tim Abell.

A Templar and a Muslim; their strange friendship is the premise of this week’s movie based in the 12th century immediately after the disastrous Battle of Hattin.

BOOK REVIEW: Grendel’s Mother: The Saga of the Wyrd-Wife by Susan Signe Morrison

Books: Grendel's Mother by Susan Signe Morrison.

Grendel’s Mother tells the story of Brimhild, a child found abandoned in a boat on the shores of Denmark. Taken in by a fisherwoman woman and her husband, she is received as a blessing for the child they recently lost. There is nothing to identify her save for a few strange, and foreign items packed […]

Epiphany: Three Kings Day

The Three Magi, Byzantine mosaic c.565, Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy (restored 18th century). As here Byzantine art usually depicts the Magi in Persian clothing which includes breeches, capes, and Phrygian caps. Wikipedia

A look at the history behind Epiphany and Twelfth Night.

How did people sleep in the Middle Ages?

A sleeping man in a medieval manuscript - from British Library Royal 19 D III   f. 458

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

Celebrating the New Year, Medieval Style

The Festival of Fools - Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525)

A look at New Year’s in the Middle Ages.

BOOK REVIEW: The Lady Agnes Mystery – Volume I

Books: The Lady Agnes Mystery - Volume I by Andrea Japp

A review of the Lady Agnes Mystery by Parisienne author, Andrea Japp.

Advent in the Middle Ages

My Star Wars Advent Calendar - Sadly, this delicious tradition isn't medieval.

Advent in the Middle Ages

Early Medieval Celtic Art in Britain and Ireland: A Curator’s Perspective

Gundestrup Cauldron. Silver. Gundestrup, northern Denmark, 100 BC–AD 1. © The National Museum of Denmark.

Martin Golberg, Senior Curator at the National Museums of Scotland, travelled to the British Museum to give audiences perspective on the various pieces in the exhibit as well as an introduction to what constitutes “Celtic” art.

The Struggle is Real: Where are the Medieval Economists?!

Dr. Daniel Curtis presenting his talk at, "Making the Medieval Relevant" at the University of Nottingham.

Another fascinating paper from “Making the Medieval Relevant” was given by Daniel Curtis, a specialist in Social and Economic History, and a professor at the University of Utrecht.

Science and Religion in the Middle Ages

Science and Religion in the Middle Ages

Why did science and natural philosophy suffer such disparate fates in the two great civilizations of Christendom and Islam?

Medieval Lisbon: Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery, Belém, Lisbon. Photo by Medievalists.net.

Of the four medieval #placestosee in Lisbon, Jerónimos Monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, was my favourite. The monastery is located in Belém, a suburb of Lisbon, that is famous for the 16th century monastery, as well as for its world famous pastry shop, Pastéis de Belém…

Medieval Lisbon: Castelo de São Jorge

Walking along the castle walls, you can see the red and green flag of Portugal whipping in the wind alongside the black and white flag of the city. Photo by Medievalists.net.

Above Lisbon’s skyline of colourful tiled houses and red roofs lies Castelo de São Jorge, a dominating, but beautiful, 11th century fortress in the heart of this vibrant city…

Embracing Death, Celebrating Life: Reflections on the Concept of Martyrdom in the Order of the Knights Templar

Detail of a miniature of the burning of the Grand Master of the Templars and another Templar. From the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis, BL Royal MS 20 C vii f. 48r

Although research on the concept of martyrdom during the era of the Crusades has gained considerable prominence, it has rarely been applied to the Knights Templar. This is surprising, as the Templars were the first military order and paved the way for a new monastic development; they were devoted to warfare only; and they, together with the other military orders, but unlike most Crusaders, established a permanent presence in the hostile environment of the Holy Land, consequently facing the threat of death both regularly and frequently.

How Christianity came to Europe

Saint Remigius baptizes Clovis, in a painting of c. 1500

During the Middle Ages nearly all the lands of Europe converted to Christianity. In this short guide, we take a look at how various lands adopted Christianity, including by means of missionary efforts, politics and warfare.

The Afterlife of the Dead: Reform in Attitude Towards Medieval Burials, Corpses and Bones

Rothwell Charnel Chapel. Photo courtesy of ITV.

The International Medieval Congress is taking place at the University of Leeds, I’m on hand this week to report on the conference. This blog post reports on my first session.

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