Obesity and Diet in Byzantium

Byzantine Food

I will list some of the causes and consequences of obesity in the Byzantine Empire. However, the aim of this report is to provide evidence to demonstrate that Byzantine physicians had treatments for obesity that are similar to modern day.

Women’s Devotional Bequests of Textiles in the Late Medieval English Parish Church, c.1350-1550

Medieval woman reading

My investigation is set within the context of the current high level of interest in the workings of the late medieval parish.

Living cheek by jowl: the pathoecology of medieval York

A panoramic view of York in the 15th century. A watercolour by E. Ridsdale Tate produced in 1914,

This paper aims to present the environmental context for disease combined with the human osteological record to reconstruct the pathoecology of medieval York.

Restaurants, Inns and Taverns That Never Were: Some Reflections on Public Consumption in Medieval Cairo

Citadel of Cairo from the 19th century

The article shows that, contrary to a commonly accepted assumption, no public consumption facilities such as restaurants, taverns or inns existed in medieval Cairo.

Measuring the Value of Things in the Middle Ages

The Money Changer and his Wife (1490).

The difficulty of understanding the value of things in the Middle Ages is one of the obstacles to our understanding of economic life in that era. The issue is first of all associated with the ways medievalists quantify and use numbers. Value was first investigated when studying prices in the 19th century, as a prerequisite to any knowledge of the economy.

Medieval Mean Girls: On Sexual Rivalry and the Uses of Cosmetics in La Celestina

La Celestina

The prevalent use of cosmetics among women fast became a topic for moralist discourse, both inside and out of the Peninsula.

Mole removal and sliced whale meat: The accounts of a medieval noble

Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare

What did medieval nobility spend their money on? A new book takes a look at the surviving accounting records of a 14th century noble – Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare.

The Tablet, Medieval-Style

Wax Tablet Medieval Style

Wax tablets have been around since ancient times, and now that I’ve made one, I can see why. They’re easy to make, use, and reuse; they’re light and durable; they’re portable; and they have lots of room for making mistakes.

Did people drink water in the Middle Ages?

drinking water middle ages

One of the oddest myths about the Middle Ages is that people did not drink water.

The Reordering of Society in Medieval Provence

Les_Très_Riches_Heures_du_duc_de_Berry_octobre_detail

“Here, some pray, others fight, still others work …” {}). “Since the beginning of time, mankind has been divided into three groups, men of prayer, farmers, and warriors” (2). Appearing between 1024 and 1031 in the writings of Adelbero, bishop of Laon, and his cousin Gerard, bishop of Cambrai, these two statements constitute the first fully developed expression of a tripartite, or more accurately a trifunctional conceptualization of European society.

Medieval Fashion Trends

medieval fashion trends

How did fashion change during the Middle Ages? Using images from medieval manuscripts, we can track some of the changes in fashion over the centuries. The styles of dress and clothing would see new trends emerge, ranging from long-toed shoes to plunging necklines.

Spoiled or Splendid? Speculations on a Culinary Misgiving

Preparing medieval food

In this essay, I intend to quickly present the case against the spoiled food of the Middle Ages, and then offer a few speculations as to why modern observers continue to perpetuate this distasteful myth.

Bathing, Beauty and Christianity in the Middle Ages

bathing in the Middle Ages

I realized that I needed to know much more about the attitude of the early Church to bathing, and how this evolved in the later Middle Ages. It turns out to be considerably more complex than one might suppose.

Medieval Drinking Horns

Medieval Drinking Horns

Here are ten things we learned about medieval drinking horns from Vivian Etting’s book The Story of the Drinking Horn.

Anglo Saxon and Viking Ship Burial – The British Museum

Oseberg Viking ship

This session explores Viking and Anglo Saxon ship burials between the seventh and tenth centuries presented at The British Museum.

The Medieval Plumbers of Exeter

Medieval Plumbers of Exeter - Andrea Vail (Flickr, used under a CC BY-SA 3.0)

Underneath the streets of the English city of Exeter their lies a network of medieval tunnels. For hundreds of years they were used to bring fresh drinking-water to the city. Now, a new book by Mark Stoyle is taking a look at the medieval plumbers who worked in these tunnels going back to the 14th century.

Jobs in the Middle Ages

jobs middle ages

Want to know what kind of jobs there were in the Middle Ages?

The contribution of insect remains to an understanding of the environment of Viking-age and medieval Dublin

Viking belt - Dublin, Ireland

This paper examines the important contribution that sub-fossil insect remains can make to an understanding of the environment of Viking-age and medieval Dublin.

Citie Calls for Beere: The Introduction of Hops and the Foundation of Industrial Brewing in London 1200-1700 

Depiction of 16th century brewers

This paper examines the impact of hopped beer on the brewing trade in London between the years 1200-1700.

A Goodman’s Guide to Marriage

medieval wedding

So, what kind of advice does a Parisian husband give to his wife in the late 14th Century?

London’s Medieval Pottery

Medieval London Pottery

Learn about the pottery discovered from medieval London with Jacqui Pearce of the Museum of London Archaeology.

BOOK REVIEW: “Defending the City of God” : A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem, by Sharan Newman

Defending the City of God - Sharan Newman

This is my review of Sharan Newman’s latest book, Defending the City of God: A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem.

Community Conflict and Collective Memory in the Late Medieval Parish Church

Medieval parish

What role does conflict play in the formation of community identity? And how do powerful, even violent, moments sustain that identity throughout centuries of change and transformation?

Childbirth Miracles in Swedish Medieval Miracle Collections

childbirth medieval

The chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth was very real for medieval women, and still is in many Third World countries. In Medieval Catholic Western Europe, including Scandinavia, these risks, and the absence of medically schooled persons who could give efficient help, led many women to turn to the saints for intercession.

Baths of Bliss in the Middle Ages: Fact and Fiction

Baths of Bliss in the Middle Ages

Medieval writers refer to baths in many contexts: spiritual (baptism), medical, erotic, didactic, comic, magical, dangerous – death in the bath was not uncommon.

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