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Historical Oddity: The Birth of a Commonwealth in Medieval Iceland

Iceland is an odd place with an odd history. Despite being ranked among the wealthiest nations today, for much of its history it was left out of the growth and development of culture and technology throughout the Medieval period. It has never been a particularly hospitable environment for human habitation. Wind-blasted, cold, and rocky, it was an island left unsettled by humans long after it was discovered.

BOOK EXCERPT: King Cnut and the Viking Conquest of England 1016 by W.B. Bartlett

The Viking Conquest of England in 1016, saw two great warriors, the Danish prince Cnut, and his equally ruthless English opponent, King Edmund Ironside fight an epic campaign.

BOOK REVIEW: The Anglo-Saxons in 100 Facts by Martin Wall

Looking for a “historical beach read” this summer? Look no further. Martin Wall’s latest book, The Anglo-Saxons in 100 Facts brings pre-conquest England to life in a chronological series full of interesting, humorous and gruesome facts about the Anglo Saxons.

Royalit: What Did Medieval Kings Read?

The @5MinMedievalist, Danièle Cybulskie,

The Ruin: The Past Dreaming of the Past

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

BOOK REVIEW: The Northern Queen by Kelly Evans

Kelly Evans’Anglo-Saxon novel centres around the story of Aelfgifu of Northampton (990-1040); from her rise in court and eventual marriage to one of England’s most famous early kings, Cnut the Great (995-1035), to her repudiation, and later life with her sons after Cnut’s passing.

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

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.

Outrage in Matrera Over Botched Castle Restoration

A botched restoration attempt in Spain has garnered international attention and condemnation from locals, historians and conservationists.

A Viking Mess – Northmen: A Viking Saga Movie Review

This week’s medieval movie is Northmen: A Viking Saga.

BOOK REVIEW: Grendel’s Mother: The Saga of the Wyrd-Wife 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 […]

Medieval Hangover Cures

Here are a few hangover cures from days gone by, because people who partied like it was 1399 also needed a little help the morning after.

Did People Ice Skate in the Middle Ages?

How did medieval people pass the time during the coldest part of the year? I came across several instances of medieval people strapping on skates and taking a twirl (or a tumble!) on the ice. Here is how it all began!

Care of relics in early medieval Rome

Hidden in a dark corner of St. Peter’s shrine, Pope Sergius I (687–701) found a silver box so blackened with age that he was at first unsure whether it was indeed made of silver.

Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages

Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages: How did people stay warm? What did they eat? What did they do?

The Wolf-Warrior: Animal Symbolism on Weaponry of the 6th and 7th centuries

Decorative art in Scandinavia during the late Iron Age and Viking Period was largely dominated by animals in stylized forms.

Making the Medieval Relevant: Crossing Boundaries: Interdisciplinary Studies on Disease and Disability

A summary of a paper given by Professor Christina Lee at the University of Nottingham’s “Making the Medieval Relevant” Conference.

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

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’

Medieval Lisbon: Castelo de São Jorge

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…

Who Were The Celts? The British Museum Offers Answers with New Exhibition

The British Museum just opened its latest exhibit, Celts: Art and Identity this past Thursday, covering 2,500 years of Celtic history. The exhibit explores Celtic identity and how it eveolved from the time of the Ancient Greeks to the present through art, culture, daily life, religion and politics.

Reporting Scotland in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

The aim of this paper is to explore the changing way in which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports events in northern Britain, beyond the Anglo-Saxon territories, in the hope of gaining a better understanding both of events in that region and, perhaps more interestingly, the way in which the Chronicle was constructed.

Movie Review: Tristan and Isolde

As far as medieval movies go, Tristan and Isolde definitely isn’t the worst I’ve seen. I was looking for a movie to watch after work, and I thought, hey, James Franco, Sophia Moyles, Henry Cavill, and Rufus Sewell, all directed by Ridley Scott?! – this can’t be that bad. Well, it was pretty bad, but it wasn’t the worst 2 hours of my life. So what went wrong?

Investigating a Murder: The Case of the Justinianic Plague in Scythia Minor

The study beforehand applies a logical scheme of analysis over a possible presence of the Justinianic plague in the province of Scythia Minor.

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