Constructing social identity in Renaissance Florence: Botticelli’s ‘Portrait of a Lady’

Portrait of a Lady known as Smeralda Brandini (1471) by Botticelli

This study scrutinizes a work within a neglected portion of Botticelli’s oeuvre, examining the ways in which its modest, and somewhat ambiguous, visual cues also construct its sitter’s elevated social identity, while simultaneously protecting it.

Conflicting expectations: Parish priests in late medieval Germany

Medieval priest giving confession

The study investigates the expectations various groups in late medieval German society held of their parish priests and how these expectations were mediated through specific relationships.

Crafting the witch: Gendering magic in medieval and early modern England

The Devil and witches

This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.

10 Terrifying Reads for Halloween!

An Examen of Witches

Here are some spooky medieval books for you to celebrate with over Halloween!

Late Medieval Knight Reflecting on his Public Life: Hugo de Urriés (c. 1405-c. 1493), Diplomacy and Translating the Classics

Sepulchre of Hugo de Urriés (1420-1443) - at Huesca Cathedral. By Gothic sculptor, Pere Johan

This article focuses on Aragonese courtier Hugo de Urriés’s public profile by means of analyzing the critical points derived from examining his personal, political, cultural and historical stands making use of an invaluable primary source, his letter to Fernando the Catholic in the early 1490s.

Does a Reformation End?: Rethinking Religious Simulation in Sixteenth-Century Italy

The Council of Trent, 1545 - 1563

A paper examining the Italian Reformation.

10 Medieval and Renaissance Things to See at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Chest belonging to Elisabetta Gonzaga, 1488. Mantua or Urbino, Italy.

My latest visit to the Victoria and Albert Musuem: 10 Medieval and Renaissance Things to See at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The Floating State: Trade Embargoes and the Rise of a New Venetian State

Neptune offering gifts to Venice - Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

This paper was given by Georg Christ and examined embargoes and state formation in the late medieval and early modern period in Venice.

Bleeding flowers and waning moons: a history of menstruation in France, c. 1495-1761

Jacques Stella (1596–1657)

This thesis explores early modem perceptions of menstrual bleeding, demonstrating that attempts to understand menstrual bleeding extended beyond the early modem medical world

Urban Territories in Late Medieval Brussels. Imagined Frontiers and Responsible Institutions

Medieval Brussels Map

This chapter focuses on the spatial analysis of intra-urban territories which existed in late medieval and early modern Brussels (Belgium). By studying their morphological characteristics and origins, I seek to understand their functions within urban society.

The Lit de Justice: Semantics, Ceremonial, and the Parlement of Paris, 1300–1600

King Charles VIII of France

The curious phrase lit de justice originated in the fourteenth century and by the first decade of the fifteenth century designated particularly important royal sessions of the Parlement of Paris.

10 Things to See at Southwark Cathedral

High Altar Screen - Southwark cathedral , 1520 AD.

My 10 favourite things about Southwark Cathedral.

A Medieval Scholasticus and Renaissance Choirmaster: A Portrait of John Hothby at Lucca

Rome - music manuscript, 15th c. - polyphonic music

John Hothby’s career as cathedral choirmaster at Lucca is one of the longest, best documented, and most exceptional of any Northern musician active in fifteenth-century Italy.

CONFERENCE: The Historical Novel Society – London 2014

Historical Novel Society Conference - London, 2014

My review of the recent Historical Novel Society conference that took place in London, England.

The Legal Status of Female Guardians in 1530s Lithuania

Portrait of a young woman - Lucas Cranach the Elder (1530)

The office of guardianship was clearly needed in the society of sixteenth-century Lithuania. The comparatively short average life expectancy meant that quite a great number of children lost one or both of their parents before reaching majority, and thus had to receive some sort of protection.

Grainne Uaile: The Movie

Grainne Uaile - the Movie

An up and coming movie about Grace O’ Malley (Grainne Uaile), Ireland’s famous female pirate!

Turning Toward Death: The Medievals’ Terrestrial Treatment of Death in Art During the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

Vanity and Salvation Hans Memling 1433 - 1494

Throughout the Middle Ages, religious iconography was a main theme of art and the Church heavily patronized works that embodied virtuous ideals. Art was often used as a religious implement in which the Church instructed the illiterate masses. However, art can also represent pain and trauma acting as an outlet for the artist.

Irish Hagiographical Lives in the Twelfth Century: Church Reform before the Anglo-Norman Invasion

Saint Brendan and the whale from a 15th century manuscript

In order to further disentangle the reality and fiction of this view of culture versus barbarity and of reform versus wickedness, I shall analyse twelfth-century Irish vitae.

Constructing the Wicked Witch: Discourses of Power in the Witch-Hunts of Early Modern Germany

A witch in the moonlight, opening her hand to a small creature (a child ?) dressed in a white veil. Drawing after H. Fuseli, 1850/1900. Credit: Wellcome Library, London

For the people of early modern Germany, the witch was not the cackling menace of fairytales or myth, but a real-life scourge on society that needed to be purged from their lives.

Northern Renaissance? Burgundy And Netherlandish Art In Fifteenth-Century Europe

El Descendimiento, by Rogier van der Weyden (1400-1464)

Everyone who has studied medieval or modern history knows that the periodisation of the eras on either side of the Renaissance provides much food for thought. This contribution aims irst to address the usefulness of the widespread concept of the ‘Northern Renaissance’.

The Depiction of Jews in the Carnival Plays and Comedies of Hans Folz and Hans Sachs in Early Modern Nuremberg

Hans Folz - Carnival Plays

This study will thus demonstrate that the Bakhtinian model and its critics both contribute to our understanding of the Fastnachtspiel and the development of early modern German attitudes toward Jews.

Conversion on the Scaffold: Italian Practices in European Context

Renaissance Hanging

11 January 1581 was a fine day in Rome. That morning, Michel de Montaigne, recently arrived in the city, had gone out on horseback when he encountered a procession accompanying a condemned man to execution. Montaigne stopped to watch the sight.

Slaves, Money Lenders, and Prisoner Guards: The Jews and the Trade in Slaves and Captives in the Crimean Khanate

Jewish Slave Trader being presented to Boleslav of Bohemia

Trade in slaves and captives was one of the most important (if not the most important) sources of income of the Crimean Khanate in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

Reflection of the Wars of the Roses in Thomas Malory`s Le Morte D`Arthur: Literary-cultural analysis

Edward Burne-Jones - The Last Sleep of Arthur

The aim of this research paper is to analyse the Morte D’Arthur and find certain historical moments incorporated in the book. Firstly, as the goal of work follows a hypothesis that Thomas Malory reflected manifold incidents from the Wars of the Roses in the Morte D’Arthur, it was inevitable to understand author’s position in this civil war, which meant investigating in the authorship.

Prisons and Punishments in Late Medieval London

Dungeon in Nuremburg. Prisoners were held here before their execution

This thesis begins with an analysis of the purpose of imprisonment, which was not merely custodial and was undoubtedly punitive in the medieval period. Having established that incarceration was employed for a variety of purposes the physicality of prison buildings and the conditions in which prisoners were kept are considered.

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