The Anglo-Saxon Age: The Birth of England

martin wall anglo saxon england

Martin Wall takes us on a journey into a period that still remains mysterious, into regions and countries long forgotten, such as Mercia and Northumbria.

Rival bishops, rival cathedrals: the election of Cormac, archdeacon of Sodor, as bishop in 1331

Ruined remains of Snizort Cathedral. Photo by Richard Dorrell / Wikimedia Commons

In the early fourteenth century, the diocese of Sodor, or Sudreyjar meaning Southern Isles in old Norse, encompassed the Isle of Man and the Hebrides.

13th century insult discovered etched into the walls of Nidaros Cathedral

Photo by Asbjørn Svarstad /   Dagbladet News


How Christianity came to Europe


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.

Magna Carta Conference Offers New Insights Into The 800-year-old Document

British Library's Magna Carta, photo credit Joseph Turp

Magna Carta just celebrated its 800th birthday this past Monday. In honour of this incredible milestone, King’s College London, and the Magna Carta Project, hosted a 3 day conference dedicated to this historic document.

Game of Thrones – East and West, Constantinople and Rome, Emperor and Bishop

Alexander Evers

The following is a tale of the struggle between the Emperors of Constantinople and the the Bishops of Rome

Bishops and Their Towns

City of Lucca, Italy. Image via Flickr by bongo vongo.

Another #KZOO2015 post – this one examines Bishops and Their Towns.

Quiz: Martin Luther And The Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther

Ten questions to see your knowledge of this time period where beliefs and faith in the Christian church changed dramatically.

Quiz: The Western Schism

Painting of Jan Hus in Council of Constance by Václav Brožík

This quiz tests your knowledge on the events leading up to and following the Catholic Schism.

Shadow of the Sword (The Headsman)

Eddie Marsan as the sleazy, evil Headsman's assistant, Fabio.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau gives us a sympathetic Headsman in Reformation Austria, in the ‘Shadow of the Sword (The Headsman)’.

KZOO 2015: Session #42 – Magna Carta in Context

British Library's Magna Carta, photo credit Joseph Turp

This coming week I’ll be featuring summaries on some of my favourites sessions and papers from #KZOO2015. I kicked off my first session on Thursday with the Magna Carta.

The Medieval Saints of Sweden and Denmark

Parchment fragment of a medieval church book. Photo: Sara Ellis Nilsson/University of Gothenburg.

There is a clear link between the celebration of native saints and the ecclesiastical organisation that emerged in Scandinavia in the 12th century. Yet, according to a new doctoral thesis in history from the University of Gothenburg, important differences can be noted between Sweden and Denmark.

Call for Papers: Power of the Bishop in Western Europe 1000-1300: Episcopal Personalities

Medieval Bishop - British Library Add. 39636, f. 50

Cardiff University is pleased to announce the up-coming symposium on the episcopal office in the Middle Ages, to be held 10-12 June 2015.

Top 10 Antipopes

top 10 antipopes

A list of men who ultimately failed to become Pope.

Raymund’s Daughter’s Divorce in the 9th-Century: a Woman’s Textual Role in the Breaking of an Alliance

Marriage Medieval (Germany)

This chapter will analyse an aspect of one of the divorce cases of the mid 9th century: I review its links with politics of the day and reconsider the roles given to wife and husband in the only text that deals with this case…

King’s sister, queen of dissent: Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549) and her evangelical network

Marguerite de Navarre - Statue of Marguerite of Angoulême, in the gardens of the city hall of Angoulême

This study reconstructs the previously unknown history of the most important dissident group within France before the French Reformed Church formed during the 1550s.

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.

Bede’s Temple as History

The Venerable Bede Translates John by J. D. Penrose (ca 1902)

Another IHR paper, this time, a talk given about Bede’s writing and his interest in the image of the Temple and its relation to Christianity. This paper also examined how Bede’s views shifted over time. How did Bede view Judaism? Was he truly ambivalent?

Instructions for a Parish Priest


Myrc was a clergyman writing in England in the early fifteenth century, and his long poem was created to help priests who were not particularly learned remember all the most important parts of their work.

10 Terrifying Reads for Halloween!

An Examen of Witches

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

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

The Council of Trent, 1545 - 1563

A paper examining the Italian Reformation.

The Episcopal Body and Sexuality in Late Medieval England

Thomas Becket, with mitre, pall and cross, being consecrated.

How was long-term celibacy thought to affect the health of religious men? How could medical knowledge help clerics to achieve bodily purity?

Gender and Matrimonial Litigation in the Church Courts in the Later Middle Ages: The Evidence of the Court of York

Van Eyck - Arnolfini Marriage (1434)

If some later medieval males thought the courts were biased, what might the female perspective have been?

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.

Latin Patrons, Greek Fathers: St Bartholomew of Simeri and Byzantine Monastic Reform in Norman Italy, 11th-12th Centuries

A mosaic with Roger II receiving the crown from Christ, Martorana, Palermo. The mosaic carries an inscription 'Rogerios Rex' in Greek letters. (Wikipedia)

St Bartholomew of Simeri (ca. 1050-1130), a Greek monastic founder and reformer from Calabria, saw the effective end of Byzantine imperial power in southern Italy in 1071, the conquest of Muslim Palermo by Robert Guiscard the following year, and the rise of the Norman kingdom of Roger II at the end of his life.

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