Institutionally Constrained Technology Adoption: Resolving the Longbow Puzzle

Longbows at the Battle of Agincourt

Historians have long puzzled over why this missile weapon—clearly superior to its alternative, the crossbow—was monopolized by the English for so long

Medieval Traffic Problems

While perhaps people in the Middle Ages didnt need to worry about monkeys driving carts, there plenty of other traffic problems they had to contend with. From British Library Additional 42130   f.162

The medieval city was seen as a crowded, bustling place, with people, horses, carts and wagons all moving around. Just as in our modern city, this would all lead to inevitable traffic problems.

A Felonious State of Mind: Mens Rea in Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century England

Three Men before a Judge - Ms. Ludwig XIV 6, fol, 135v

This dissertation explores the role of mens rea, or guilty mind, as a factor in jury assessments of guilt and innocence during the first two centuries of the English criminal trial jury, from the early thirteenth through the fourteenth century.

Gleanings from the 1253 Building Accounts of Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey in 1873, from London: A complete guide to the leading hotels, places of amusement

Between 1220 and 1266, Salisbury Cathedral was built at a cost of £28,000.

Excavating Past Population Structures by Surname-Based Sampling: The Genetic Legacy of the Vikings in Northwest England

medieval studies england

The method of historical surname-based ascertainment promises to allow investigation of the influence of migration and drift over the last few centuries in changing the population structure of Britain and will have general utility in other regions where surnames are patrilineal and suitable historical records survive.

How the death of a Queen led to 68,000 people being fed

Queen Matilda depicted in the 1875 book 'The Queens of England or Royal Book of Beauty'

Here lies the distinguished Queen Matilda the second,
who surpassed both young and old in her time.
Pattern of morals, life’s adornment,
she was for all.

Danish ferocity and abandoned monasteries: the twelfth-century view

Ruins of Lindisfarne - photo by _The Real McCoy /Flickr

Apart from brief accounts of attacks on Lindisfarne and Donemutha in the 790s, there are almost no accounts of Viking attacks on Anglo-Saxon monasteries in contemporary sources. There are however many in twelfth century sources, most of them fictive or largely so. This article tries to explain why twelfth-century authors found it so important to invent stories of Viking brutality towards monks and nuns and what ideas and material they used to create their stories

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.

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