Given the potential importance of famine in medieval England, it is at least surprising that so little has been written on it. If we consider the greatest single famine event of the middle ages, the great famine of the early fourteenth century, a crisis event that may have killed something in the region of 10 per cent of the English population, the degree of historical discussion of this, relative to say investigation of the Black Death, is really quite muted.
Another fascinating paper from “Making the Medieval Relevant” was given by Daniel Curtis, a specialist in Social and Economic History, and a professor at the University of Utrecht.
My review of SD Sykes brilliant medieval thriller, Plague Land.
‘Defending the Christian Faith with Our Blood’. The Battle of Lepanto (1571) and the Venetian Eastern Adriatic: Impact of a Global Conflict on the Mediterranean Periphery
The battle of Lepanto, which took place on the 7th of October 1571, was the greatest naval battle of oar driven vessels in the history of the Mediterranean1. It was then that the mighty Ottoman navy suffered its first and utter defeat in a direct confrontation with Christian forces, joined in the Holy League. Its purpose was to help Venice in the defence of Cyprus, stormed by the Ottoman troops in July of 1570, but to no avail, as on the 3rd of August 1571 the island was taken by the Ottomans.
While there can be little doubt that the floods of 1314-6 were the primary harbingers of the crisis, it is, perhaps, worth asking to what extent they were the only factors behind the hardship experienced between 1315 and 1317.
A report to be released tomorrow by the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) will reveal that a mass burial on the site of the Augustinian priory and hospital of St Mary Spital had thousands of victims from a famine that occurred in 1258.
From the Brink of the Apocalypse: Confronting Famine, War, Plague, and Death in the Later Middle Ages
Aberth writes in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, both in his lively, readable style aimed at the nonspecialist and in his antiheroic, almost romantic portrayal of late medieval miseries.