The Struggle is Real: Where are the Medieval Economists?!

Dr. Daniel Curtis presenting his talk at, "Making the Medieval Relevant" at the University of Nottingham.

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.

Medieval Books for Christmas

The Middle Ages - Johannes Fried

It’s that time of year again – the mad scramble for the perfect Christmas gift for the historian, nerd, avid reader on your list. Here are a few suggestions for you – new releases for December and January!

The Contours, Frequency and Causation of Subsistence Crises in Carolingian Europe (750-950)

Medieval harvest

The Contours, Frequency and Causation of Subsistence Crises in Carolingian Europe (750-950) Timothy P. Newfield Crisis Alimentarias en la Edad Media: Modelos, Explicaciones y Representaciones (Milenio, Lleida, 2013), pp. 117-172. Abstract The subsistence crises of Carolingian Europe have been widely overlooked in modern histories of the early Middle Ages. Detailed treatment has yet to be […]

BOOK REVIEW: Plague Land by SD Sykes

Plague Land by SD Sykes

My review of SD Sykes brilliant medieval thriller, Plague Land.

Into the frontier: medieval land reclamation and the creation of new societies. Comparing Holland and the Po Valley, 800-1500

Medieval peasants - agriculture

In the paper it is shown that medieval land reclamation led to the emergence of two very divergent societies, characterised by a number of different configurations; (a) power and property structure, (b) modes of exploitation, (c) economic portfolios, and (d) commodity markets.

‘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 1571

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.

Market Failure during the Great Famine in England and Wales (1315-7)

From the Apocalypse in a Biblia Pauperum illuminated at Erfurt around the time of the Great Famine of 1315–1317. Death "(Mors") sits astride a lion whose long tail ends in a ball of flame (Hell). Famine ("Fames") points to her hungry mouth.

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.

Hot Holiday Reads!

BOOKS: A Feast of Ice and Fire The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook

Put down those turkey left-overs and check out some of these hot holiday reads!

Technological Change in Medieval England: A Critique of the Neo-Malthusian Argument


The last two sections will address this issue by dividing the material into two periods preceding and following the great epidemic. The interpretation that will be provided is heavily indebted to Brenner.

How Great Was the Great Famine of 1314-22: Between Ecology and Institutions

Medieval agriculture

The first aspect to be examined is the extent of harvest failures within different crop sectors. The second issue is to what degree was the Great Famine of 1314-22 a subsistence crisis…My project is based on over 3,000 manorial and monastic accounts compiled between c.1310 and 1350.

Volcano blast led to thousands of deaths in London in 1258, archaeologists find

Ash plumes reached a height of 19 km during the climactic eruption at Mount Pinatubo, Philippines in 1991.

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

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.

Famine for Profit: Food Surpluses in Medieval Germany

Medieval peasants drinking & eating

A reading of Malthus’s text reveals that his argument was essentially religious—violation of his “principle” of population was a violation of god’s will…

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