These are beautiful words to understand

15th century image of Venice by Erhardum Reüwich de Trajecto and Bernhard von Breydenbach

‘If those who wound felt the pain of those who are wounded, they could not often wound with pleasure.’

The 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Morgarten

Illustration of the battle of Morgarten in the Chronicle of Diebold Schilling

On November 15, 1315, an Austrian army of at least a few thousand men marched along the shores of Lake Ägeri in central Switzerland. It was here that they were ambushed by over a thousand Swiss farmers.

The Emperor’s Spooky Night

Night view of the Castle and Charles Bridge, Prague, Czech Republic. Photo by Jorge Royan

Emperor Charles IV reveals in his autobiography what happened to him one night at Prague Castle, and how he saw a huge swarm of locusts.

The Love of Books

Detail of a painting by Cima da Conegliano (1460–1518)

Books delight us, when prosperity smiles upon us; they comfort us inseparably when stormy fortune frowns on us.

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.

‘The boldest and most remarkable feat ever performed by a woman’: Fiery Joanna and the Siege of Hennebont

Fierry Joanna leads the charge - from La Bretagne ancienne, published in 1859

It ranks as one of the most fascinating stories from the 14th century, one that chroniclers of that time relished in telling and historians have ever since recounted.

The Battle of Neville’s Cross as told in the Lanercost Chronicle

Battle of Neville's Cross from a 15th-century Froissart manuscript

The year 1346 is remembered in England mostly for the Battle of Crecy, where King Edward III defeated the French forces in one of the most important battles of the Hundred Years War. That year also saw another major battle, this one fought on English soil.

The English way of war, 1360-1399

Anointing of Pope Gregory XI. Battle of Pontvallin (1370). Bibliotheque Nationale MS Fr. 2643

This thesis challenges the orthodox view that the years 1360 to 1399 witnessed a period of martial decline for the English.

Hair and Masculinity in the Alliterative Morte Arthure

King Arthur as one of the Nine Worthies, detail from the "Christian Heroes Tapestry" dated c. 1385

This essay examines the use of forced hair cutting in the late fourteenth‐century alliterative romance, Morte Arthure, to show how it is used to develop characters that reflect the tension surrounding the English king Richard II and the tyranny that characterized the final years of his reign.

Finding the Battle of Bannockburn

Map of Bannockburn showing the new archaeological find spots and the likeliest course of the battle over 23 and 24 June 1314. © Tony Pollard / GUARD Archaeology Ltd

Between 2011 and 2014, a new search for the site of the Battle of Bannockburn took place, spurred on by the 700th anniversary of the battle and the National Trust for Scotland’s new state-of-the-art Bannockburn Battlefield Centre.

Cracking down on illegal gambling in Medieval Livonia

by Master Jean de Mauléon (c.1535)

Just like their modern day counterparts, medieval cities had to deal with their own criminal underworlds – the sex trade, gambling, and violence taking place within their walls. At the International Medieval Congress, held earlier this month at the University of Leeds, these issues were explored as part of session #706: Perceiving and Regulating Vices.

The Medieval Art of Medicine: A Poem

medieval physician

What was it like to be a physician in the Middle Ages? A poem by a 14th-century physician sheds a little light on the challenges of practicing medicine in his own time.

Pearl, translated by Sophie Jewett


We are very proud to offer our first ebook: Pearl, translated by Sophie Jewett.

Julian of Norwich: Mystic, Theologian and Anchoress

Julian of Norwich

Very little is known of her actual life, not even her real name. We do know she wrote two texts in English on her visions and their meaning

Who actually died at the Battle of Crecy?

Edward III counting the dead on the battlefield of Crécy

This battle, fought on August 26, 1346, was one of the most important victories for England during the Hundred Years War. New research about the battle has revealed how much confusion existed about who actually died during the battle.

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.

Chronicles and Politics in the Reign of Edward II

Edward II - photo by Holly Hayes  / Flickr

Historians have tended to give more weight to sources such as governmental and legal records than to chronicles, not least because so many survive. They open up areas of history impossible to access through chronicles alone, and they also provide a much more precise and detailed political narrative.

John Rykener, Richard II and the Governance of London

Medieval London Quiz

Its narrative of cross-dressing, male prostitution, gay sex, clerical promiscuity and the like seems to offer a rare window onto late medieval sexuality and sexual mores.

Papers on Medieval Prosopography: Session #47 at KZOO 2015

Pieter Brueghel - Kermesse (The Feast of Saint George)

Three fantastic papers on Prosopography from #KZOO2015.

Women, the Marketplace, and the Borough Courts: Evidence from Fourteenth-Century Colchester

19th century image of Colchester

By examining the frequency and types of infractions for which women were cited at court and, additionally, the complaints women brought in the first half of the fourteenth century, this essay aims to explore the legal and cultural implications of women’s representation in the borough courts.

The Life of St. Sabas the Younger as a Source for The History of the Catalan Grand Company

grand catalan company

A piece of Byzantine hagiography from the fourteenth century which, in spite of its religious character, is a valuable source for the history of the Catalan Grand Company, Roger de Flor’s famous band of Spanish mercenaries hired by the Byzantine emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos (1282-1328) to fight the Turks in Anatolia.

The Apocalypse of 1313


Signed and dated in 1313 by its illuminator, Colin Chadewe, this manuscript is a one-of-a-kind creation. It contains a cycle of illustrations (one of the most extensive ones) that is unprecedented in its richness and eccentric iconography, designed exclusively to suit the demands of its patron.

The Great Wind of 1362

medieval wind storm

Some of the most vivid accounts we have from the Middle Ages are those that detail calamities and natural disasters. Such was the case when a massive winter storm struck northwestern Europe on January 15, 1362. In England this event would be called ‘The Great Wind’.

The Auchinleck Manuscript: A Study in Manuscript Production, Scribal Innovation, and Literary Value in the Early 14th Century

Auchinleck Manuscript

The Auchinleck Manuscript (National Library of Scotland Advocates MS. 19.2.1) has presented tantalizing mysteries for scholars for several centuries because the 334 extant folios of the Auchinleck Manuscript have not left solid evidence as to its provenance, date, scribes, master artist, or patron.

Booty in Border Warfare

Battle of Neville's Cross from a 15th-century Froissart manuscript

Nothing is more revealing in this universal itch to ravage and to spoil than the traces we find in the sources of rules for the sharing of the plunder.

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