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

Pearl

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

The imperial abbey of Ellwangen and its peasants: a study of the polyptych of 1337

Ellwangen - photo by manfred.sause@volloeko.de

This paper presents an analysis of Ellwangen Abbey’s polyptych of 1337, with a view to understanding better the nature of the south German rural economy in this period.

Through Trial and Error: Learning and Adaptation in the English Tactical System from Bannockburn to Poitiers

Battle of poitiers

During the late thirteenth century and early fourteenth century, the English in medieval Europe fought in two wars: the Scottish Wars of Independence followed by the Hundred Years War.

A peasant is a peasant, is a peasant? : Medieval Maritime Peasant Lives

Medieval fishermen

A peasant is a peasant, is a peasant…or is s/he? Was the life of a peasant who lived in the coastal regions of England the same as that of the peasant who made his livelihood toiling on the land for his local lord?

Medieval Rules for Jousting

medieval rules for jousting

Here is a set of rules for jousting created by Alfonso XI, King of Castile, in 1330.

Move over Milan! Late Medieval and Renaissance Fashion in Venice

Cesare Vecellio's Venetian fashion

Milan may be Italy’s current fashion capital, but Venice had an important role to play in the development of the Italian fashion and textile industry since the late middle ages and renaissance period.

Castle Planning in the Fourteenth Century

Bolton Castle

Although in this paper it is proposed to follow trends in domestic demands and observe their effect on the form of the castle, this aspect should not properly be treated in isolation and if little mention is made of the military element it must be remembered that this is, nevertheless, always present.

Common Violence: Vengeance and Inquisition in Fourteenth-Century Marseille

Detail of a miniature of Cain murdering Abel.

Medieval violence has a bad reputation.

Marital Affection and Expectations in a 14th-Century Parisian Court

A View of Paris from around 1600

I argue that the women in fourteenth-century Paris expected affection, or at least a lack of hatred, within their marriages.

Piracy and Papacy: The Legacy of Thibauld’s treasure

View of the Palais des Papes in Avignon, France. 17th century

Pirates and popes seem to be two things that simply would not intersect owing to both time and distance, but in 1357 intersect they did. The result was a court claim that resulted claims for damages that wound up providing us one of the finest medieval cities to survive today.

The Morality of Misogyny: The Case of Rustico Filippi, Vituperator of Women

Gherardo di Giovanni del Fora (Florentine, 1444/45-1497), Chaste Women in a Landscape, Probably 1480s,

At the outset of his influential study on Rabelais, Mikhail Bakhtin makes an interesting observation. The scholar dedicates several pages to detail how the French author’s critical reception changed over time. Bakhtin illustrates how the attempt to comprehend an author can frequently be stymied by the cultural changes that occur across the centuries.

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