Teenage Rebellion in the Middle Ages: How Salimbene de Adam became a Franciscan

Fransicans - by José Benlliure y Gil (1855–1937)

It is a popular story – the teenage son defying his parents and doing something very rebellious. It could be using drugs, getting a tattoo, or falling into with the wrong type of people. Back in the thirteenth-century, the rebellious son might become a Franciscan!

Sacerdos et Predicator: Franciscan ‘Experience’ and the Cronica of Salimbene de Adam


The Chronicle of the thirteenth-century Franciscan friar Salimbene de Adam is filled with an abundance of self-referential passages.

10 Creepy Things to See at the Louvre That Are Better Than the Mona Lisa

Catherine de Medici - Louvre

If you’re an ancient historian, a medievalist, or early modernist, there are so many other amazing pieces and works of art a the Louvre other than these two tourist staples. Here is my list of cool, creepy, unusual and better than the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris.

The Sincere Body: The Performance of Weeping and Emotion in Late Medieval Italian Sermons

The Magdalen Weeping - by Master of the Legend of the Magdalen, dated 1525.

In 1493 the well-known and controversial Franciscan preacher Bernardino of Feltre gave a series of Lenten sermons to the people of Pavia. On March 11 he dedicated an entire sermon to the necessity of contrition—or perfect sorrow over sin—in the rite of confession.

The Power of Word: Preachers in Medieval Dubrovnik

Franciscan Monastery - Dubrovnik, Croatia

In the pastoral of the Franciscan and Dominican orders preaching became the principal task of their mission. Preaching manuals represented the basis of the new art. The preachers also used sermon collections, Bible concordances and exempla collections.

Narratives of resistance: arguments against the mendicants in the works of Matthew Paris and William of Saint-Amour

The Confirmation of the Franciscan Rule (Cappella Sassetti, Santa Trinità, Florence) - 15th century

The rise of the new mendicant orders, foremost the Franciscans and Dominicans, is one of the great success stories of thirteenth-century Europe. Combining apostolic poverty with sophisticated organization and university learning, they brought much needed improvements to pastoral care in the growing cities.

The Friars Preachers: The First Hundred Years of the Dominican Order


When Dominic of Caleruega began preaching in southern France in the early 1200s, he would have had no idea of the far reaching influence that the band of men he would attract would leave such a broad and enduring influence on medieval history.

Did Purchasing Power Parity Hold in Medieval Europe?

1449 - Medieval Workshop - by Petrus Christus

This paper employs a unique, hand-collected dataset of exchange rates for five major currencies (the lira of Barcelona, the pound sterling of England, the pond groot of Flanders, the florin of Florence and the livre tournois of France) to consider whether the law of one price and purchasing power parity held in Europe during the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.

Kickstarter campaign to restore St.Francis of Assisi’s home in Rome

Kickstarter campaign to restore St.Francis of Assisi's home

The Franciscan order hopes to raise $125 000 to restore a convent in Rome which was the home of St. Francis of Assisi. They have created a Kickstarter campaign to ask for donations from the public.

Late Medieval Franciscan Statutes on Convent Libraries and Education


Although the higher education of the Franciscans has frequently been the object of research, their role in offering elementary instruction has often been ignored.

‘Cast out into the hellish night’: Pagan Virtue and Pagan Poetics in Lorenzo Valla’s De voluptate


Valla wrote about Epicureanism before the Renaissance rediscovery of classical Epicurean texts. Poggio Bracciolini had not yet circulated his newly-discovered manuscript of first century Epicurean philosopher Lucretius’ De rerum natura, and Valla wrote without access to Diogenes Laertius’ Lives of the Philosophers, which discussed Epicurus’ teachings in greater detail.

Locating the Franciscans within the Cities of Thirteenth Century Northern Italy Using the Chronicles of Salimbene de Adam

Joachim of Flora, in a 15th century woodcut.

In the beginning this order, the Franciscans, disdained the ownership of any material goods, rejected any contact with the developing commercial society of the communes and disapproved of papal privileges.

The Calamitous Fourteenth Century in England: All Doom and Gloom?

Medieval Science

This was a fantastic paper given at the Crown and Country in Late medieval England session at KZOO. There were only two papers but both were interesting and enjoyable. This paper delved into the history of science in late medieval England and examined why the fourteenth century, a time that is usually synonymous with doom and gloom, plague and uprising, wasn’t all that bad upon closer observation.

Reality and Truth in Thomas of York: Study and Text


The investigation is conducted through a study of opposites into which being is divided. These opposites are principally the one and the many, potency and act, truth and falsity.

Love and Saint Francis of Assisi: A Performer in the Middle Ages

St. Francis of Assisi

In “spending most of his life out of doors, in all seasons” Francis defies the basis of what we call civilized existence; if history is about progress in terms of making human life secure from nature’s vagaries, Francis rejects such a conception of history, along with its false sense of security, in order to situate human life in and as the natural world.

“The Eucharist and the Negotiation of Orthodoxy in the High Middle Ages”

Waldensians depicted as witches

This paper is part of Adam Hoose’s dissertation. It examined the differences between Waldensians and Franciscans in their treatment of the Eucharist. It also explored why the Waldensians were unsuccessful in their bid to become a legitimate religious order and were eventually marginalized as heretics.

The Friar and the Sultan: Francis of Assisi’s Mission to Egypt

Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), Basilique Assise, Legend of St Francis, St Francis before the Sultan

In September, 1219, Francis of Assisi went to Egypt to preach to Sultan al-Malik al-Kâmil.

Richard III and the Lost World of Greyfriars

King Richard III, by unknown artist, late 16th century

Why has Richard rested there? Clearly the last Plantagenet ruler did not designate Greyfriars of Leicester for this honor.

The Life and Miracles of St. Margaret of Cortona (1247 – 1297)

The Life of Saint Margaret of Cortona

Margaret’s extraordinary career brings the historian closer to the early development of the Franciscans and the Order of Penance; it tells us much about how women saints were described, and about how civic cults of saints emerged.

The Evolution of Natural Rights Tradition, 1100-1400

The Confirmation of the Franciscan Rule (Cappella Sassetti, Santa Trinità, Florence) - 15th century

As early as the late Middle Ages, both civil and canon lawyers put increasing emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of the individual.

The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art: An Introduction

Lactating Virgin Mary

This simplification is frankly astonishing when one considers the complex, multivalent and inventive iconographic contexts in which full or partial nakedness appears in medieval art.

The Idea of Natural Rights – Origins and Persistence

Medieval law office

Before turning to this early history there is one more aspect of the contemporary situation that I need to mention. Even in the Western world, the original homeland of natural rights thinking, there is no consensus—and sometimes overt skepticism—about the existence and grounding of such rights.

Faith and reason: charting the medieval concept of the infinite

Duns Scotus

I would like to start with some assumptions. First, I take it for granted that the apposition of negative terms to the Almighty God became quite early an accepted practice in Christianity, which caused in turn that the infinite, as an opposite term to something easily convenient to positive delineation, was admitted in the repertoire of God’s adverbial description.

William of Ockham’s Early Theory of Property Rights: Sources, Texts, and Contexts


This thesis is nominally about William of Ockham, a theologian who did not care to read potentially damning papal constitutions until tapped to do so by a superior (superiore mandate). Following a suggestion of R. G. Collingwood, a proper first question we should ask, is what was this supposedly unwilling theologian trying to do by composing the longest defense of Franciscan poverty ever written?

Convents, Courts and Colleges: The Prioress and the Second Nun

Canterbury Tales

Pilgrimage, after Whitby, and before Vatican II, was a secular activity, a performance of piety by the laity, not by the clergy; although there were a few exceptions.7 Chaucer’s Monk, Friar, Prioress, Nun, Priest, Summoner, Pardoner and Parson ought not to be here. Their presence is outrageous comedy. Inns were forbidden to the cloistered clergy who, if they had to travel, were enjoined to stay in other monastic establishments along their route.

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