‘Crowned with Many Crowns’: Nuns and Their Statues in Late-Medieval Wienhausen

17th century image of Wienhausen monastery

The crowning of statues was a common practice in medieval cloisters, but at the north German convent of Wienhausen, the golden crowns of statues were confiscated by Observant reformers after the reformation of 1469.

Did People Ice Skate in the Middle Ages?

Medieval ice skates made of bone on display at the Museum of London. Photo by Steven G. Johnson, Wikipedia.

How did medieval people pass the time during the coldest part of the year? I came across several instances of medieval people strapping on skates and taking a twirl (or a tumble!) on the ice. Here is how it all began!

The History of German as a Foreign Language in Europe

Page from the Codex Abrogans, regarded as the oldest preserved book in the German language.

This article provides the first overview in English of how German has been taught and learned in Europe up to about 1800

Fair Trade?: A Look at the Hanseatic League

Replica of a 15th century Hanseatic ship. Lisa von Lübeck - Photo by Doris Schütz (Wikipedia)

In the 14th century, an ongoing feud ensued between the Hanseatic League and non-Hanse merchants. Here’s a quick look at the rise and fall of the one of the most powerful organizations of the Late Middle Ages.

Medieval Fort Building 101

16th century stonemason at work

What does it take to build a fortification in the 10th century?

The Evil Spirit that Terrorized a Medieval Village

evil spirit - photo by craig Cloutier / Flickr

Today’s horror movies could make use of this story from the ninth-century, of how an evil spirit terrorized a village, and the attempt to get rid of it, which seems to be one of the earliest recorded exorcisms from the Middle Ages.

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.

Medieval London as Seen through the Eyes of Czech and German Travellers

Drawing by Antony van den Wyngaerde View of London - The Tower of London - 16th century

The aim of this article is to analyze the first depictions of London in Czech literature, namely in travel journals of the Czech writer and traveller Wenzel Schaseck of Birkov and the German burgher Gabriel Tetzel of Gräfenberg

Books of Art: 20 Medieval and Renaissance Women Reading

Saints Christina and Ottilia by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1506)

I love to read. I also love books depicted in art. I became fascinated with Medieval and Renaissance pictures of women reading or with books. I noticed while I was walking around the National Gallery, Musèe Cluny and the Louvre recently that there are many beautiful images of women reading or with books. Saints, sinners, and laywomen; I wanted to share a few of my favourites. Here are 20 works of art of women and their books

Ostsiedlung or Transition of German Law? Legal Perspective on Settlement According to German Law in Medieval Poland

Pawel Dziwinski

Paper given at Twenty-First Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians – 6th Berg Institute International Conference

Philippa Langley: The End of Richard III and the Beginning of Henry I

Philippa Langley placing a rose on Richard's casket. Will Johnston - Leicester Cathedral.

Amidst all the excitement, and the whirlwind that was Richard III’s reburial in Leicester, I managed to catch up with one of the world’s most famous Ricardians, ‘the Kingfinder’, Philippa Langley.

Castle for Sale in Germany: The Sauerburg

Castle for Sale in Germany sauerburg - photo by RichHein/Wikicommons

This ruined 14th-century castle in western Germany is now used as a hotel for the picturesque region that is designated a World Heritage Site.

Environmental Crusading: The Teutonic Knight’s Impact After the Baltic Crusades

Malbork Zamek Krzyzacki. Wikicommons

Environmental archaeologist and Professor of Archeology at Reading, Dr. Aleks Pluskowski, examined Malbork and several other sites across Eastern and Northern Europe in his recent paper, The Ecology of Crusading: The Environmental Impact of Holy War, Colonisation, and Religious Conversion in the Medieval Baltic. Pluskowski is keenly interested in the impact the Teutonic Knights and Christian colonisation had on the region. His ambitious 4 year project on the ecological changes in this area recently came to a close at the end of 2014.

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.

Beautiful Images from the Nuremberg Chronicle

Beautiful images Nuremberg chronicle

Created in 1493, the Nuremberg Chronicle is a history of the World going back to Biblical times. Written by Hartmann Schedel, it was printed in Latin and German editions with hundreds of copies being sold. The 1801 woodcut illustrations were done by Michael Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff. Here are some of favourite images!

Medieval Black Magic

Medieval Black Magic

Sins of evil black magic, as listed by the medieval theologian Burchard of Worms in the 11th century.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin: A Medieval Mass Abduction?

Pied piper

What really happened on June 26, 1284, in the German town of Hamelin?

Charlemagne’s Denarius, Constantine’s Edicule, and the Vera Crux

Charlemagne as emperor on this coin - Photo PHGCOM

In 806 a much-discussed silver denarius bearing the likeness of Charlemagne was issued. This is called the “temple-type” coin due to the (as yet unidentified) architectural structure illustrated on the reverse side, and which is explicitly labeled as representing the epitome of “Christian Religion.”

CONFERENCES: The Stellinga, the Saxon Elite, and Carolingian Politics

Battle of Fontenoy - The battle as depicted in the fourteenth-century Grandes Chroniques de France. Grandes Chroniques de France, France, Paris, Cote : Français 73 , Fol. 150

This is my summary of a paper presented at the Institute of Historical Research on the causes of the Stellinga uprising in the Carolingian period.

Skirts and Politics: The Cistercian Monastery of Harvestehude and the Hamburg City Council

Medieval nun with skirt lifted

In 1482, Catharina Arndes lifted up her skirts in front of the archbishop’s chaplain. She was a respectable townswoman from Hamburg, and her action was carried out in defense of the Cistercian monastery of Harvestehude which was close to the city and where several of Catharina’s nieces lived as nuns.

King’s sister, queen of dissent: Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549) and her evangelical network

Marguerite de Navarre - Statue of Marguerite of Angoulême, in the gardens of the city hall of Angoulême

This study reconstructs the previously unknown history of the most important dissident group within France before the French Reformed Church formed during the 1550s.

10 Medieval and Renaissance Things to See at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Chest belonging to Elisabetta Gonzaga, 1488. Mantua or Urbino, Italy.

My latest visit to the Victoria and Albert Musuem: 10 Medieval and Renaissance Things to See at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

medievalverse magazine