Constructing the Wicked Witch: Discourses of Power in the Witch-Hunts of Early Modern Germany

A witch in the moonlight, opening her hand to a small creature (a child ?) dressed in a white veil. Drawing after H. Fuseli, 1850/1900. Credit: Wellcome Library, London

For the people of early modern Germany, the witch was not the cackling menace of fairytales or myth, but a real-life scourge on society that needed to be purged from their lives.

Hungary’s Conversion to Christianity: The Establishment of Hungarian Statehood and its Consequences to the Thirteenth Century

Mummified right hand of Stephen I of Hungary - canonized in 1083 A.D.

The Carpathian Basin occupies a peculiar place in history. It was the ground where Roman-Germanic world met that of the Slavs and mounted nomad peoples, where no group had achieved sustained unity before the state of Hungary was founded.

The Kidnapped King: Richard I in Germany, 1192–1194

Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI grants a pardon to Richard I of England

In 1193 the rulers of Germany and England met for the first time in history.

The Visit of King Sigismund to England, 1416

King Sigismund of Luxemburg

In their chapter-length account of Sigismund’s visit to England in 1416, James Hamilton Wylie and William Templeton Waugh remark that, though this was the first and only visit by a Holy Roman Emperor to England during the Middle Ages, aside from an immediate political gain, in the treaty signed by Sigismund and Henry V to defend each other against the French, the impact in terms of anecdote or literature is virtually nil; and they conclude somewhat ironically, “The most notable momento of Sigismund’s stay in England is his sword, which is now one of the insignia of the corporation of York.”

The Depiction of Jews in the Carnival Plays and Comedies of Hans Folz and Hans Sachs in Early Modern Nuremberg

Hans Folz - Carnival Plays

This study will thus demonstrate that the Bakhtinian model and its critics both contribute to our understanding of the Fastnachtspiel and the development of early modern German attitudes toward Jews.

Top 10 Medieval Castles in Germany

medieval castles in Germany

Which castles should you see in Germany? Here is our list of ten castles you can explore that have largely remained the same since the Middle Ages.

Amending the Ascetic: Community and Character in the Old English Life of St. Mary of Egypt

Saint Mary of Egypt - British library

Among the most eligible saints for such treatment, Mary of Egypt deserves particular consideration: her popularity is evidenced by over a hundred extant Greek manuscripts of her Life and her uniquely prominent position in the Lenten liturgical cycle in the Eastern Church.

Redating the East-West Schism: An Examination of the Impact of the Sack of Constantinople in 1204

Conquest of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204

Although 1054 is indeed the date most often found on timelines and in textbooks—and therefore the date most often memorized by students of the medieval period—the majority of modern scholars recognize that the East-West Schism was in fact, as Timothy Ware writes, “something that came about gradually, as the result of a long and complicated process.”

The cultural identity of medieval Silesia: the case of art and architecture

Wrocław, Church of St Mary Magdalene

The cultural identity of architecture and visual arts of the Middle Ages in Silesia can be analyzed in the following frameworks: 1.) the distinct formal features of local artwork; 2.) the specific content expressed through it. Macro factors (the type of materials and their availability) are important in architecture, as are architectural patterns and styles.

Coeur de Lion in Captivity

Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI grants a pardon to Richard I of England

In December 1192 Richard I was seized near Vienna by Duke Leopold V of Austria.

The Physicality of Service in German Ideas of Knighthood, c.1200-1500

German Knight - Jörg (Georg) von Ehingen

Jörg’s memoir is a particularly informative example of how one knight understood his own calling to knighthood and his practice of it. The medieval knight had a voice, and although precious few memoirs like Jörg’s exist, knightly perspectives inform a considerable breadth of primary materials.

Jews in the First Crusade: Culpability, Martyrdom, and Blood Vengeance

Massacre of the Jews of Metz

In the wake of the massacres of the First Crusade, Jewish survivors struggled to make sense of the unexpected eruption of anti-Semitic violence. Weighing even more heavily upon them was the mass martyrdom of their brethren, who, rather than converting to Christianity or submitting to the Crusaders’ swords, took the lives of their own family members before committing suicide.

Saints’ Cults in Medieval Livonia

Medieval Saints

Saints’ cults played a crucial role in medieval society. Although we know very little about the beliefs and rituals of the indigenous peoples of Livonia, either before or after the thirteenth-century conquest, we may assume that the process of Christianization must have caused major changes in their religious practices.

England’s First Attempt to Break the Commercial Monopoly of the Hanseatic League, 1377-1380

Hanseatic Cities

During the second half of the fourteenth century English traders first seriously threatened the Hanseatic League’s commercial monopoly in the Baltic. The League, attempting to defendits monopoly, treated the English unjustly,where upon in 1377 the English Parliament rescinded the charter that granted the League important concessions and privileges in its English trade.

Boundaries in the making – Historiography and the isolation of late medieval Bohemia

Hussite War Wagon - Wagenburg

This paper deals with an episode of early 15th century Bohemian history. During the so-called Hussite wars, a coalition of Catholic powers tried to establish a far-reaching blockade on trade and commerce against the kingdom of Bohemia, which then was considered to be a hotbed of heresy, and to be rebellious against its legitimate ruler and the papal church.

Medieval Castle for Sale in Bavaria

Photo by Eigene Aufnahme / Wikicommons

Now a ruin, Castle Nesselburg was first mentioned in 1302 but is perhaps as old as the 11th century.

Two Rabbinic Views of Christianity in the Middle Ages

Picture of Medieval Jews

In the sessions of our section over the past decade, I introduced a significant distinction between two rabbinic attitudes in the Mediterranean countries during the Middle Ages of 12th and 13th centuries as to their view of Christianity.

Jobs in the Middle Ages

jobs middle ages

Want to know what kind of jobs there were in the Middle Ages?

Quid Tacitus . . . ? The Germania and the Study of Anglo-Saxon England

Wien-_Parlament-Tacitus

This paper considers the vexed historiography of Tacitus’s Germania and its reception history, first among German and other European historians and then among Anglo-Saxonists.

MOVIE REVIEW: Barbarossa – Siege Lord

Barbarossa - Movie Poster

MOVIE REVIEW: Barbarossa – Siege Lord “I order Milan to be raised to the ground. None of its towers will ever be standing. I also order all the Milanese to leave the city before sunset, in all different directions so that no one will be able to call themselves Milanese and the name “milan” will […]

How Destructive were the Vikings?

Vikings

Danielle Trynoski reports on the paper “How Much Material Damage Did the Northmen Do in Northern Europe?” given by Lesley Anne Morden

Chivalry, Feudalism, and Source Criticism: The Writing of Medieval German Military History

bachrach

A paper from the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies

War and nation-building in Widukind of Corvey’s Deeds of the Saxons

book cover

Military conflicts constituted a central function of early medieval rulership and, correspondingly, of the historiographical tradition. War and violence in the Middle Ages have been the subject of various studies, which are above all devoted to warfare and to the army.

Bjarmaland and interaction in the North of Europe from the Viking Age until the Early Middle Ages

Bjarmaland

This article intends to look at interaction in the very north of early medi- eval Europe with Bjarmaland as a starting point. After a short introduction to sources and historiography about Bjarmaland, the main content of the sources will be shortly discussed in order to establish what kind of informa- tion the written sources have to offer.

The Ottonians and the Word: Gospel Books as Objects, Images, and Texts

ottonians and the word

I would like to consider issues of the material texts, literacy and the status of the written word in Ottonian Germany, as they coalesce at the site of deluxe liturgical manuscripts.

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