The last wonderful thing: the icon of the Heavenly Ladder on Mount Sinai

The Ladder of Divine Ascent 12th c.

Description and dating of the icon of the Heavenly Ladder Jacob ‘dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached toheaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

The Bones of St. Cuthbert: Defining a Saint’s Cult in Medieval Northumbria

Miniature of a man being healed by shoes belonging to Cuthbert, from Chapter 45 of Bede's prose Life of St Cuthbert. Yates Thompson 26, f.80

This paper investigates the social, political, and religious changes and tensions which surrounded the cult of St. Cuthbert in medieval Northumbria. Specific comparisons are made between the Anglo-Saxon and Norman periods in English history, and how St. Cuthbert’s cult responded to the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Turning Toward Death: The Medievals’ Terrestrial Treatment of Death in Art During the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries

Vanity and Salvation Hans Memling 1433 - 1494

Throughout the Middle Ages, religious iconography was a main theme of art and the Church heavily patronized works that embodied virtuous ideals. Art was often used as a religious implement in which the Church instructed the illiterate masses. However, art can also represent pain and trauma acting as an outlet for the artist.

‘Warrior-women’ in Viking Age Scandinavia? A preliminary archaeological study

Viking women - Artistic reconstruction of grave A505 from Trekroner-Grydehøj, Denmark - Mirosław Kuźma

This paper seeks to provide a new contribution to the debates on Viking Age women by focusing on a rather controversial notion of ‘female warriors’. The core of the article comprises a preliminary survey of archaeological evidence for female graves with weapons (axes, spears, swords and arrowheads) from Viking Age Scandinavia.

Call for Papers: Moving Women, Moving Objects (300-1500) (ICMA CAA 2015)


CFP: Moving Women, Moving Objects (300-1500) (ICMA CAA 2015)

Movement Through Stillness: Imagined Pilgrimage in Medieval Europe

women - pilgrims

This paper examines the phenomenon of ‘spiritual’ or ‘imagined’ pilgrimage in Medieval Europe.

The Military Use of the Icon of the Theotokos and its Moral Logic in the Historians of the Ninth-Twelfth Centuries

Icon of the Theotokos

Starting at least by the late tenth century, Byzantine emperors took icons of the Mother of God with them on campaign. This article examines the appearance of such icons in the narratives of historical texts.

The Man of Sorrows and the King of Glory in Italy, c. 1250 – c. 1350

Virgin with Man of Sorrows_Melbourne, NG of Victoria_1475-80

The Man of Sorrows – an iconographic type of Jesus Christ following his Crucifixion – has received extensive analytical treatment in the art-historical literature.

Depicting the Medieval Alchemical Cosmos: George Ripley’s Wheel of Inferior Astronomy

Picture from a 1550 edition of On the Sphere of the World, the most influential astronomy textbook of 13th-century Europe.

Alchemical writing often develops the idea of a physical or analogical correspondence between heaven and earth: a relationship most fre- quently and conveniently expressed by the use of the seven planetary symbols (Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) to denote the seven metals (usually gold, silver, quicksilver, copper, iron, tin and lead respectively).

The Charlemagne Window at Chartres Cathedral: New Considerations on Text and Image

History of Charlemagne Window - Chartres Cathedral

The Charlemagne Window, justly considered one of the most beautiful of the history windows of Chartres Cathedral, is located in the northeastern intermediate radial chapel and can probably be dated to about 1225.

The Eucharistic Man of Sorrows in Late Medieval Art

Man of Sorrows - iconography

Eucharistic devotion also found it’s ways of visual expression in the art of the period. Numerous new iconographical types were created in late medieval art for the purpose of visualizing the mystery of the Eucharist.

“One Woman with Many Faces”: Imaginings of Mary Magdalen in Medieval and Contemporary Texts

Mary Magdalene - The Passion of the Christ

This project explores these contradictory and myriad imaginings of Mary Magdalen, emphasizing particularly the connections to be made between those emerging from the later Middle Ages and in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.

The Persuasive Power of a Mother’s Breast: The Most Desperate Act of the Virgin Mary’s Advocacy

Madonna and Child - breastfeeding

The image of the Virgo Lactans orMaria Lactans (the image of the Virgin Mary suckling the Child Jesus), which occurs as early as the third century in the catacomb of Priscilla inRome, later spread ing across Europe, is found in a number of Irish sources.

The Cult of Saint Louis and Capetian Interests in the Hours of Jeanne d’Evreux

The Cult of Saint Louis and Capetian Interests in the Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux

Throughout the Middle Ages the Capetians labeled themselves as the ‘Most Christian of Kings,’ and to have a saint in the family legitimated their claim.

Making the martyr: the liturgical persona of Saint Thomas Becket in visual imagery

Murder of Thomas Becket - image in Canterbury Cathedral


Picturing Gregory: The Evolving Imagery of Canon Law

Gregory IX Decretals

This paper surveys images created for the opening of the Liber extra between around 1240 and 1350, from a variety of standpoints: iconography, page layout, patrons and readers – and also suggests possible ideological agendas that might be embedded in the illustrations.

Reconstruction of the diet in a mediaeval monastic community from the coast of Belgium

Medieval food - cook serving food

The aim of the present article is to report the results of stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis on skeletons from a Belgian mediaeval population, and to look at variations in diet that may relate to age and social status.

The Mystery of the Marble Man and his Hat: A Reconsideration of the Bari Episcopal Throne


Until the twentieth century, the throne was universally held to have been sculpted in or immediately before 1098 for Elias, the abbot of San Nicola and archbishop of Bari and Canosa.

Church Wall Paintings and Mosaics: Principles of their arrangement and relationship to church architecture

Medieval Orthodox Wall Mosaic

The history of Orthodox church wall-painting and mosaics, East and West, is a very rich one. On the one hand it reveals tremendous creativity in the Church’s response to architectural and pastoral changes. On the other hand it shows how consistently it has been faithful to unchanging spiritual principles.

Fools, Devils, and Alchemy: Secular Images in the Monastery

Klaštorisko monastery

The fool is one of the most popular and stable character types throughout cultures and times. This is especially true of medieval Europe. The fool, sometimes a jester, sometimes a clown or a trickster, is always recognizable through his abnormal appearance.

The myth of Jewish male menses

15th century depiction of Jewish men

Several scholars have asserted that medieval Christians believed that Jewish men menstruated. Their arguments, made in support of a grander claim that Jews as a collectivity were gendered feminine in Christian thought, rest on numerous misreadings.

Hot Holiday Reads!

BOOKS: A Feast of Ice and Fire The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook

Put down those turkey left-overs and check out some of these hot holiday reads!

Iconography of the Unicorn from India to the Italian Middle Ages


The earliest unicorn figure discovered in Iran dates to the proto-Iranian cultureof Amlash (9th-8th century B.C.). This consists of a small bronze statue representinga goat with a frontal horn. The unicorn measures four centimeters in height and sixand a half centimeters in length and was part of some grave goods

Worlds writ small: four studies on miniature architectural forms in the medieval Middle East

Medieval Islamic architecture

While academic discussion of ornament within medieval Islamic art has laboured much over the codification and meaning of certain forms, there has been relatively little research to date on the visual and iconographic function of architecture as ornament in this context…This thesis proposes, first and foremost, that there is significant cultural meaning inherent in the use of architecture as an inspiration for the non-essential formal qualities of portable objects from the medieval Islamic world.

Construction evolution of medieval tuscan monasteries: The case of badia San Savino in Cascina (Pisa)

Badia San Savino, Italy

The most important stage of this preliminary study has been the historical analysis: the history of the
S. Savino complex is marked by many alterations and modifications to the original structures, presumably
carried out to adapt them to the demands of different (Ceccarelli Lemut and Garzella, 1996 -Pazzagli, 1985- Redi, 1984).
ages and different functions

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