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Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell: Book Tour and Giveaway!

This is an exciting week for book lovers at Medievalists.net. We’re hosting two book tours and giveaways! Today, we’re featuring author Samantha Morris’ Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell, and running an international contest to give away a copy of the book.

How to Defeat a Tyrant: The Florentines against the Duke

In a time of crisis the Republic of Florence turned to a brash noble to lead their city. He soon turned into a disgraceful tyrant. Could the Florentine citizens overthrow him before a plot to murder hundreds of people could be carried out?

80-Room Medieval Italian castle to be sold for first time in its history

Castel Valer, a lavishly decorated medieval castle in northern Italy, which has been owned by the same family who obtained the estate in the fourteenth century, is set to be sold at auction on 8th September 2016.

Book Talk: A Conversation with Guy Gavriel Kay

Set in a parallel Renaissance world, two major religions, the Jaddites who worship the sun, and the Asharites who worship the stars, struggle amidst the backdrop of court politics, murder, espionage, faith and family.

Mediterranean Castle for Sale

This 14th century castle can be found along the coast of Calabria in Italy.

A Man Must Not Embelish Himself like a Woman: The Body and Gender in Renaissance Cosmetics

In pre-modern Italy, cosmetics’ ideal backdrop was a pale complexion, apparently untouched by the sun’s rays to give the impression that one had the luxury of avoiding going about outside on any daily labors.

BOOK REVIEW: Medieval Medicine: Its Mysteries and Science by Toni Mount

Our review of Toni Mount’s fascinating look at medicine in the Middle Ages in – Medieval Medicine: Its Mysteries and Science by Toni Mount.

The Global Side of Medieval at the Getty Centre: Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts

Los Angeles correspondent, Danielle Trynoski takes through the, ‘Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts’ exhibut at the Getty Museum.

Medieval Survivals In Modern Rome

An analysis of medieval buildings in Rome with “defensive” characteristics has been ongoing for the past four years (towers, fortified houses, fortifications on ancient monuments).

MEDIEVAL BOOKS: Black Friday!

Here are a few recent releases for medievalists hunting for Black Friday books and early Christmas gifts!

These are beautiful words to understand

‘If those who wound felt the pain of those who are wounded, they could not often wound with pleasure.’

Machiavelli and Botticelli Movies to Hit the Screen in 2016

Machiavelli and Botticelli are set to hit screens in 2016. We sat down to chat with Italian director, Lorenzo Raveggi about his two ambitious projects.

Movie Review: Dangerous Beauty

Late 16th century Venice, where a woman can be a nun, a wife or a courtesan. For Veronica Franco, the free spirited girl scorned by because of her lack of wealth, the choice is an obvious one…

The Justinianic Reconquest of Italy: Imperial Campaigns and Local Responses

This article examines a particular aspect of Justinian’s campaigns against the Ostrogoths in Italy, one that is often overlooked, yet one that is essential to the understanding of these wars

Genoa: The Cog in the New Medieval Economy

Journalist and author Nicholas Walton writes about medieval Genoa’s economy, trade and role in the Black Death. Walton recently published a book on Genoese history entitled, “Genoa: La Superba”

BOOK REVIEW: Genoa ‘La Superba’: The Rise and Fall of a Merchant Pirate Superpower by Nicholas Walton

While most books about Italy have been dedicated to tourist hubs like Milan, Florence, Rome, Sicily and Venice, Genoa with its rich history, rugged landscape, and tenacious residents, has been given only a passing mention.

International trade and institutional change: Medieval Venice’s response to globalization

Venice has always presented two faces. As a great medieval trading centre its wealth was used to build not only beautiful architecture, but also remarkably modern institutions.

Writing about the Middle Ages – what works, what doesn’t

I’ve had ones that have done really well, while others have failed to get even a small audience. Here are examples of what has worked, and what did not work.

Caterina Sforza’s Experiments with Alchemy

She collected over four hundred alchemical, medicinal, and cosmetic recipes, and corresponded with other alchemical adepts about materials and laboratory techniques.

Foundation Myths in Medieval and Renaissance Italy

The 3 papers featured here looked at the development of the civic identities of Florence, Genoa and Rome through art, architecture and foundation legends.

Dyes, Diets and Deodorants: Venetian Beauty Secrets Revealed

If you think it’s hard to keep up a beauty regime now, wait until you see what lengths the Venetians went to in order to be beautiful!

Beyond the Medical Text: Health and Illness in Early Medieval Italian Sources

The vast majority of surviving evidence for health care, medicine and attitudes to illness in early medieval northern Italy comes not from traditional medical texts, but legal, hagiographical and archaeological sources.

Quiz: The Italian Renaissance

Test your knowledge of the Italian Renaissance!

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