How to travel to the physical and heavenly Jerusalem without leaving home


By the fifteenth century numerous accounts of the holy places circulated in Western Europe, many of them in Latin, a few in various vernaculars such as French and Middle Dutch.

Medieval cesspit in Jerusalem reveals 15th century diseases

British Library Egerton 1070   f. 5   Jerusalem

Analysis of a latrine in Jerusalem that dates back over 500 years finds human parasites common in northern Europe yet very rare in Middle East at the time, suggesting long-distance trade or pilgrimage routes and shedding light on prevalent infectious diseases of the age.

‘De civitatis utriusque, terrenae scilicet et caelestis’: Foundation Narratives and the Epic Portrayal of the First Crusade

Siege of Antioch - from a 15th-century miniature painting.

My summary of a paper given at the Institute of Historical research on the accounts of Antioch and Jerusalem during the First Crusade.

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.”

An aspect of Alcuin: ‘Tuus Albinus’ – peevish egotist? or parrhesiast?


In over 270 letters from about a decade and a half, alcuin of york (†804) informed, advised, consoled and admonished contemporaries, reacted to current events, and maintained a circle of friends and partners in reciprocal prayer that extended from Jerusalem to Ireland and from rome to salzburg. Alcuin left york in the 780s to become a friend and chief advisor to Charlemagne.

Medicine and surgery in the Livre des Assises de la Cour des Bourgeois de Jérusalem

The Assizes of Jerusalem

The Livre des Assises, written in the thirteenth century in Acre, not only provides insights into the practice of medicine and surgery in the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, but also suggests that the licensing and regulation of doctors reflected contemporary Islamic practice.

The Journey of Charles I, King of Hungary, from Visegrád to Naples (1333): Its Political Implications and Artistic Consequences

Charles I King of Hungary and Croatia

The aim of this article is to reconstruct the journey of Charles I, King of Hungary (1310– 1342), from Visegrád to Naples in the year 1333.

An Unknown Female Martyr from Jerusalem


In the present article we edit the fragment of a text related to an unnamed female new martyr from Jerusalem from the time of John XIII.

BOOK REVIEW: “Defending the City of God” : A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem, by Sharan Newman

Defending the City of God - Sharan Newman

This is my review of Sharan Newman’s latest book, Defending the City of God: A Medieval Queen, the First Crusades, and the Quest for Peace in Jerusalem.

Mass Pilgrimage and the Christological Context of the First Crusade

Bamberg Apocalypse - the New Jerusalem

The importance of Jerusalem as a holy city for Christians serves as a starting point for understanding the motivations of eleventh-century pilgrims.

Movement Through Stillness: Imagined Pilgrimage in Medieval Europe

women - pilgrims

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

Asserting Political Authority in a Sacred Landscape: A Comparison of Umayyad and Israeli Jerusalem

The Dome of The Rock Mosque, in the temple mount. Photo by David Baum

Maintenance of authority is of course the end goal, but how does political leadership ‘build’ political authority in the first place?

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.

Melisende: A True Queen

Fulk and Melisende

This leads us to our primary question: did Melisende rule as a political entity during this time?

Rivers of Blood: An Analysis of One Aspect of the Crusader Conquest of Jerusalem in 1099

Image of the First Crusade

The blood that was spilled in the massacre of Jerusalem was real; the rivers of it that course down the pages of modern newspapers and popular books are not.

Byzantine golden treasures discovered in Jerusalem

Ancient gold medallion found at foot of Temple Mount in Jerusalem: This 10-cm gold medallion was discovered in Hebrew University excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Etched into the medallion are a menorah (Temple candelabrum), shofar (ram’s horn) and Torah scroll. Along with other treasures including thirty-six gold coins and gold and silver jewelry, the medallion was likely abandoned during the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614 CE. (Photo by Ouria Tadmor)

Archaeologists working at the foot of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem have discovered a large haul of treasure from the remains of a Byzantine-era building

Crusader hospital discovered in Jerusalem

Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The remains of a large hospital from the Crusader period have been discovered in the heart of Old Jerusalem, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Later this year the public will be to visit part of the structure when the site is turned into a restaurant.

Holy Meditations and Earthly Curiosities: Understanding Late Medieval Pilgrims to Jerusalem

pilgrims in jerusalem

There were many worthy sites along the way, destinations in themselves, but Jerusalem in particular was unrivaled. It lured pilgrims to face death just to stand upon Mountjoy, that fabled vantage point overlooking the city.

Cross relationships between Cyprus and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in the Teutonic Military Order Tradition

16th century map of Cyprus - Carte de l'île de Cypre et d'une partie de la côte de Caramanie, de Syrie et d'Egypte / Iacomo Frac. fecit.

This article will shed new light on the relationships and connections that developed between members of the Teutonic Order based in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and various elements of the population on the island of Cyprus.

Monarchy and nobility in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099-1131: establishment and origins

Baldwin I

The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, established by the victorious crusaders in Palestine in July 1099, was one of the first colonial societies of the Middle Ages.

Querimonia desolacionis terre sancte – The fall of Acre and the Holy Land in 1291 as an emotional element in the Teutonic Order tradition

Teutonic Order - Coat of Arms

Those Military Orders − the Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights, along with other Military Orders, had shed their blood across the Latin Kingdom and suffered many casualties in the final siege which took place in Acre between March and May 1291.

The Evolution of the Saladin Legend in the West


William of Tyreʼs account of the history of the Crusades stops suddenly in 1184. As he lays down his pen he is in despair at the inevitable outcome which he foresees for the struggle with Saladin. It was fortunate for him that he did not live to see the triumph of Saladin at Hattin and Jerusalem. Williamʼs judgement of Saladin, there- fore, is one of fear and admiration but he is also able to criticize his faults, especially his ruthless ambition.

Salutare Animas Nostras: The Ideologies Behind the Foundation of the Templars

Knights Templar on a tomb

The meteoric rise of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon (more commonly known as the Knights Templar) and their equally swift fall has fueled fanciful tales and scholarly research. The order promoted their mythological origins and the extreme charges leveled against them by Philip IV of France (1285-1314) created an atmosphere of speculation.

Religion, Warfare and Business in Fifteenth Century Rhodes

Seal of Hospitallers

How did a military-monastic order manage the resources of an island commercially asimportant as that of Rhodes while overcoming the limitations due to its patrimonial struc-tureto cover their defensive needs? In this essay weattempt to answer this question interms of practice and in the light of relationsthatthe Knights maintained with two distinctgroups of merchants: the Catalan-Aragonese and the Florentines.

Through the Eyes of a Crusader: An Intensive Study Into the Personal Involvement of Two Men in the Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade

What was going through the minds ofthese men who were fighting for the cross when they attacked a Christian city, which was one oftheir allies?

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