The King’s Courts and the King’s Soul: Pardoning as Almsgiving in Medieval England

Henry III - Royal 20.A.II, f.9

This paper examines the workings of the English royal courts in the thirteenth century through one of their practices—pardoning—and argues that the king and his officials could see courts not just as venues for justice, but also as institutions through which the king could see to the health of his own soul.

Medieval Books for Christmas

The Middle Ages - Johannes Fried

It’s that time of year again – the mad scramble for the perfect Christmas gift for the historian, nerd, avid reader on your list. Here are a few suggestions for you – new releases for December and January!

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.

Besteiros Do Conto (Crossbowmen): Organization, abuses of power and irregularities during the reign of Dom João I (1385-1433)

Besteiros Do Conto (Crossbowmen/archers)

The aim of this paper is to examine an aspect of social life linked to one of the most important and original forms of military organization in the whole of Portuguese history—the besteiros do conto (crossbowmen).

Women do not sit as Judges, or do they? The office of Judge in Vincentius Bellovacensis’ Speculum

Vincent of Beauvais (Vincentius Bellovacensis)

It was Charles Homer Haskins (1870-1936) who coined the expression “Renaissance of the twelfth century”. Before him this expression referred more specifically to the Italian Renaissance of the fifteenth century as nineteenth century Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt put it.

The Patriarch Alexios Stoudites and the Reinterpretation of Justinianic Legislation against Heretics

Justinian and his attendants - 526-547 AD (Byzantine) San Vitale, Ravenna

Using normative legal sources such as law codes and imperial novels to illuminate Byzantine heresy is a very difficult proposition. One of the great problems in the analysis of Byzantine law in general is that the normative legal sources rarely were adapted to subsequent economic, political, or social conditions.

The Prologue to Alfred’s Law Code: Instruction in the Spirit of Mercy

Alfred the Great from a 13th Century manuscript

The Prologue to Alfred’s Law Code: Instruction in the Spirit of Mercy Michael Treschow Florilegium: Volume 13 (1994) Abstract Alfred’s law code tends to receive scant attention in discussions of the char- acter of his reign. It lacks the distinctive stamp of his other writings and acts. It is a conservative code that seeks not […]

Medieval English Law manuscript digitised

First page of the Textus Roffensis.

The Textus Roffensis, a 12th century legal encyclopaedia, is now available online.

Of sagas and sheep: Toward a historical anthropology of social change and production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland

Medieval hunt - images of sheep

This dissertation deals with the formation of chiefdoms, communities, ecclesiastical institutions and state, and with production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland in the context of climatic change and ecological succession.

Crafting the witch: Gendering magic in medieval and early modern England

The Devil and witches

This project documents and analyzes the gendered transformation of magical figures occurring in Arthurian romance in England from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries.

The Importance of Parks in Fifteenth-Century Society

Medieval deer park

In this paper, my aim is to consider the role of parks in the fifteenth century.

Gender and Matrimonial Litigation in the Church Courts in the Later Middle Ages: The Evidence of the Court of York

Van Eyck - Arnolfini Marriage (1434)

If some later medieval males thought the courts were biased, what might the female perspective have been?

The Contours, Frequency and Causation of Subsistence Crises in Carolingian Europe (750-950)

Medieval harvest

The Contours, Frequency and Causation of Subsistence Crises in Carolingian Europe (750-950) Timothy P. Newfield Crisis Alimentarias en la Edad Media: Modelos, Explicaciones y Representaciones (Milenio, Lleida, 2013), pp. 117-172. Abstract The subsistence crises of Carolingian Europe have been widely overlooked in modern histories of the early Middle Ages. Detailed treatment has yet to be […]

The Grant Atour of Metz (1405): denouncing the past, shaping the future

Metz (Porte des Allemands) German's Gate, 13th c.

In the late middle ages, the Imperial free city of Metz is firmly in the hands of the patricians: they control its entire government through associations called paraiges – and as the wealth of the city has been relying heavily on their rural possessions since the decline of the commercial role of the city, their leadership is not seriously at risk.

The Lit de Justice: Semantics, Ceremonial, and the Parlement of Paris, 1300–1600

King Charles VIII of France

The curious phrase lit de justice originated in the fourteenth century and by the first decade of the fifteenth century designated particularly important royal sessions of the Parlement of Paris.

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 Legal Status of Female Guardians in 1530s Lithuania

Portrait of a young woman - Lucas Cranach the Elder (1530)

The office of guardianship was clearly needed in the society of sixteenth-century Lithuania. The comparatively short average life expectancy meant that quite a great number of children lost one or both of their parents before reaching majority, and thus had to receive some sort of protection.

Extralegal and English: the Robin Hood Legend and Increasing National Identity in the Middling Sorts of Late Medieval England

Robin Hood statue outside of Nottingham Castle - Photograph by Mike Peel

The legend was clearly not the only work of popular culture in what I propose as the long fifteenth century, but it does serve as a very useful representation for examining the growth of Englishness.

Sleepwalking and Murder in the Middle Ages

The Sleepwalker by Édouard Rosset-Granger (1853–1934)

It happens that many people get up at night while asleep, take weapons or sticks, or ride a horse.What is the cause of this? What is the remedy?

Fast and Feast – Christianization through the Regulation of Everyday Life

Haakon Jarl (Haakon Sigurdsson) was given missionaries by the king of Denmark, but before departure, Haakon sent the missionaries back.

This article will illustrate that an important part of rulers’ wish to create a Christian society was the introduction of Christian legislation.

Race, Periodicity, and the (Neo-) Middle Ages

Late Middle Ages

My goal is to intervene in ongoing discussions of race and periodicity, particularly vis-à-vis medieval culture, in order to investigate the informing role of the medieval and more particularly of medievalisms in the construction, representation, and perpetuation of modern racisms.

Conversion on the Scaffold: Italian Practices in European Context

Renaissance Hanging

11 January 1581 was a fine day in Rome. That morning, Michel de Montaigne, recently arrived in the city, had gone out on horseback when he encountered a procession accompanying a condemned man to execution. Montaigne stopped to watch the sight.

Women’s Devotional Bequests of Textiles in the Late Medieval English Parish Church, c.1350-1550

Medieval woman reading

My investigation is set within the context of the current high level of interest in the workings of the late medieval parish.

Living cheek by jowl: the pathoecology of medieval York

A panoramic view of York in the 15th century. A watercolour by E. Ridsdale Tate produced in 1914,

This paper aims to present the environmental context for disease combined with the human osteological record to reconstruct the pathoecology of medieval York.

Women, Heresy, and Crusade: Toward a Context for Jacques de Vitry’s Relationship to the Early Beguines


Grundmann‘s search for a founding figure is understandable in light of the problematic nature of Beguine institutional history. Beguine historiography has long struggled with the anomalous lack of clear foundation documents and accounts.

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