Stanford medievalist Marisa Galvez is examining the origins of people’s fascination with crystals. She finds that crystals inspired the writing and poetry of some medieval authors in unexpected ways.
Far removed from the bodies they once adorned and the graves which from which they were unearthed gold cross pendants richly inlaid with garnets sit behind glass in various museums in Great Britain.
Birthstones and their superpowers according to the Middle Ages
A rare impressive, intact bronze ring from the Middle Ages, bearing the image of St. Nicholas, was discovered by chance during recent landscaping work in the garden of a home in the Jezreel Valley community of Moshav Yogev.
Whether at a casino playing craps or engaging with family in a simple board game at home, rolling the dice introduces a bit of chance or “luck” into every game.
There is a wealth of material relating to diplomatic gifts. However, beyond this aspect, and a few references about trade in treaties and links to this in coinage, surprisingly little has been written about material culture and diplomatic practice.
The Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung has launched a large-scale conservation project that will focus on one of the collection’s most important works over the next few years.
One of Europe’s largest archaeological digs this year has uncovered a rich tapestry of information about Suffolk’s history during Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval times.
Los Angeles correspondent, Danielle Trynoski takes through the, ‘Traversing the Globe Through Illuminated Manuscripts’ exhibut at the Getty Museum.
When many people think about the Middle Ages they see it as a time when people were tortured by a wide collection of diabolical instruments. Whether it is the Pear of Anguish or the Iron Maiden, these torture devices are portrayed as medieval. The reality, however, is that many of these devices never existed in the Middle Ages.
Here are five popular gifts of love from the Middle Ages.
Nancy Marie Brown speaking on her new book Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them, at Cornell University on October 15, 2015
I love gargoyles. While there are so many beautiful pieces of sculpture that have survived the Middle Ages, like so many people, I’m drawn to those strange and ugly funny faces, not least of all because I can’t figure out what they’re for.
New study on the use of imported objects in Viking Age Scandinavia
I intend to look at magic bowls in order to see how and for what purpose they were used, and to get a glimpse at the way they worked and what hidden treasures can be found within them.
One book leads to the next. It’s a truism among writers, and particularly apt for explaining how my latest book, Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them, published by St Martin’s Press in September, came to be.
Read an excerpt from the latest book by Nancy Marie Brown
One of the most important pieces of a furniture in the medieval home was the bed – it would not only be the place to sleep and have sex, but also where one would give birth and often where people would have their last moments.
The glittering and gleaming artifacts that can be found in Anglo-Saxon archaeological sites capture the imagination, conjuring up images of a warrior culture that displayed its wealth through wearable objects.
Relics thus typify the characteristic dynamic of medieval Christianity—a repeated refreshing and renewing of an ancient tradition that was endlessly culturally creative.
Analysing manuscripts, relics, indulgences, and even a bishop’s mitre, the article argues that stitching was a way to enact, or intensify, the ritual purpose of objects, whether that was ceremonial, devotional, or authoritative.
In the summer of 2013 the Rijksmuseum acquired a rare Late Gothic Christmas Crib (c. 1510-20). In the 15th century tangible aids – devotionalia – were promoted to support meditation, to accomplish as it were a link between God and the soul of the believer.
In the Middle Ages and in the Renaissance, particularly between the thirteenth and the sixteenth century, the most common way of eliminating one’s enemy was by poisoning his food or drink at a banquet.
Using the example of a particular piece of the Lewis Chessmen this paper examines both the benefits and the limitations that come about with the cultural approach and cautions against a too rigid application.