Hastings: An Unusual Battle


Part of the reason academic warriors have covered the ground so often is that the battle is by no means easy to understand. It was unusual in a number of ways; so unusual, that the battle demands special care in interpretation.

The Bayeux Tapestry: Author, Art and Allegory


The Bayeux Tapestry is a complex visual history of the Norman Conquest of England. Its creation and the story it weaves were defined by its dichotomous authorship, its physical form as textile art and its analogous narrative imagery.

William of Normandy’s Claim to the English throne: Examining the Evidence

William the Conqueror

Whether or not Edward’s promise of the throne to William was genuine, it was later certainly made irrelevant by Edward’s deathbed will.

William the Conqueror and the Harrying of the North

William the Conqueror and the Harrying of the North

This lecture examines the events leading up to the Harrying of the North and the impact of this event on the North of England.

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!

Who Would You Fight for in 1066?

Who Would You Fight for in 1066

It’s the year 1066. Edward, the King of England, has just died. Edward named his successor as Harold Godwinson, but Edward’s cousin, Duke William of Normandy, claims the king had promised him the crown. As William plans to invade England, there is another invasion brewing to claim the throne – led by Harald Hardrada, the King of Norway. It’s a time of turmoil, betrayal and bloodshed… who would you fight for?

The Norman Conquest of England: The Alternative Histories


We take a look at two alternative histories of the Norman Conquest – Waces’s Roman de Rou and the Vita Haroldi

Quiz: The Norman Conquest

Quiz: The Norman Conquest

How well do you know the Norman Conquest of England? Here are ten questions about the Battle of Hastings and other events of 1066.

The Bayeux Tapestry: The Case of the Phantom Fleet

Bayeaux Tapestry - ships

There is a large bibliography of secondary works concerning the Bayeux Tapestry, but when one reads much of the published material it is clear that a high proportion of this comment, as one would expect, copies and builds on previous authors.

Aelfgyva: The Mysterious Lady of the Bayeux Tapestry

Who was the mysterious Ælfgyva in the Bayeux Tapestry?

One of the most intriguing of these puzzles centers upon a scene in that initial segment of the Tapestry treating with Earl Harold Godwinson’s famed and controversial visit to the court of the Norman duke

Ten Things You May Not Have Noticed in the Bayeux Tapestry

Ten Things You May Not Have Noticed in the Bayeux Tapestry

The designer of the Bayeux Tapestry also included little details that might be missed by the casual viewer. Here are ten images to take a second look at!

Book Review: The Rhyme of King Harold

rhyme of king harold

The Rhyme of King Harold is an entertaining way to learn more about the flip side of the Bayeux Tapestry and getting in touch with your Saxon roots.

The 1066 Norwegian Invasion of England in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Battle of Stamford Bridge. From 13th century Anglo-Norman manuscript.

The goal of this paper is to understand how the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle portrays the Norwegian Invasion of 1066 and how they characterize the Norwegians, particularly the figure of Haraldr Harðráði.

Unpleasant Affairs That Please Us: Admonition and Rebuke in the Letter Collections of the Archbishops of Canterbury, 11th and 12th Centuries

Archbishop of Canterbury -Thomas Becket

From the Norman Conquest in 1066 up to the famous “murder in the cathedral”2 in 1170, six archbishops of Canterbury ruled over the English church…

Harold Godwinson’s Posthumous Reputation, 1066-c.1160

Harold Godwineson

This text will show in which ways Harold’s posthumous reputation was constructed to cement the Norman claim to legitimacy and how this legacy lasted well beyond William the Conqueror’s death.

Writing conquest: traditions of Anglo-Saxon invasion and resistance in the twelfth century

Norman Conquest

Writing Conquest examines the ways in which Latin, Old English, and Middle English twelfth-century historical and pseudo-historical texts remembered and reconstructed three formative moments of Anglo-Saxon invasion and resistance…

Great Medieval Fiction 2013!

Dangerous Women

For those of you who enjoy some fantasy or a historical novel – this list is for you!

1066: The Limits of our Knowledge

Battle Abbey viewed from across the battlefield of the Battle of Hastings - photo by Ealdgyth

As the most pivotal and traumatic event in English history, the Norman Conquest continues to generate controversy and debate, especially among those who know little about it or enjoy passing judgement on the past.

The Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England

norman conquest morris

The Norman Conquest: The Battle of Hastings and the Fall of Anglo-Saxon England By Marc Morris Pegasus Books, 2013 ISBN: 978-1-60598-451-3 Publisher’s Description: An upstart French duke who sets out to conquer the most powerful and unified kingdom in Christendom.An invasion force on a scale not seen since the days of the Romans. One of the […]

A stitch in time

bayeux tapestry

Who commissioned the tapestry? Who made it, where and when? Where was the Tapestry first displayed? Was the message of the Tapestry outright Norman propaganda or a more evenhanded attempt at Anglo-Norman reconciliation?

King Harald Sigurdsson of Norway in History and Legend

The landing of King Harald Hardrada near York...

Yet behind the legend we find that Harald is a much more complex figure than Adam of Bremen would have you believe. The most extraordinary episodes in Harald’s life were in fact historical, and can be discerned from the tales that have come down to us if only we are willing to tease out the facts from the corpus of myth surrounding him.

Theft, Homicide and Crime in Late Anglo-Saxon Law


In order to understand these issues properly we must first consider our own ideas about ‘crime’, a deeply problematic term for the period before the late twelfth century.

William the Conqueror and the Channel Crossing of 1066

The Bayeux Tapestry and the Vikings

William the Conqueror waited several weeks before making his maritime crossing of the English Channel in 1066 – was he hampered by weathered or did the Norman Duke intentionally remain in Normandy, hoping that events in Anglo-Saxon England would turn to his favour?

Conquest, Contact, and Convention: Simulating the Norman Invasion’s Impact on Linguistic Usage


How do conventions arise? Lewis adressed this in his work Convention via signaling games, a mathematical model of communication where a sender sends a message to a receiver who then interprets it. When we say conventions, we mean by that a system of coor- dinated behavior pairing information states with actions

Widows in Anglo-Saxon England

Owing to a fairly large number of mainly vernacular codes of law that have survived, we are in a position to see at least how in legislation the position of women in general, but also of widows in particular, was defined.

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