Medieval Microstates

medieval microstates

Did tiny kingdoms and states exist in the Middle Ages? Here is our list of ten European microstates the were created, sometimes by accident, including a few that remain in existence to this day!

Rituals of Royalty: Prescription, Politics and Practice in English Coronation and Royal Funeral Rituals c. 1327 to c. 1485

coronation of Richard II - 15th century

This thesis examines English royal ritual culture in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, focusing specifically upon the rituals of coronation and funeral.

The Expansion of Christendom: Crusading in Northern Europe, 1147 – 1415

Teutonic Knights - by Wojciech Kossak (1857–1942)

Between 1147 and 1415 holy wars raged in the lands on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea in Northern Europe.

King Edmund Ironside

Battle of Assandun - Edmund Ironside and Canute the Dane

It was the early eleventh century and England was being overrun by Vikings

Ten Men Who Almost Became the King of England

Ten Men Who Almost Became the King of England

English history might have been very different if they had Eustace, Alphonso or Louis on the throne – here are ten men who nearly became the King of England in the Middle Ages.

Writing About Richard III: Admissible Sources and Emotional Responses


What is it about Richard III that provokes an emotional response, when so many other British monarchs are of scant interest to twenty-first century people?

The Crusades: A Very Brief History, 1095-1500

crusaders capture antioch - The Hague, KB, KA 20 fol. 255r

In this chapter, I trace the contours of the specific types of violent religious conflict always immanent within the historical structure of medieval war.

Women’s role in politics in the medieval Muslim world

Illustration from a 19th  century edition of "One Thousand and One Nights"

The objective of this paper will be to demonstrate in what ways medieval women (the upper-class women) of the Middle East made themselves visible and wielded influence or power over affairs of the state.

With All For All: The Life of Simon de Montfort

With All For All: The Life of Simon de Montfort

This biography follows his life from his birth and upbringing in France until his defeat and death at the hands of the future Edward I.

The Mongol Empire: The State of the Research

Mongol Empire - illustration by Keith Pickering / Wikicommons

The study of the Mongol Empire has made enormous strides in the past two decades, and its most notable impact is the shift of seeing the Empire not only in national or regional terms but from a holistic perspective, in its full Eurasian context.

Scattered voices: Anthonis de Roovere and other reporters of the wedding of Charles the Bold and Margaret of York

Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, here around 1460 as Count of Charolais

Both sources are of great value for those who study the Bruges wedding, with the impact it had on its contemporaries, and the way in which our present-day picture of it came about.

Cryptographic Systems Used in the Romanian Countries between the 15th – 19th Centuries

old map romania

Situated in the southeast of Europe, Romanian Countries had an intense diplomatic activity, even if this was not recorded accordingly in documents of the day.

The Partition of a Kingdom: Strathclyde 1092-1153

Strathclyde kingdom - Wikimedia Commons

The last British king of Strathclyde, Owein, son of Dyfnal, died in 1018. At that time his kingdom stretched from Lennox, north of the Clyde, as far south as the Rere Cross at Stainmore in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

The Female Consort as Intercessor in Sixteenth-Century Saxony

Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg

In the first part, I will examine how the consort’s position was defined in the 1537 coronation of Christian III and Dorothea of Denmark-Norway.

The City of London and the Magna Carta

17th century map of London

A brief, but enlightening, discussion of the intermingled histories of the City of London and Magna Carta.

Magna Carta: The Medieval Context and the Part Played by William Marshal

William Marshal - photo by Kjetil Bjørnsrud

Lord Judge highlights the real hero of 1215, William Marshal, who’s tireless campaigning and statecraft lead to the adoption of Magna Carta, ejected the French from British soil and secured the Plantaganet dynasty’s hold on the throne.

Þingvellir: Archaeology

Law_speakerromanticised view of the 11th century Althing

The Norse General Assembly of Iceland, called the Althing at Þingvellir, was central to early Icelandic society in the Viking Age. Not only was it the high point of the annual social calendar, but it was also the focus of their ideals of justice and law-making, which the early Icelanders refined into an art.

The Lion’s Roar: Anger in the Dispute between Henry II and Thomas Becket

Henry II arguing with Thomas Becket

The purpose of this paper will be to analyze representations of anger in the sources on Becket’s life and the place of anger in the dispute, and to assess what that suggests about understandings and uses of anger in twelfth-century English politics.

The Hundred Years War and the Making of Modern Europe

Hundred years war 1360

English and French nationalism were forged through centuries of bitter military rivalry that carved out a new European, and ultimately global, order.

The Foxes of Venice

Venice in 1565 - Venice, engraving by Hogenberg and Braun from the Civitates Orbis Terrarum

This paper will focus on the process that led to the professionalization of ambassadorial relations and dispatches as a means to display the shift in the Venetian Senate’s political priorities, as it necessitated and enforced a constant and regular influx of foreign knowledge.

Which Medieval Monarch of England Are You?

english kings

England during the Middle Ages has been said to have been a magical place much like the Renaissance Faire. But the real history of the kingdom is filled with conspiracies, battles, and kings and queens. So which king/queen would you have been?

Dervorguilla of Galloway: ‘Daughter of the Oath’

Dervorguilla of Galloway

Dervorguilla is a familiar figure in Scottish history, a lady of wealth, substance and impeccable pedigree. She is mentioned because she is the great grand-daughter of King David I, the mother of King John Balliol and she confirmed the foundation of a college at the University of Oxford, creating an endowment to ensure its future.

The Usurpation of Henry IV: His Quest for Legitimacy on the English Throne

Henry Bolingbroke Claims Throne

On 30 September 1399, Richard II’s cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, would usurp the throne, taking the name Henry IV, and months after the coronation, Richard would die a prisoner in Pontefract Castle amidst speculation that he was murdered.

Vice, Tyranny, Violence, and the Usurpation of Flanders (1071) in Flemish Historiography from 1093 to 1294

Baldwin VI, Count of Flanders & Hainaut

The earliest sources of the history of medieval Flanders do not agree on the origins of the counts. The earliest source, the so-called “Genealogy of Arnold [I],” credibly traces the counts’ origin to Baldwin I “Iron Arm,”…

‘Falseness Reigns in Every Flock’: Literacy and Eschatological Discourse in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381

Peasant's Revolt 1381

The literature of the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, a miscellany of fourteenth-century poetry and prose penned before, during, and after the insurrection, often stresses the importance of literacy to the nonaristocratic population of England.

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