Quiz: Politics and the State in the Renaissance, 1450-1521

Florence a 1500

This quiz tests your knowledge of the Italian city-states during the Renaissance.

Cynethryth, Queen of the Mercians

Cynethryth Coin

Cynethryth and Offa were the ultimate power couple in eighth century England.

Two hegemonies, one island: Cyprus as a ‘Middle Ground’ between the Byzantines and the Arabs (650-850 A.D.)

Cyprus

This paper aims to assess the political and cultural status of the island of Cyprus as the only place within the Mediterranean where Christian heirs of Romans and Muslims shared the local tax revenue to create a buffer zone between two empires.

KZOO 2015: Session #42 – Magna Carta in Context

British Library's Magna Carta, photo credit Joseph Turp

This coming week I’ll be featuring summaries on some of my favourites sessions and papers from #KZOO2015. I kicked off my first session on Thursday with the Magna Carta.

Cnut: England’s Danish King

cnut landing - from The story of the middle ages; an elementary history for sixth and seventh grades (1912)

There is very little historic information on King Cnut even though he was the most powerful king in northern Europe in the early eleventh century.

How Significant Were Perceptions Of Marital Fidelity As An Aspect Of Kingship In The Thirteenth And Fourteenth Centuries?

Detail of a miniature of the marriage between Edward II and Isabella, daughter of Philippe IV of France: Jean de Wavrin, Recueil des chroniques d'Engleterre, vol. 1, Netherlands (Bruges), c. 1475 (after 1471), Royal 15 E. iv, f. 295v

This paper, concentrating on the above mentioned monarchs, will argue that marital fidelity, whilst no means encouraged as a form of acceptable behaviour, was rarely used to criticise the kings of England in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and played little part in perceptions of their rule.

Lasting Falls and Wishful Recoveries: Crusading in the Black Sea Region after the Fall of Constantinople

16th century map of the Black Sea

This paper examines the Black Sea question in the second half of the 15th century, with special emphasis on crusading and religious questions.

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.

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

richard-iii-face

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
 of 
the
 Althing

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.

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