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Medievalists at the Movies: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword premiered May 2017 MAN CANDY ALERT! When I sat down to watch “King Arthur” over this past weekend, I was a bit apprehensive. This big-budget, big-name feature film didn’t last very long in theaters (never a good sign) and it received overall negative reviews (typically, not always, not a […]

Book Excerpt: Warriors and Kings The 1500-Year Battle For Celtic Britain by Martin Wall

For those of you looking for something Celtic to read this spring, author Martin Wall brings us Warriors and Kings: The 1500-Year Battle for Celtic Britain.

Soldiers to Warriors: Renegotiating the Roman Frontier in the Fifth Century

There has been a presumption that only the poorest soldiers remained in very small numbers by the end of the Roman period, c ad 410, if not withdrawn completely at the command of an emperor or usurper; but there are no documentary sources that validate this, and there is a considerable amount of archaeological evidence that disproves it.

Early Medieval Celtic Art in Britain and Ireland: A Curator’s Perspective

Martin Golberg, Senior Curator at the National Museums of Scotland, travelled to the British Museum to give audiences perspective on the various pieces in the exhibit as well as an introduction to what constitutes “Celtic” art.

Who Were The Celts? The British Museum Offers Answers with New Exhibition

The British Museum just opened its latest exhibit, Celts: Art and Identity this past Thursday, covering 2,500 years of Celtic history. The exhibit explores Celtic identity and how it eveolved from the time of the Ancient Greeks to the present through art, culture, daily life, religion and politics.

Picts offer historians a picture of non-Roman Briton culture

History has never been too kind to a group of early British Isle inhabitants referred to as the Picts, but the often mischaracterized, always mysterious people may serve as a historical laboratory to explore how the island’s culture might have developed without Roman intervention, according to a Penn State historian.

A British legion stationed near Orléans c. 530?

Several recent books lead the reader to believe that Vita sancti Dalmatii, written in c. 800, records a legio Britannica (a British army) stationed near Orléans in c. 530. As this paper demonstrates, the only correct detail of this purported record is the word legio, and this may well have a non-military connotation.

Anglo-Saxon smiths and myths

Knowledge of the metalworking and jewellery-making abilities of the Anglo-Saxons has been much enhanced in recent years by metallurgical and other technical studies.

Archaeology, common rights and the origins of Anglo-Saxon identity

It is generally accepted that rights over land, especially rights of pasture, played a formative role in establishing the identity of early Anglo-Saxon ‘folk groups’, the predecessors of the middle Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.

Rethinking Hardown Hill: Our Westernmost Early Anglo-Saxon Cemetery?

This paper reassesses the early Anglo-Saxon assemblage from Hardown Hill, Dorset. Wingrave excavated the objects in 1916 but apart from his 1931 report, and Evison’s 1968 analysis, there has been little subsequent discussion.

Quid Tacitus . . . ? The Germania and the Study of Anglo-Saxon England

This paper considers the vexed historiography of Tacitus’s Germania and its reception history, first among German and other European historians and then among Anglo-Saxonists.

‘Royal’ pediculosis in Renaissance Italy: lice in the mummy of the King of Naples Ferdinand II of Aragon (1467-1496)

Pediculosis seems to have afflicted humans since the most ancient times and lice have been found in several ancient human remains. Examination of the head hair and pubic hair of the artificial mummy of Ferdinand II of Aragon (1467-1496), King of Naples, revealed a double infestation with two different species of lice…

Christmas Books: Great Medieval Fiction Reads for the Christmas Holidays!

Some medieval stocking stuffers for the historians on your Christmas list!

Piracy in Late Roman Britain: A Perspective from the Viking Age

In contrast to Romano-British studies, the scholar of the Viking Age is well served by detailed discussions of piracy, in large part driven by the considerable number of primary historical sources.

A Revival of Female Spirituality: Adaptations of Nuns’ Rules during the Hiberno-Frankish Monastic Movement

Before Columbanus, Irish abbots demonstrated little interest in producing monastic rules as we know them from the traditions of Benedict of Nursia and Caesarius of Arles. Preferring instruction by example to any documented tenets, Irish monasticism emphasized the conduct of the founding or ruling abbot or abbess as a model to imitate.

Lincolnshire and the Arthurian Legend

This article is intended to rectify this, proceeding from the widely-held assumption of the existence of a genuinely ‘historical Arthur’, before going on to consider the even more fundamental question of whether we ought to believe in Arthur’s existence at all.

Tenebrae Refulgeant: Celestial Signa in Gregory of Tours

Celestial portents appear frequently in the Historiae of Bishop Gregory of Tours (ca. 539–94). Gregory carefully distinguished between the interpretation of celestial signs and horoscopic astrology by describing signs as natural, albeit miraculous, elements of God’s Creation.

A tale of Wade: The Anglo-Saxon origin myth in an East Saxon setting

In the past Walter Map’s tale of Gado, included in his De Nugis Curialium, written towards the end of the twelfth century, has been merely regarded as a Medieval Latin version of a pre-conquest lay concerning the exploits of the Germanic hero Wade. However, if we look past the fantastic elements which surround him we are left with what appears to be an East Saxon version of the English settlement myth most familiar in the Kentish form involving Hengist and Vortigern, which itself seems to have been adopted from a common Germanic theme.

The British Kingdom of Lindsey

The first piece of evidence which offers support for the above contention comes from the kingdom-name ‘Lindsey’ itself. Two forms of this name exist in Anglo-Saxon sources, reflecting two different Old English suffixes:6 Lindissi (later Lindesse, as used by Bede and the earliest manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle)7 and Lindesig…

From Paganism to Christianity: Transition of the Insular Celts As Seen Through The Archaeological Record

These centuries of tension and adaptation provide the evidence for the interaction of Christianity and Celtic religions, but one must use caution when examining Celtic religion because of potentially biased evidence.

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