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Medieval Warfare Magazine – Volume 6 Issue 3

This summer you can read about the so-called ‘Last War of Antiquity’. The theme of the latest issue of Medieval Warfare is the Byzantine-Sassanid War of the seventh-century.

Osthryth, Queen of the Mercians

Osthryth was one of the few women mentioned by the Venerable Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People. She was born into a time of great strife. There was much tension and bad blood between the ruling houses of the various kingdoms in England before unification, especially between Mercia and Northumbria.

How Well Do You Know the Seventh Century?

Ten questions to the test your knowledge of the 600s.

The First Arab Siege of Constantinople

The details of the siege remain, however, shrouded in mystery: its exact dates (670–7 or 674–8?) and length (4 or 7 years?) are a matter of controversy; it is disputed whether the Arabs subjected Constantinople to a regular siege or only to a naval blockade; and the overall logic of events is far from clear.

Bede’s Temple as History

Another IHR paper, this time, a talk given about Bede’s writing and his interest in the image of the Temple and its relation to Christianity. This paper also examined how Bede’s views shifted over time. How did Bede view Judaism? Was he truly ambivalent?

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.

Can you solve these Anglo-Saxon Riddles?

Here are ten riddles from Aldhelm’s Enigmata. See if you can figure out the answers

The Tale of Bealhildis or how an Anglian slave became a saintly French Queen

It is not every day England gives a home girl to be worshipped as a Saint by enthusiastic Gallic crowds.

Sword and Shield of God: Byzantine Strategy and Tactics Under Heraclius During the Last Persian War and First Arab War

Only Heraclius could have wielded these forces effectively against his foes to achieve victory; with any other Byzantine commander these revolutionary tactics would have been monumentally difficult if not unworkable.

Was a Woman the first editor of the Qur’an?

A new study suggests that Hafsa bint ‘Umar, one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad, had a crucial role in editing and codifying the Qur’an and was likely the one of the first people to have kept a written version of the religious text.

Maurice, Son of Theodoric: Welsh Kings and the Mediterranean World AD 550-650

Among the many petty rulers of early medieval Wales was a king whose name can be rendered Maurice, son of Theodoric.

Warriors and warfare: ideal and reality in early insular texts

This thesis investigates several key aspects of warfare and its participants in the Viking Age insular world via a comparison of the image which warriors occupy in heroic literature to their concomitant depiction in sources which are primarily nonliterary in character, such as histories, annalistic records, and law codes.

Is the Author Really Better than his Scribes? Problems of Editing Pre-Carolingian Latin Texts

Latin texts composed after ca. 600 and before the Carolingian writing re- forms that began in the late eighth century present problems that editors rarely have to face when working on classical texts (including most writings of late antiquity), or texts written after ca. 800.

How did Christians view the Rise of Islam?

When Muslim armies came out of Arabia in the 630s and 640s, Christian writers of the time saw it a sign that the Apocalypse had come.

Behind the Veil: The rise of female monasticism and the double house

In this thesis I aim to restore the contemporary views of female monasticism that have been marginalized in current historiography. By evaluating the primary source material on women in monasticism, I intend to recapture the complex links between female religious communities and the wider social, cultural and political world of the Frankish kingdoms.

Byzantine golden treasures discovered in Jerusalem

Archaeologists working at the foot of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem have discovered a large haul of treasure from the remains of a Byzantine-era building

Research uncovers how Christianity changed Anglo-Saxon burial practices

During the 670s and 680s there was a dramatic change in how people were buried in Anglo-Saxon England, according to a new study released by English Heritage.

Western Turks and Byzantine gold coins found in China

In general, before the 1980’s, most scholars treated these finds as evidences for the frequent connection between Byzantine and China, which could be further associated with the seven-times visits of Fulin (Rum) emissaries recorded in Tang literature. However, after the 1980’s, more and more researchers tended to take these gold coins as a result of prosperous international trade along silk road.

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.

The Battle of Yarmuk

On August 20, 636 AD, a battle was fought in Syria between the Roman army and a Saracen force made up of allied Arab tribes which during the previous decade had been converted to the new monotheistic religion of the prophet Mohammed.

Celtic Search Talk III: Irish Classical Studies and the Irish History of Troy

This was part of a series of papers given at the University of Toronto in competition for a position in the Celtic Studies department. This paper focused on the reception of literature and the reception of the classics in medieval Ireland.

The monastic thought and culture of Pope Gregory the Great in their Western context, c.400-604

Gregory was the first monk to be pope; proverbially, he would have preferred to have remained a monk; the audience he addressed was almost always made up of monks.

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