Medieval Wonders of MAN in Madrid


Danielle Trynoski explores the medieval exhibits at the Museo Arqueológico Nacional.

Medieval Lisbon: Carmo Convent

View of the majestic Gothic tomb of King Ferdinand I (1345-1383), along with several other Gothic sarcophagi inside the Carmo Monastery museum. Photo by

Part III of my series on Medieval Lisbon. This visit took me to Carmo Monastery and museum.

Fair Trade?: A Look at the Hanseatic League

Replica of a 15th century Hanseatic ship. Lisa von Lübeck - Photo by Doris Schütz (Wikipedia)

In the 14th century, an ongoing feud ensued between the Hanseatic League and non-Hanse merchants. Here’s a quick look at the rise and fall of the one of the most powerful organizations of the Late Middle Ages.

Medieval Lisbon: Castelo de São Jorge

Walking along the castle walls, you can see the red and green flag of Portugal whipping in the wind alongside the black and white flag of the city. Photo by

Above Lisbon’s skyline of colourful tiled houses and red roofs lies Castelo de São Jorge, a dominating, but beautiful, 11th century fortress in the heart of this vibrant city…

BOOK REVIEW: Genoa ‘La Superba’: The Rise and Fall of a Merchant Pirate Superpower by Nicholas Walton

Book cover: Genoa ‘La Superba’: The Rise and Fall of a Merchant Pirate Superpower by Nicholas Walton

While most books about Italy have been dedicated to tourist hubs like Milan, Florence, Rome, Sicily and Venice, Genoa with its rich history, rugged landscape, and tenacious residents, has been given only a passing mention.

Fashion Old and New: Weaving and Tailoring in the Early Medieval and Early Modern Period

Anglo Saxon pin beater made of animal bone. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 400-800 AD. Courtesy of Cotswold Archaeology.

Fashion fan? Interested in medieval and early modern textiles? Then this was your session. 2 papers from opposite ends of the spectrum: Early Medieval weaving and Early Modern Tailoring.

Study reveals size of livestock were at their lowest in Early Middle Ages

medieval livestock

A new study, covering the last 2000 years of livestock animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep and goats, has revealed that in Spain these animals were at their smallest size during the 8th and 9th centuries.

‘Que lo lean literalmente’: Clerical Ignorance and a Late Medieval Wedding Ceremony

medieval wedding

There is ample evidence that in late-medieval Spain a vast number of priests charged with carrying out the Church’s everyday liturgical responsibilities were undereducated and had little or no capacity in that language.

Philippa Langley: The End of Richard III and the Beginning of Henry I

Philippa Langley placing a rose on Richard's casket. Will Johnston - Leicester Cathedral.

Amidst all the excitement, and the whirlwind that was Richard III’s reburial in Leicester, I managed to catch up with one of the world’s most famous Ricardians, ‘the Kingfinder’, Philippa Langley.

Tropical fire ants traveled the world on 16th century ships

fire ant  photo Rick Hagerty / Flickr

Thanks to a bit of genetic sleuthing, researchers now know the invasion history of the tropical fire ant, the first ant species known to travel the globe by sea.

The Isabella Breviary

Moleiro_article1 (2)

Within its pages lie some of the finest illuminations ever painted during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

The medieval roots of gender and sexuality in Spanish colonial law

Marie Kelleher

Marie Kelleher will discuss the medieval roots of gender and sexuality in Spanish colonial law, beginning with the written law (both secular and ecclesiastical) and how it defines the parameters of respectable female behavior.

Spanish Vikings: Searching for the Norse presence in Iberia

16th century map of Iberia

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films – however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

‘Forget Your People and Your Father’s House’: Teresa de Cartagena and the Converso Identity

Teresa de Cartagena

Religion is a very important factor to take into consideration in discussions about the identity of the conversos [converts] or New Christians, an emerging group in 15th-century Castile.

A Created Enemy: ‘Barbarians’ in spite of Religious Conversion. Visigoths and Byzantines in 6th-Century Iberia

Capital from the Visigothic church of San Pedro de la Nave.

This study approaches the concept of resistance as a tool for historical analysis during Roman Late Antiquity, especially with respect to the identity construction and the creation of physical or mental borders between Byzantines and Barbarians.

Flandria Illustrata: Flemish Identities in the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period

Jan van Eyck, Annunciation, 1434–1436. Wing from a dismantled triptych. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

This chapter discusses identity formation in early modern Flanders. It argues that policy makers and their intellectual agents transformed the perception of a province that had been divided by urban rivalries, civil war and conflicts with the Burgundian and Habsburg overlords, into a bastion of the Catholic Counter Reformation with strong ties to the Spanish King and his representatives.

Intellectual Cartographic Spaces: Alfonso X, the Wise and the Foundation of the Studium Generale of Seville

The University of Seville, est. 1505 - one of the legacies of Alfonso X's 1254 establishment of escuelas generales (general schools).

This dissertation, “Intellectual Cartographic Spaces: Alfonso X, the Wise and the Foundations of the Studium Generale of Seville,” I reevaluate Spain’s medieval history, specifically focusing on the role of Alfonso X and his court in the development of institutions of higher education in thirteenth-century Andalusia.

The (Attempted) Alliance of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Valdemar II of Denmark: the Infante Fernando’s Marriage Reconsidered

King Alfonso VIII 'the Noble' of Castile

This paper presents the evidence for a lost marriage alliance between Castile and Denmark, contextualizes the marriage within the larger framework of Alfonso VIII’s international relations, and finally, demonstrates that the match can help to underscore the importance of crusading lineages in the affairs of the Castilian royal family.

Beyond the Border. The aristocratic mobility between the kingdoms of Portugal and León (1157- 1230)

Alfonso IX of León

During the reigns of Fernando II and Alfonso IX, the kingdom of León became home to several Portuguese aristocrats. Their relations with the Galician and Leonese nobility helped them create many cross-border ties and a powerful network of family-based relationships which heavily influenced the course of the main political conflicts of this period.

Petrus Hispanus (circa 1215-1277) and ‘The Treasury of the Poor’

Pope John XXI (Petrus Hispanus)

The identity of Petrus Hispanus is a matter of some controversy. Part of the problem is centred on the fact that ‘Hispanus’ covers the general region of the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in medieval times as ‘las Españas’ (the Spains), incorporating both present day Spain and Portgual.

Late Medieval Knight Reflecting on his Public Life: Hugo de Urriés (c. 1405-c. 1493), Diplomacy and Translating the Classics

Sepulchre of Hugo de Urriés (1420-1443) - at Huesca Cathedral. By Gothic sculptor, Pere Johan

This article focuses on Aragonese courtier Hugo de Urriés’s public profile by means of analyzing the critical points derived from examining his personal, political, cultural and historical stands making use of an invaluable primary source, his letter to Fernando the Catholic in the early 1490s.

A Peripheral Matter?: Oceans in the East in Late-Medieval Thought, Report and Cartography

15th century ships

It is something of a truism that the Ocean Sea {mare oceanum in medieval texts and cartography) marked out a real and conceptual periphery for medieval Western Europeans.

The Physicality of Service in German Ideas of Knighthood, c.1200-1500

German Knight - Jörg (Georg) von Ehingen

Jörg’s memoir is a particularly informative example of how one knight understood his own calling to knighthood and his practice of it. The medieval knight had a voice, and although precious few memoirs like Jörg’s exist, knightly perspectives inform a considerable breadth of primary materials.

Medieval Mean Girls: On Sexual Rivalry and the Uses of Cosmetics in La Celestina

La Celestina

The prevalent use of cosmetics among women fast became a topic for moralist discourse, both inside and out of the Peninsula.

MOVIE REVIEW: Order of the Holy Grail (Captain Thunder)

Captain Thunder gets the chalice

This is a review of the Spanish medieval film: Captain Thunder or Order of The Holy Grail (El Capitán Trueno y el Santo Grial)

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