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Historical Oddity: The Birth of a Commonwealth in Medieval Iceland

Iceland is an odd place with an odd history. Despite being ranked among the wealthiest nations today, for much of its history it was left out of the growth and development of culture and technology throughout the Medieval period. It has never been a particularly hospitable environment for human habitation. Wind-blasted, cold, and rocky, it was an island left unsettled by humans long after it was discovered.

Medieval Cooking Tips

From boiling vegetables to smelly pots, here are 10 medieval cooking tips from the 10th century.

A Bad Medieval Road Trip

Those who have ever suffered similar misfortunes can judge from their own experiences how great my agitation and anxiety were at the moment.

Cultural Exchange in the Languages and Literatures of Medieval Spain

Professor David Wacks’s fascinating discussion of the Iberian Peninsula and it’s incredible linguistic heritage.

BOOK REVIEW: The Northern Queen by Kelly Evans

Kelly Evans’Anglo-Saxon novel centres around the story of Aelfgifu of Northampton (990-1040); from her rise in court and eventual marriage to one of England’s most famous early kings, Cnut the Great (995-1035), to her repudiation, and later life with her sons after Cnut’s passing.

A Viking Mess – Northmen: A Viking Saga Movie Review

This week’s medieval movie is Northmen: A Viking Saga.

Eadgyth, Queen Consort of Germany and Duchess of Saxony

Eadgyth had an impressive pedigree. She was the grand-daughter of Alfred the Great, daughter of Edward the Elder and half-sister of Aethelstan, all of whom were powerful kings of Wessex in England. It was only by fate she ended up as the wife of Otto I, Duke of Saxony and King of Germany.

Medieval Hangover Cures

Here are a few hangover cures from days gone by, because people who partied like it was 1399 also needed a little help the morning after.

The Christmas Eve massacre of 986

For the year 986, the Annals of Ulster records, ‘Iona was plundered by Danes on Christmas Eve, and they killed the abbot and fifteen men of the seniors of the church.’ What more can we learn about this attack and why it happened?

The Snake Motif in Viking Art: 10­th – 12th Centuries

A guest post by Armstreet on Snake motifs in 10-12th century Viking art

Medieval Lisbon: Castelo de São Jorge

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…

Medieval Fort Building 101

What does it take to build a fortification in the 10th century?

How Well Do You Know the 10th Century?

From Vikings to churchmen (and women) – Here are ten questions to challenge your knowledge of the 10th century.

Eadgifu, Anglo-Saxon Queen

What little historical records we have pertaining to Queen Eadgifu tell us she exercised considerable power.

Medieval Beekeeping

Beekeeping has been a practice going back to ancient times, and during the Middle Ages one could find many farms that kept beehives and collected honey. However, few medieval texts offer indepth information on how this was done. One

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

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.

Medieval Pest Control

Have a pest troubling you? In the Middle Ages, you could try these remedies to get rid of them – poisons, traps, or even writing a letter to them!

Medieval Viagara

Over a thousand years before Viagra was invented, medieval men were looking for ways to treat erectile dysfunction. We take a look at the prescriptions offered in one of the most popular medical textbooks from the Middle Ages.

Domiciling the Evangelists in Anglo-Saxon England: a Fresh Reading of Aldred’s colophon in the Lindisfarne Gospels

What is actually reliable about this highly literary colophon is Aldred’s purpose in writing the gloss: to give the Evangelists a voice to address ‘all the brothers’− particularly the Latinless.

Earliest known piece of polyphonic music discovered

New research has uncovered the earliest known practical piece of polyphonic music, an example of the principles that laid the foundations of European musical tradition.

Charlemagne’s Denarius, Constantine’s Edicule, and the Vera Crux

In 806 a much-discussed silver denarius bearing the likeness of Charlemagne was issued. This is called the “temple-type” coin due to the (as yet unidentified) architectural structure illustrated on the reverse side, and which is explicitly labeled as representing the epitome of “Christian Religion.”

Circa 1000

Three Yale University faculty members discussing ‘Circa 1000,’ a graduate course that looks at happenings worldwide at the turn of the 10th century.

Of sagas and sheep: Toward a historical anthropology of social change and production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland

This dissertation deals with the formation of chiefdoms, communities, ecclesiastical institutions and state, and with production for market, subsistence and tribute in early Iceland in the context of climatic change and ecological succession.

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