Eleanor of Castile: The Shadow Queen, by Sara Cockerill

eleanor of castile

Eleanor was a highly dynamic, forceful personality whose interest in the arts, politics and religion were highly influential in her day – and whose temper had even bishops quaking in their shoes.

Meet the Real Ulrich von Liechtenstein

Ulrich von Liechtenstein in the Codex Manesse

If you’ve ever seen A Knight’s Tale, you’ll know that the titular knight takes on the name of Ulrich von Liechtenstein in order to joust on the tournament circuit and win the hand of his lady fair. What you may not have known is that there seems to have been a real thirteenth-century knight named Ulrich von Liechtenstein, who spent his youth jousting to win the heart (and body) of a capricious lady, and then wrote a book about it.

A Medieval Weather Report

medieval weather - photo by AvidlyAbide / Flickr

What was England’s weather like 746 years ago?

The last rex crucesignatus, Edward I and the Mongol alliance

Eleanor of Castile sucks the poison out of Edward I of England

This study explores the crusading efforts of Edward I, King of England (1272– 1307), in the last decades of the thirteenth century.

‘Spurred on by the Fear of Death’: Refugees and Displaced Populations during the Mongol Invasion of Hungar


Sensitized by the grim headlines which daily announce the appalling plight of twentieth-century refugees in eastern Europe, I was motivated to investigate the behavior and conditions of medieval refugees fleeing the Mongols.

13th century insult discovered etched into the walls of Nidaros Cathedral

Photo by Asbjørn Svarstad /   Dagbladet News


‘But Where are the Dungeons?’: How to Engage the Public at the Tower of London

The White Tower of The Tower of London. Photo by Medievalists.net

A talk about how historical sites, like the Tower of London engage the public. How to handle visitor expectations, what do people come t see and how to tell history in a captivating but accurate manner.

Exhibit: Magna Carta Through the Ages at the Society of Antiquaries of London

The Black Book of Peterborough. Photo by Medievalists.net

If you’re passing through London and want something to do that is very quick, free, and historical, check out this great little Magna Carta exhibit at Burlington House hosted by the Society of Antiquaries of London.

White Castle and the Dating of the Towers

White Castle Wales - photo by Rob Phillips / Flickr

Paul Remfrey makes a detailed case for dating the towers to 1229-31, and 1234-39, built by Hubert de Burgh.

Magna Carta Conference Offers New Insights Into The 800-year-old Document

British Library's Magna Carta, photo credit Joseph Turp

Magna Carta just celebrated its 800th birthday this past Monday. In honour of this incredible milestone, King’s College London, and the Magna Carta Project, hosted a 3 day conference dedicated to this historic document.

The Thirteenth Century International System and the Origins of the Angevin-Piast Alliance

18th century map of Europe - map of Europe first issued by Daniel de La Feuille in 1702.

The central question of this study is what inspired Charles I and Władysław Łokietek to establish a dynastic marriage in 1320 and in what context it happened.

Hero or Villain?: Two views on Simon de Montfort, Crusade Leader

Death of Simon de Montfort

There is perhaps no better medieval example of the phase ‘Truth is in the eye of the beholder’ than these two versions of the death of Simon de Montfort, the leader of the crusaders during the Albigensian Crusade.

Foundation Myths in Medieval and Renaissance Italy

Plaque of Regola, the VII rione of Rome. (Dailyphotostream.blogspot.com)

The 3 papers featured here looked at the development of the civic identities of Florence, Genoa and Rome through art, architecture and foundation legends.

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.

13th-century Mongol sabre discovered in Russia

Mongol sabre - image courtesy Yaroslavl State Museum

While Russian archaeologists were conducting a routine examination of an old sabre unearthed seven years ago in Yaroslavl, they discovered that the weapon dates back to the 13th century, making it to be oldest crucible steel weapon in East Europe.

Magna Carta: The Road to Runnymede

This is one of the two Magna Carta owned by the British Library (c) The British Library Board

A look at the creation of the British Library’s Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy exhibition.

Teenage Rebellion in the Middle Ages: How Salimbene de Adam became a Franciscan

Fransicans - by José Benlliure y Gil (1855–1937)

It is a popular story – the teenage son defying his parents and doing something very rebellious. It could be using drugs, getting a tattoo, or falling into with the wrong type of people. Back in the thirteenth-century, the rebellious son might become a Franciscan!

Sacerdos et Predicator: Franciscan ‘Experience’ and the Cronica of Salimbene de Adam


The Chronicle of the thirteenth-century Franciscan friar Salimbene de Adam is filled with an abundance of self-referential passages.

Four Kidnappings in Thirteenth-Century Aragon: Christian Children as Victims of Christian-Muslim Domination

Aragonia et Navarra, by Willem Janszoon Blaeu. Amsterdam: 1640

We don’t have to probe too deeply to identify the impetus for these acts: it was simple greed.

Discovering hidden music in the Bestiary of Love

Elizabeth Eva Leach

Elizabeth Eva Leach speaks on ‘Richard de Fournival Across the Disciplines’

Breaking the Mold: The First Woman in Italian Literature

Fabian Alfie

Active between 1260-1270, the woman known only as La Compiuta Donzella (the fulfilled damsel) attracted the attention of several male writers. Two of them were astonished that such wisdom could be found in a female.

The Papacy and Christian Mercenaries of Thirteenth-Century North Africa

Condottiero drawing by Leonardo da Vinci

Could one be a good mercenary and a good Christian at the same time?

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.

Bejewelled backdrop to coronations did not cost a king’s ransom

Westminster Retable

Research into England’s oldest medieval altarpiece – which for centuries provided the backdrop to Westminster Abbey coronations – has revealed that it cost no more than the rather unprincely equivalent of eight cows.

medievalverse magazine