10 Creepy Things to See at the Louvre That Are Better Than the Mona Lisa

Catherine de Medici - Louvre

If you’re an ancient historian, a medievalist, or early modernist, there are so many other amazing pieces and works of art a the Louvre other than these two tourist staples. Here is my list of cool, creepy, unusual and better than the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris.

Thirteenth-century Papal Bull repaired and digitized

Detail of the Papal bull, which consists of sheepskin or calfskin parchment. Credit: Don Erhardt

An extraordinary Papal document that’s nearly 800 years old has become a valuable teaching and research tool at University of British Columbia, thanks to a history instructor’s passion and the university library’s restoration efforts.

The City of London and the Magna Carta

17th century map of London

A brief, but enlightening, discussion of the intermingled histories of the City of London and Magna Carta.

Magna Carta: The Medieval Context and the Part Played by William Marshal

William Marshal - photo by Kjetil Bjørnsrud

Lord Judge highlights the real hero of 1215, William Marshal, who’s tireless campaigning and statecraft lead to the adoption of Magna Carta, ejected the French from British soil and secured the Plantaganet dynasty’s hold on the throne.

The Sounds that Animals Make – the Medieval Version

geese book

It seems that every parent at one time or another teaches their children the sounds that animals make. They did it in the Middle Ages too.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin: A Medieval Mass Abduction?

Pied piper

What really happened on June 26, 1284, in the German town of Hamelin?

The Morality of Misogyny: The Case of Rustico Filippi, Vituperator of Women

Gherardo di Giovanni del Fora (Florentine, 1444/45-1497), Chaste Women in a Landscape, Probably 1480s,

At the outset of his influential study on Rabelais, Mikhail Bakhtin makes an interesting observation. The scholar dedicates several pages to detail how the French author’s critical reception changed over time. Bakhtin illustrates how the attempt to comprehend an author can frequently be stymied by the cultural changes that occur across the centuries.

What Remains: Women, Relics and Remembrance in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade

The Fourth Crusade - the capture of Constantinople

After the fall of Constantinople to the Latin Crusaders in 1204 hundreds of relics were carried into the West as diplomatic gifts, memorabilia and tokens of victory. Yet many relics were alsosent privately between male crusaders and their spouses and female kin.

The Heraldic Casket of Saint Louis in the Louvre

King Louis IX - Sainte Chappelle

The Casket of Saint Louis invokes political and social networks and events relating to the Capetian dynasty in the years before Louis IX reached his majority.

Places to See: Notre Dame – Part I

Western facade of Notre Dame Cathedral

Part I of my initial visit to stunning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

An Apostolic Vocation: The Formation of the Religious Life for the Dominican Sisters in the Thirteenth Century

Dominican choir nuns of Notre Dame

The Dominican vocation sprang from complex historical understandings of the vita apostolica, and the Dominican women’s religio should be approached as part of these same contexts and perceptions.

A Byzantine lament for a lost wife


‘For a bond of incomparable love made us happier than all people, but the thieving and cruel hand of Hades cut the bond mercilessly. ‘

Picturing Maternal Anxiety in the Miracle of the Jew of Bourges

2 scenes from the Miracle of the Jewish Boy from Bourges, Lincoln Cathedral (www.therosewindow.com)

During the middle ages, one of the most popular and most frequently illustrated Miracles of the Virgin Mary was the Miracle of the Jew of Bourges. According to the text of the miracle, the Virgin saves a young Jewish boy after his father throws him into a fiery oven upon learning he attended a Christian mass.

Women do not sit as Judges, or do they? The office of Judge in Vincentius Bellovacensis’ Speculum

Vincent of Beauvais (Vincentius Bellovacensis)

It was Charles Homer Haskins (1870-1936) who coined the expression “Renaissance of the twelfth century”. Before him this expression referred more specifically to the Italian Renaissance of the fifteenth century as nineteenth century Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt put it.

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.

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

Medieval hunt - images of sheep

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.

Working women in thirteenth-century Paris

Medieval women at work weaving.

This thesis examines the role of women in the Parisian economy in the late thirteenth century.

Women’s monasticism in late medieval Bologna, 1200-1500


This dissertation explores the fluid relationship between monastic women and religious orders. I examine the roles of popes and their representatives, governing bodies of religious orders, and the nunneries themselves in outlining the contours of those relationships.

The Bible of St. Louis: An Introduction

Bible of st louis

Few works in the history of books are as hermetic as the Bible of Saint Louis in some specific aspects.

Places to See: Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chappelle, Paris.

Travelling to Paris ? Add this beautiful thirteenth century Capetian chapel to your MUST-SEE list for your next visit!

Classical trends in Byzantine and Western Art in the 13th and 14th centuries

Annunciation Mileševa Monastery

During the last two centuries before the Renaissance of the arts in Italy in the 15th century, different waves of classical trends marked the artistic creation of both Byzantine and western worlds.

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.

The Episcopal Body and Sexuality in Late Medieval England

Thomas Becket, with mitre, pall and cross, being consecrated.

How was long-term celibacy thought to affect the health of religious men? How could medical knowledge help clerics to achieve bodily purity?

The influence of conflicting medieval church and social discourses on individual consciousness : dissociation in the visions of Hadewijch of Brabant

Beguine - Des dodes dantz, printed in Lübeck in 1489.

This article examines the influence of the conflicting dis- courses in the medieval church and its social context on the subconscious experiences of Hadewijch of Brabant, a 13th century Flemish visionary, mystical author, vernacular theologian and Beguine leader

Vikings, the barbaric heroes: exploring the Viking image in museums in Iceland and England and its impact on identity

Viking ship at the Vikingsheimar Museum - Iceland

This study analyses the responses of Icelandic and English individuals in regards to their views on the Viking image as represented within museums and in society.

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