This early issue of The Medieval Magazine focuses on women in the Middle Ages. Daniele Cybulskie profiles ‘Five Great Ladies who refused to be quiet’, and you can explore images of women reading from Medieval and Renaissance art. Peter Konieczny report on the efforts to save a medieval manuscript, and you can also check out 10 Must See Works of Italian Art at London’s National Gallery. Read an excerpt from Toni Mount’s new book on medieval medicine. All this, plus Viking rituals, Joan of Arc, Game of Thrones, Beef and Pork, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail can be found inside.
Five Great Ladies Who Refused to Be Quiet
In the Middle Ages, the ideal woman was meant to be either a helpmeet in marriage, or a cloistered nun, obedience being paramount in both roles. Human nature being what it is, however, not every woman found it easy to fill one of those narrow roles in society. Although my list could be much, much longer, here are five great women who refused to sit down and be quiet.
A Broken Book of Hours – Saving a Medieval Manuscript
Last month at an auction house in Germany, a single page from a medieval manuscript went up for sale. Among those who were trying to buy it was David Gura, the Curator of Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts at the University of Notre Dame. It was another chance for him to save part of a 15th century Book of Hours, which only a few years earlier had been broken up. He is now in a race to find the remaining the pages of this manuscript before they disappear.
Medieval Medicine and Modern Science: An Interview with Freya Harrison
“This is very interesting and could provide a new way of looking at plant-derived chemicals for antibiotic potential. With Bald’s eyesalve, we found that it was the combination of ingredients that was key – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So there is something going on in the way different ingredients affect bacteria, or on how they much react with one another, that gives the recipe its power.”
How to recreate a Viking funeral – minus the human sacrifice
When most people think of Vikings, they think of the usual stuff: longships, raiding, fighting, loot, burial and paganism. Scholars are increasingly aware that the reality was more complicated, but no doubt the popular associations will remain – and are reinforced by the likes of last year’s Viking exhibition at the British Museum in London.
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