Could one rise from a provincial town to a position of power and wealth in the capital without having a military career?
Over the past few years, the world has regularly been abuzz with claims of forgery and fake news. At some points in the Middle Ages, forgery was disturbingly common, often committed by the people we might least expect. This week, Danièle speaks with Dr. Levi Roach about medieval forgery, and how to spot it.
Corruption, especially in government, is an age-old problem. How did people in the Middle Ages try to solve it?
Geoffrey’s devotion to Henry II and the favored status which saw him rise high in his father’s reign
Born sometime around the mid 1170s, William Longespée was the son of King Henry II and the most aristocratic and well connected of his known mistresses, Ida de Tosny.
A new research project has been launched to examine the local governments of the historic cities of Augsburg and Aberdeen, and how they evolved in the late Middle Ages.
The 1259 pipe roll is certainly a vast and unwieldy manuscript roll, taking 23 rotulets and over 200,000 words to set out the accounts of 24 counties or pairs of counties.
Domesday Book is the collective name attached to two different bodies of text. Colloquially known as “Great” and “Little” Domesday, they represent successive documentary phases of the inquest undertaken by agents of William the Conqueror in 1086.
It is inquisitors that sell, these days: marketing builds upon visual imagination and curiosity, but is also driven by some sort of fascination with these controversial and ultimately incomprehensible individuals who pursued religious non-conformity as a crime.
The late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries witnessed a great military transformation, one that heavily affected the peasantry in ways it had not before.
The present article examines the functions, personnel, reputation and effectiveness of notaries in the service of fifteenth-century Lucca following the restoration of liberty.
So far in this series, we have talked about medieval “revolutions” in military power and judicial authority. A third great change in the late medieval era was in the control of money.
How a 14th century archbishop spent years orchestrating an elaborate plot of embezzlement and forgery.
This paper analyzes how late Middle Age and Renaissance era Venice achieved economic prosperity despite being ruled by elite patricians.
Beginning with a description of the murder of an Italian record-keeper at the hands of an angry mob in the late fourteenth century, this essay explores the historical background of official records destruction during the Renaissance
How, without the formal allegiance enacted under the process of denization, did the governments of Edward I, II and III negotiate and define the status of foreigners living within their jurisdiction?
This study publishes for the first time six authentic and original documents from mid-twelfth-century Norman Sicily. Three are bilingual, written in Greek and Arabic, and three are Arabic.
Focusing on the important case of Florence, the administrative uses of records connected to government, diplomacy and military needs will be discussed, and evidence will be provided that such documentary practices accelerated significantly during the so-called Italian Wars (from 1494 onwards).
I therefore decided to apply what I knew about tax policy—the only subject on which I was conversant and which seemed remotely relevant—to Florence in the days of the Medici, and see what happened.
Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for over 63 years – how does this compare to medieval rulers?
Have you ever thought about the relationship between the words “clerk” and “clergy”?
After a brief introduction to legal taxation and Saljuq fiscal policy, the philological problems in the definition of a specific due, al-fissa, illegitimate according to the sharia, will be addressed along with its political function and history. This due was levied in Damascus for the tribute to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Prostitution was a vice that was was considered a necessary evil because of “men’s lust”. Ecclesiastics felt that if brothels weren’t available to men in cities, they would find other inappropriate outlets for their entertainment. In an effort to curb potential problems, civic officials permitted prostitution to function within the city walls so long as it was regulated and turned a profit.
A new study on taxation in late medieval Sweden has revealed fascinating details about how much peasants had to pay to the royal government in taxes.