Medieval Storytime: Dogs
They’ve been our helpers, protectors, and best friends for thousands of years, but what did people in the Middle Ages think about our canine companions? This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle shares some medieval writers’ thoughts about dogs.
New Medieval Books: Hawking Women: Falconry, Gender, and Control in Medieval Literary Culture
An examination of medieval texts about falconry and other literature and what it can tells us about attitudes towards women, and how women themselves challenged those views.
New Medieval Books: Wolves in Beowulf and Other Old English Texts
Wolves rarely get positive depictions in the Middle Ages, and the same is true for Old English texts.
The Vikings and the animals that came with them to Britain
When the Viking Great Army invaded England in 865, it was not just people who arrived. A new study of cremated bone fragments from burial mounds reveals that horses, dogs and other animals also made the North Sea crossing.
The Medieval Swan with Natalie Goodison
In the Middle Ages, swans could be found everywhere from ponds, lakes, and moats, to shields, tombs, and stories. This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Natalie Goodison about how these beautiful birds have made a lasting impact on Western culture in wide-ranging and unexpected ways.
Madagascar’s human expansion 1,000 years ago linked to loss of large animals
A human genetic study links the first major expansion of humans on the island with the loss of large vertebrates.
Fantastic Beasts and How They Kill You
Stories of incredible and deadly beasts filtered back home in travel writing, legends, and bestiaries to amuse and astound readers who might never see these animals for themselves.
Prince Oleg and his Fateful Steed: A Story from Medieval Rus’
‘Prince! You will die of your beloved horse whom you ride.’
Medieval Horses with Anastasija Ropa and Timothy Dawson
This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Anastasija Ropa and Timothy Dawson about one of the most important figures of the Middle Ages: the horse. From a knight’s trusty steed to the lowliest packhorse, these creatures were an integral part of medieval life and legend.
Polo Buddies and Rental Cabs: The Donkeys of Tang China and Their Poetic Destinies
The humble donkey was a constant presence across Tang China and a regular feature in the day-to-day business of people from all walks of life. How were these animals remembered by writers of the time?
How Black Rats colonised Europe – Twice
A new study explains the rodent colonised the continent on two occasions in the Roman and Medieval periods.
Medieval Storytime: Animals
For this week’s medieval storytime, Danièle reads a collection of descriptions, fables, and poems all featuring animals. From venomous toads to proud peacocks and malicious whales, the Middle Ages shares its moral worldview through the animal kingdom.
The Medieval Ass with Kathryn Smithies
Although you’d find them in cities and on farms, serving in wars and taking part in religious services, we’re not talking about people (or bottoms). This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Kathryn L. Smithies about one of the medieval world’s most hardworking creatures and symbols: the donkey.
Warhorses in medieval England are about the size of a modern-day pony, study finds
Warhorses were not always bred for size, but for success in a wide range of different functions – including tournaments and long-distance raiding campaigns.
Why did Bruges get a porpoise each year?
For about three centuries, the coastal town of Blankenberge would send to the nearby city of Bruges a porpoise. A new study examines this tradition and why it happened.
Medieval sheep mummy gives up its DNA
A team of geneticists and archaeologists has sequenced the DNA from a 1,600-year-old sheep mummy from Iran. This remarkable specimen has revealed sheep husbandry practices of the medieval Near East, as well as underlining how natural mummification can affect DNA degradation.
What Medieval Animal Bones Teach Us
Digging up animal bones can teach us a lot about the Middle Ages – in fact, zooarcheologists are able to make them speak! Today’s guest is Erin Crowley-Champoux, a PhD candidate in anthropology at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities. She talks with Lucie Laumonier about zooarchaeology and how animal remains of the past can speak to social changes.
Reynard the Fox with Anne Louise Avery
Among the most popular folk heroes of the Middle Ages is one who hails not from a traditional kingdom, but from the animal kingdom. This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Anne Louise Avery about the charming, troubling, and evergreen trickster, Reynard the Fox.
Medieval Sámi were using draught reindeer, researchers find
Archaeologists at the University of Oulu observed that draught reindeer were used in Finnish Lapland at least 700 years ago.
How to Grow Organic Food like Medieval Farmers
If nothing else works, you could bring the vermin to justice.
Sheep-Rearing in Medieval France
This article investigates the way in which medieval farmers practiced sheep-rearing and looks at the profits they made with their herds.
The Humble Medieval Pig, with Jamie Kreiner
One of the most influential animals of the medieval world, both in the barnyard and on the table, was also one of the most troublesome: the pig. This week, Danièle speaks with Jamie Kreiner about how the humble pig influenced everything from culture to theology.
Study tracks elephant tusks from 16th century shipwreck
The team extracted DNA from 44 tusks. By analyzing genetic sequences known to differ between African forest and savanna elephants, the scientists determined that all of the tusks they analyzed belonged to forest elephants.
The Elephant in the Room, at Gourdon in Burgundy
This talk explores the fragmentary twelfth-century mural depicting an elephant, situated in the lowermost zone, or dado, of the choir wall in the church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption at Gourdon, a small village in the Charolais district of Burgundy. T
Medieval Scottish Deer Parks and Beyond, with Kevin Malloy
Kate Buchanan is joined by Kevin Malloy to discuss Kevin’s journey to studying medieval Scottish history, his work on medieval deer parks, and how researching medieval Scottish history can lead to other work.