The realm that Yaroslav presided over, and which Harald first discovered upon his arrival in 1030 was principally East Slavic in terms of composition and culture but was significantly influenced by its Scandinavian and Byzantine trading partners.
Harald was born into a dynasty that in short order had become a major fulcrum of political and cultural change in Norway, only to be forced into exile when they fell afoul of an enemy better positioned to capitalise upon these emerging innovations.
Hardrada’s journeys and his interaction with the overlapping cultures and political entities that he encountered are so fascinating and valuable to examine from a global history perspective, precisely because they illuminate this interconnectivity.
In our final entry, we examine the case for Arthur’s historicity as well as the pertinacious campaign waged by scholars, amateur historians and enthusiasts to discover the real Arthur.
Trying to give the Arthurian legends greater credence and authenticity by locating them in a more accurate historical context.
When gentleman adventurer Sir Theobald Igneous Vegas discovered the Las Vegas valley in 1893, Excalibur was there waiting for him its proud battlements and elegantly fluted towers rising out of the Mojave dust.
How the story of King Arthur gets told during Hollywood’s Golden Age – the 1950s and 60s.
The Arthurian Legend comes to America with Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
The story of King Arthur moves into the Victorian Age, where it is revitalized by Walter Scott and Alfred Tennyson.
Written sometime around 1468 amidst the gathering dusk of the medieval period Le Morte d’Arthur was an ambitious attempt to forge the self-contained, tonally dissonant, and sometimes contradictory fragments of the Arthurian legends’ broad canon into a single cohesive work.
As far as Arthurian literature was concerned, the fourteenth century was a time of spinoffs and magic, of original characters and adventure; and the greatest of these tales was Perceforest.
Edward III, fastidiously adorned in the trappings and iconography of the Arthurian romances and a near-universally celebrated aristocratic cult of chivalry, cut an undeniable dashing figure at the feast table or upon the battlefield, even as his armies cut down dashing figures across France.
King Edward I of England found not only a role model but a political tool every bit as puissant as the legendary king himself.
As we have explored throughout this series that family was of paramount importance to the twelfth century English aristocracy.
Henry II now enjoys a reputation as a committed and reasonably prolific founder and serial patroniser of monasteries. He was also engaged in another widespread, not to mention potentially politically advantageous aristocratic activity – the siring of illegitimate children.
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.
Hamelin is something of an anomaly, being the only illegitimate royal family member raised to an earldom during the twelfth century who was not the son of a king.
Taking advantage of the confusion and division created by the inheritance crisis following the death of Henry I, his nephew Stephen seized the throne
The father of Henry I could become the King of England despite his illegitimate birth. Why couldn’t Henry’s eldest son do the same?
If many Anglo-Norman and Angevin royal bastards during the 12th century could be said to be have had good fortunes, then Henry I’s eldest illegitimate child, Earl Robert of Gloucester, spent most of his lifetime rising on the wheel.
The sinking of the White Ship in 1120 had far reaching repercussions for the Anglo-Norman hegemony, sparking a succession crisis and sowing the seeds of three decades of dynastic strife between the Conqueror’s grandchildren.
Henry I’s daughter Juliana was, as far as history records, the only one who ever tried to kill the king having shot a crossbow at him in 1119.
Raised amidst the settling dust of the Norman Conquest, the traditional seat of the Earldom of Warwick has continually throughout its millennia long and oft glorious history fundamentally reinvented itself, making it the Madonna of medieval military architecture.
At one time the greatest palace complex in Europe and a favoured haunt of the British Royal family to this day, Windsor Castle is a still living relic of a time where out of necessity, the sum of a nation’s sovereignty and a State’s very existence as a politically distinct identity rested upon a crowned head.