Were there any intellectual arguments against having children in the Middle Ages, and were there medieval equivalents to “childfree” individuals?
Call it hick, hayseed, or hillbilly: if you’re one of the rustici, you might be a medieval redneck.
It is not, strictly speaking, true that every Christian in late medieval Europe had the same six names.
Did medieval parents care about manners?
How did the Yersinia pestis pandemic that ravaged Europe between 1347 and 1351, and then returned five times before the end of the century, spark the transition from the feudal Middle Ages to capitalist modernity?
Moneylending was serious business in the Middle Ages. You could be risking your very soul! Lucie Laumonier talks with Sama Mammadova, a PhD candidate at Harvard University, who studies the history of usury and moneylending in fourteenth and fifteenth-century Italy. How did moneylenders reconcile their business with the fear of sin?
As our own political world is increasingly revolving around mass protests, it is time to revisit what we know about the dynamics of crowds in imperial Roman cities, whether they acted for or against the regime of the day.
Looking specifically at late medieval Western Europe, this article examines how large families actually were.
The preoccupation with the way women dressed was constant in Florence during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, so much so that in almost every decade some new legislation would appear trying to respond to the new fashions that were becoming popular in the Italian city.
The Great Uprising of 1381 saw a group of dissatisfied peasants and their supporters march on London with demands that the king abolish serfdom and a new poll tax. The revolt remains one of the most widespread insurrections in English history, and it was inspired, in part, by the famous medieval poem Piers Plowman.
The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus is a twelfth-century guide to the ins and outs of medieval love affairs, from how to find love to how to keep it – and why maybe it’s best to avoid it altogether. This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Peter Konieczny about this fascinating book, and why it’s probably time to ditch some of its outdated dating advice.
In the Middle Ages, when there was little idea of diversity of thought or acceptance of difference, and when governments were relatively weak, the court of public opinion was an effective means of ensuring group cohesion.
If you, like many at this time of year, have resolved to give up alcohol, then it might be a comfort to remember you are not the first in history to have attempted this. As Song dynasty writer Liu Xueji found, then as today, peer pressure and social obligations can test one’s resolve to cut back on wine.
The medieval idea of fighting a duel to determine who is right is one that has some appeal even in the modern-day.
January 1st is the Feast of Fools, notoriously a time of drunkenness and debauchery in the medieval church. But was it really? This…
Many of the most signature parts of Christmas in the Middle Ages (and today) actually come from pagan rather than Christian traditions. So, if you want to find out how you can make your Christmas and end of year celebrations just a little bit more pagan, read on!
This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle is joined by Peter Konieczny to discuss The Merchant of Prato and the lives of Francesco and Margherita Datini. Their story from 14th century Italy comes from one of the richest document finds ever made!
Marriage was an important part of many medieval women’s lives, but not all marriages followed the neat path that the church had laid out for them. This week on The Medieval Podcast, Danièle speaks with Dr. Bridget Wells-Furby about fourteenth-century heiress Lucy de Thweng and what her story can tell us about medieval marriage, adultery, and even annulment.
This episode tackles listeners’ questions about Byzantine ethnic identities. How do groups within the Byzantine Empire change their identities? How are new identities born and old ones lost? How did the ancient Greeks become Romans and when did that become an ethnic identity? Where does genealogy and biology fit into all this? What happened to the Romans of the west? What did the Byzantines call their state and language? What does modern Romania have to do with Byzantine Romanía?
Have you ever wondered how peasant children were educated in the Middle Ages? And if they even went to school?
Daniel Lord Smail examines slavery in medieval France.
What was it like to have this famous general as a father?
As the Bubonic Plague made its way westward from China in the 14th century, Christians, Muslims, and Jews in its path thought anxiously about what practices of public health and of piety might save them.
The Metropolitan Police Service – the first modern police force – was only created in London in 1829. So what were the structures in place for keeping order before that?