The early reign of Philip II of France was an exhibition of poor generalship, but by the early 1200s, Philip had seized most of the counties and duchies under the control of England’s King John
In 750 the Umayyad caliphal dynasty was overthrown by a popular revolution that had its origins in the eastern regions of the Muslim world, primarily in Khurasan.
When did a recognizably modern concept of sovereignty first emerge in Europe? Historically, can we point to a medieval idea of sovereignty? If so, how did this historically specific idea of sovereignty differ from its modern counterpart?
What caused the largely naval wars of 1016, 1024 and 1043 which involved commanders and rulers of Rus’ and Byzantium? Have modern interpretations of these events done justice to them?
I will try to figure out the delicate equilibrium between the appetite of the Byzantines for war, and their willingness to negotiate by ‘other means’, i.e diplomacy, or the employment of stratagems, craft, and bribery.
The emir Ahmad ibn Ismail was assassinated in the year 914. This is the story of why he was killed and the power struggle that took place in the aftermath of his death.
Did the modern state emerge in the seventeenth century or in the thirteenth century?
In this paper I seek to highlight Ireland’s significance in English affairs from the reign of Æthelred the Unready to that of William Rufus.
While the conflicts between Queen Melisende of Jerusalem and the men in her family have received considerable scholarly attention, explanations for the ease with which they reconciled remain elusive.
What were the deeper reasons that drew the super-power of the time, Byzantium, into a protracted and ‘all-out’ conflict with the Arabs of Aleppo in the middle of the 10th century?
The launch of the First Crusade in 1095 would result in new states in the medieval Middle East. Here are three videos on how the Crusader States developed from the 11th to 13th centuries.
The story of the Buyids in Iran and Iraq is an extraordinary tale of the rise from obscurity of three ambitious brothers to dominate the core regions of the Muslim world.
Looking at two texts from the early 14th century that put forth the arguments for total regnal supremacy.
In the fourth part of this series that looks at northern Iran in the Middle Ages, the decline of the Alid dynasty opens the door for Daylami mercenary leaders to seize power.
The unexpected rise of Basil and the obscurity of his origins resulted in one of the most striking features of the history of the early Macedonian dynasty: the growth of a myth around his birth, his early life and achievements
King Philip II of France mastered the art of foreign relations, and used his skills against Henry II, Richard I, and John.
This examination does not intend to add to that ‘wild confusion’ by proposing a new definition of empire to encompass the hegemonies of Æthelstan and Cnut, nor does it seek to force those disparate kingships into an existing definition of the term. Rather, it simply questions whether it makes sense for historians to use the term ’empire’ to denote a distinct and coherent category of political power in the context of Anglo-Saxon monarchical hegemonies.
James concluded that the Church must be considered a true kingdom – a regnum ecclesiae.
Few can match the 12th century chronicler Constantine Manasses when it comes to inventive ways to criticize a ruler.
In part three of this series that looks at medieval northern Iran the focus turns to the emergence of the Alid dynasty and their struggle to gain and hold power in the ninth and tenth centuries.
The early fourteenth-century would see the King of France and the Papacy fighting over who was the superior power. One of the leading scholars of that time would weigh on the matter – and provide the key arguments for Papal Absolutism.
How on earth did it come to wield the enormous amount of power that it did in the 13th century?
Were either the temporal and spiritual authorities supreme, in the sense that they had legitimate jurisdiction over the other? What was the source of supreme authority? In what ways was supreme authority limited?
The one story that I wish to tell today is from Erikskrönikan, or ‘The Chronicle of Duke Erik’.
After two failed marriages, one of which had ended in the murder of Alfonso Duke of Bisceglie, Lucrezia Borgia was once more on the marriage market in the year 1500. She was a pawn, a chess piece for her father and brother’s political plans. This time, the Borgia family were looking to tie their family to the Estes of Ferrara – a proud and ancient House.