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.
The clash between Pope Boniface VIII and the King Philip IV of France would lead to a consequential geopolitical question: where did the epicentre of supreme political authority lie in Medieval Latin Christendom?
During her life and career Khayzuran rose from the status of slave to becoming the caliph, al-Mahdi’s (r. 775-785), favorite concubine, and then his legal wife and a queen in her own right who wielded an immense amount of political power and whose wealth was second only to that of her husband’s in the entire caliphate.
These days, there are many different ways to be a historian outside of academia. In this episode, Danièle speaks with Christine Morgan, creator of Untitled History Project, about her latest work on the famous fairy Mélusine, Mary Boleyn, and making it as a historian off the tenure track.
The real challenge for the Empire in the aftermath of Manzikert lay in the mad scramble for power in Constantinople.
A look at the rise and fall of the Abbasid Caliphate, which ruled much of the Middle East and North Africa between the years 750 and 1258.
The pre-history of the Iberian Crusades can be traced to the disintegration of Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in 1031 and the subsequent emergence of a constellation of weak successor kingdoms.
In the sixteenth century, the Habsburgs and the Ottomans clashed for the dominance of Europe and the Mediterranean and engaged in a global rivalry that affected every polity along the shores of the Mediterranean.
How did the Mongol presence in the Balkans effect its two main political powers – the Byzantines and the Bulgarians?
This article examines the decisive role played by the Mongols in the political history of the Aegean region in the thirteenth century. The Mongol invasions of 1241–44 were the key turning point in the struggle for hegemony in the region.
Modern historians rarely mention the presence of royal and aristocratic women at Canossa in January 1077. Yet contemporaries emphasised the important roles played by several women, including Matilda of Tuscany, Adelaide of Turin, Empress Agnes and Queen Bertha.
Taking a look at the controversial decision to “mortgage” a young boy to the Venetians, and why children were used as political hostages in the Middle Ages.
I will argue that the use of this kind of vocabulary during the Schism may have facilitated a slip into the rhetoric of tyrannicide, and may have incited it. I will suggest that the climate and rhetori of the Schism may have led John the Fearless to rationalize tyrannicide against his cousin, Louis of Orléans.
The Kingdom of Mercians is generally assumed to have come to an end, largely as a result of Viking incursions, in the late ninth century
Written in 3923 ‘political verses’, the anonymous Chronicle of the Tocco is an epic family chronicle, which describes the history of the Tocco family – mainly the deeds of Carlo I Tocco, as well as the events which took place in Western Greece and the islands of Zakynthos, Leukas, Cephalonia and Ithaca during the years 1375-1422.
This article explores the role of women as contenders for power at al-Muqtadir’s court.
The story of the Venetian-Byzantine military alliance is a complex one, with many questions that need to be answered.
In my next few columns, I’m going to explore the way in which crusading manifested itself in the Holy Land.
On 24th June 1502, the Florentine politician and diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli came face to face with Cesare Borgia.
This thesis examines the career of Judith (819-843), the second wife of the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious (814-840).
How did the crusades emerge as an institution in the medieval world?
This article traces the Frankish legacy in the early years of Frederick Barbarossa’s reign, from his coronation to the diet of Roncaglia (1152-1158).
As Yaqub ibn Layth gained power and followers, his ambitions grew, ultimately leading to a confrontation with the Abbasid Caliphate.