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Middle Ages

Map of Northumbria 600-700 AD.

Northumbria 600-768

Æthelfrith († 616) was the king of Bernicia (from 592/593) and Deira, which merged into Northumbria. Æthelfrith was the son of Æthelric and the...
The author of a manuscript at his writing desk. 14th Century

What are Medieval Manuscripts?

Strictly speaking, any hand-written document is a manuscript–the Latin manuscriptus literally means "written" (scriptus) "by hand" (manu). So charters and scrolls, fragments and books...
A university class in Bologna by artist Laurentius de Voltolina (14 century)

Universities and Students in the High Middle Ages

In the early 14th-Century, Alvarius Pelagius, a Franciscan, described some of the university students of that age. Pelagius commented that, “They attend classes but...
Illustration of Byzantium (Constantinople)

Byzantine Empire (IV-XV century) – historical facts

The history of the Byzantine Empire starts with the adoption of Christianity and foundation of Constantinople by Constantine I the Great. The final division...
Medieval city San Gimignano in Tuscany, southwest of Florence.

Short history of Italy (526-700)

The medieval period was one in which Italy was exposed to a variety of foreign influences, mainly in the form of conquests and migratory...
Viking ship in Oslo Museum

Vikings in Early European Medieval History

The reign of Charles the Great or Charlemagne is often referred to as a renaissance, a time when Western Europe sought recovery from the...
Illustration of medieval communication by Jacobus da Varagine (13th century)

Communication in Medieval Times: How Messages Were Sent

Prior to medieval times, there were several sophisticated methods of message dissemination, including the messenger systems of the Persian Empire, and the relay-runner system...
Mosaic in Haghia Sophia showing Virgin Mary and the Emperors Justinian and Constantine

Justinian’s Achievements in the 6th Century

By the 6th Century the Eastern Roman Empire had fully transformed itself into the Byzantine Empire. Justinian, the last emperor to use Latin, ruled...
Children in Middle Ages

Children in the Late Middle Ages

Childhood during the medieval period was impacted by disease, poor nutrition, and social perceptions. The Late Middle Ages alleviated some of these factors. To what...
Viking weapons from National museum of Ireland

Viking Weapons

In the early medieval period, the Vikings were one of the most feared groups of people. Raids and wars were nothing new during the...
Georg Braun, map of Venice in his Civitates orbis terrarum

Venetian trade (XI – XIII century)

During the Middle Ages, the Venetians held both religious and commercial power; a combination which allowed them to influence western Europe considerably. The Venetians...
Vortigern and his wife Rowena by painter William Hamilton 1793.

England in early Middle Ages

Germanic pirates were raiding British shores as far back as the third century. These raids were purely for purposes of looting. They brought their...

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