Middle Ages

Ruins of The Abbey of St Bertin.

Forbidden Fruit: Male-Female Relations in the Medieval Cloister

Medieval monks and nuns lived by rules that demanded three vows: chastity, obedience and poverty. Problems arose with all three at times, and oft...
Women and Romances: Medieval Lady Presenting Helmet to Knight

Women and Romances: Medieval Women and their Books

With its intertwined episodes and challenging hurdles, romance literature of the Middle Ages gave birth to modern romance novels, but it was not exactly...

Making a Women’s Manuscript: Medieval Women and their Books II

Although many manuscripts survive from the Middle Ages, there are comparatively few that reveal certain signs of female participation in their production. One of...
Roman Woman with Pen & Wax Tablets.

Coping with the Pen: Women Writers of the Middle Ages

The lives of most medieval women were not easy, particularly in the tumultuous the first few centuries of the medieval period. Such women enjoyed...
Medieval Schoolmaster & Students (14thC France)

Medieval English Books for Children: Reading to Succeed

Many parents in medieval England were as concerned about teaching their children to read and write as parents are today. Literacy was not as...
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...
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...

Medieval Manuscripts

Strictly speaking, any handwritten document is a manuscript – the Latin manuscriptus literally means "written" (scriptus) "by hand" (manu). So charters and scrolls, fragments...
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...

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