Ottonian Art Style in the Gospel Book of Otto III

Double page opening: Provinces Bringing Tribute (f.23v.) and Ruler Portrait of Otto III (f.24) Gospels of Otto III, c. 1000, each page 33.4 x 24.2 cm, ink, gold, paint, parchment (Munich, Bayerische Stattsbibliothek, Clm.4453) By Dr. Andreas Petzold / 08.08.2015 Professor of History of Art MPW London The double page opening of the ruler portrait of Otto III (f.24,[…]

Medieval Judgment Art and Architecture at the Church of Saint Trophime

Saint Trophime, Arles, 12th – 15th century (photo: Elliot Brown, CC BY 2.0) By Christine M. Bolli / 08.08.2015 PhD Candidate in Art History University of California, Santa Barbara The Provençal city of Arles in the south of France, is home to the medieval church, Saint Trophime. First impressions When I first saw the church, somewhat inconspicuously wedged[…]

The Church and Reliquary of Sainte-Foy, a Symbol of Medieval Pilgrimage and Ritual

Church of Sainte‐Foy, Conques, France, c. 1050–1130 (photo: jean françois bonachera, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) By Dr. Elisa Foster / 08.08.2015 Lecturer John V. Roach Honors College Texas Christian University On the road Imagine you pack up your belongings in a sack, tie on your cloak, and start off on a months-long journey through treacherous mountains, unpredictable[…]

The Ebbo Gospels, Fit for a King (Charlemagne)

Saint Matthew, folio 15 recto of the Coronation Gospels (Gospel Book of Charlemagne), from Aachen, Germany, c. 800-810, ink and tempera on vellum (Schatzkammer, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) By Dr. Jennifer Awes-Freeman / 09.15.2016 Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History and Religious Studies University of St. Thomas According to legend, the Vienna Coronation Gospels (c. 795) were discovered in Charlemagne’s tomb within the Palatine[…]

The Church of Saint-Pierre in Moissac: Art and Architecture along Medieval Pilgrimage Routes

South-side portal (detail), Church of Ste. Pierre, 1115-1130, Moissac, France (photo: Simon, Creative Commons) By Dr. Shannon Pritchard / 08.08.2015 Assistant Professor of Art History Assistant Chair, Art and Design Department University of Southern Indiana The church of Ste. Pierre (St. Peter) in Moissac, France, dating from 1115-30, has one of the most impressive and elaborate[…]

Fontenay Abbey and the Medieval Cistercian Order

Cloister, Fontenay Abbey, 12th century By Christine M. Bolli / 08.08.2015 PhD Candidate in Art History University of California, Santa Barbara The rules Illumination with St. Benedict delivering his Rule to St. Maurus, Monastery of St. Gilles, Nimes, 1129 The Romanesque abbey of Fontenay (Abbaye de Fontenay) is located in Burgundy, France and stands today as a[…]

The Art and Knowledge in Medieval Herbals

The illustrations in medieval herbals are beautiful and mysterious. But if you know how to read them, they also convey a wealth of knowledge about the plants they portray. By Julia Nurse / 10.04.2017 Collections Researcher Wellcome Library The illustrated herbal has an almost unbroken line of descent from the ancient Greeks to the Middle[…]

Plaster Cover-Up and the “Last Judgment” at Autun Cathedral

Tympanum depicting the “Last Judgment” from the Saint-Lazare Cathedral, Autun, France. c. 1120-1130 or c. 1130-1145. Base of tympanum is approximately 21′ in length By Dr. Monica Bowen / 06.28.2017 Professor of Art History Seattle University I was discussing the “Last Judgment” tympanum at the Cathedral of Autun with my students. I pointed out some details of the[…]

Æthelflæd: The Anglo-Saxon Iron Lady

How a widow battled back against the Vikings and became one of the most powerful figures in Britain.        By (left-to-right) Dr. Philip Morgan, Dr. Andrew Sargent, Dr. Charles Insley, and Dr. Morn Capper / 06.21.2017 Morgan: Senior Lecturer, Keele University Sargent: Lecturer in Medieval History, Keele University Insley: Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester Capper: Lecturer in Archaeological Heritage,[…]

Navigating Dürer’s Woodcuts for ‘The Ship of Fools’

Attributed to Albrecht Dürer, woodcut illustration for Chapter 85, “Not Providing for Death” At the start of his career, as a young man in his twenties, Albrecht Dürer created a series of woodcuts to illustrate Sebastian Brant’s The Ship of Fools of 1494. Dürer scholar Rangsook Yoon explores the significance of these early pieces and how in[…]

Chivalry in Medieval Portugal

Convent of São Gonçalo, North of Portugal / Photo by Edgar Jiménez, Wikimedia Commons The different stages in the spread and development of chivalric ideals as a feature that marked the identity of the main socio-political groups in medieval Portugal. By João Miguel Aguiar Graduate Student, College of Letters University of Porto Abstract his article seeks to understand[…]

Portugal in the Middle Ages

Illustration of the Battle of Aljubarrota by Jean de Wavrin, 15th century / British Library, Wikimedia Commons Established in the 1130s and ruled by the Portuguese House of Burgundy.. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 12.05.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The kingdom of Portugal was established from the county of Portugal in the 1130s, ruled by the Portuguese House of Burgundy. During[…]

The Feudal System in Medieval Europe

Night of August 4th, abolition of feudality and fiscal privileges, by Léopold Morice / Wikimedia Commons The term “feudal system” came into use to describe a hierarchy of relationships which were embraced in medieval Europe, involving fief-holders of different ranks. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 12.03.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Harold swearing oath on[…]

Modern America and Magna Carta

Exploring the role of Magna Carta in the politics and popular culture of modern America. From The Simpsons and Jay-Z to the American law courts and the ‘War on Terror’, discover the significance of Magna Carta in the USA today. By Dr. Matthew Shaw / 03.12.2015 Librarian Institute of Historical Research School of Advanced Study University of London[…]

Early America and the Magna Carta

The Magna Carta (originally known as the Charter of Liberties) of 1215, written in iron gall ink on parchment in medieval Latin, using standard abbreviations of the period, authenticated with the Great Seal of King John. / British Library, Wikimedia Commons From the early colony of Pennsylvania, to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill[…]

Charlemagne: Imperator Augustus, King of the Franks

Charlemagne, portrait by Albrecht Dürer / Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Wikimedia Commons His was the first truly imperial power in the West since the fall of Rome. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.30.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Charlemagne (742 or 747 – January 28, 814) (also Charles the Great [1]; from Latin, Carolus Magnus or Karolus Magnus), son of King Pippin the[…]

Frankish Expansion and Transition in Early Medieval Europe

Front of a Frankish casket / Photo by John w. Schulze, Wikimedia Commons Their expansion continued until the 8th century CE, during the time of Charlemagne, when the Frankish territory occupied most of Western Europe. By Cristian Violatti / 12.23.2014 Historian Introduction Frankish Bird-Shaped Brooch, second half of 6th century CE. This brooch would have been[…]

From Game of Thrones to Steven Pinker: Just how Lawless Were the Middle Ages?

Castillo de Zafra / Photo by Borjaanimal, Wikimedia Commons Medieval men and women were caught up in a Hobbesian pre-state society where violence was unrestrained and regularly went unpunished. Just how accurate is this perception? By Dr. Sara M. Butler / 08.15.2017 Professor and King George III Chair in British History The Ohio State University NOTE: This[…]

Gender Fluidity and Sexual Identity in the Medieval and Renaissance Eras

Bible, about 1280–90, Bologna, Italy. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig I 11, fol. 248v; National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Logo created and donated by Keith Haring to the Human Rights Campaign. Human sexuality and gender identity are complex topics, and our understanding of each is continually expanding and deepening.    By Dr. Bryan C. Keene (left)[…]

The Ninth Crusade: A Final, Fruitless Push

Blanche of Castile and Louis IX of France / Creative Commons Ultimately the Crusaders were forced to withdraw. I Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.23.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Ninth Crusade, which is sometimes grouped with the Eighth Crusade, is commonly considered to be the last major medieval Crusade to the Holy Land. It took place in[…]

The Seventh Crusade: Capture, Ransom, Another Failure

A 14th century CE illustration of Louis IX of France (r. 1226-1270 CE) departing Aigues Mortes for Egypt on the Seventh Crusade (1248-1254 CE) / Wikimedia Commons The Seventh Crusade cost Louis IX a massive 1.5 million livres tournoi, about six times his annual income as King of France. By Mark Cartwright / 09.12.2018 Historian The Seventh Crusade (1248-1254 CE) was led by the French[…]

Horse Armor and Warfare in the Medieval Islamic Middle East

Examining the available evidence for the use of horses and armor for them in medieval Islam warfare, with particular reference to the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring regions. By Dr. David Nicolle / 06.30.2017 Visiting Research Fellow University of Nottingham Abstract The widely held view that horse armour was not used in the early Islamic Middle East is[…]

The Bishop’s Profitable Sex Workers in 14th-Century London

In 14th-century London, Church leaders discovered how to make a tidy income from sex workers. By Dr. Kate Lister / 06.05.2018 Lecturer in the History of Sexuality Leeds Trinity University Wherever there have been people buying and selling sex, there have been laws trying to suppress, regulate or profit from it, and medieval London was[…]

Confession as Therapy in the Middle Ages

Fresco in the Pellegrinaioof the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, Siena, Domenico, di Bartolo / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons The line between confession and counselling has been blurred for centuries. In fact, confession in the Middle Ages was thought to improve physical and mental wellbeing and was even used as a treatment for all sorts[…]

The ‘Donne Hours’: A Codicological Puzzle

This medieval manuscript lies at the center of a group of books of hours produced by artists of different provenances. By Dr. Anne DuBois Postdoctoral Fellow FRS-FNRS (Belgian Fund for Scientific Research) The Donne Hours (Louvain-la-Neuve, Archives de l’Université, Ms A2) manuscript is well known to art historians under the name of the Louthe Hours. Produced by Simon[…]

A Brief History of Yemen from Ancient Times to the Rise of Islam

Ancient remains at Thula / Creative Commons Following conquest by the Umayyid caliphate, Islam rose fairly quickly. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.16.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The Rise of Yemen The wall and talus at barāqish / Creative commons Yemen is the state occupying the southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula. Because of the extensive desert[…]

Shakespeare’s Cholerics Were the Real Drama Queens

Taming of the Shrew, 1809, by Washington Allston / Philadelphia Museum of Art, Public Domain In Shakespeare’s times, personalities were categorised according to four temperaments. The choleric temperament was hot-tempered and active, as Nelly Ekström describes. By Nelly Ekström / 12.11.2016 Visitor Experience Assistant Wellcome Trust William Shakespeare’s plays provide examples of all four temperaments, but it’s[…]

Five Crusader Fortifications in the Medieval Levant

Dues Vault, Hospitaller fortress in Acre, Israel / Creative Commons Taking a tour through five well-known 13th-century fortifications and castles built by Crusaders in the Levant. By Dr. David Nicolle Visiting Research Fellow University of Nottingham Margat William of Oldenburg described Margat as follows: A huge and very strong castle, defended by a double wall and protected[…]