1201 CE to 1300 CE

Reading Dante

Is medieval poetry worth reading? A.N. Wilson thinks so, and shares thoughts in an article for the New Statesman: "Dante, a poet for all seasons."

Cotswold dig reveals life in the 13th and 14th centuries

An archaeological team from Cotswold Archaeology is leading a dig at Cowl Lane in Winchcombe, England, revealing "more than 40 rubbish pits containing medieval pottery, animal bone and metalworking evidence."

Bodies found in well tell story of Medieval persecution

Seventeen skeletons found in a well in Norwich, England are the suspected victims of an anti-Jewish massacre. DNA and other analysis has shown that the six adults and eleven children were part of the same family and date to the 12th or 13th century.

Rare unicorn idol found in India

A rare unicorn idol from the 12th or 13th century was found in Udupi, India. While the animal appears horse-like overall, it is actually a chimera of several different types of animals. The idol may be associated with Naga Bermar, a local fertility god.

Violent trauma marks Stirling skeletons

The area near Stirling Castle in Scotland was a dangerous place in the 13th - 15th centuries. Evidence of this can be seen in the recent discovery of five skeletons buried at the castle which exhibit signs of having suffered "brutally violent" deaths.

Lost medieval village of Norton excavation yields treasures

Archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology North who are excavating Lodge Farm near Runcorn, England, believe they have found the medieval village of Norton.

Cooling climate may have forced Vikings out of Greenland

Researchers have added "climate change" to the list of possible reasons that the Vikings suddenly abandoned Greenland around 1400. Analysis of  lake sediment cores has revealed that there was a sharp cooling trend from about 1100 onwards.

14% of medieval parents chose "William" for their boys

Prince William of England has something in common with many medieval boys: his name. A new study shows that "William" was the most popular name for boys in the 13th century.

Economics of the Middle Ages

Planet Money, which features podcasts about modern economics and news of the economy, recently offered an edition focused on medieval economics, particularly feudalism and guilds.

Tomb of St Francis of Assisi re-opens

A special Franciscan mass will celebrate the re-opening of the restored tomb of St Francis of Assisi in Umbria, Italy. The saint died in 1226. (photo)

Visit Acre: "the crusaders' hip and happening capital"

Looking for the perfect summer vacation? Why not plan a truly period trip to the City of Acre. Robyn Young and Tom Hall of BBC History offer travel trips.

Mass grave at Bedlam discovered

Archaeologists working at the site of London's latest Crossrail project have discovered a mass grave of hundreds of skeletons. The grave is at the location of St Bethlehem hospital, the first facility for mental patients. (video & photos)

Historic Cornwall pub destroyed by fire

"People come from all over the world to see the Pandora," said Mylor, England resident Cordelia Folland after a fire ripped through the 13th Century thatched Pandora Inn March 24, 2011.

Brush up on Magna Carta history

In preparation for celebration of the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, the BBC offers information about the historic document.

Lincoln Castle to remain home of the Magna Carta

The HM Courts Service reports that it has scrapped plans to move the Magna Carta from Lincoln Castle to another building inside the castle grounds now used by the crown court.

Forget Denmark! Hamlet's name was Irish!

Researchers have long traced the roots of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark to Amlethus in the History of the Danes, written around 1200, but a new study traces the name back even further, to 8th or 9th century Ireland.

The villainous King John

In an extensive article for BBC News Magazine, Tom Geoghegan looks at what makes King John of England the classic "pantomime villain."

Islamic necropolis discovered in Portugal

A medieval Islamic necropolis, containing over 200 human remains, has been discovered in the southern Portuguese city of Beja during renovation of a high school.

English and Scots squabble over William Wallace letter

In 1300, William Wallace was purportedly given a safe conduct letter from King Philip IV of France to visit the Pope. The letter was confiscated when Wallace was captured by the English and has remained in their hands since. Now the Scottish government wants the note back.

Old Duchy Palace to be restored

Built in the 13th century, the Old Duchy Palace in Lostwithiel, one of the oldest buildings in Cornwall, may have new life thanks to a UK£200,000 grant from the European Regional Development Fund.

Tower of Pisa restored and slightly straightened

An 8-year restoration of the Tower of Pisa has ended with the tower returned to its 1838 position, 46 cm (18 inches) more vertical than it was before. Extensive stone cleaning and restoration were also completed.

13th century flood wall in England to be repaired

In a move that could only embarrass the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a government agency in England has ordered repairs to a river levy that has started to fail...after 800 years.

Knights Templar in London subject of new book

The 13th century Temple in London, the headquarters of the Knights Templar in the city, is a round church, but it has also served as a bank and document storage facility. Christopher Howse of the Telegraph looks at a new book on the Templars, The Temple Church in London.

BBC showcases the Magna Carta

Lord Mungo Napier of the Kingdom of Atlantia has put together a short selection of articles from the BBC on the Magna Carta, which celebrates the 800th anniversary of its signing in 2015.

Medieval religious building reflects modern conflict

In the 8th century, the caliphs of Cordoba, Spain constructed the magnificent great mosque. After their conquest, 13th century Christians rechristened the building a cathedral. Now the two cultures have begun to clash again over tourist signs.

[OUT] Crossroads 2011

The Year: 1241, during the reign of King Bela IV of Hungary. The Place: The cities of Buda and Pest, on the banks of the Danube. The Theme: The Europeans vs. the Mongols. The Feast: A wonderful Hungarian repast provided by the Caerthan Cook's Guild.

Inner courtyard discovered at Wakehurst Place

Excavations at Wakehurst Place, home of the Kew country garden in West Sussex, England, have revealed the existence of an Elizabethan-era south wing which would have completed an enclosed courtyard.

Henry III Fine Roles give insight into 13th century society

During the reign of King Henry III (1216–1272), fines were paid to the king in installments, in exchange for a specified concession. Now these roles are available to view online thanks to the Henry III Fine Roles Project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

John Stow's history of London online

The Centre for Metropolitan History has made available the 1603 edition of John Stow's A Survey of London, edited by C. L. Kingsford. The work chronciles the history of the city from the 13th through the 16th centuries.

Metropolitan Museum to host treasures of Khubilai Khan

New York's Metropolitan Museum will offer visitors a glimpse of the delights of 13th century China when it plays host to The Legend of Khubilai Khan: Chinese Art in the Yuan Dynasty, an exhibit of "lavish costumes, stunning paintings and priceless jewels."