1201 CE to 1300 CE

13th century Spanish document surfaces at University of Virginia

15 years ago, George Greenia discovered a 13th century medieval Spanish document, missing for centuries, in the archives at the University of Virginia’s Alderman Library. Now the contents and story of discovery of the document have been disclosed.

Fibonacci: How numbers helped shape the development of modern Western Europe

In 1202, life in western Europe was changed by the publication of Liber abbaci, a book by Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci, the first general-purpose book of arithmetic in the West, which "explained the 'new' methods in terms understandable to ordinary people."

Crusader inscription found in Arabic

A 13th century inscription written in Arabic has been translated and found to be a proclamation by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. The inscription is thought to originally be from a wall in Jaffa, Israel. The inscription is the only known example of its kind.

Restoration of Newcastle's Black Gate planned

In the 13th century, Henry III built the Black Gate at Newcastle, England's castle to help beef up the defenses of the City. Now the City Council has been awarded UK£1.4m by the Heritage Lottery Fund to make the site available to the public.

Location of 13th century seal puzzles experts

A large medieval seal dating to the 13th or 14th century has been discovered in a field in Surrey, England. The mystery of the seal is that it is believed to have originated at Stone Priory in north Staffordshire. (photo)

Art historian finds devil is really in the details

An art historian claims to have found an image of the devil in the fluffy clouds of a 13th century fresco by the early Renaissance artist Giotto. The fesco, in the Assisi Bascilica in Italy, depicts the death of St. Francis of Assisi.

Rethinking William Wallace

When Mel Gibson brought the story of Scottish hero William Wallace to the screen in Braveheart, Wallace became a worldwide symbol of freedom, but the seeds of rebellion may have had a slightly different beginning according to a new study.

13th century graveyard in Italy reveals strange burials

A woman with nails driven into her skull and another surrounded by 17 dice have led archaeologists to speculate that a cemetery in Tuscany may have been a witch's graveyard.

What prompted the Icelandic Sagas?

Dr. Emily Lethbridge of Cambridge University is seeking to understand the significance of the Icelandic Sagas, why they were created during the 13th and 14th centuries, and why they still resonate with the people of Iceland today.

Norman involvement in 11th century Spain

In his 2007 dissertation for the University of Nottingham, Norman and Anglo-Norman Participation in the Iberian Reconquista c.1018 – c.1248, Lucas Villegas-Aristizabal considers the contribution of the Normans, especially Crusaders, in the Christianizing of the Iberian Peninsula.

The scribes behind the Middle English masters

“The clerks of the London Guildhall form the invisible link between medieval authors like Geoffrey Chaucer and their first audiences, the original owners of the medieval manuscripts we study today,” said Professor Linne Mooney of the University of York.

Intricate silver and carnelian ring found in North Yorkshire

A 13th or 14th century ring was discovered near Ripon, England in 2010 by metal detectorist Lindsey Holland. The silver and carnelian ring is expected to be declared treasure, making it available to be acquired by a museum. (photo)

"The seal of Tristan of Treago" found in Cornwall

Metal dectorist John Fereday was "so excited that his hands were shaking" when he discovered a 13th century silver seal on a farm near Newquay in Cornwall. "Medieval seals are very rare in Cornwall and silver ones are rarer still," said liaisons officer Anna Tyacke.

Crusader sword pommel: "one of the most significant relics of the Middle Ages ever discovered in Scotland"

A metal detectorist has discovered the pommel of a 13th century sword in a farmer's field in Selkirkshire, Scotland. Experts believe the bronze pommel belonged to a Norman noble involved in the Last Crusade.

Phalluses scrubbed from medieval fresco

After a three-year restoration project, the 13th century Tree of Fertility fresco in the small Italian town of Massa Marittima was ready to view, but art experts had some problems with the restoration work when they noticed that testicles and phalluses hanging from the tree had been removed.

"Wonderful" medieval walls found near Llanrwst, Wales

Drainage work at a hotel near Llanrwst, Wales has unearthed three 13th century walls believed to have belonged to the cloister of a Cistercian abbey.

New Welsh Pilgrim's Way inaugurated by 127 mile walk

The new Pilgrim's Way walking path in Wales was christened recently when 80 walkers began the 127-mile (204km), 12-day trek from Basingwerk Abbey in Holywell, Flintshire to Bardsey Island in Gwynedd. (slideshow)

13th century fulling mill found in Barrowburn

A team of archaeologists from Coquetdale Community Archaeology has discovered the remains of a 13th century cloth mill on the River Coquet near Barrowburn, England. Experts believe that the mill was built by monks from the Newminster Abbey in Morpeth.

Medieval chess piece found in Iceland

A 12th or 13th century chess piece has been found in Iceland. The piece is carved from herringbone and looks  similar to the Lewis Chessmen.

Walters Art Museum features digitized Islamic manuscripts

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland has begun a project to digitize its collection of Islamic manuscripts. A gallery of images, including covers and bindings, is available on the museum's website.

"Elegant" local Vale Ware aquamanile found in Cosmeston, Wales

A fragment of a locally-made pottery aquamanile, used by dinner guests to wash their hands, has been discovered at an archaeological dig of a manor house near Cosmeston, Wales. The fragment dates to the 13th century. (photo)

Rebels fight King John in "Ironclad"

In Ironclad, a new film from director Jonathan English, a small group of Knights Templar strive to hold King John to his signature on the Magna Carta by defending Rochester Castle. The film debuted July 26, 2011. (photos)

Sex and politics in the Middle Ages

In his dissertation, Henric Bagerius of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, explores sexuality and politics in the late medieval Iceland, and redefines sex as less of a personal relationship and more of an exercise in power.

Geoffrey Chaucer: standup comedian

Three men walk into a bar... you all know the rest. Or do you? British standup comedian Bill Bailey gives the story a medieval twist in this YouTube clip.

Pottery sheds light on medieval Welsh manor

The discovery of elaborate, locally made pottery is giving insight into a southern Welsh manor and the medieval village surrounding it.

Welsh castle receives grant for visitor center

In 1282, Earl Henry de Lacy began building a castle in Wales. Now Denbigh Castle will undergo an extensive facelift, complete with a new visitor center, thanks to a UK£600,000 grant. (photo)

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.