1301 CE to 1400 CE

Hengwrt Chaucer online

The earliest known manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, housed at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, has been digitized and is now available online. (photo)

Faith, Hope, or the Great Mortality

Faith, Hope, or the Great Mortality is a historical fiction novel that takes in England and Wales when the Black Death - or the Great Mortality as it was then known - first arrives. The main character, Thomas de Parr, is the youngest son of a nobleman and is destined to become a monk at Tintern Abbey.

Black plague: Survival of the fittest

A new study by University of South Carolina anthropologist Sharon DeWitte shows that those who survived Europe's 14th century Black Plague "lived significantly longer and were healthier than people who lived before the epidemic struck in 1347."

Historical Fiction Novel

Please check out a new historical fiction novel by Thomas F. Schultz titled: Faith, Hope, or the Great Mortality.  The title is available on Amazon and for Kindle.

"Examining 14th century Fashion" research paper online

A recent edition of the Falcon Banner, the news magazine of the Kingdom of Calontir, featured documentation by Duchess Aislinn Morcroft entitled An Age of Change: Examining 14th century Fashion.

"Incredibly significant" bishop's seal declared treasure

Metal detector enthusiast Andy Falconer has found a few artifacts over the years but nothing like the 14th century, silver bishop's seal, called "incredibly significant" by Manx National Heritage, he found recently in a field on the Isle of Man. (photo)

Bannockburn comes to the BBC

The BBC celebrates the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn with a two-program event, which premiered early in June 2014, entitled The Quest For Bannockburn. The program features Neil Oliver and Tony Pollard.

New books of poetry at Project Gutenberg

A text copy of all 3 volumes of Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry was recently posted to Project Gutenberg. These books contain a great deal of poetry in middle and early modern English.

Learning from the teeth of the dead

"It's fantastic we can look in such detail at an individual who died 600 years ago," said Don Walker, an osteologist with the Museum of London about his recent work on remains found last year under London's Charterhouse Square. A study of the teeth has revealed that at least 12 of the skeletons died in the 14th century of the Black Death. (photos)

Monastery diet revealed by Durham Cathedral excavation

Archaeologists working on an excavation of a portion of Durham Cathedral, destined to become an exhibition space for the relics of St. Cuthbert, have unearthed over 20,000 animal bones and a "massive amount" of food waste. The site was once part of the monastery's 14th century kitchen. (photos)

Cambuskenneth Abbey part of Bannockburn archaological study

The 700th anniversary of the Scottish victory at Bannockburn has brought together archaeologists and experts from a number of fields to study the battle. Among the sites investigated is Cambuskenneth Abbey near Stirling where Robert the Bruce held several of his early parliaments.

Stinky surprise for Danish archaeologists

 Archaeologists working on a site in Odense on Funen, Denmark were treated to an odiferous surprise recently with the discovry of 14th century barrels used to contain the contents of latrines.

Ancient barley virus carried by Crusaders

A team of British scientists from the University of Warwick has been able to sequence the genome of ancient RNA thanks to the study of ancient barley from Egypt. The fossilized grain contained the Barley Stripe Mosaic Virus, believed to be a modern disease, which may have been transported to Egypt by Crusaders in the Seventh Crusade.

"Astonishing" find in St. Bartholomew's Church

In 2006, St Bartholomew's Church in Much Marcle, England received UK£500,000 for restoration of the church. During the project, workers discovered a lead coffin in the tomb chest of Blanch Mortimer, daughter of 14th century traitor Sir Roger Mortimer, who overthrew King Edward II. English Heritage described the find as "astonishing." (photos, video)

Templar interest increases with approaching 700th anniversary

With material such as The Da Vinci Code to capture the public's attention, the myths of the Knights Templar are more popular than ever. Lawyer, noveliest and historian Dr Dominic Selwood has a feature article for The Telegraph.

Altopascio skeletons show history of disease in Europe

For several years, biological anthropologist Giuseppe Vercellotti of The Ohio State University has led a field school in the Badia Pozzeveri Churchyard in Altopascio, Italy, where he and his students unearth and study the skeletons hoping "to read the history written in the bones." Of particular interest was a mass grave covered with a layer of lime. (photos)

Book of Aneirin goes online

The National Library of Wales has announced that it has made the 13th century Book of Aneirin available online. The manuscript, scribed by monks onto animal skin, is regarded as one of the most important books in the Welsh language.

Pre-14th century mikvahs discovered in Portugal

Plumbers fixing a leak in a building in the central Portugal city of Coimbra found something they were not expecting: several 600-year-old mikvahs, Jewish ritual baths.

The mystery of Longforth Farm continues

In a feature article for Current Archaeology, Matthew Symonds discusses recent discoveries at Longforth Farm with Bob Davis of Wessex Archaeology. Longforth Farm is a huge medieval complex near Wellington, England. (photos, map)

What's with the snails?

In a blog article for Smithsonian, Colin Schultz wonders why in English manuscripts from the 13th and 14th centuries, knights are always fighting snails. (photos)

New sources on the Battle of Crécy

The October 2013 issue of History Today magazine features an article by Richard Barber which looks at recently discovered sources on the Battle of Crécy (1346). An excerpt from Edward III and the Battle of Crécy is available free online. The entire article is reserved for subscribers to the magazine. (photo)

Scottish battle anniversaries focus of tourism industry

September 9, 2013 marked the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden (the English won), while 2014 will be the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn (the Scots took that one), two events destined to bring tourists flocking to Scotland and northern England. Sophie Campbell of The Telegraph has a feature story.

A Walsingham Pilgrimage

The village of Little Walsingham in North Norfolk was the site for a major pilgrimage during the 14th and 15th centuries. What still exists today of that ancient site? Take a virtual trip back to this shrine. (photos)

First of Leicester's double coffins opened

While the impact of the Leicester car park's second most interesting find will not not be as great as the discovery of the remains of Richard III, archaeologists are still excited about the mysterious coffin-within-a-coffin found at the site. The lid of the first, stone coffin was lifted recently to reveal an inner lead coffin, which was removed for further analysis. (photo)

Laws of Hywel Dda online

Last year, the 14th century book, the Laws of Hywel Dda, was purchased at auction by the National Library of Wales and brought home after nearly 300 years in exile in the United States. Now the book is on display at the library in Aberystwyth, and available for all to see online.

Archaeologists consider meaning of Mingary Castle arrowhead

Mingary Castle, overlooking the Sound of Mull in Scotland, may have had a more violent past than once believed, according to experts pondering the discovery of an iron arrowhead. (photo)

Happy birthday, Giovanni Boccaccio

Through 20 December 2013, the University of Manchester and Bristol will celebrate the 700th anniversary of the birth of Giovanni Boccaccio, author of the 1351 Decameron, a collection of 100 tales ranging from the erotic to the tragic, with an exhibition.

The history of the octothorpe and more

Modern social networkers will recognize the octothrope as the opening character of a hashtag, but the lowly punctuation mark has a noble history. In his book, Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks, Keith Houston looks at punctuation marks' roots from Greek, Roman and 14th century texts.

Ottoman armor plate found at Perperikon

In 1361, the Thracian city of Perperikon, now in Bulgaria, was besieged by the Ottoman Turks. Among the artifacts found during recent excavations of the site was a bronze plate, believed to have been part of the armor of an Ottoman commander.

"Formal Combats in the Fourteenth Century" available for Kindle

Steven Muhlberger reports that his book Formal Combats in the Fourteenth Century in now available for the Kindle from Amazon.com in eBook format. Cost to download is US $3.99.