1401 CE to 1500 CE

Controversy continues over role of Hagia Sophia

Devout Muslims in Istanbul are calling for the re-opening of the historic 6th century Hagia Sofia as a mosque. The move would break a Turkish law prohibiting worship in the monument.

Town councillor recruited to translate mysterious text

Workmen renovating a medieval house in St Katherine’s, England, have enlisted the help of a former mayor to translate the ancient text discovered on the ceiling. The writing is believed to be Latin.

"Funeral achievments" of Henry V showcased in British Museum clip

In a short video clip on YouTube, Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor discusses the helmet, sword and saddle believed to have belonged to Henry V from his tomb in Westminster Abbey.

The legend of the Grateful Dead

Zombies are not just the stuff of modern movies and flash mobs. A medieval legend popular in Germanic northern Europe tells of armed zombies who rise from the grave to protect the righteous.

15th-century mosque attacked at Timbuktu

A group of Islamist militants bearing pickaxes has attacked and damaged the Sidi Yahya mosque in Timbuktu, a World Heritage site, breaking down a door that "locals believed had to stay shut until the end of the world."

Wenlok Jug stolen from English museum

A hunt continues to recover a medieval bronze jug stolen from the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton, England. The "nationally significant" Wenlok Jug was taken from the museum May 12, 2012.

Medieval Lingerie

A remarkably modern-looking bra and "string bikini" from the 15th century have been discovered in East Tyrol.

Rare black-tinted Flemish manuscripts online

In the second half of the 15th century, the noble families of Burgundy were privileged to enjoy illuminated books with black tinted pages, scribed with gold and silver script. Examples of these rare and magnificent manuscripts may be viewed on artist Daniel Mitsui's blog, The Lion & the Cardinal.

Restoration of famed "Gates of Paradise" complete after 33 years

Restoration is complete for Lorenzo Ghiberti's masterpiece, the bronze and gilt doors that he created for the Florence Baptistry in 1452. Michaelangelo called them the Gates of Paradise.

"FACES" project to identify historical figures

The University of California, Riverside, has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to use state-of-the-art facial recognition software to identify figures in paintings and sculpture.

The power of Botticelli's Venus

In a recent ArtBlog posted by The Guardian, Jonathan Jones ponders Botticelli's enduring masterpiece, The Birth of Venus, painted in 1484, and tries to discover if it is the ancient religion that makes it so compelling.

Exhibit reveals genius of Albrecht Dürer

A recent article in Christie's New Art Newspaper reviews a major exhibition of work by Germany's greatst artist Albrecht Dürer, The Early Dürer at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, 24 May-2 September, 2012.

The prize for creative use of toilet paper goes to Nina Katchadourian

Attention SCAdian: Bored on long flights? Perhaps you should entertain yourself with some creative headgear construction as demonstrated by non-SCA member Nina Katchadourian. (photos)

Danish ship information to go online

Records from more than 1.8 million ships that sailed through the Danish sound will go online in May 2012. The records date from the mid 15th century to 1857.

"Reluctance to change" helped medieval Icelanders survive

Most medieval societies faced with plague or natural disasters relied on flexibility to save their cultures, but new research shows that the "people of medieval Iceland survived disaster by sticking with traditional practices."

Medieval Estonian documents go online

The oldest written documents in Estonia are now online thanks to a joint project between the Estonian State Archives and the Estonian History Museum. The oldest documents data from the mid 13th century.

Skeletons halt resurfacing of Scottish road

Authorities have halted resurfacing work around Greyfriars Garden in St. Andrews, Scotland after the discovery of skeletons believed to be Franciscan monks from the 15th century.

Ghent Altarpiece digitized

For the past year, a team of art historians has been working on a conservation project for Hubert and Jan van Eyck’s “Mystic Lamb,” better known as the Ghent Altarpiece. Along with the conservation, the altarpiece has been photographed at extremely high resolution to be released online.

Henry VI Psalter Now Online

A fully digitized version of The Psalter of Henry VI has been added to the British Library's ongoing project of digitizing some of their manuscript treasures.

Medieval Science Manuscripts Now Digitized

The British Library began the final phase of an 18-month project, and has uploaded numerous scientific works to its Digitised Manuscripts site, with more additions in the coming weeks.

Volcanoes key to "Little Ice Age"

A new study, led by Gifford Miller at the University of Colorado at Boulder, US, may show that a series of volcanic eruptions around 1300 may have led to the Little Ice Age, which dropped temperatures in Europe in the 1500s.

"Best preserved medieval timber barn in England" bought by English Heritage

English Heritage has purchased Harmondsworth Barn, the "Cathedral of Middlesex," for UK£20,000. The barn, originally used for storing grain, "resembles the nave of a large church." It was built in 1426. (photo)

Designer da Vinci

Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci is known for his paintings, inventions and scientific research. Now he will be known for his - handbags? (photos)

Landsknechte to hold re-enactment in Germany

Landsknechte from around the world will gather in April for the Second International Landsknecht Hurra 2012 to be held in Oberzollhaus, Germany. The event has been created for members of Landsknecht.org.

Second International Landsknecht Hurra 2012

The contemporary world of landsknecht re-enactment is as heterogenous as the slashed and hacked cloth worn by its inhabitants. For years there has been dreams and rumors about an international Musterung to bring all sistren and brethren together for one great feast.

Canadian Richard III Society to host 3-day conference

Victoria Moorshead, Vice Chair of the Richard III Society of Canada, reports that the Society will host the American Branch of the Society in Oakville for its Annual General Meeting. Speakers are needed.

600 years of "30 days hath September"

All school American children learn the day-counting rhyme "Thirty days hath September...," and some adults still use it to track the number of days in the month. Now a Welsh journalist offers proof that the doggerel dates to the early 15th century. (photo)

Death leaves Prague... for two months

The skeletal figure of Death, along with his companions Vanity, Greed and Pleasure, has been removed from the famous medieval astronomical clock in the city of Prague for a period of two months. The animated figures will be painted to protect them from humidity. (photos)

Estonian dig reveals coins and game pieces

Archaeological excavation at the future site for the Academy of the Arts in Tallinn, Estonian has produced several boxes of artifacts dating to the Middle Ages. Among objects found were bone jewelry, dice, and a piece from a board game.

Historians use tree rings to find old buildings in Wales

A building being used as a cow shed in Wales may date to the 1300s, making it the oldest domestic building in Wales. The date is being determined by studying the tree rings in the roof rafters.