1401 CE to 1500 CE

Morgan Library to explore medieval costume

This summer, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City will sponsor an exhibit of over fifty illuminated medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and early printed books showcasing fashionable clothing in Northern Europe.

Exhumation of Mona Lisa planned

"We can put an end to a centuries-old dispute and also understand Leonardo's relations to his models," said art historian Silvano Vinceti, who plans to exhume the body of Lisa Gherardini, believed to have been the model for da Vinci's famous painting.

Battle of Towton commemorated in podcast

550 years ago, 28,000 men were killed in what is considered Britain's bloodiest battle. To commemorate the anniversary, BBC 4 Today discusses the final brawl of the war of the Roses.

Math text book by Fibonacci up for sale

The math treatise Liber Abaci by Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, aka Fibonacci, is going up for aution in New York. The book is a 15th century copy of a 13th century original.

Save the Philadelphia textiles!

On the A Fashionable Excuse blog, Lady Elizabeth of Rivenstar reports that a box of 15th-16th century textiles was recently discovered in the Design Center of Philadelphia University. Now a fundraiser is in the works where those willing to donate will be given access to study the fabrics. (photo)

Ryght welebeloued Voluntyne...

In 1477 Margery Brews sent the first valentine in the English language to her sweetheart John Paston begining "ryght welebeloued Voluntyne" (right well-beloved Valentine), she promised to be a good wife, adding: "Yf that ye loffe me as Itryste verely that ye do ye will not leffe me" (If you love me, I trust.. you will not leave me).

Voynich Manuscript carbon dated

Since its discovery in 1912, the Voynich Manuscript has been the subject of debate among scholars and scientists who argued over the meaning of its 250,000 coded characters. Now experts from the University of Arizona have used carbon dating to determine the age of the document.

Smailholm Tower leaks to be stopped by turf roof

Historic Scotland plans to use medieval techniques to stop rain damage to a 15th century Scottish tower between St Boswells and Kelso. The landmark will be capped with a turf and clay roof.

Norman church beneath Bath Abbey

The beautiful Bath Abbey was not the original church on the site, according to archaeologists who recently discovered the remains of a Norman cathedral. Also found at the site was evidence of the home of a medieval abbot.

Russian icons at Boston museum

Lady Zabava reports that the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts will present a "stunning, major exhibition of 37 paintings and artifacts from Moscow’s Andrey Rublev Museum—most never shown before in the U.S—" from now until July 25, 2011.

Huge copy of the Koran to be digitized

A 500-year-old, handwritten copy of the Koran, owned by the University of Manchester's John Rylands Library, has been scheduled to be digitized and available online. The manuscript is the size of a large-screen television, and it is too fragile to be displayed. (photos)

Medieval monks predict climate change

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh have matched diaries kept by monks, dating to 1500, to look at weather patterns from the past 500 years. The scientists have found that historical records closely parallel modern computer simulations of European climate patterns.

Renaissance raised heel shoes web site upgraded

The website "Chopine, Zoccolo, and Other Raised Heel and High Heel Construction," created by Master Vyncent atte Wodegate (OL), has received a major overhaul recently.

Small town bands in the Middle Ages

Medievalists.net blog offers a link to an article by David M. Guion dealing with wind bands from the 14th through 19th centuries. The article, published in the Journal of Band Research, Vol.42 (2007) is entitled: Wind bands in towns, courts, and churches from the Middle Ages to the Baroque.

Town of Bobbio may help redefine Mona Lisa

Research by Carla Glori seems to point to the norhtern Italian town of Bobbio as the backdrop for Leonard da Vinci's painting of Mona Lisa. Glori also believes that Bianca Giovanna Sforza is the real subject of the painting.

"Enigma" discovered in Renaissance church

For centuries, church historians have been puzzled by the symbols carved into diamond-shaped stones in the fascade of Naples' renaissance Gesù Nuovo church, but new eivdence shows that the engravings are a musical score. (audio)

Monastic documents of Durham Cathedral online

Scribes and early medieval English scholars will want to visit the Durham Cathedral Muniments website and view a collection of documents comprising the "most important medieval archive in the British Isles outside the Public Record Office."

Battle of Towton study shows gruesome side of medieval combat

During England's War of the Roses, the Battle of Towton was a turning point in long-going warfare between the Houses of Lancaster and York. Now new forensic studies are helping researchers to understand the concept of medieval warfare in a new way.

Talhoffer's Medieval Fight Book subject of National Geographic Channel documentary

Talhoffer's Medieval Fight Book is the subject of a National Geographic television program scheduled to air on January 25, 2011. Talhoffer was a knight and judge in Scandavia in the mid-1400's, and the program shows some of the fight strategies and unusual weapons Talhoffer described in his book.

"Mirror of History" reunited at the Getty

Beware of loaning precious books! That should be the lesson learned by the King of France who, in 1413, loaned the 4 volume manuscript of the Mirror of History, a medieval history of the world from the Creation to the Middle Ages, to Duke Louis VII of Bavaria, who promptly lost them. (photos)

Was Columbus really Polish?

An international team of distinguished professors have a new theory on the origins of Christopher Columbus: the explorer was really the son of Vladislav III, an exiled King of Poland.

Da Vinci document discovered in French library

A "fragment of paper with brown scrawls" discovered recently in a public library in the French city of Nantes was not just trash. It was a coded document written by Leonardo da Vinci. (photo)

Medieval alabaster comes to Florida

Sixty pieces of alabaster sculpture from the Victoria & Albert Museum are going on display at the Society of Four Arts in Palm Beach, Florida (USA). The pieces date to the 14th and 15th century, and many still have original paint.

Feast of the Pheasant celebrated in podcast

The Harmonia Early Music website has posted a podcast of a program regarding the 15th century Feast of the Pheasant, a lavish banquet intended to kickoff a crusade against the Turks in Constantinople. The program features entertainment at the banquet.

15th century apprentices leave their marks on nunnery walls

A plaster wall in the former St. Katherina Church near Langerwehe, Germany, bears the pictographic signatures of 15th century workers during a building renovation. (photos)

Hand guns used in War of the Roses

Parts of two handheld guns have been found at Towton Battlefield, site of a bloody battle during the War of the Roses.  Previous to this discovery, archaeologists thought that firearms were only used against castles.

Mona Lisa's childhood home discovered

Did the enigmatic smile of da Vinci's Mona Lisa hide sad memories of an impoverished childhood? A video clip from Discovery News looks at the childhood home of the famous model.

JG Originals Camelot Collection

Affordable, limited edition jewelry inspired by medieval and Renaissance designs. JG Originals - Camelot Collection offers handcrafted necklaces, earrings, and brooches made from high quality fire-polished glass, twinkling rhinestones, and hand-antiqued brass.

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.

Met to present Burgundian/Dutch Renaissance exhibit

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will present Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart's Renaissance October 6, 2010 - January 17, 2011, the "first major exhibition in forty-five years devoted to the Burgundian Netherlandish artist Jan Gossart (ca. 1478-1532)."