1501 CE to 1600 CE

Maps: "Snapshots" of history

Most of us think of a map as a tool for getting from one place to another. But throughout history, mapmakers have had other priorities than providing a factual picture of the world.

Precious Cambridge manuscript collection now online

The entire Parker library, a collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts at Corpus Christi College of Cambridge University, has been made accessible online. Librarian Suzanne Paul narrates a video tour of the collection's highlights.

16th century manuscript centerpiece of Saint Wenceslas exhibit

The Life and Suffering of Saint Wenceslas, a 16th century manuscript, is the centerpiece of a small exhibit of celebrating the life of the Czech Republic's patron saint, Prince Wenceslas, at the National Museum until May 2, 2010.

"Anonymous" looks at the subject of Shakespeare authorship

Ronald Emmerich, who directed such major films as 2012 and Independence Day, will take on a less earth-shaking project with his new project Anonymous. The film will investigate whether Edward de Vere was the real author of Shakespeare's plays.

16th century museum reopens in Venice

The concept of a museum to view art and antiquities was unknown until 16th century Venice when wealthy families designed buildings to showcase Roman statuary. Now the Palazzo Grimani, one of the pioneering museums of the city, has restored and reopened to the public.

"Exceptional example of the Medieval jewellers' art" declared treasure in England

A 16th century silver crucifix depicting Christ flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist, discovered in 2009 in Yanworth, England, has been declared treasure. (photo)

Shakespeare scholar takes on authorship issue

Author James Shapiro, whose 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, delighted the literary world, has a new book, this time investigating whether the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon actually wrote his plays. Robert McCrum of The Observer has a review.

Mary Rose carpenter's dog honored with museum display

In 1545, the Mary Rose sank during the Battle of the Solent. Trapped inside the carpenter's cabin was a dog, probably kept to catch rats. Now the skeleton of the animal, nicknamed "Hatch," is on display at the Mary Rose Museum at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

New da Vinci code predicts end of the world

Vatican researcher Sabrina Sforza Galitzia believes that Leonardo da Vinci worked out a code predicting the world to end on November 1, 4006.

Preview issue of BBC History Magazine available online

Jane Stockton reports that BBC History Magazine is offering a free 14-page digital preview drawn from the March 2010 issue of the magazine.

Erwin Tomash Library offers insight into history of computing, geometry, and mathematics

A casual interest in the history of computing led Erwin Tomash, who started his career in computer engineering in the 1940s and became one of the pioneers of the information age, to compile an encyclopedic, illustrated catalog of primary source references dating back to the 12th century CE. The catalog is available online for free access.

Silver cap pin declared treasure in Britain

A silver pin in the shape of a bird, believed to have been a cap pin dating to the 16th century, has been declared treasure in Lynn, England. The pin was found by metal detectorist David Cockle in Stoke Ferry.

DNA may help solve 16th century murder

Gaetano La Fata, Mayor of Carini, Italy, has an extremely cold case on his hands: the murder of Baroness Laura Lanzaand her lover Ludovico Vernagallo, killed in 1563 when caught in bed together.

The love poems of Michelangelo on display

In his fifties, it appears that renaissance master Michelangelo fell in love with a Roman nobleman 40 years his junior. A record of the infatuation can be found in handwritten sonnets on display for the first time at the British Museum in London.

Mona Lisa identity may cause da Vinci exhumation

A team of experts from Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage are requesting permission to exhume the remains of Leonardo da Vinci in hopes of revealing the real identity of the Mona Lisa.

Video showcases 16th century German cards

A video on YouTube exhibits and describes a deck of German playing cards from the 16th century CE.

Michelangelo drawings show "unequaled understanding of the human body"

Michelangelo is revered one of the greatest masters of Renaissance art, especially when it comes to depicting the form of the human body. A new exhibit at the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Virginia, explores this aspect of his work.

Oysters treat of Elizabethan theater-goers

Archaeologists studying the sites of Elizabethan playhouses in London have discovered that theatre-goers were treated to an "exotic array of foods while enjoying the latest plays of the day."

Bronzino: most influential 16th century painter in Florence

In the mid 16th century, Agnolo Bronzino was the most respected portraitist in Florence. Now a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Drawings of Bronzino, offers 59 of his works on paper. (slideshow)

Curling: Quirky, Cordial...and Period

To many Americans, the sport of curling is a mystery of complex scoring and opaque strategies. A deeper look reveals a sport that dates back to the later SCA period and whose participants have much in common with SCA martial competitors.

Da Vinci resume online

In a letter to the Duke of Milan, Lenoardo da Vinci outlines his qualifications as an engineer and an artist. A scanned version of the resume with translation is available online.

Leicestershire artifacts help tell story of pilgrims' lives

Lead flasks, discovered by metal detectorists, are helping historians understand the history of medieval pilgrims in Leicestershire, England dating from the early 13th century through to the 16th century.

[DRA] A later period, who knew..

The day will be filled with the delights of learning about a variety of subjects all pertaining to the 16th century and the evening will be filled with the delights of food and frolic.

Molinillo discovery proves use of chocolate in 16th century St. Augustine

The discovery of a molinillo, a stick used to mix chocolate, in a well in St. Augustine, Florida leads experts to believe that chocolate was enjoyed in the 1500s in the city.

Renaissance shoes on display in Toronto

The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto is playing host to On a Pedestal: From Reniassance Chopines to Baroque Heels, an exhibit that "explores two of the most extreme forms of footwear ever worn in Western fashion, the outrageous platform chopine and its eventual replacement, the high heel." (photos)

Late medieval walls found below Edinburgh esplanade

Construction on new viewing stands for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo has revealed two structures dating to the late medieval period. The walls were believed to have formed part of the defense of the castle.

Gothic text found in Salisbury Cathedral

Experts working on restoration of the Henry Hyde monument in Salisbury Cathedral have discovered remnants of Gothic text beneath whitewash on the cathedral wall.

New book looks at four months in the life of Anne Boleyn

The Lady in the Tower, a new book by Tudor scholar Alison Weir, looks at the last four months in the life of Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn. Janet Maslin of the New York Times has the review.

Diane de Poitiers, victim of own vanity?

Diane de Poitiers, mistress of King Henry II of France, was known for her youthful looks, which kept the interest of the king, twenty years her junior, but did her vanity and desperation lead to her death? Experts believe they did.

Was Shakespeare a "secret Catholic?"

What did Shakespeare do during the "lost years?" Father Andrew Headon, the vice-rector of the Venerable English College in Rome believes the playwright spent the years in the Eternal City and was a "secret Catholic."