1501 CE to 1600 CE

Swiss Guard may open ranks to women

The 500-year-old Swiss Guard, which protects the Vatican, may revoke its centuries-old ban on service by women, according to Commander Daniel Anrig. "I can imagine them for one role or another," he told Italian television.

16th century acorn button declared treasure

Experts from the British Museum have authenticated a silver button, fashioned in the shape of an acorn, and declared it treasure. They have dated it to the 16th century. (photo)

Sale of 16th century torture devices to benefit Amnesty International

"Shame masks," "tongue tearers," and "witch-hunters" are among the 250 items of torture dating to the 16th century to be auctioned by New York's Guernsey's auction house. The items, from a privately-owned collection, will be sold, with the proceeds going to "Amnesty International and other organizations committed to preventing torture."

400-year restoration of walls of Cadiz continues

For 400 years, city officials in Cadiz, Spain have been charged with the task of repairing and restoring the city's massive walls. The masonry walls, damaged in 1596 by the English, serve to keep out the ocean.

Renaissance Dancers "bring the Elizabethan period to life"

Among the theatres of London's Southwark disrict roam the Renaissance Dancers, a group of amateur dress and costume enthusiasts dedicated to bringing the dances of Elizabethan England to life. An article for Fabrics-Store.com newsletter tells their story. (photo)

Debate continues over Michelangelo crucifix

A EU3.3 million wooden crucifix, bought recently at auction by the Italian government, may or may not have been created by Michelangelo. The newly-purchased piece made its debut in December at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See, and was visited by the Pope.

Pope commemorates bravery of Swiss Guard during Regime of Terror

Pope Benedict XVI recently commemorated the bravery of the Swiss Guard, who helped save the city of Rome from an army of mercenaries in 1527, by swearing in the latest batch of recruits.

Inbreeding may have led to the demise of the Hapsburgs

A new study by geneticists from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain shows that inbreeding may have weakened the male line and brought about the end of the Hapsburg dynasty. The last king, Charles II of Spain, died in 1700 without male heirs.

Mysteries of Moctezuma revealed at the British Museum

In the last exhibit of a series on emperors, the British Museum will present Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler which reveals elements of the mysterious life of the last emperor of the Aztecs. The exhibition will run 24 September 2009 to 24 January 2010. (photos)

Exhibit shows "true colors" of Tudor tapestry

Light analysis was used to determine the original colors of a huge tapestry commissioned by Henry VIII. The tapestry is now on display at Hampton Court until January 3, 2010 in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the king's accession to the throne.

Was Henry VIII's Tyranny the Result of a Brain Injury?

A new theory suggests that Henry VIII underwent a personality change as the result of a head injury he suffered while jousting.

Da Vinci to be subject of cultural theme park

Was Leonardo da Vinci, "poet, musician, philosopher, engineer, architect, scientist, mathematician, anatomist, inventor, architect and botanist," the true Renaissance man, or was he just a "frustrating dilettante?" Curators of the Château du Clos Lucé in Amboise, France, da Vinci's last home, are betting on the former and hope for the success of their "world's first "intellectual and cultural theme park."

Rediscovered "Siege of Boulogne" drawing to be displayed at British Library

A huge drawing of Henry VIII"S 1544 Siege of Boulogne, once mislabeled and believed lost, will go on display at the British library as part of an exhibition entitled Henry VIII: Man and Monarch.

Armor of Henry VIII on display

An exhibit of the armor of King Henry VIII is being displayed at the Tower of London until January, 2010. In commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Tudor king's ascension to the throne of England, the exhibit will include a full suit of armor from 1544 only recently identified as Henry's. The article includes a 3-minute demonstration with replica armor of how the suit was worn. (video)

Letters and papers of Henry VIII online

British History Online has posted the letters and papers of Henry VIII from the beginning of the king's reign in 1509 until January 1547. The website includes daily journal and calendar entries.

"A Yorkshire Tragedy" added to Shakespeare's works?

British academic John Casson believes that he has discovered previously unrecognized works by Williams Shakespeare. Included in these are a poem, a comedy, and his first two tragedies. Casson also claims to have proof of Shakespeare's authorship of the "lost play" Cardenio.

Galileo's telescope travels to th U.S.

For the first time, one of Galileo's telescopes has left Florence to be part of an exhibit in the United States. according to Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer for the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, the 400-year-old telescope, which bears an inscription in the astronomer's handwriting, is “absolutely amazing.”

Earthquake takes lives, damages treasures in central Italy

Tragedy struck central Italy April 7 when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake toppled ancient and modern buildings in the medieval city of L’Aquila. Over 200 people lost their lives, and the earthquake damaged nearly all the historic buildings of the town. (video)

New book on Tudor men's garb announced

Fat Goose Press has announced the recent publication of a new book on men's garb at the time of King Henry VIII. The book, The King's Servants: Men's Dress at the Accession of Henry VIII, was authored by Caroline Johnson.

Face of Mary Rose's bosun revealed

Forensic artist Richard Neave has reconstructed the face of the bosun of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII's flagship sunk over 400 years ago. The head was constructed from a skull recovered from the sunken ship and identified by the whistle found with his remains. (photo)

Met offers treasures of the Korean Renaissance

Visitors to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art will be treated to a small exhibit of ceramic jars, lacquer boxes, and scroll paintings from 15th - 17th century Korea when they encounter Art of the Korean Renaissance, 1400-1600. (photos)

Last chance to see the Mary Rose

This summer, the salvaged remnants of the Mary Rose, the 16th century Tudor warship, will go into a sealed chamber in preparation for a newly-designed museum. The current display, "a spooky monument and a time machine," is housed at Portsmouth's historic dockyard.

Handwriting suggests Henry VIII "emotionally dependent on women"

A recent analysis of the handwriting of King Henry VIII shows that he was brought up in a household dominated by his mother and sister, and shows traits of being emotionally dependent on women.

Curved wall of Shakespeare's original theater found in London's Shoreditch

A team of experts from the Museum of London believes it has found the remains of William Shakespeare's first theater which saw the premiere of plays such as Romeo and Juliet. (video)

Armor

I am looking for any sites that show what style armor the irish wore in the 14th century. Any help would be most appreciated. I am new to the SCA and I am trying to find out what armor to create for my persona so I can start fighting. Thanks, Aengus

New "Henry V" aimed at youth

A new production of Shakespeare's Henry V at the New Victory Theater, the family-friendly theater in New York City, co-produced by the Acting Company and the Guthrie Theater, offers fast-paced staging aimed at the theater's young audience. Charles Isherwood of the New York Times has a review.

SCA member creates jewelry for stage production of "Mary Stuart"

Baroness Estrid Nordmark of the Kingdom of Drachenwald reports that she has been commissioned to create jewelry and props for a stage production of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart. (photos)

Galileo's digit part of anniversary exhibit

An exhibit honoring the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first astronomical observations will include 250 objects from the scientist's life. Included will be Galileo's right, middle finger, displayed in a crystal jar.

Display of artifacts from Shah Abbas I at British Museum

A new exhibit of Iranian art dating to the 16th and 17th centuries is now open at the British Museum in London. Shah 'Abba's The Remaking of Iran will run through June 2009.

Example of anti-plague burial ritual unearthed in Venice

Archaeologists excavating medieval mass graves in Venice have uncovered a woman buried with a brick in her mouth to stop her chewing on her bloody burial shroud after death, a practice believed at that time to spread the plague.