French

French and Frankish culture and history

Treadmill study shows fatigue from wearing medieval armour influenced battles

A British study that measured the effort it took to wear a suit of armor on a treadmill has determined that the suits were so exhausting to wear that it may have affected battle outcomes during the 15th century.

Banging heads in Asterix comics

European academics are concerned about the amount of violent brain traumas in the popular Asterix comics series, most dealt out by Asterix and Obelix themselves.

In France, a man's home really is his castle

Sebastian de Varitault not only lives in a medieval castle, he lives in the castle that has been his family's home for 700 years. Chateau de Roquetaillade was built and expanded from the 11th through 14th centuries.

New Three Musketeers film to premiere in October 2011

An updated, 3-D version of Alexander Dumas' adventure The Three Musketeers will appeare in theaters in October 2011.

Castle life at bargain price

The economic downturn has left many European properties, including castles, available for purchase at bargain prices. (photo)

World chronicle digitized

An amazing fifty-foot (16 meter) long parchment scroll chronicling the history of the western world from creation through the year 1461 has recently been digitized by the Northeast Document Conservation Center. The scroll is lavishly illuminated. (photos)

14th century tales of Jean Froissart online

Steve Muhlberger (Duke Finvarr de Taahe of the Kingdom of Ealdormere) of the Department of History at Nipissing University has posted several tales, in English, written by Jean Froissart in the 14th century. The stories, which include romance, poetry and history, were aimed at an aristocratic audience.

Head of French king identified

A battery of tests by a Frenc team of forensic scientists have identified the embalmed head of King Henry IV of France. The head disappeared during the French Revolution.

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.

French manuscripts at Getty Center through January 2011

Now through February 6, 2011, the Getty Center will offer visitors a trip to France's medieval past by hosting Imagining the Past in France, 1250–1500, a manuscript exhibition describing "how these lavish books contributed to the development of French art and the French nation."

French Gallo-Roman sanctuary is archaeologists' dream

Archaeologists working near the ancient site of Vindunum  (now Le Mans, France) have found an "exceptional discovery," a vast complex of temples dating to the first through third centuries C.E.

Gregorian chant: "ancient, unchanging and timeless"

The cloistered sisters of the Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation near Avignon, France have a record deal. Their album, Voices – Chant from Avignon, will be release in November 2010.

Battle of Crecy tutorial online

Baron Charles O'Connor of the Kingdom of Meridies reports that slides from his presentation on the Battle of Crecy, taught at a recent Meridies Royal University, are now available to view online.

SCA Discount at Ozark Medieval Fortress

THL Melandra of the Woods, who modernly works as the Education Coordinator for Ozark Medieval Fortress, has announced that the organization is offering a discount to traveling SCA folk on their way to or from three of the SCA's major events this year.

Stolen Descartes letter to be returned

A letter written by French philosopher Rene Descartes will be returned by Haverford College, Philadelphia, to the Institut de France.

Good King Henri IV enjoys renewed popularity in France

Peace-loving, religiously tolerant, a ladies' man and the coiner of the phrase "a chicken in every pot" -- 400 years later, France still thinks Henri IV is le Grand.

Early music society offers youth summer camp

The San Francisco Early Music Society will offer an early music summer camp for children August 1-6, 2010 at the Crowden Center for Music in Berkeley, CA. The camp has a Three Musketeers theme and will be directed by Tish Berlin.

Tournament of Friends II photos

And so the Great Tournament of Friends came and went. Four mounted warriors took the field and conducted several matches each. One mounted warrior, Fillipo Clemente Esposti, earned the title of Champion.

13th century Bible on eBay

For a mere US$185,000, you too can own your own 13th century manuscript, in this case 652 page vellum manuscript, illuminated throughout. (photos)

Joan of Arc letter online

On November 9, 1429, Joan of Arc dictated a letter addressed to the citizens of Riom, hoping to recruit reinforcements for the Siege of La Charité. A scanned image of her letter, complete with translation, is available on the Letters of Note website.

The "sensual experience" of the "Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry"

For many years, visitors to the Cloisters in New York were treated to a glimpse of one of the museum's most precious artifacts, the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry, a 14th century manuscript, opened to only one page. Now, with the book unbound, they can gaze at all all 172 illuminations. (photos)

Forum centers on Hundred Years War

The Hundred Years War Underground is a  new forum created "for those interested in exploring the history of the Hundred Years War."

The fleur-de-lis: not just for the Saints

Many Americans recognize the fleur-de-lis only as the team logo of the Super Bowl-winning New Orleans Saints, but the symbol has a long, rich history.

15th century mourners march to New York City

Thirty-seven statues of mourners from the 15th century tomb of John the Fearless and his wife Margaret of Bavaria are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

12th century poem calls French "arrogant cowards"

A century after the Norman Conquest, the relationship between the French and the English was anything but cordial, if you can believe a 396-line poem written by an Anglo-Norman cleric.

Joan of Arc "relics" trace to ancient Egypt

Devotees of Joan of Arc were disppointed recently to learn that relices of Joan of Arc, overseen by the Archbishop of Tours in Chinon, France, are not only fake, but actually the "bones of a human and a cat tracing back to ancient Egypt."

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.

300 early medieval graves found near Paris

Archaeologists working in Noisy-le-Grand, a suburb of Paris, have discovered two burial grounds dating to Merovingian and Carolingian times. The site is believed to contain more than 300 graves.

Belles Heures to be displayed at the Cloisters

Beginning March 2, 2010, the Belles Heures (1405–1408/9) of Jean de Berry, a lavishly-illustrated manuscript, will be on display at the Cloisters Museum in New York. The unbound leaves will remain on display until June 13, 2010. (video)

Medieval Paris' "Carolingian Wall" found

A team of archaeologists from the Institut national des recherches archaeologiques has discovered the fortifications of medieval Paris.