European

Cultures of Europe

The geometry of fencing

In 1628, Girard Thibault wrote Académie de l’Espée, a rapier manual based on mathematical foundations. Science historian Daniel Margocsy of Slate offers a feature article on the fencing tome. (photos)

TED Talk: The Black Death

In a TED Talk video, Sharon N. DeWitte looks at the bubonic plague, which devastated Europe in the 14th century.

Medieval Mercenary top ten

The Listverse website offers a top ten list of 10 Swashbuckling Mercenaries Who Ravaged Medieval Europe including Conrad Of Landau and Rodrigo de Villandrando.

People of Color in historic art

The website People of Color in European Art History showcases "works of art from European history that feature People of Color." The resource includes images of works of art from the pre-1000s to the 17th century.

Pondering "fair": Good or light?

In a recent blog posting for Code Switch, a website examing race, ethnicity and culture, NPR editor and producer Camila Domonoske ponders the word "fair," from its Anglo-Saxon roots as "beautiful" to its modern usage meaning "light-skinned."

Limoges Virgin Mary is "absolutely fantastic"

Archaeologist Hans Mikkelsen from the Danish National Museum was happily surprised recently to discover a Limoges statue of the Virgin Mary under the dirt floor of a small church in Søby, Jutland. The figurine has been dated to the 13th century. (photo)

Coins and hacksilver found in Netherlands

Precious metals were scarce during the decline of the Roman Empire in Germanic Europe, which would explain the recent discovery of a hoard of "gold coins and pieces of silver tableware which had been deliberately cut up (hacksilver)" in a field near Limburg in the Netherlands. (photos)

Minding the medieval teen

Parents of unruly teenagers may sigh wistfully at the notion of sending their children elsewhere for training, a common practice of northern Europeans in the Middle Ages. William Kremer looks at the practice of fostering in an article for the BBC News Magaine.

Stinky surprise for Danish archaeologists

 Archaeologists working on a site in Odense on Funen, Denmark were treated to an odiferous surprise recently with the discovry of 14th century barrels used to contain the contents of latrines.

Old Nieszawa virtually rebuilt

The original Polish town of Nieszawa, on the Vistula River, only existed for 35 years before it was demolished and rebuilt 32 km upstream, but now it lives again - virtually - thanks to a two-year non-invasive investigation including geophysics and aerial prospection.

Dark ages less barbaric than Roman, says historian

Dominic Selwood is a lawyer, writer and historian. He is also a blogger on a mission: to take the "dark" out of the Dark Ages. Selwood recently blogged on the subject for The Telegraph with Why the so-called 'Dark Ages' were just as civilised as the savage Roman Empire.

Maiden crown artifacts found in Danish church

The discovery of the remains of a "maiden crown" in Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark have shed new light on women's fashion of the time. A maiden crown was worn by an unmarried woman in the Renaissance. The recently-discovered headpiece consisted of small flowers made of copper wire and silk thread. (photos)

Kitty 1; scribe 0

Any cat owner who participates in needlework or scribal arts will sympathize with a 15th century Dutch monk who indicated a stain on his work and wrote "Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book." (photo)

Crusaders still exist in Malta

Crusaders still exist on the islands of Malta, where reporter Elisabeth Eaves of the New York Times spoke with one for a feature article.

Hennins inspired by hats of Mongolian royals says Medieval PoC

The quintessential "princess hat" of the Middle Ages, the hennin, was inspired by the willow-withe and felt Boqta (Ku-Ku) of Mongolian Queens, according to a blog entry for Medieval PoC. The Mongolian hats could reach up to 7 feet in height and may have served to distinguish men from women at a distance.

St. Chrisopher penny oldest to depict Bohemian king

A silver coin, found recently in the crusader city of Acre, is believed to be the earliest depicting a king of Bohemia ever found. The coin bears the image of St Christopher and the inscription Zl Rex Boemo, king of the Bohemians. Experts place the date of minting in the 13th century. (photos)

Basilica "of enormous importance" excavated on Cyprus

Archaeologists from the Cyprus Antiquities Department have unearthed the remains of a 7th century basilica the size of Westminster Abbey near the Royal Air Force Station of Akrotiri on Cyprus. Experts believe that the huge church was only used for 30 years.

15th century "pop-up" book

On his Tumblr page, Dutch book historian Erik Kwakkel features a 15th century "pop-up" book, complete with a three dimensional illustration of the phases of the moon. (photo)

History from Below

In an article posted on ManyHeadedMonster website, Chris Briggs, Lecturer in Medieval British Social and Economic History at the University of Cambridge, discusses the possessions of the peasantry of England and Europe during the later middle ages (1200-1500). The Future of History from Below is the 16th piece in an online symposium.

Time flies in Euro-history video

The history of Europe is... complicated, as anyone who has studied it can confirm. A short animated film from LiveLeak, entitled Map of Europe: 1000 AD to present day, can help understand the ebbs and flows of the nations.

"Lost" Jewish cemetery found in Vienna

In 1943, Nazis encouraged the destruction of the gravestones in Vienna's oldest Jewish cemetery. Now through the use of ground-penetrating radar, some of the stones, dating back to the 16th century, have been re-discovered.

Charlemagne comes to Switzerland

Visitors to Zurich, Switzerland may want to visit a new exhibit at the Swiss National Museum entitled Charlemagne and Switzerland, opening September 2013. Art Daily has a review.

Cornell seminar and lecture series focuses on medieval cosmology

A grant from the Cornell Institute for European Studies has financed a new working group at the university on medieval cosmology. Three scholars, Benjamin Anderson, Courtney Roby and Andrew Hicks, will bring the concept to the campus through a seminar and a series of lectures beginning in September and ending in November 2013.

Antiquity Gamecrafters on Artfire

Antiquity Gamecrafters offers a selection of historic board games.  Each game comes complete with board, pieces, drawstring bag for the piece, and rule booklet.

Fourteenth-Century Poison Ring Found in Bulgaria

Made of bronze, the ring appears to be made for a man's little finger and has a hidden "exit hole" where the poison could be poured out.

“Gutenberg Parenthesis” discussed in interview

In a recent interview in Odense, Denmark, Dean Starkman of Columbia Journalism Review spoke with Thomas Pettitt and Lars Ole Sauerberg, of the University of Southern Denmark, who authored the Gutenberg Parenthesis, a theory that the digital age is much like the medieval.

Ostrich Egg Globe Is Oldest with New World

The oldest known depiction of the New World has been found carved onto a 500-year-old ostrich egg.

Medieval Easter egg discovered in Ukraine

A 500 year old "pysanka" Easter egg was found during an archaeological dig of a cistern in Lviv, Ukraine. The egg is probably a goose egg and is very well preseved.

New York Times Explores Chivalry

A prominent member of the SCA recently got to speak out on the topic of chivalry in the New York Times' Opinion page, in the on-line forum called "Room For Debate." The question of the day that the Times posed was: Could there be a revival of chivalry, or should this noble ideal be allowed to fade into obscurity?

Pennsic A&S Display - Art & Research from around the Known World

This year the Pennsic A&S Display had more than 120 entrants displaying a wide range of work. There are 206 pictures of the Pennsic A&S Display up on the Photobucket pages of the organizer, Mistress Rowena ni Dhonnchaidh.