Today in the Middle Ages

These articles highlight significant historical events that happened on a particular month and day of the year.

Far West Fall Coronet AS XLIV: A look back

Ii Katsumori of the Palatine Barony of the Far West relates happenings at the recent Far West Fall Coronet.

Pennsic Featured in Broad Street Review

Kristen Eaton has written a column on Pennsic for the mundane arts and culture site Broad Street Review.  "To me," she writes, "[Pennsic is] a cross between a university history department, a theater, a really great pub, and a really bad frat party."

Today in the Middle Ages: April 22, 1370

On April 22, 1370, the first stones of the Bastille were laid in Paris. Initial construction of the fortress was completed in 1382.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 19, 1012

Ælfheah, Archbishop of Canterbury, was martyred on April 19, 1012 in Greenwich, England.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 15, 1489

Ottoman architect Koca Mi’mar Sinan Aga , usually referred to as Sinan, was born on April 15, 1489. His innovative approach was to transform the Ottoman civic and religious architecture of the Ottoman classical period.

Roman tombstone found in Scotland

A red sandstone Roman Tombstone, the first Scottish example ever found, has been unearthed near Inveresk, Scotland proving "that Inveresk was a pivotal Roman site in northern Britain."

Today in the Middle Ages: December 27, 537

The Emperor Justinian dedicated the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople on Devember 27, 537 C.E.

Today in the Middle Ages: Christmas Legends

In addition to the birth of Jesus, Christmas Day is associated with many other period beliefs and tales.

Today in the Middle Ages: December 24, 1166

The future King John of England was born on Christmas Eve 1166 C.E. in Oxford, England to Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry II. One wonders what his mother thought of her Christmas bundle.

Today in the Middle Ages: December 21, 1494

The city of Naples reported an outbreak of a new disease on December 21, 1494 C.E. Its modern name: syphilis.

Today in the Middle Ages: December 19, 960

On December 19, 960 C.E., the citizens of Kyoto, Japan began to rebuild the city after it was ravaged by fire.

Today in the Middle Ages: December 7, 1539

On December 7, 1539, Martin Luther granted Philip, Landgrave of Hesse a confessor's dispensation to marry a second wife, although his first wife was still living and not divorced. Christine of Saxony, described as "unattractive and sickly," apparently favored her husband's plan to marry again.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 15, 1518

On October 15, 1518, Martin Luther was summoned before a Papal legate in Augsburg, Germany, but refused to recant his 95 Theses.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 14, 1066

The Battle of Hastings was fought on October 14, 1066 between William the Bastard's Norman forces and the Saxon defenders under King Harold II. It changed forever the culture and language of the British Isles.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 10, 732

Charles Martel's forces won the Battle of Tours fought on October 10, 732. Gibbon and other traditional historians credit his victory with saving Christian Europe from Muslim domination.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 9, 1547

Miguel de Cervantes, creator of Don Quixote and spiritual ancestor of thousands of SCAdians, was born on October 9, 1547. His Wikipedia entry says "he lived an unsettled life of hardship and adventure."

Today in the Middle Ages: October 8, 1361

Chronicles record that on October 8, 1361, Robert Macaire defended himself on trial by combat against charges of murder. The duel was fought on the Ile de Notre Dame, and Macaire's opponent was the murdered man's dog.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 7, 1543

Hans Holbein the Younger, the northern Renaissance portraitist who painted many Tudor notables including Henry VIII and at least two of his wives, died on October 7, 1543.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 6, 1536

William Tyndale, Bible translator and Protestant scholar, was executed for heresy on October 6, 1536. He was condemned to burn at the stake, but was mercifully strangled first and his body burned after death.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 5, 610

In the process of deposing and replacing the Byzantine emperor Phocas, Heraclius attacked Constantinople with a fleet on October 5, 610 C.E.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 4, 1568

Elisabeth de Valois, third of the four wives of Philip II of Spain, died on October 4, 1568. She had originally been betrothed to his son but married the father as part of a peace settlement.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 3, 1470

The readeption of previously deposed King Henry VI of England occurred on October 3, 1470. The mentally ill king had to be led by the hand during the celebratory parade.

Today in the Middle Ages: October 2, 1535

On October 2, during his second voyage to North America, Jacques Cartier came to a town which he renamed "Montreal."

Today in the Middle Ages: October 1, 1478

On October 1, 1478, plague returned to the city of Florence.

Today in the Middle Ages: September 30, 1139

Matilda, also called Maud, the daughter of Henry I, landed in England to claim its crown on September 30, 1139. She was the first woman ever to rule the kingdom of England.

Today in the Middle Ages: September 29, 1513

Vasco Núñez de Balboa became the first European to see the Pacific Ocean on September 29, 1513.

Today in the Middle Ages: September 27, 1540

The Pope issued a bull establishing Ignatius Loyola's new Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order) on September 24, 1540. The Society was and still is answerable directly to the Pope himself.

Today in the Middle Ages: September 26, 1087

On September 26, 1087, William II of England, known as William Rufus, was crowned king. He succeeded his father, William the Conqueror.

Today in the Middle Ages: September 3, 1189

Richard I of England, called the Lion Heart, was crowned king in Westminster on September 3, 1189. The crusading king never learned to speak English and spent all but six months of his reign abroad.

Today in the Middle Ages: September 1, 1378

The Revolt of the Ciompi, a rebellion of the lower classes on Florence, ended on September 1, 1378 with the restoration of the old order.