Today in the Middle Ages

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

Today in the Middle Ages: June 19, 325

The Emperor Constantine convened the first Council of Nicea on June 19, 325.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 18, 1541

Hernando de Soto, the Spanish-born explorer and conquistador, crossed the Mississippi River westward on or about June 18, 1541.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 17, 900

On June 17, 900, Fulk, the Archbishop of Reims, was assassinated by the Count of Flanders, who was excommunicated as a result.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 16, 1567

The 25-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned in England on June 16, 1567, a few weeks before being forced to abdicate her throne.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 15, 1330

Edward the Black Prince was born on June 15, 1330.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 14, 1325

On June 14, 1325, Ibn Batuta left his native Tangier on pilgrimage to Mecca. He was not to return for 29 years.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 12, 918

Ethelfleda, oldest daughter of King Alfred the Great of Wessex, died on June 12, 918.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 11, 1186

The Lady Chapel of Glastonbury Abbey was consecrated on June 11, 1186.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 10, 1190

Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa died while crossing a river on June 10, 1190.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 8, 1504

Michelangelo's "David" was set in the Palazzo of Florence on June 8, 1504, although it would not be formally dedicated until September.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 7, 1520

The rival kings of England and France, Henry VIII and Francis I, met near Calais on June 7, 1520 for the meeting and tournament that became known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 6, 1178

On June 6, 1178, a group of monks in Canterbury reported seeing "two hours of light" on the shadowed part of the moon.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 5, 709

St. Boniface and his missionary companions were killed by pagan Germans on June 5, 709.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 4, 1070

The first Roquefort cheese was made on June 4, 1070. Roquefort is a ewes' milk cheese with distinctive veins of blue mold.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 3, 1140

French scholar and famous lover Pierre Abelard was convicted of heresy on June 3, 1140.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 2, 1420

King Henry V of England married Catherine of Valois, the French king's niece, on June 2, 1420, in an effort to consolidate power over both nations.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 1, 1494

On June 1, 1494, Friar John Cor created the first written record of a batch of Scotch whiskey.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 31, 1223

Genghis Khan's warriors first engaged the Rus on May 31, 1223 in the Battle of the Kalka River.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 30, 1265

Premier Italian poet Dante Alighieri was born on (or about) May 30, 1265. In his writings, he mentions that he was born under the sign of Gemini.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 29, 1453

Orthodox Christian Constantinople fell to the Turks on May 29, 1453, a date that some historians consider the end of the Middle Ages.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 28, 1291

On May 28, 1291, during the Siege of Acre, the temple of the Knights Templar was destroyed. With it went the crusading Knights' last foothold in the Holy Land.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 27, 1218

On May 27, 1218, the first ships of the Fifth Crusade reached Egypt.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 26, 1583

William and Anne Shakespeare's firstborn child, Susannah, was baptized on May 26, 1583.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 25, 735

On May 25, 735, the Venerable Bede ended his peaceful, learned life in the Northumbrian monastery where he had lived over fifty years.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 22, 1216

On May 22, 1216, French troops entered England by invitation in the First Baron's War, a rebellion ignited by King John's refusal to follow some provisions of the Magna Carta.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 21, 1420

On May 21, 1420, the Treaty of Troyes was concluded between England and France. Its terms included Henry V of England's betrothal to Catherine de Valois of France.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 20, 635

On May 20, 635, an invading Northumbrian army was soundly trounced by the Picts under the command of King Bridei.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 19, 1214

The City of London received a charter allowing it to elect its own officials on May 19, 1214.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 18, 1593

On May 18, 1593, just days before his death, playwright Christopher Marlowe was arrested on charges of atheism.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 17, 1215

On May 17, 1215, the barons of England marched on King John in the uprising that culminated in the signing of the Magna Carta.