Medievalists.net

A website providing "news, resources and information for the community of people who are interested in the Middle Ages."

Poland and US take honors in Medieval Combat World Championships

The Medieval News blog followed activities from the Medieval Combat World Championships, which took place May 1 - 4, 2014 at Belmonte Castle in Spain. Men and women both competed in longsword combat with Poland's Marcin Waszkielis taking the honors for Poland and Suzanne Elleraas placing first for the United States. (photos, video)

Don't mess with this doll!

Tired of your bunny-furred, Viking Barbie? Bored with her Renaissance corsets and undies? Then considering contributing to Faire Play, a 3D printed suit of plate mail that's compatible with the Barbie Fashionistas line of dolls, that allows your Barbie to kick some butt in full, plate armor. (photo, video)

Norse Power: Smells like... carnage!

Re-enactors who want that authentic Viking smell should get themselves a can of Norse Power Deodorant For Men. Developed by scientists for Visit York and the Jorvik Viking Centre, the deodorant claims to "help recreate what a Viking probably smelled like."

The light of medieval times

In a 2013 paper, published in volume 4 of i-Perception on perceptionweb.com, Claus-Christian Carbon and Pia Deininger look at the role and perception of light in the medieval world. The paper is entitled Golden perception: Simulating perceptual habits of the past.

“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.

The comics of Stephen Harding

Comic books are often scorned as inferior forms of literature, originating in 1930s American pulp culture, but Damien Kempf on Tumblr traces the art form back to the 12th century with the manuscript the Bible of Stephen Harding.

The forging of Frankish swords

In a scholarly paper, an abstract of which was published recently at Medievalists.net, K.F. Werner examines techniques for forging Frankish swords from 700-1000 CE. Werner disputes the generally-accepted techniques.

Customary Law Before the Conquest

How were disputes settled in Anglo-Saxon England? Implications suggest there was a common law, but "...where had it come from and how had it developed?"

The economics of Viking raiding

For those who want to mix economics with blood and gore, Mary Valante has posted a paper presented at the Fourth Annual Appalachian Spring Conference in World History and Economics (2009).

600 years of "30 days hath September"

All school American children learn the day-counting rhyme "Thirty days hath September...," and some adults still use it to track the number of days in the month. Now a Welsh journalist offers proof that the doggerel dates to the early 15th century. (photo)

Death leaves Prague... for two months

The skeletal figure of Death, along with his companions Vanity, Greed and Pleasure, has been removed from the famous medieval astronomical clock in the city of Prague for a period of two months. The animated figures will be painted to protect them from humidity. (photos)

MIT students learn cooking of the Middle Ages

Students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have an interesting choice of study during the Independent Activities Period between semesters. The can take a non-credit course in food and cooking of the Middle Ages.

Will skeletons tell story of Norwegian town?

The people of Stavanger, Norway are on a quest to discover the exact year their town was founded. A good starting place may be with the huge collection of human bones dating to the Middle Ages found beneath their cathedral.

York Cause Papers: ecclesiastical history online

With the help of grant money, the York Cause Papers, records from the Church Courts of York from the 1300 to 1858, are now available online.

McParland’s, Parnell Street, Ireland's oldest timber-frame building

An unassuming building with an interesting chimney in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland, may be “potentially one of the most exciting urban archaeological discoveries in Ireland in recent years.” The building, currently under restoration, is believed to be Ireland’s earliest surviving example of a timber framed house. (photo)

1,000 years of British history on church walls

The history and art of Great Britain can be traced by the paintings on its church walls. Now interested parties may not have to travel to review the country's glorious wallpaintings, but can study them online thanks to the efforts of the Churches Conservation Trust.

The cultural setting for Byzantine-Lombard jewelery in the early Middle Ages

In a paper for British Museum, Neil Christie looks at "cultural and socio-politico-economic context" of Byzantine-Lombard jewelery in 6th through 8th century. (photos)

Norman involvement in 11th century Spain

In his 2007 dissertation for the University of Nottingham, Norman and Anglo-Norman Participation in the Iberian Reconquista c.1018 – c.1248, Lucas Villegas-Aristizabal considers the contribution of the Normans, especially Crusaders, in the Christianizing of the Iberian Peninsula.

New trends in Icelandic archeology

In a research paper for Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, Vol.16 (2005-6) Erin-Lee Halstad McGuire discusses new methodologies for studying the settlement and development of Iceland.

Irish stone crosses subject of thesis

In her 1991 Master's Thesis, The Role of the High Cross in Early Christian Ireland: 8th to 11th Centuries, Jill Quattlebaum discusses the early Christian Church in Ireland and the importance of the stone cross as its symbol. The thesis is available to read online.

Online illumination

A Fordham University graduate student has found a novel way to finance her education: she offers a calligraphy service. She has posted tutorials for her craft on YouTube. (video)

Celtic warfare

While most authors concentrate on the structured battles and armored knights of medieval Europe, Katherine Simms, in Warfare in the Medieval Gaelic Lordships, looks small, private wars in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and at less formal combat methods.

Small town bands in the Middle Ages

Medievalists.net blog offers a link to an article by David M. Guion dealing with wind bands from the 14th through 19th centuries. The article, published in the Journal of Band Research, Vol.42 (2007) is entitled: Wind bands in towns, courts, and churches from the Middle Ages to the Baroque.

Papers and artifacts of Richard II found by National Portrait Gallery archivist

Krzysztof Adamiec, the assistant archivist at the National Portrait Gallery, was given the assignment of cataloguing the papers of the Gallery’s first Director Sir George Scharf when he discovered something amazing: fragments and artifacts from the tomb of King Richard II.

13th century paper recipe online

Medievalists.net reports that Adam Gacek has published a paper describing a thirteenth century recipe for Arabic papermaking. The recipe states that the paper was made from the bark of fig trees, rather than hemp or flax.

Middle Ages: "the default historical playground"

The great interest in medieval themes by the public has led academics to create a new educational organization: The Society for the Public Understanding of the Middle Ages, which was formed during the International Congress on Medieval Studies to address how the general public views the historical period.

Book examines SCA's medieval fantasy as a performing art

Michael A. Cramer's new book, Medieval Fantasy as Performance: The Society for Creative Anachronism and the Current Middle Ages, considers the organization as an improvisational art form that presents the Middle Ages in a pleasing and entertaining, if not always accurate, way.

Papers sought on “Love, Friendship, Marriage”

Dr. Karolyn Kinane has announced that Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, is seeking scholarly papers and lectures for its 32nd Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum to be held April 15-16, 2011. The theme is “Love, Friendship, Marriage.”

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.

Cod, not elephants, brought down Greenland settlements

For the past ten years, Norse scholars have debated whether the breakdown in trade of walrus ivory brought down the Norse settlements in Greenland during the 15th century. In a new article, scholar Kirsten Seaver disputes the theory and offers her own: English cod fishing.