Christianity

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)

"Dante's inferno", a new take on Hell

The marketers of Electronic Arts' videogame Dante's Inferno had an unusual rollout plan: self-protest the game, based on Dante Alighieri's 14th century work, as an evil, anti-Christian entertainment to drum up publicity for the game. Reviewers found Inferno to be less hellish and more of a dud. Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times has the story.

12th century monastic music found in England

Medieval music specialists are excited by the discovery of a 12th century fragment from a priestly missal found among the papers of the Rutherford family of Knowesouth, England. Experts feel that the rare manuscript will shed light on what is "arguably the central feature of medieval spiritual life."

Baltimore Art Museum Receives Grant to Digitize Manuscripts

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore has received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to digitize more than 100 medieval manuscripts from a wide range of European and Near East cultures.

"Exceptional example of the Medieval jewellers' art" declared treasure in England

A 16th century silver crucifix depicting Christ flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist, discovered in 2009 in Yanworth, England, has been declared treasure. (photo)

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)

Crucifixion nail found in Templar stronghold

Archaeologists working at a fort on Ilheu de Pontinha, just off the coast of Madeira, have discovered a carefully-preserved nail dating to the first or second century CE, leading to speculation that it might be a relic related to Christ.

Early Christian brooch found in Irish turf

A zoomorphic penannular brooch dating to the 7th century has been discovered in a clump of turf cut for burning in Mantara, Ireland. The Brooch is believed to have belonged to an early Christian clergyman. (photos)

Skull of St. Bridget may not be authentic

A research group at Uppsala University's Department of Genetics and Pathology recently used DNA and other tests to determine whether or not the skulls of Saint Bridget (Birgitta) of Swedenand her daughter Katarina are authentic.

Medieval Irish abbots lived "life of O'Riley"

Ongoing excavations on the grounds of Rothe House in Kilkenny, Ireland, have discovered that Cistercian abbots, who had a previous residence at the site, lived a lavish lifestyle of roast swan and French wine.

Shroud of Turin expected to draw crowds from around the world

Whether it is real or an inspired hoax, the Shroud of Turin is one of the most recognized holy relics in the world. Its upcoming display is expected to draw over two million visitors to Turin Cathedral.

Leicestershire artifacts help tell story of pilgrims' lives

Lead flasks, discovered by metal detectorists, are helping historians understand the history of medieval pilgrims in Leicestershire, England dating from the early 13th century through to the 16th century.

Scottish reporter finds Latin mass a "chilling experience"

"There was no heating in the Sacred Heart RC church in Bridgeton, a vast 100-year-old building in the bosom of a parish first established in 1873. Perhaps that was because there were only 31 of us in the congregation, but being freezing cold certainly helped focus the mind. After all, they do say austerity is good for the soul," writes reporter Cate Devine of the Herald Scotland after attending a recent Latin mass.

Paternoster Ladies

Paternoster Ladies produces one-of-a-kind handmade medieval rosaries, paternosters and chaplets for sale. Their line uses historically available materials to create items inspired by medieval sources such as museum examples and artwork of the time period. Many of their raw materials come from upcycling antique and vintage beads and findings, and the results are pure heaven.

The dark origins of Valentine's Day

Nearly everyone celebrates Valentine's Day, but many are not familiar with the origins, some rather dark, of the holiday for lovers. Ngonidzashe Dzimiri of the Sunday Standard offers a history.

Gothic text found in Salisbury Cathedral

Experts working on restoration of the Henry Hyde monument in Salisbury Cathedral have discovered remnants of Gothic text beneath whitewash on the cathedral wall.

Secret Vatican documents published

A collection of 105 documents, some dating back over 1,000 years, has been published in book form by the Vatican. The Vatican Secret Archives features a such diverse documents as a letter from the grandson of Genghis Khan to a 1550 note from Michelangelo demanding payment.

Was Shakespeare a "secret Catholic?"

What did Shakespeare do during the "lost years?" Father Andrew Headon, the vice-rector of the Venerable English College in Rome believes the playwright spent the years in the Eternal City and was a "secret Catholic."

13th century cross may have served as Christian advertisement

A 13th century stone cross, once thought to be a gatepost in Dartmoor, England, may have served as a signpost for parishoners to attend church, according to Win Scutt of City College Plymouth. The cross was constructed from a two-meter long block of granite.

Cross slabs discovered after church fire

The recent devastating fire at St. Brandon's Church in Brancepeth, near Durham City, England was a tragedy, but one with "a silver lining." what the fire revealed were 20 medieval tombstones dating to the 12th and 13th centuries. (video)

Saint Nicholas in Turkey

St. Nicholas, the 4th century Christian saint who influenced so many Christmas traditions, is thought to have lived and died in Myra, Turkey. His remains were removed to Bari in southern Italy in the 11th century. Now Turkish officials would like to see Nicholas' basilica restored.

The origins of December 25 as Christmas

An online article by Andrew McGowan, an associate professor of early Christian history at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the Biblical Archaeology Review discusses how December 25 came to be chosen as the date of Christ's birth.

Around the world with Father Christmas

Christmas traditions are cherished around the world. One that is nearly universal is the legend of a friendly spirit who delivers gifts during the Christmas season. TopTenz.net offers their list of Top 10 Santa Legends From Around the World.

Happy Solstice from Jethro Tull, from 1976

It isn't exactly news, but it's appropriate to the day! YouTube has a video posting of a rare promotional video for Jethro Tull's "Ring Out Solstice Bells", from 1976. It's decidedly medieval in theme, and quite amusing.

Merry Christmas from Wales

A Christmas card, in the form of a wonderful rendition of the Gower Wassail by Welsh traditional folksinger Phil Tanner, accompanied by a museum-quality video of the Ewenny Wassail Bowl, is available on YouTube.

A survey of English cathedrals

In an extensive history article, which looks at major cathedrals in England, the BBC considers several grand houses of worship and their importance in British life.

The Holy Days of December

The Got Medieval website offers information on saints whose days fall in the month of December, including St. Nicholas, St. Lucia, and St. Stephen, all of whom have a place in Christmas tradition.

A short walk through England's cathedrals

Can't afford a ticket to Great Britain this winter? Take a minute to tour England's glorious cathedrals in a short slideshow from the BBC.

Jesus studied with the Druids, according to new film

Gordon Strachan, a minister for the Church of Scotland, believes Jesus may have visited England and studied with the Druids at Glastonbury. His research is featured in a new film, And Did Those Feet.

Medieval Jewish books focus of Bodleian Library exhibit

From December 8, 2009 to May 3, 2010, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University will host Crossing Borders: Hebrew Manuscripts as a Meeting-place of Cultures, "which tells the story of how Jews, Christians and Muslims have together contributed to the development of the book as an object of great cultural importance."