Christianity

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."

Same-sex marriage in the Middle Ages

Historians believe they have evidence of same-sex marriage in late antiquity and early Middle Ages. One piece of evidence is a monastic icon depicting the marriage of two male saints with Jesus officiating. (photo)

Legacy of Puritan vandals still challenges Canterbury Cathedral

In the 1640s, followers of Oliver Cromwell vandalized Canterbury Cathedral, especially stained glass windows overlooking the tomb of Edward, Prince of Wales, known as the Black Prince. The decay continues to this day, causing concern to those charged with maintaining the cathedral.

Medieval pilgrimage topic of the 2010 Sewanee Medieval Colloquium

Coordinators have announced that "Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages" will be the theme for the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium to be held April 9-10, 2010 at the university of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

Experts look to art for new information on the Crusades

The discovery of two Crusader-era murals in a church in Syria may offer archaeologists insight into the history of Christianity during the Middle Ages. The murals are the first found in the Middle East which depict heaven and hell as subject matter.

Sewanee Medieval Colloquium

The Sewanee Medieval Colloquium is an annual, interdisciplinary conference attended by medievalists from throughout the United States.

Organic chemist claims to have reproduced the Shroud of Turin

An Italian scientist claims to have reproduced the image on the Shroud of Turin using only materials and techniques known in the Middle Ages. Luigi Garlaschelli, who will present his findings at a conference, said, "The result obtained clearly indicates that this could be done with the use of inexpensive materials and with a quite simple procedure."

Hear the Oxyrhynchus Hymn

Gregorio Paniagua and the Atrium Musicae de Madrid has recorded The Oxyrhynchus Hymn, "the earliest known manuscript of a Christian hymn - dating from the 3rd century AD - to contain both lyrics and musical notation." The re-creation has been posted on YouTube.

Minnesota professor to receive grant for medieval globalization research

University of Minnesota professor Susan Noakes has received a US$70,000 grant for two years for a project entitled “Globalization of the Middle Ages.” The research will be funded by the university's Imagine Fund.

Duct tape holding up Canterbury Cathedral

How can you tell when the economic crisis has reached epic proportions in great Britain? When the marble pillars of Canterbury Cathedral, the seat of the Anglican Church and site of the murder of St. Thomas a Becket, are being held together with duct tape.

Bones of unidentified saint found in Bulgarian cathedral

Archaeologists working at the site of a medieval church, part of the fortress of Perperikon in Bulgaria, have discovered a bronze cross bearing remains dating to the 5th-7th centuries C.E. "These are broken and decayed bones, most definitely of a saint," Professor Ovcharov said.

The St. Albans Psalter to be displayed in Germany

The St. Albans Psalter, one of the world's best examples of manuscripts from the Romanesque period, is a cherished possession of the the Dombibliothek Hildesheim in Hildesheim, Germany. The removal of its binding has enabled the Dom-Museum Hildesheim to display individual leaves from the book in a special exhibit which will run December 9, 2009 until January 24, 2010. (photos)

Genetic studies show crusaders influenced religion in Lebanon

A new study shows that some Lebanese men carry genes traceable to Western Europe, a heritage, say researchers, from Crusaders who established settlements and castles in the country in the 11th through 13th centuries.

5th century Byzantine cathedral and human remains found in Syria

An early Byzantine cathedral, complete with columns and stairs, has been discovered by the excavation team in Tal Al-Hasaka site in north eastern Syria. Also found was the "skeleton of a human who died of torture."

Fleamarket find might be Templar artifact

Christie's auction house in London is trying to verify claims that an ornately-decorated piece of wood, found at an English car boot sale, might be the door of a Templar tabernacle, dating from between 700 and 1200 C.E. (photo)

Byzantine angel revealed

Concealed for more than 100 years behind plaster, a mosaic angel dating to the 14th century has been revealed in the Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul.

Nuns a-plenty

Obsessed with nuns? Looking for good research sources? Or just interested in a good read with ecclesiastical flair? The New Yorker Magaine's Book Bench looks at seven essential books about nuns.

Codex Sinaiticus now available online

After years of restoration and digitalization, the Codex Sinaiticus, the earliest surviving Christian Bible, is now available online.

Vatican tomb declared that of St. Paul

Remains discovered in 2006 beneath the Vatican have been declared to belong to St.Paul, according to Pope Benedict. The tomb bore the epigraph Paulo Apostolo Mart (Paul the Apostle and Martyr).

Connecticut's 5th Century Christian Church

A researcher believes a site in Connecticut is an early Christian church, built by Byzantine monks who fled from North Africa during the 5th Century, in the wake of the Vandal invasions.

Music of Lune Heath makes a comeback

Selections of sacred music, dating from the 13th to 16th centuries, can be found on a new CD by the Ensemble Devotio Moderna entitled God Shall Be Praised, Music from Lune Convent. The music is from newly-discovered manuscripts found at the Lune Convent in Northern Germany. Music commentator Tom Manoff of All Things Considered has the story. (photo)

Henry VIII annulment letter revealed

On the 500th anniversary of the coronation of England's King Henry VIII, the Vatican has permitted scholars a look at the letter requesting an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. The Vatican denies any connection between the two events.

Swiss Guard may open ranks to women

The 500-year-old Swiss Guard, which protects the Vatican, may revoke its centuries-old ban on service by women, according to Commander Daniel Anrig. "I can imagine them for one role or another," he told Italian television.

Debate continues over Michelangelo crucifix

A EU3.3 million wooden crucifix, bought recently at auction by the Italian government, may or may not have been created by Michelangelo. The newly-purchased piece made its debut in December at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See, and was visited by the Pope.

Britain' Queen participates in ancient Easter custom

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain recreated a custom dating to the 13th century recently by handing out "Maundy Money," a tradition of doling out coins to pensioners. (video)

Medieval treasures in Nashville until June 7, 2009

Residents of Nashville, Tennessee have the rare opportunity to view "some of the finest medieval art in the United States" when the Frist Center for the Visual Arts presents Medieval Treasures from the Cleveland Museum of Art now through June 7, 2009.

Pope creates two new medieval saints

Among the five new saints created recently by Pope Benedict were a 14th century Portuguese friar and an early 14th-century Sienese aristocrat. The saints were canonized in a ceremony at the Vatican.

Dog Skeletons Indicate Medieval Custom of Sacrifice

A discovery of multiple buried dog skeletons in a medieval town outside Budapest suggests that the custom of animal sacrifice was much more widespread in early Christian Hungary than previously thought.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 19, 1012

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

The Knights Templar mystery linked to the Shroud of Turin

Two of the great mysteries of the Middle Ages were linked recently when the Vatican announced that the renowned Shroud of Turin was hidden for over 100 years after the Crusades by the Knights Templar. (video)