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Fun with Medieval History

Couples Going Hawking

Whether hawking and swimming (as in the above illumination), playing board games like Chess or Hnefatafl, or enjoying many other diversions, medieval people knew how to have fun.

Have some fun yourself with Medieval History!
Medieval History Spotlight10

Jean, Duc de Berry

You've heard about the magnificent Book of Hours, Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. Find out about the man who sponsored the book, and what else he did in 14th- and 15th-century France.

Alexander Nevsky

He kept both the Swedes and the Teutonic Knights from advancing into Russia, but Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky may be best known for his victory in the Battle on the Ice.

Saint Isidore of Seville

Among his many writings is the first known encyclopedia in western literature, which is one reason why Saint Isidore of Seville is Patron Saint of the Internet.

Rollo of Normandy

Known for founding the duchy of Normandy in France, Rollo is said to have been so tall he could not ride a horse without dragging his feet on the ground; and so he became known as Rollo the Walker.

Giotto di Bondone

He was the earliest artist to paint more realistic figures rather than the stylized artwork of the medieval and Byzantine eras. Because his work and his style influenced successive artists, Giotto has been called the "Father of the Renaissance."

Nicolau Copernicus

Though he wasn't the first scientist to theorize that the Earth revolved around the sun, Copernicus boldly proposed the idea in the early 16th century -- an act that would have far-reaching effects.

Alexius Comnenus

Alexius founded the Comnenus dynasty of Byzantine emperors and strengthened the empire considerably. But when he asked the pope for help driving the Turks from his territory, he had no idea how events would unfold.

Matthew Paris

Not merely a monk, Matthew Paris rubbed elbows with kings, and wrote extensive and detailed chronicles of events in the 13th century. He was also an artist, and included a depiction of himself sneakily writing in one of his manuscripts.


Salah Ad-din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub, or Saladin, was the most famous Muslim hero and a consummate military tactician. His capture of Jerusalem from the Crusaders prompted Christian forces to initiate The Third Crusade.

Pope Leo III

They wanted to blind him and cut out his tongue, and so they attacked him in the streets of Rome. But Pope Leo III had Charlemagne on his side.

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