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Medieval History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
The Black Death: Causes and Symptoms
A graphic description of Black Death symptoms and causes of the disease.
Beowulf Quiz
Beowulf Quiz Here are 25 questions to test your knowledge of the poem Beowulf and its history. Don't
What Did People Wear in the Middle Ages?
What did people wear in the Middle Ages? Find out in this introduction.
What to Know About the Epic Poem Beowulf
Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic poem in the English language and the earliest piece of vernacular European literature.
Everything You Need to Know About the Black Death
A quick introduction to the horrific plague of the 14th century known as the Black Death, with links to further resources, here at the Medieval History site.
The Beowulf Story
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf.
The Black Death Comes to Europe, 1347
Map of the route the Black Death took to arrive in Europe in 1347. Page 3.
Beowulf
The epic of Beowulf, the most precious relic of Old English, and, indeed, of all early Germanic literature, has come down to us in a single MS.
What You Need to Know About the Crusades
A simple introduction to Crusades history, offering a rundown of the basics of the significant religious wars of the Middle Ages.
Medieval Underwear: What Medieval People Wore...
What men and women wore under their clothing in the Middle Ages.
Medieval
An explanation of the origin and history of the term medieval.
Abu Bakr - The First Muslim Caliph
Abu Bakr was the closest friend and companion of Muhammad and the first Muslim caliph. He was one of the first men to convert to Islam, and was chosen by the Prophet as his companion on the hijrah to Medina.
Defining the Middle Ages
The Middle Ages are often broken into three sub-eras: Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
Richard the Lionheart: The Warrior Poet
A biography of King Richard I of England, known as Richard the Lionheart.
The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells is a stunningly beautiful manuscript from the early Middle Ages containing the Four Gospels. This introduction provides information about the origins and history of the book, its construction, and a modern reconstruction, and offers suggested reading.
When Were the Middle Ages?
When did the Middle Ages start and end? A look at some of the many different ways this much-misunderstood era is defined.
El Cid - National Hero of Spain
El Cid - National Hero of Spain - Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar
The Dead
Measures against getting buried alive that were never taken. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax
Medieval Food Preservation
Keeping food edible for months and even years during the Middle Ages. Page one: drying foods, preserving foods with salt, and smoking meat and fish.
The Truth of Arthur
Was he a real historical figure or just a myth? Can we ever know? An introduction to the historicity of King Arthur.
How To Avoid the Plague
a simple how-to on staying alive during the black death
Renaissance Love Poems
English love poems of the Renaissance era by six poets.
Primary Characters in Beowulf
Brief descriptions of the most significant figures of the Beowulf poem.
The Medieval Child, Part 1: Introduction
The first in a series of articles exploring the status and daily life of children in the Middle Ages, Part I examines the concept of childhood, the importance of children, and the question of affection in the medieval family.
A Medieval Atlas
Find the map you need or explore some fascinating pieces of the past.
The Medieval Child, Part 3: Surviving Infancy
The third in a series of articles exploring the status and daily life of children in the Middle Ages, Part 3 examines life for the infant and a child's chances of survival.
European Peasant Dress
Undergarments, overgarments, accessories and everyday clothes for members of the medieval working class.
Origins of Plague
Map of the possible origins of the 14th-century plague and the route it took to Europe. Page 2.
The Avignon Papacy
The Avignon Papacy was the period in the 14th century when the popes lived in and operated out of Avignon, France, instead of their traditional home in Rome
Frequently Asked Questions about Our Directory
Frequently asked questions about finding information at the Medieval History site.
Chains
When ancient society evolved into medieval society, slavery didn't disappear.
What Made Charles So Great?
An introduction to the life of Charlemagne and his impact on European history.
General Knowledge Quiz III - Medieval History
Medieval History General Knowledge Quiz III Sorry, but this quiz requires that you have javascript turned
The Medieval Child, Part 2: Entry into the...
The second in a series of articles exploring the status and daily life of children in the Middle Ages, Part 2 examines childbirth and baptism.
The Medieval Child, Part 3: Surviving Infancy,...
The dangers of medieval childhood, estimated death rates, and the attitudes of medieval parents towards the loss of a child. Page 2.
Before the Black Death, There Was the...
A quick introduction to the deadly plague of the Justinian's reign, with links to further resources, here at the Medieval History site.
King Henry VII of England
Henry Tudor became King Henry VII of England after defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was frugal, cautious and, when it came to threats to the throne, ruthless.
Famous Medieval Couples
A survey of some of the most famous -- and not-so-famous -- couples in Medieval and Renaissance history and fiction.
Charlemagne - King of the Franks and Lombards
Charlemagne consolidated a large portion of Europe under his rule, promoted learning, and instituted innovative administrative concepts.
A Medieval Love Story, Page Three
Peter Abelard and his student, Heloise, engaged in a true-life romance in the 12th-century. Page 3.
Vlad Dracula
The 15th-century Prince of Wallachia, Vlad Dracula, was known for his fierce defense of his homeland against the Turks and for his brutality.
Everything You Need to Know About Charlemagne
This study guide offers general information to help you learn about Charlemagne. Here are some important facts about Charlemagne's birth and family, conquests and campaigns, administration, cultural impact and legacy.
Giotto di Bondone
The most important Italian painter of the 1300s, Giotto pioneered a realistic artistic style that would characterize the early Renaissance.
Porridge
Medieval peasant pottage and the peas porridge rhyme. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
The Forgotten Empire
After Rome fell, Byzantium lasted another thousand years. A brief look at a forgotten empire.
The Beowulf Story, Page Two
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf. Page 2.
The Knights Templar: Warrior Monks
A concise introduction to the origins, expansion, organization and downfall of the Templars, the warrior monks who defended pilgrims in the Holy Land.
Medieval Food Preservation, Page Two
Keeping food edible for months and even years during the Middle Ages, page two: pickling, confits, fermenting, freezing and cooling. Page 2.
The Problem With Feudalism - the F-Word
Feudalism was once considered the prevailing social system of medieval Europe. But most medievalists have serious problems with both the term and the concept it describes.
General Knowledge Quiz - Medieval History
General Knowledge Quiz Here are ten questions on a variety of topics from the Middle Ages. How well do
Manufacturing Cloth from Wool
How a wide variety of wool cloth was manufactured in the Middle Ages, from sorting the wool to the finishing stages.
The History of Algebra
Get a rundown about the origins of Algebra from this article that originally appeared in a 1911 encyclopedia.
Medieval Clothing by Region and Period
Medieval clothing varied according to the time frame as well as the region. Here are some societies (and segments of society) whose clothing styles are especially evocative of their cultures.
A Medieval Love Story
Peter Abelard and his student, Heloise, engaged in a true-life romance in the 12th-century.
The Knights Hospitaller - Defenders of Sick and...
The Hospitallers were a monastic brotherhood of knights who both tended to ill and injured pilgrims and took up arms to protect them on their way to the Holy Land.
General Knowledge Quiz II - Medieval History
General Knowledge Quiz II This mixed bag of general questions about the Middle Ages will test your knowledge
The Spread of the Black Death through Europe
A series of maps by your guide depicting how the dreaded 14th-century plague spread through Europe
Germany - The Protestant Reformation - Martin...
Online text of the History of Germany; public domain document that you may copy, download, print and distribute as you see fit. Page Ten: The Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther.
King Richard I of England
King Richard I of England was known as Lionheart for his courage and prowess on the battlefield.
Medieval Atlas - Maps of All of Europe -...
An index of continental maps of Europe and maps that depict portions of Europe during the Middle Ages.
Alchemy in the Middle Ages
An introduction to the proto-science of alchemy, its origins and history, the goals and achievements of medieval alchemists, its disreputable associations, and some recommended reading from your Guide.
Beowulf, Page Two
It is probable that there are few readers of Beowulf who have not felt that the general impression produced by it is that of a bewildering chaos. Page 2.
Harun al-Rashid
Harun al-Rashid was the fifth Abbasid caliph. He and his fabulous court at Baghdad are immortalized in The Thousand and One Nights
B.C. (Before Christ)
The initials B.C. stand for Before Christ, the counterpart to A.D. and part of the dating system used in the Middle Ages. A definition from your Guide.
Floors
Dirt floors and the use of straw in the Middle Ages. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
Top 8 Books about the History of the Templars
Your Guide's choices for the best books that offer factual historical information about the Templar Knights, the warrior monks of the Crusades.
Who's Who in Medieval History and the Renaissance
A resource to help you find information on the web and off about significant individuals from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz
A quick and easy quiz for newcomers to the Middle Ages.
Manor
The medieval manor was an agricultural estate, and more.
Charlemagne Quotes
Words of wisdom attributed to the great Frankish king.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and later England, was arguably the most powerful woman of High Medieval Europe.
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
The complete text of the Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy by Jacob Burckhardt. A public-domain document online here at the Medieval History site.
Posting Policy for the Medieval History Forum
Posting Policy for the Medieval History Forum Thank you for participating in discussions here at the
Baths
Medieval man liked to bathe, and babies were never thrown out with the bathwater. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
A Swift Strike
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death from January to June, 1348. Page 4.
Petrarch - Founder of Renaissance Humanism -...
One of the most influential poets of the Middle Ages, Petrarch is generally considered the founder of Renaissance Humanism.
1349
Map of the spread of the Black Death in Europe in the year 1349, by your Guide. Page 8.
Top 6 Books about Medieval Knights
An accurate picture of the medieval knight is not easy to draw. Here are books that succeed in separating fact from fantasy and in providing a fairly clear look at the historical knight of the Middle Ages.
Wool
The sources of wool, types of wool, and uses of wool in medieval Europe.
The Slandered King
History is often written by those in power. A few facts about your guide's favorite medieval monarch.
Top 8 General Histories of the Middle Ages
A general reference of the Middle Ages is a must-have for medieval history buffs and students alike. Each of these introductory works provides a sound starting point for what you need to know about this much-misunderstood time.
Canopy Beds
The real development of canopy beds in medieval Europe. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
Frankish King Clovis, the First Merovingian
Clovis was the founder of the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings, and became a Catholic instead of an Arian Christian.
Images from the Book of Kells
Public-domain images from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site.
The Black Death Spreads through France
A map of the routes taken by the Black Death through France in the 14th century, by your Guide. Page 6.
Free Online Jigsaw Puzzles
A collection of free jigsaw puzzles for you to solve online, right here at the Medieval History site.
Saxons
Who the Saxons were, when and where they thrived, and what happened to them.
Medieval Clip Art
A collection of medieval-themed clip art, including shields, swords, knights and ladies, created by your Guide.
The Spread of the Black Death through Italy
A map depicting the Spread of the Black Death through Italy in the 14th century, by your Guide. Page 5.
Young King Henry VIII
Portrait of Henry VIII in early manhood by an unknown artist. Page 6.
Saint Dominic Quotations
Quotes attributed to the austere-living saint.
The Hoax
The hoax in question, with associated links leading to specific information refuting the bogus assertions.
C.E. (Common Era)
The initials C.E. stand for Common Era, a relatively new nomenclature for our current, most common dating system. A definition from your Guide.
A.D. (Anno Domini)
The initials A.D. stand for Anno Domini, which was part of the dating system used in the Middle Ages. A definition from your Guide.
The Medieval Child, Part 5: The Learning Years
The fifth in a series of articles exploring the status and daily life of children in the Middle Ages, Part 5 examines education during adolescence.
Medieval Atlas - Maps of Iberia - Medieval...
An index of maps that depict all or portions of Spain, Portugal, or the entire Iberian peninsula through the Middle Ages.
Saint Bridget of Sweden
Bridget is a patron saint of Sweden and Europe, and founded the order of the Brigittines.
Iraq - Historical Setting - World War I and the...
Online text of the History of Iraq; public domain document that you may copy, download, print and distribute as you see fit.
The Papal States
The Papal States were territories in central Italy that were directly governed by the papacy. Also know as the Republic of Saint Peter and Church States.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz - Question One
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 1 There are no precise, incontrovertible dates to define the
King Henry IV of England
King Henry IV of England usurped the English crown from Richard II, beginning the Lancastrian dynasty and planting the seeds of the Wars of the Roses.
The Myth of Rotten Meat
Did medieval people regularly use spices to disguise the taste of rotten meat? A medieval myth exploded by your Guide.
Powerful Pontiff Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III was one of the most powerful and influential popes of the Middle Ages.
Weddings & Hygiene
Whether or not brides bathed more than once a year, and why they carried flowers at their weddings. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
The Dream of the Rood
The Old English lyric The Dream of the Rood is the earliest English dream poem to be found in written form. The Dream of the Rood was first discovered on the Ruthwell Cross.
Canute the Great
Canute was. Medieval History.
Hildegard of Bingen Quotes
Quotations written by German abbess, composer and mystic Hildegard of Bingen.
Baron
In the Middle Ages, there was no specific rank associated with the term Baron.
Best Realistic Medieval Films
Your Guide's choice of ten films that effectively blend realism and good storytelling in a medieval setting.
The Medieval Child, Part 1: Introduction, Page...
Were children held in any value in medieval society? Was there any affection in the medieval household? A brief introduction from your Guide. Page 2.
Peter Abelard
Peter Abelard, philosopher, teacher and writer, was a significant contributor to Scholastic philosophy.
Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II launched the Crusade Movement with his call to arms at the Council of Clermont.
Medieval Atlas - Maps of England - Medieval...
An index of maps that depict England throughout the Middle Ages.
Types of Fish & Seafood
The water creatures that were caught, preserved, traded and eaten in medieval times.
Donatello - Master of Renaissance Sculpture
Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi, called Donatello, was one of the foremost sculptors of the Italian Renaissance. He was a master of both marble and bronze, and had an extensive knowledge of ancient sculpture.
King William I of England - William the Conqueror
Basic information and useful websites about William the Conqueror.
The most fun medieval films
Even the most serious medieval scholar can make fun of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. For an enjoyable
An Insidious Spread
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death in Europe from July to December, 1348. Page 7.
The People's Crusade
The People's Crusade was a popular movement of crusaders who did not wait for the official leaders of the expedition but took off for the Holy Land early, unprepared and inexperienced.
Harald Bluetooth - the real king they named the...
Harald is credited with unifying Denmark under one rule.
Types of Fowl
The birds that were cooked and consumed by people in the Middle Ages.
Muslim Hero Saladin
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.
Court of Star Chamber
The Court of Star Chamber evolved from the medieval English king's council as a supplement to common-law courts, but though it served swift justice, it was subject to abuses.
Chateau Gaillard
A look at the extraordinary fortress of Chateau Gaillard, constructed by Richard the Lionheart.
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI - Rodrigo Borgia - is the most famously corrupt pope in history.
The Lombards
The Lombards established a kingdom in Northern Italy.
Arianism
Arianism would prove significant in fifth- and sixth-century Europe.
The Medieval Child, Part 6: Teens at Work and...
The sixth in a series of articles exploring the status and daily life of children in the Middle Ages, Part 6 examines the work options of adolescents and recreational activities.
Sumptuary Laws - Laws that attempted to keep...
The origins and history of sumptuary laws and the motives for passing them in the Middle Ages.
Silk
The use of silk in the Middle Ages.
The Beowulf Story, Page Three
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf. Page 3.
Types of Meat
The types of animals that provided meat to cooks in the Middle Ages, including cows, goats, sheep, pigs and rabbits.
The Bad Old Days - Tomatoes
Why tomatoes were sometimes considered poisonous in the late Middle Ages. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
Heptarchy
The term heptarchy should really refer to seven individual rulers of one country, but historically, it has another meaning.
India - Historical Setting - The Mughal Era -...
Online text of the History of India; public domain document that you may copy, download, print and distribute as you see fit. Page Fourteen: The Mughal Era - The Coming of the Europeans.
John Ball
John Ball was an English priest who took a prominent part in the peasant revolt.
King Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair is well known for his troubles with the papacy.
Medieval Atlas - Maps of Constantinople -...
A selection of maps depicting Constantinople in Medieval times.
Alexander Nevsky
Prince of Novgorod and Kiev and Grand Prince of Vladimir, Alexander Nevsky is best known for stopping the advance of the Swedes and the Teutonic Knights into Russia.
The Medieval Child, Part 5: The Learning Years,...
Learning a trade and the life of apprentices in medieval times. Page 3.
Medieval Atlas - Fourteenth Century Maps -...
Maps of political boundaries as they stood in the fourteenth century.
Medieval Atlas - Sixteenth Century Maps -...
Maps of political boundaries as they stood in the sixteenth century.
Peter the Hermit
Also known as known as Cucu Peter, Little Peter or Peter of Amiens, Peter the Hermit preached Crusade in the wake of Urban's speech at Clermont.
The Medieval Child
An index to our series of articles about childhood in the Middle Ages.
Bulgars, Bulgaria and Bulgarians
The early Eastern European people known as the Bulgars would establish an empire in the Balkans that would face off against Byzantium.
Baldwin IV
The problems of the reign of Baldwin IV. may be said to have been two - his sister Sibylla and the fiery Raynald of Chatillon.
The Chaucer Quiz
Shell for testing HTML code and text.: geoffrey chaucer quiz script quick quiz script src text javascript
Charlemagne Study Guide - Timeline
This study guide offers general information to help you learn about Charlemagne. The timeline of Charlemagne's life provides a chronological listing of significant events in the Frankish king's life and reign.
Medieval Atlas - Maps of Scandinavia - Medieval...
An index of maps that depict all or portions of Scandinavia, including Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland during the Middle Ages.
Explorer Erik the Red
His exile from Iceland was only the beginning of his greatest adventure.
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