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Medieval History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Beowulf Quiz
Beowulf Quiz Here are 25 questions to test your knowledge of the poem Beowulf and its history. Don't
The Black Death: Causes and Symptoms
A graphic description of Black Death symptoms and causes of the disease.
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 Black Death Comes to Europe, 1347
Map of the route the Black Death took to arrive in Europe in 1347. Page 3.
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.
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.
What Did People Wear in the Middle Ages?
What did people wear in the Middle Ages? Find out in this introduction.
Renaissance Love Poems
English love poems of the Renaissance era by six poets.
How To Avoid the Plague
a simple how-to on staying alive during the black death
Defining the Middle Ages
The Middle Ages are often broken into three sub-eras: Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
Origins of Plague
Map of the possible origins of the 14th-century plague and the route it took to Europe. Page 2.
Richard the Lionheart: The Warrior Poet
A biography of King Richard I of England, known as Richard the Lionheart.
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.
A Swift Strike
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death from January to June, 1348. Page 4.
Manor
The medieval manor was an agricultural estate, and more.
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.
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.
El Cid - National Hero of Spain
El Cid - National Hero of Spain - Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar
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.
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.
The Beowulf Story
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf.
Medieval Christmas Traditions
Christmas traditions that began or evolved during the Middle Ages.
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
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.
Petrarch - Founder of Renaissance Humanism -...
One of the most influential poets of the Middle Ages, Petrarch is generally considered the founder of Renaissance Humanism.
General Knowledge Quiz - Medieval History
General Knowledge Quiz Here are ten questions on a variety of topics from the Middle Ages. How well do
What Was Underwear Like in Medieval Times?
What men and women wore under their clothing in the Middle Ages.
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.
Powerful Pontiff Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III was one of the most powerful and influential popes of the Middle Ages.
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.
Charlemagne - King of the Franks and Lombards
Charlemagne consolidated a large portion of Europe under his rule, promoted learning, and instituted innovative administrative concepts.
The Nika Revolt
The Nika Revolt was a devastating riot that took place in early medieval Constantinople, in the Eastern Roman Empire.
An Insidious Spread
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death in Europe from July to December, 1348. Page 7.
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.
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.
Splendor in Medieval Africa
A brief introduction to the medieval kingdom of Mali and the splendid African society that flourished there.
Medieval Atlas - Maps of Constantinople -...
A selection of maps depicting Constantinople in Medieval times.
The History of Algebra
Get a rundown about the origins of Algebra from this article that originally appeared in a 1911 encyclopedia.
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.
1349
Map of the spread of the Black Death in Europe in the year 1349, by your Guide. Page 8.
A Medieval Atlas
Find the map you need or explore some fascinating pieces of the past.
Who's Who in Medieval History
A resource to help you find information on the web and off about significant individuals from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The Dream of the Rood - Earliest English Dream...
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.
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
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.
Albertus Magnus Quotes
Words of wisdom from one of the most learned and prolific scholars of the Middle Ages.
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
King Richard I of England
King Richard I of England was known as Lionheart for his courage and prowess on the battlefield.
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
Europe on the Eve of Plague
A map depicting the political boundaries of nations in Europe in the year 1346, from your Guide.
Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II launched the Crusade Movement with his call to arms at the Council of Clermont.
Primary Characters in Beowulf
Brief descriptions of the most significant figures of the Beowulf poem.
European Peasant Dress
Undergarments, overgarments, accessories and everyday clothes for members of the medieval working class.
Giotto di Bondone - Father of the Renaissance
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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.
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.
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.
Charlemagne Quotes
Words of wisdom attributed to the great Frankish king.
Baron
In the Middle Ages, there was no specific rank associated with the term Baron.
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.
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.
A Medieval Christmas
What was it like to celebrate Christmas in the Middle Ages? An introduction by your Guide.
The Medieval Child, Part 5: The Learning Years,...
Learning a trade and the life of apprentices in medieval times. Page 3.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz
A quick and easy quiz for newcomers to the Middle Ages.
Constantine the Great
What is a fourth-century Roman emperor doing at a Medieval History site? See the important actions he took that would have effects reaching far into the Middle Ages.
Spain - Historical Setting - The Golden Age -...
Online text of the History of Spain; public domain document that you may copy, download, print and distribute as you see fit. Page Six: The Golden Age - Ferdinand and Isabella
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.
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.
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
A Medieval Love Story
Peter Abelard and his student, Heloise, engaged in a true-life romance in the 12th-century.
Concise Biography of 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.
Frequently Asked Questions about Our Directory
Frequently asked questions about finding information at the Medieval History site.
Porridge
Medieval peasant pottage and the peas porridge rhyme. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI - Rodrigo Borgia - is the most famously corrupt pope in history.
The Great Mortality
What was the Black Death, and why should we study it?
Renaissance Poetry: William Shakespeare
A poem from the Renaissance era by William Shakespeare, from your Mining Co. Guide
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 Military Leaders Quiz
Medieval Military Leaders Quiz This rather difficult quiz has 25 questions. If you'd like to know more
Bishop
Bishops performed administrative duties as well as the duties of a priest.
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.
Defining the Knight
Definition of Medieval knights, their armor, roles, and duties
Joan of Arc on the Web: Primary Sources
Useful websites about this historical figure of the Middle Ages, from your About.com Guide
Otto the Great - Holy Roman Emperor
Emperor Otto the Great consolidated the German Reich and made significant advances for secular influence in papal politics.
Germany - The Thirty Years' War - The Peace of...
Online text of the History of Germany; public domain document that you may copy, download, print and distribute as you see fit. Page Sixteen: The Thirty Years' War: The Peace of Westphalia.
Wool
The sources of wool, types of wool, and uses of wool in medieval Europe.
The Chaucer Quiz
Shell for testing HTML code and text.: geoffrey chaucer quiz script quick quiz script src text javascript
The Beowulf Story, Page Two
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf. Page 2.
The Medieval Child
An index to our series of articles about childhood in the Middle Ages.
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.
Charlemagne Picture Gallery
No contemporary illustrations of Charlemagne exist, but a description provided by his friend and biographer Einhard has inspired numerous portraits and statues.
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.
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.
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.
Byzantine Emperor 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.
Aix-la-Chapelle
Aachen, or Aix-la-Chapelle, was the site of Charlemagne's favorite palace.
The Diabolical Black Death Quiz
put-description-here.: quiz test black death fourteenth century test your knowledge plague
Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester
He led a baronial revolt and ruled England for almost a year. He also called what is considered the first parliament in English history.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz - Question One
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 1 There are no precise, incontrovertible dates to define the
Sumptuary Laws - Laws that attempted to keep...
The origins and history of sumptuary laws and the motives for passing them in the Middle Ages.
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.
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.
The Hoax
The hoax in question, with associated links leading to specific information refuting the bogus assertions.
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.
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus made a historic voyage in 1492, searching for a westward route to the treasures of the east and instead encountering a new world.
The Forgotten Empire
After Rome fell, Byzantium lasted another thousand years. A brief look at a forgotten empire.
Bailiff
There are several different uses of the term Bailiff in the Middle Ages.
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.
Images from the Book of Kells
Public-domain images from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site.
Dante Alighieri - Poet - Philosopher -...
Dante Alighieri is often considered the finest poet of the Middle Ages.
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.
King Henry IV of England
When his cousin Richard II was on the throne, Henry led a conspiracy against him, and years later, he usurped the throne from him. Why would he do such a thing? He had his reasons...
Harold Godwinson - King Harold II of England
King Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.
The Holy Land
The onetime Roman province of Palestine would prove to be a holy land for Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
Explorer Erik the Red
His exile from Iceland was only the beginning of his greatest adventure.
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.
Silk
The use of silk in the Middle Ages.
Charlemagne Study Guide - Biography
This study guide offers general information to help you learn about Charlemagne. This overview is an introductory biography of the important Frankish king.
Young King Henry VIII
Portrait of Henry VIII in early manhood by an unknown artist. Page 6.
Free Online Jigsaw Puzzles
A collection of free jigsaw puzzles for you to solve online, right here at the Medieval History site.
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 Lombards
The Lombards established a kingdom in Northern Italy.
Biography of Albertus Magnus
Albertus Magnus was a philosopher, a bishop, a prolific writer, and one of the most influential scientists of the Middle Ages. For his breadth and depth of knowledge on all subjects, he became known as Doctor Universalis.
Frequently Asked Medieval History Questions
Frequently asked questions about medieval history, from your About.com Guide
The Beowulf Story, Page Three
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf. Page 3.
Chains
When ancient society evolved into medieval society, slavery didn't disappear.
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.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and later England, was arguably the most powerful woman of High Medieval Europe.
Saint Ambrose of Milan
He was a bishop, a teacher, a writer, and a profoundly influential Christian philosopher. His ideas about church-state relation would become the prevalent medieval Christian viewpoint on the matter. He also composed beautiful hymns.
Famous Medieval Couples
A survey of some of the most famous -- and not-so-famous -- couples in Medieval and Renaissance history and fiction.
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.
Pope Julius II - Who's Who in Medieval History
Basic information and useful websites about Pope Julius II.
The Acacian Schism
The Acacian Schism was the first significant break between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Western Catholic Church.
Charlemagne's 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.
Germany - The Protestant Reformation - The...
Online text of the History of Germany; public domain document that you may copy, download, print and distribute as you see fit. Page Twelve: The Protestant Reformation: The Peace of Augsburg.
Tithe
A tithe was a donation to the church.
Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci is the navigator and explorer for whom two continents are named.
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.
Clergy
The Clergy are part of the Christian Church.
Medieval Clip Art
A collection of medieval-themed clip art, including shields, swords, knights and ladies, created by your Guide.
Types of Fowl
The birds that were cooked and consumed by people in the Middle Ages.
Raphael Sanzio - Extraordinary Renaissance Artist
Raphael Sanzio is considered by many to have produced some of the world's most beautiful paintings. .
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.
Medieval Atlas - Fourteenth Century Maps -...
Maps of political boundaries as they stood in the fourteenth century.
Medieval Atlas - Maps of England - Medieval...
An index of maps that depict England throughout 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.
Villein
Villeins were usually free peasants, but they owed service to their lord and suffered many restrictions.
Concise Biography of Vlad Dracula
A brief but informative overview of the life of Vlad Dracula, Prince of Wallachia.
Alchemy
In the narrow sense of the word, alchemy is the pretended art of making gold and silver, but in its wider and truer significance it stands for the chemistry of the middle ages.
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