Medieval History: Most Popular Articles
A graphic description of Black Death symptoms and causes of the disease.
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? Find out in this introduction.
Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic poem in the English language and the earliest piece of vernacular European literature.
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.
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf.
Map of the route the Black Death took to arrive in Europe in 1347. Page 3.
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 simple introduction to Crusades history, offering a rundown of the basics of the significant religious wars of the Middle Ages.
What men and women wore under their clothing in the Middle Ages.
An explanation of the origin and history of the term medieval.
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.
The Middle Ages are often broken into three sub-eras: Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
A biography of King Richard I of England, known as Richard the Lionheart.
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 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 - Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar
Measures against getting buried alive that were never taken. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax
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.
Was he a real historical figure or just a myth? Can we ever know? An introduction to the historicity of King Arthur.
a simple how-to on staying alive during the black death
English love poems of the Renaissance era by six poets.
Brief descriptions of the most significant figures of the Beowulf poem.
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.
Find the map you need or explore some fascinating pieces of the past.
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.
Undergarments, overgarments, accessories and everyday clothes for members of the medieval working class.
Map of the possible origins of the 14th-century plague and the route it took to Europe. Page 2.
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 finding information at the Medieval History site.
When ancient society evolved into medieval society, slavery didn't disappear.
An introduction to the life of Charlemagne and his impact on European history.
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 dangers of medieval childhood, estimated death rates, and the attitudes of medieval parents towards the loss of a child. Page 2.
A quick introduction to the deadly plague of the Justinian's reign, with links to further resources, here at the Medieval History site.
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.
A survey of some of the most famous -- and not-so-famous -- couples in Medieval and Renaissance history and fiction.
Charlemagne consolidated a large portion of Europe under his rule, promoted learning, and instituted innovative administrative concepts.
Peter Abelard and his student, Heloise, engaged in a true-life romance in the 12th-century. Page 3.
The 15th-century Prince of Wallachia, Vlad Dracula, was known for his fierce defense of his homeland against the Turks and for his brutality.
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.
The most important Italian painter of the 1300s, Giotto pioneered a realistic artistic style that would characterize the early Renaissance.
Medieval peasant pottage and the peas porridge rhyme. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
After Rome fell, Byzantium lasted another thousand years. A brief look at a forgotten empire.
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf. Page 2.
A concise introduction to the origins, expansion, organization and downfall of the Templars, the warrior monks who defended pilgrims in the Holy Land.
Keeping food edible for months and even years during the Middle Ages, page two: pickling, confits, fermenting, freezing and cooling. Page 2.
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 Here are ten questions on a variety of topics from the Middle Ages. How well do
How a wide variety of wool cloth was manufactured in the Middle Ages, from sorting the wool to the finishing stages.
Get a rundown about the origins of Algebra from this article that originally appeared in a 1911 encyclopedia.
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.
Peter Abelard and his student, Heloise, engaged in a true-life romance in the 12th-century.
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 This mixed bag of general questions about the Middle Ages will test your knowledge
A series of maps by your guide depicting how the dreaded 14th-century plague spread through Europe
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 was known as Lionheart for his courage and prowess on the battlefield.
An index of continental maps of Europe and maps that depict portions of Europe during 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.
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 was the fifth Abbasid caliph. He and his fabulous court at Baghdad are immortalized in The Thousand and One Nights
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.
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.
Your Guide's choices for the best books that offer factual historical information about the Templar Knights, the warrior monks of the Crusades.
A resource to help you find information on the web and off about significant individuals from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
A quick and easy quiz for newcomers to the Middle Ages.
The medieval manor was an agricultural estate, and more.
Words of wisdom attributed to the great Frankish king.
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and later England, was arguably the most powerful woman of High Medieval Europe.
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 Thank you for participating in discussions here at the
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 map depicting the spread of the Black Death from January to June, 1348. Page 4.
One of the most influential poets of the Middle Ages, Petrarch is generally considered the founder of Renaissance Humanism.
Map of the spread of the Black Death in Europe in the year 1349, by your Guide. Page 8.
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.
The sources of wool, types of wool, and uses of wool in medieval Europe.
History is often written by those in power. A few facts about your guide's favorite medieval monarch.
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.
The real development of canopy beds in medieval Europe. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
Clovis was the founder of the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings, and became a Catholic instead of an Arian Christian.
Public-domain images from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site.
A map of the routes taken by the Black Death through France in the 14th century, by your Guide. Page 6.
A collection of free jigsaw puzzles for you to solve online, right here at the Medieval History site.
Who the Saxons were, when and where they thrived, and what happened to them.
A collection of medieval-themed clip art, including shields, swords, knights and ladies, created by your Guide.
A map depicting the Spread of the Black Death through Italy in the 14th century, by your Guide. Page 5.
Portrait of Henry VIII in early manhood by an unknown artist. Page 6.
Quotes attributed to the austere-living saint.
The hoax in question, with associated links leading to specific information refuting the bogus assertions.
The initials C.E. stand for Common Era, a relatively new nomenclature for our current, most common dating system. A definition from your Guide.
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 fifth in a series of articles exploring the status and daily life of children in the Middle Ages, Part 5 examines education during adolescence.
An index of maps that depict all or portions of Spain, Portugal, or the entire Iberian peninsula through the Middle Ages.
Bridget is a patron saint of Sweden and Europe, and founded the order of the Brigittines.
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 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 1 There are no precise, incontrovertible dates to define the
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.
Did medieval people regularly use spices to disguise the taste of rotten meat? A medieval myth exploded by your Guide.
Pope Innocent III was one of the most powerful and influential popes of the Middle Ages.
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 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 was. Medieval History.
Quotations written by German abbess, composer and mystic Hildegard of Bingen.
In the Middle Ages, there was no specific rank associated with the term Baron.
Your Guide's choice of ten films that effectively blend realism and good storytelling in a medieval setting.
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, philosopher, teacher and writer, was a significant contributor to Scholastic philosophy.
Pope Urban II launched the Crusade Movement with his call to arms at the Council of Clermont.
An index of maps that depict England throughout the Middle Ages.
The water creatures that were caught, preserved, traded and eaten in medieval times.
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.
Basic information and useful websites about William the Conqueror.
Even the most serious medieval scholar can make fun of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. For an enjoyable
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death in Europe from July to December, 1348. Page 7.
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 is credited with unifying Denmark under one rule.
The birds that were cooked and consumed by people in the Middle Ages.
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.
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.
A look at the extraordinary fortress of Chateau Gaillard, constructed by Richard the Lionheart.
Pope Alexander VI - Rodrigo Borgia - is the most famously corrupt pope in history.
The Lombards established a kingdom in Northern Italy.
Arianism would prove significant in fifth- and sixth-century Europe.
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.
The origins and history of sumptuary laws and the motives for passing them in the Middle Ages.
The use of silk in the Middle Ages.
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf. Page 3.
The types of animals that provided meat to cooks in the Middle Ages, including cows, goats, sheep, pigs and rabbits.
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.
The term heptarchy should really refer to seven individual rulers of one country, but historically, it has another meaning.
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 was an English priest who took a prominent part in the peasant revolt.
Philip the Fair is well known for his troubles with the papacy.
A selection of maps depicting Constantinople in Medieval times.
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.
Learning a trade and the life of apprentices in medieval times. Page 3.
Maps of political boundaries as they stood in the fourteenth century.
Maps of political boundaries as they stood in the sixteenth century.
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.
An index to our series of articles about childhood in the Middle Ages.
The early Eastern European people known as the Bulgars would establish an empire in the Balkans that would face off against Byzantium.
The problems of the reign of Baldwin IV. may be said to have been two - his sister Sibylla and the fiery Raynald of Chatillon.
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.
An index of maps that depict all or portions of Scandinavia, including Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland during the Middle Ages.
His exile from Iceland was only the beginning of his greatest adventure.