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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.
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.
What Did People Wear in the Middle Ages?
What did people wear in the Middle Ages? Find out in this introduction.
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
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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.
How To Avoid the Plague
Traveling back in time to the 14th century? Make sure you know how to avoid the deadly plague.
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 as well as its construction, and offers suggested reading.
What Was Underwear Like in Medieval Times?
What men and women wore under their clothing in the Middle Ages.
Richard the Lionheart
A biography of King Richard I of England, known as Richard the Lionheart.
Renaissance Love Poems
English love poems of the Renaissance era by six poets.
Beowulf Quiz
Beowulf Quiz Here are 25 questions to test your knowledge of the poem Beowulf and its history. Don't
Manor
The medieval manor was an agricultural estate, and more.
Medieval
An explanation of the origin and history of the term medieval.
Origins of Plague
Map of the possible origins of the 14th-century plague and the route it took to Europe. Page 2.
Defining the Middle Ages
The Middle Ages are often broken into three sub-eras: Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
What Peasants and Laborers Wore in the Middle...
Undergarments, overgarments, accessories and everyday clothes for members of the medieval working class.
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.
A Swift Strike
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death from January to June, 1348. Page 4.
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.
Medieval Atlas - Origins and Spread of the...
A map depicting the possible routes via which the plague spread through Asia in the mid-fourteenth century, created by your guide.
What Made Charles So Great?
An introduction to the life of Charlemagne and his impact on European history.
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.
El Cid - National Hero of Spain
The national hero of Spain, El Cid displayed remarkable military ability in his conquest of Valencia, and after his death he became the subject of many legends, stories, and poems.
The Art and (proto)Science of Alchemy
A mixture of science, philosophy and mysticism, medieval alchemy was a precursor to chemistry, and medieval alchemists accomplished some important scientific advances.
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.
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.
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.
Charlemagne - King of the Franks and Lombards
Charlemagne consolidated a large portion of Europe under his rule, promoted learning, and instituted innovative administrative concepts. This profile of the emperor offers quick facts about the emperor and a concise biography. Part of the Who's Who in Medieval History resource.
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.
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.
Images from the Book of Kells
Public-domain images from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site.
Petrarch - Founder of Renaissance Humanism -...
One of the most influential poets of the Middle Ages, Petrarch is generally considered the founder of Renaissance Humanism.
An Insidious Spread
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death in Europe from July to December, 1348. Page 7.
The Nika Revolt: Violent Uprising in Medieval...
The Nika Revolt was a devastating riot that took place in early medieval Constantinople, in the Eastern Roman Empire.
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 Beowulf Story
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf.
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 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 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 Quotes
Words of wisdom attributed to the great Frankish king.
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.
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
The Medieval History Starter Quiz
A quick and easy quiz for newcomers to the Middle Ages.
Powerful Pontiff Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III was one of the most powerful and influential popes of the Middle Ages.
General Knowledge Quiz - Medieval History
General Knowledge Quiz Here are ten questions on a variety of topics from the Middle Ages. How well do
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.
The Papal States
In the Middle Ages, the papacy owned land. Not just a nice corner lot with a three-bedroom cottage and a shed, either. They owned lots and lots of land. How much land? And how did they come to control it? Find out in this introduction.
Charlemagne Study Guide - People
This study guide offers general information to help you learn about Charlemagne. Here is a list of people who played significant roles in Charlemagne's life.
A Medieval Atlas
Find the map you need or explore some fascinating pieces of the past.
Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald was king of the West Frankish kingdom and, later, Western Emperor.
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.
Incipit to Mark
Public-domain image of the Incipit to Mark from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 8.
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.
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.
Four Evangelist Symbols
Public-domain images of the Four Evangelist Symbols from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 7.
Christ Enthroned
Public-domain image of Christ Enthroned from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 2.
The History of Algebra
Get a rundown about the origins of Algebra from this article that originally appeared in a 1911 encyclopedia.
General Knowledge Quiz III - Medieval History
Medieval History General Knowledge Quiz III Sorry, but this quiz requires that you have javascript turned
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 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.
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.
Bailiff
There are several different uses of the term Bailiff in the Middle Ages.
Canon Table
Public-domain image of a Canon Table from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site.
Portrait of John
Public-domain image of the Portrait of John from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 5.
Decorated Initial
Public-domain image of a Decorated Initial from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 3.
The Bad Old Days
A popular net hoax purports to provide facts about the Middle Ages that explain the origins of phrases and customs. Your Guide offers contrary evidence for your perusal.
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.
The Diabolical Black Death Quiz
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The Medieval Child, Part 5: The Learning Years,...
Learning a trade and the life of apprentices in medieval times. Page 3.
Harun Al-Rashid - Abbasid Caliph
The fifth Abbasid caliph, Harun al-Rashid and his fabulous court at Baghdad are immortalized in The Thousand and One Nights.
Charlemagne Quiz
The Charlemagne Quiz Charlemagne Study Guide     Here are ten questions to test your knowledge of the
The Theodosian Code
The Theodosian Code is an important indicator of the continuity of Roman law from the ancient era into the Middle Ages.
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.
Portrait of Matthew
A richly-textured depiction of the evangelist in a particularly well-preserved portrait. Page 9.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz - Question One
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 1 There are no precise, incontrovertible dates to define the
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.
Famous Medieval Couples
A survey of some of the most famous -- and not-so-famous -- couples in Medieval and Renaissance history and fiction.
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.
Incipit to the Gospel of Matthew
Public-domain images of the Incipit to the Gospel of Matthew from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 4.
Giotto di Bondone - Father of the Renaissance
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Renaissance Poetry: William Shakespeare
A poem from the Renaissance era by William Shakespeare, from your Mining Co. Guide
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.
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.
Baron
In the Middle Ages, there was no specific rank associated with the term Baron.
Chains
When ancient society evolved into medieval society, slavery didn't disappear.
Madonna and Child
Public-domain images from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 6.
The Great Mortality, Part 1
What was the Black Death, and why should we study it?
Porridge
Medieval peasant pottage and the peas porridge rhyme. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II launched the Crusade Movement with his call to arms at the Council of Clermont.
Europe on the Eve of Plague
A map depicting the political boundaries of nations in Europe in the year 1346, from your Guide.
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.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and later England, was arguably the most powerful woman of High Medieval Europe.
Wool
The sources of wool, types of wool, and uses of wool in medieval Europe.
The Hospitallers - Monastic Knights
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.
Augustine of Canterbury
Saint Augustine founded the Christian Church in southern England and became the first archbishop of Canterbury.
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
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 Myth of Rotten Meat
Did medieval people regularly use spices to disguise the taste of rotten meat? A medieval myth exploded by your Guide.
Exciting Find in Medieval Underwear
A discovery in Austria shows that medieval women may have had more advanced undergarments than previously believed.
Gaiseric
The Vandal King Gaiseric exercised control over a large portion of the Mediterranean and at one point even sacked Rome.
King Egbert of Wessex
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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
The Medieval Child
An index to our series of articles about childhood in 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Harald Bluetooth - the real king they named the...
Harald is credited with unifying Denmark under one rule.
Dark Legacy
How centuries of war in the name of Christianity began with one man's ambition.
Medieval Atlas - World Map by Moroccan...
A map of the world made in 1154 by Moroccan cartographer al-Idrisi for King Roger of Sicily.
Defining the Knight
Definition of Medieval knights, their armor, roles, and duties
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.
Medieval Atlas - Europe - A Directory to...
An index of maps that depict Europe and the nations within it during the Middle Ages.
The Medieval Child, Part 4: The Playful Years
The fourth in a series of articles exploring the status and daily life of children in the Middle Ages, Part 4 examines play, chores, socialization, and discipline for youngsters of ages four to twelve.
Pope Gelasius I
Pope Gelasius I dealt firmly with his opponents in the ongoing Acacian Schism.
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.
The Treaty of Verdun
The division of the Carolingian Empire made under the terms of this treaty would foreshadow future nations of Europe.
Best General Histories of the Medieval Era
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.
Silk
The use of silk in the Middle Ages.
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.
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.
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.
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI - Rodrigo Borgia - is the most famously corrupt pope in history.
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.
Medieval & Renaissance Monarchs of England
This table of the kings and queens of England, from the house of Wessex in the ninth century to the Tudors in the sixteenth, links to profile pages in Who's Who in Medieval History.
The Hoax
The hoax in question, with associated links leading to specific information refuting the bogus assertions.
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.
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.
Top 10 General Crusades History Books
Books that focus on the Crusades in general, and are not limited to a single Crusade.
The Chaucer Quiz
Shell for testing HTML code and text.: geoffrey chaucer quiz script quick quiz script src text javascript
John Ball
John Ball was an English priest who took a prominent part in the peasant revolt.
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.
The Forgotten Empire
After Rome fell, Byzantium lasted another thousand years. A brief look at a forgotten empire.
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.
Saxons
Who the Saxons were, when and where they thrived, and what happened to them.
Otto the Great
Otto consolidated the German Reich and made significant advances for secular influence in papal politics. His reign is generally considered to be the true beginning of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Lombards
The Lombards established a kingdom in Northern Italy.
King Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII's political maneuverings resulted in a break with the Catholic Church and the launch of the English Reformation.
Medieval History Quizzes
Quizzes about medieval topics.: writers quiz terminology quiz history quizzes castle terminology early middle ages
Young King Henry VIII
Portrait of Henry VIII in early manhood by an unknown artist. Page 6.
King John of England
Also known as John Lackland; in French, Jean sans Terre. John also held the title of Count of Mortain.
Medieval Atlas - Maps of England - Medieval...
An index of maps that depict England throughout the Middle Ages.
Types of Fowl
The birds that were cooked and consumed by people in the Middle Ages.
Dante - Poet and Die-Hard Romantic
Dante is often considered the finest poet of the Middle Ages. He also wrote philosophy and political works, served his beloved Florence as a diplomat and fought as a cavalryman.
Sumptuary Laws - Laws that attempted to keep...
The origins and history of sumptuary laws and the motives for passing them in the Middle Ages.
Love Blossoms
How Eleanor of Aquitaine and Marie de Champagne sponsored and encouraged the Courtly Love literary movement.
The Holy Land
The onetime Roman province of Palestine would prove to be a holy land for Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

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