Medieval History: Most Popular Articles
What men and women wore under their clothing in the Middle Ages.
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.
Beowulf Quiz Here are 25 questions to test your knowledge of the poem Beowulf and its history. Don't
Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic poem in the English language and the earliest piece of vernacular European literature.
A graphic description of Black Death symptoms and causes of the disease.
What did people wear in the Middle Ages? Find out in this introduction.
A discovery in Austria shows that medieval women may have had more advanced undergarments than previously believed.
A simple introduction to Crusades history, offering a rundown of the basics of the significant religious wars of the Middle Ages.
Map of the route the Black Death took to arrive in Europe in 1347. Page 3.
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf.
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.
A biography of King Richard I of England, known as Richard the Lionheart.
The Middle Ages are often broken into three sub-eras: Early, High, and Late 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 - Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar
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.
An explanation of the origin and history of the term medieval.
Map of the possible origins of the 14th-century plague and the route it took to Europe. Page 2.
a simple how-to on staying alive during the black death
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 True Cross was reputed to be wood from the cross on which Jesus had been crucified.
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 map depicting the spread of the Black Death from January to June, 1348. Page 4.
English love poems of the Renaissance era by six poets.
In the Middle Ages, there was no specific rank associated with the term Baron.
Frequently asked questions about finding information at the Medieval History site.
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 map of the routes taken by the Black Death through France in the 14th century, by your Guide. Page 6.
A map depicting the Spread of the Black Death through Italy in the 14th century, by your Guide. Page 5.
One of the most influential poets of the Middle Ages, Petrarch is generally considered the founder of Renaissance Humanism.
A resource to help you find information on the web and off about significant individuals from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
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.
An index of maps that depict all or portions of the British Isles during the Middle Ages.
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.
Find the map you need or explore some fascinating pieces of the past.
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death in Europe from July to December, 1348. Page 7.
Undergarments, overgarments, accessories and everyday clothes for members of the medieval working class.
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf. Page 2.
Brief descriptions of the most significant figures of the Beowulf poem.
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.
Portrait of Henry VIII in early manhood by an unknown artist. Page 6.
Charlemagne consolidated a large portion of Europe under his rule, promoted learning, and instituted innovative administrative concepts.
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 complete text of the Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy by Jacob Burckhardt. A public-domain document online here at the Medieval History site.
Public-domain images from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site.
Map of the spread of the Black Death in Europe in the year 1349, by your Guide. Page 8.
An introduction to the life of Charlemagne and his impact on European history.
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.
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
The medieval manor was an agricultural estate, and more.
A quick and easy quiz for newcomers to the Middle Ages.
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.
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.
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King Richard I of England was known as Lionheart for his courage and prowess on the battlefield.
A series of maps by your guide depicting how the dreaded 14th-century plague spread through Europe
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.
An index of continental maps of Europe and maps that depict portions of Europe during the Middle Ages.
Quotations written by German abbess, composer and mystic Hildegard of Bingen.
The term heptarchy should really refer to seven individual rulers of one country, but historically, it has another meaning.
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.
Portrait of Henry as a child by an unknown artist. Page 4.
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 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
General Knowledge Quiz Here are ten questions on a variety of topics from the Middle Ages. How well do
A survey of some of the most famous -- and not-so-famous -- couples in Medieval and Renaissance history and fiction.
Measures against getting buried alive that were never taken. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax
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A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf. Page 3.
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.
Words of wisdom attributed to the great Frankish king.
A selection of sculptures and carvings by the master of Renaissance sculpture, Donatello.
Harun al-Rashid was the fifth Abbasid caliph. He and his fabulous court at Baghdad are immortalized in The Thousand and One Nights
The dangers of medieval childhood, estimated death rates, and the attitudes of medieval parents towards the loss of a child. Page 2.
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.
Pope Urban II launched the Crusade Movement with his call to arms at the Council of Clermont.
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 quick introduction to the deadly plague of the Justinian's reign, with links to further resources, here at the Medieval History site.
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.
Pope Innocent III was one of the most powerful and influential popes of the Middle Ages.
The problems of the reign of Baldwin IV. may be said to have been two - his sister Sibylla and the fiery Raynald of Chatillon.
A map depicting the political boundaries of nations in Europe in the year 1346, from your Guide.
A selection of modern English translations of the Old English Epic, Beowulf, including verse and prose versions.
Medieval peasant pottage and the peas porridge rhyme. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
The Abbasids were a Muslim dynasty.
Online text of the History of Iraq; public domain document that you may copy, download, print and distribute as you see fit.
A selection of maps depicting Constantinople in Medieval times.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 2 The western portion of the empire may have fallen, but the
Clovis was the founder of the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings, and became a Catholic instead of an Arian Christian.
When ancient society evolved into medieval society, slavery didn't disappear.
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.
King Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon king 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.
Explanations of unusual terms used in the Beowulf poem.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 3 After the Roman Empire collapsed in the west, many Barbarian
Who the Anglo-Saxon people were, where they lived, and where they came from.
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.
General Knowledge Quiz II This mixed bag of general questions about the Middle Ages will test your knowledge
A concise introduction to the origins, expansion, organization and downfall of the Templars, the warrior monks who defended pilgrims in the Holy Land.
Harald is credited with unifying Denmark under one rule.
Leif the Lucky displayed the Viking spirit of adventure when he sailed off to explore what lay west of Greenland about a thousand years ago, undoubtedly making it to North America.
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.
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 Charlemagne Quiz Charlemagne Study Guide Here are ten questions to test your knowledge of the
Christmas traditions that began or evolved during the Middle Ages.
An index of maps that depict England throughout the Middle Ages.
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.
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.
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.
Public-domain images from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 6.
Though he'd never shown any particular devotion to the Church, Godfrey of Bouillon answered the call to Crusade and became one of the First Crusade's most powerful leaders. He was also tall, blond and handsome.
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.
What was the Black Death, and why should we study it?
Raphael Sanzio is considered by many to have produced some of the world's most beautiful paintings. .
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.
The 15th-century Prince of Wallachia, Vlad Dracula, was known for his fierce defense of his homeland against the Turks and for his brutality.
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.
Life in Europe after the plague and the ultimate changes wrought by the Black Death
Public-domain image of a Decorated Initial from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 3.
Keeping food edible for months and even years during the Middle Ages, page two: pickling, confits, fermenting, freezing and cooling. Page 2.
Basic information and useful websites about William the Conqueror.
How a wide variety of wool cloth was manufactured in the Middle Ages, from sorting the wool to the finishing stages.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 4 Those Barbarians were everywhere after Rome fell, including
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.
Basic information and useful websites about Pope Julius II.
The initials C.E. stand for Common Era, a relatively new nomenclature for our current, most common dating system. A definition from your Guide.
Public-domain image of Christ Enthroned from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site. Page 2.
A collection of medieval-themed clip art, including shields, swords, knights and ladies, created by your Guide.
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and later England, was arguably the most powerful woman of High Medieval Europe.
Get a rundown about the origins of Algebra from this article that originally appeared in a 1911 encyclopedia.
Portrait of Cardinal Wolsey at Christ Church by an unknown artist. Page 7.
The sources of wool, types of wool, and uses of wool in medieval Europe.
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.
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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.
Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar was a notable military leader and the national hero of Spain.
His exile from Iceland was only the beginning of his greatest adventure.
Medieval literature provides a gateway to our past.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 5 Ten years before his death, the prophet Muhammad led a hijrah
The Nika Revolt was a devastating riot that took place in early medieval Constantinople, in the Eastern Roman Empire.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 6 In the eighth century, Charlemagne built an empire that
The hoax in question, with associated links leading to specific information refuting the bogus assertions.
King Francis I of France is considered France's first Renaissance King.
Was he a real historical figure or just a myth? Can we ever know? An introduction to the historicity of King Arthur.
Peter Abelard and his student, Heloise, engaged in a true-life romance in the 12th-century.
Your Guide's choices for the best books that offer factual historical information about the Templar Knights, the warrior monks of the Crusades.
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