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Medieval History: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Death Defined
A graphic description of Black Death symptoms and causes of the disease.
What Did People Wear in the Middle Ages?
What did people wear in the Middle Ages? Find out in this introduction.
How the Black Death Changed Europe Forever
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 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.
Beowulf - What You Need to Know about the Epic...
Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic poem in the English language and the earliest piece of vernacular European literature.
Beowulf Quiz
Beowulf Quiz Here are 25 questions to test your knowledge of the poem Beowulf and its history. Don't
The Black Death Comes to Europe, 1347
Map of the route the Black Death took to arrive in Europe in 1347. Page 3.
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.
Richard the Lionheart
A biography of King Richard I of England, known as Richard the Lionheart.
Defining the Middle Ages
The Middle Ages are often broken into three sub-eras: Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
Manor
The medieval manor was an agricultural estate, and more.
Medieval Underwear
What men and women wore under their clothing in the Middle Ages.
How To Avoid the Plague
a simple how-to on staying alive during the black death
El Cid
El Cid - National Hero of Spain - Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar
What Made Charles So Great?
An introduction to the life of Charlemagne and his impact on European history.
Abu Bakr
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.
Important Facts 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.
King Egbert of Wessex
King Egbert of Wessex helped make Wessex such a powerful kingdom that England was eventually unified around it.
Charlemagne
Charlemagne consolidated a large portion of Europe under his rule, promoted learning, and instituted innovative administrative concepts.
Medieval
An explanation of the origin and history of the term medieval.
Renaissance Love Poems
English love poems of the Renaissance era by six poets.
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.
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.
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
Pope Innocent III
Pope Innocent III was one of the most powerful and influential popes of the Middle Ages.
Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II launched the Crusade Movement with his call to arms at the Council of Clermont.
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.
A Medieval Love Story, Page Three
Peter Abelard and his student, Heloise, engaged in a true-life romance in the 12th-century. Page 3.
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.
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.
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 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 Dark Age Quiz
A relatively easy quiz about the Early Middle Ages.
Clovis - Frankish King - Founder of the...
Clovis was the founder of the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings, and became a Catholic instead of an Arian Christian.
King Richard I of England
King Richard I of England was known as Lionheart for his courage and prowess on the battlefield.
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
Donatello
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 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.
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.
The Beowulf Story
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf.
Giotto di Bondone
The most important Italian painter of the 1300s, Giotto pioneered a realistic artistic style that would characterize the early Renaissance.
Petrarch - Founder of Renaissance Humanism -...
One of the most influential poets of the Middle Ages, Petrarch is generally considered the founder of Renaissance Humanism.
Images from the Book of Kells
Public-domain images from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site.
Origins of Plague
Map of the possible origins of the 14th-century plague and the route it took to Europe. Page 2.
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.
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.
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 History Starter Quiz
A quick and easy quiz for newcomers to the Middle Ages.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question One
The Dark Age Quiz Question 1 The term "Dark Ages," while still in use to some degree, has fallen out
Dante Alighieri - Poet - Philosopher -...
Dante Alighieri is often considered the finest poet of 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.
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.
The Chaucer Quiz
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European Peasant Dress
Undergarments, overgarments, accessories and everyday clothes for members of the medieval working class.
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.
The Carmina Burana
The Carmina Burana is a collection of plays and songs found in a medieval German manuscript.
Famous Medieval Couples
A survey of some of the most famous -- and not-so-famous -- couples in Medieval and Renaissance history and fiction.
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.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and later England, was arguably the most powerful woman of High Medieval Europe.
Bailiff
There are several different uses of the term Bailiff in the Middle Ages.
Richard the Lionheart, Page Two
King Richard I of England, Called. Page 2.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Two
The Dark Age Quiz Question 2 The Catholic Church would become a powerful unifying force through the Middle
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.
Defining the Knight
Issue #1 of Knight Life: Who and what was the Medieval Knight?
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
1349
Map of the spread of the Black Death in Europe in the year 1349, by your Guide. Page 8.
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 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.
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 Dark Age Quiz - Question Three
The Dark Age Quiz Question 3 Constantine took an active interest in the welfare of the Christian Church.
Saint Dominic
St. Dominic founded the Order of the Friars Preachers.
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.
Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI - Rodrigo Borgia - is the most famously corrupt pope in history.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Four
The Dark Age Quiz Question 4 The Barbarian tribes that settled much of Europe after the dissolution of
The Joust
The joust grew from the chaotic melee of the tourney. It was a popular sport and a test of skill and nerve.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Five
The Dark Age Quiz Question 5 One of these Germanic tribes sacked the city of Rome in 410. Which tribe
Heptarchy
The term heptarchy should really refer to seven individual rulers of one country, but historically, it has another meaning.
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.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Eleven
The Dark Age Quiz Question 11 While the secular world was undergoing many political changes that made
The History of Algebra
The first mention of the word algebra is to be found in the title of a work by Mahommed ben Musa al-Khwarizmi, who flourished about the beginning of the 9th century.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Six
The Dark Age Quiz Question 6 Although the sack of Rome in 410 wasn't as devastating as it could have
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Seven
The Dark Age Quiz   Question 7 The Germanic tribes that migrated near and settled along the borders of
The Quest for Conquest Quiz
The Quest for Conquest Quiz What do you really know about the Norman Conquest? This quiz will test your
The Hoax
The hoax in question, with associated links leading to specific information refuting the bogus assertions.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Ten
The Dark Age Quiz Question 10 Though the western empire fell, the Eastern portion of the Roman Empire
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Eight
The Dark Age Quiz Question 8 In 476, the Germanic warrior Odoacer deposed the last western emperor and
A Medieval Atlas
Find the map you need or explore some fascinating pieces of the past.
Richard the Lionheart, Page Four
Medieval History. Page 4.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Nine
The Dark Age Quiz Question 9 Theodoric may have been an effective leader, but his ruthless methods in
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Thirteen
The Dark Age Quiz Question 13 Monks not only preserved ancient writings, they produced some of their
Otto the Great - Holy Roman Emperor
Emperor Otto the Great consolidated the German Reich and made significant advances for secular influence in papal politics.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz - Question One
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 1 There are no precise, incontrovertible dates to define the
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Twelve
The Dark Age Quiz Question 12 Since the papacy had established itself as the foremost see in the western
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Sixteen
The Dark Age Quiz Question 16 The Muslims in Spain attempted to push further into Europe, crossing the
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Fourteen
The Dark Age Quiz Question 14 Sometime in the 8th century, on the Isle of Iona, Scotland, monks inscribed
Richard the Lionheart, Page Three
Medieval History. Page 3.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Seventeen
The Dark Age Quiz Question 17 Charles Martel's grandson, also called Charles, would become one of the
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Fifteen
The Dark Age Quiz Question 15 In the seventh century, Muhammad and his followers conquered the Arabian
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Nineteen
The Dark Age Quiz Question 19 The empire Charlemagne had built did not long outlast the death of his
Porridge
Medieval peasant pottage and the peas porridge rhyme. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
Rate This Quiz
Congratulations! You have finished the Dark Age Quiz! Now that wasn't so tough, was it? If you haven't
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Eighteen
The Dark Age Quiz Question 18 Some of Charlemagne's descendants weren't as stalwart as he. In the early
Biography of Charlemagne
This study guide offers general information to help you learn about Charlemagne. This overview is an introductory biography of the important Frankish king.
Wool
The sources of wool, types of wool, and uses of wool in medieval Europe.
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.
The Dark Age Quiz - Question Twenty
The Dark Age Quiz Question 20 The Normans, those Viking descendants in France, weren't content to stay
Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great was the first Roman emperor to profess Christianity. Constantine's support of the religion would help transform it into the institution it would remain through the Middle Ages.
A Swift Strike
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death from January to June, 1348. Page 4.
Medieval Military Leaders Quiz
Medieval Military Leaders Quiz This rather difficult quiz has 25 questions. If you'd like to know more
Saladin
Salah Ad-din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub, or Saladin, was the most famous Muslim hero and a consummate military tactician
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.
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions about Our Directory
Frequently asked questions about finding information at the Medieval History site.
King Francis I of France
King Francis I of France is considered France's first Renaissance King.
Medieval Clip Art
A collection of medieval-themed clip art, including shields, swords, knights and ladies, created by your Guide.
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.
Bishop
Bishops performed administrative duties as well as the duties of a priest.
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.
Paracelsus Quotes
Paracelsus was a physician and alchemist who made groundbreaking advances in the field of medicine.
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.
Splendor in Medieval Africa
A brief introduction to the medieval kingdom of Mali and the splendid African society that flourished there.
Young King Henry VIII
Portrait of Henry VIII in early manhood by an unknown artist. Page 6.
Medieval Atlas - Maps of England - Medieval...
An index of maps that depict England throughout 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. .
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 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.
Abu Zayd 'Abd al-Rahman ibn Khaldun
A straightforward biography of Ibn Khaldun.
Alexius Comnenus
Alexius Comnenus was emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire at the time of the First Crusade.
Canon Table
Public-domain image of a Canon Table from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site.
Medieval Atlas - Europe - A Directory to...
An index of maps that depict Europe and the nations within it during the Middle Ages.
Medieval History Quizzes from Your Guide
Quizzes about medieval topics devised by your Guide
Saint Jerome
Saint Jerome translated the Bible into Latin in what would become the Vulgate edition. He was a hermit, a priest, and a teacher, and he wrote voluminously on many theological topics.
The Medieval Child
An index to our series of articles about childhood in 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
King William I of England - William the Conqueror
Basic information and useful websites about William the Conqueror.
Chains
When ancient society evolved into medieval society, slavery didn't disappear.
General Knowledge Quiz - Medieval History
General Knowledge Quiz Here are ten questions on a variety of topics from the Middle Ages. How well do
King John of England
During his reign, King John of England was forced to sign the Magna Carta and lost most of England's possessions in France.
The Nika Revolt
The Nika Revolt was a devastating riot that took place in early medieval Constantinople, in the Eastern Roman Empire.
Baron
In the Middle Ages, there was no specific rank associated with the term Baron.
Introducing Knight Life
Introducing a semi-regular feature about the medieval knight.
Medieval Sumptuary Laws
The origins and history of sumptuary laws and the motives for passing them in the Middle Ages.
The Diabolical Black Death Quiz - Question 1
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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.
Silk
The use of silk in the Middle Ages.
A Medieval Love Story
Peter Abelard and his student, Heloise, engaged in a true-life romance in the 12th-century.
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 Terms Quiz
Medieval Terms Quiz Sorry, but this quiz requires that you have javascript turned on. Please turn javascript

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