Medieval History: Most Popular Articles
A graphic description of Black Death symptoms and causes of the disease.
Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic poem in the English language and the earliest piece of vernacular European literature.
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.
Map of the route the Black Death took to arrive in Europe in 1347. Page 3.
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 simple introduction to Crusades history, offering a rundown of the basics of the significant religious wars of the Middle Ages.
The Charlemagne Quiz Charlemagne Study Guide Here are ten questions to test your knowledge of the
a simple how-to on staying alive during the black death
The Quiz of the Day for February 18 is about the Avignon Papacy.
A biography of King Richard I of England, known as Richard the Lionheart.
An explanation of the origin and history of the term medieval.
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 description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf.
English love poems of the Renaissance era by six poets.
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.
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.
El Cid - National Hero of Spain - Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death from January to June, 1348. Page 4.
The Middle Ages are often broken into three sub-eras: Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
Map of the possible origins of the 14th-century plague and the route it took to Europe. Page 2.
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.
What men and women wore under their clothing in the Middle Ages.
The medieval manor was an agricultural estate, and more.
One of the most influential poets of the Middle Ages, Petrarch is generally considered the founder of Renaissance Humanism.
A map of the routes taken by the Black Death through France in the 14th century, by your Guide. Page 6.
The Nika Revolt was a devastating riot that took place in early medieval Constantinople, in the Eastern Roman Empire.
A series of maps by your guide depicting how the dreaded 14th-century plague spread through Europe
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.
Charlemagne consolidated a large portion of Europe under his rule, promoted learning, and instituted innovative administrative concepts.
An introduction to the life of Charlemagne and his impact on European history.
A map depicting the Spread of the Black Death through Italy in the 14th century, by your Guide. Page 5.
When did the Middle Ages start and end? A look at some of the many different ways this much-misunderstood era is defined.
Undergarments, overgarments, accessories and everyday clothes for members of the medieval working class.
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.
A map depicting the spread of the Black Death in Europe from July to December, 1348. Page 7.
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 castle of Sant'Angelo in Rome, Italy, was built in the second century C.E. and would play an interesting role in the Middle Ages.
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.
A selection of maps depicting Constantinople in Medieval times.
Map of the spread of the Black Death in Europe in the year 1349, by your Guide. Page 8.
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.
Get a rundown about the origins of Algebra from this article that originally appeared in a 1911 encyclopedia.
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.
Paracelsus was a physician and alchemist who made groundbreaking advances in the field of medicine.
Clovis was the founder of the Merovingian dynasty of Frankish kings, and became a Catholic instead of an Arian Christian.
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.
Find the map you need or explore some fascinating pieces of the past.
Harun al-Rashid was the fifth Abbasid caliph. He and his fabulous court at Baghdad are immortalized in The Thousand and One Nights
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. The timeline of Charlemagne's life provides a chronological listing of significant events in the Frankish king's life and reign.
Pope Innocent III was one of the most powerful and influential popes of the Middle Ages.
The dangers of medieval childhood, estimated death rates, and the attitudes of medieval parents towards the loss of a child. Page 2.
The hoax in question, with associated links leading to specific information refuting the bogus assertions.
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.
A quick and easy quiz for newcomers to the Middle Ages.
A survey of some of the most famous -- and not-so-famous -- couples in Medieval and Renaissance history and fiction.
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 Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 1 There are no precise, incontrovertible dates to define the
Measures against getting buried alive that were never taken. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax
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
General Knowledge Quiz Here are ten questions on a variety of topics from the Middle Ages. How well do
Pope Urban II launched the Crusade Movement with his call to arms at the Council of Clermont.
This study guide offers general information to help you learn about Charlemagne. This overview is an introductory biography of the important Frankish king.
Christmas traditions that began or evolved during the Middle Ages.
A resource to help you find information on the web and off about significant individuals from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
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.
Words of wisdom attributed to the great Frankish king.
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
Harald is credited with unifying Denmark under one rule.
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.
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.
A quick introduction to the deadly plague of the Justinian's reign, with links to further resources, here at the Medieval History site.
Brief descriptions of the most significant figures of the Beowulf poem.
Learning a trade and the life of apprentices in medieval times. Page 3.
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.
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 Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 2 The western portion of the empire may have fallen, but the
King Richard I of England was known as Lionheart for his courage and prowess on the battlefield.
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 sources of wool, types of wool, and uses of wool in medieval Europe.
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 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 Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 3 After the Roman Empire collapsed in the west, many Barbarian
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.
Medieval peasant pottage and the peas porridge rhyme. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
A description of the events that transpire in the Old English Epic poem, Beowulf. Page 2.
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.
Amerigo Vespucci is the navigator and explorer for whom two continents are named.
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The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 4 Those Barbarians were everywhere after Rome fell, including
His exile from Iceland was only the beginning of his greatest adventure.
A brief but informative overview of the life of Vlad Dracula, Prince of Wallachia.
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.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 6 In the eighth century, Charlemagne built an empire that
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 5 Ten years before his death, the prophet Muhammad led a hijrah
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.
Portrait of Arthur Tudor by an unknown artist, c. 1500. Page 3.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 9 In the tenth century, Otto, King of Germany, was crowned
Keeping food edible for months and even years during the Middle Ages, page two: pickling, confits, fermenting, freezing and cooling. Page 2.
Portrait of Henry VIII in early manhood by an unknown artist. Page 6.
Peter Abelard and his student, Heloise, engaged in a true-life romance in the 12th-century.
An index of continental maps of Europe and maps that depict portions of Europe during the Middle Ages.
The Medieval History Starter Quiz Question 10 Historians divide up the Middle Ages into three sub-eras.
An index of maps that depict Europe and the nations within it during the Middle Ages.
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.
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France and later England, was arguably the most powerful woman of High Medieval Europe.
A concise introduction to the origins, expansion, organization and downfall of the Templars, the warrior monks who defended pilgrims in the Holy Land.
When ancient society evolved into medieval society, slavery didn't disappear.
A brief introduction to the medieval kingdom of Mali and the splendid African society that flourished there.
After Rome fell, Byzantium lasted another thousand years. A brief look at a forgotten empire.
A map depicting the political boundaries of nations in Europe in the year 1346, from your Guide.
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.
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.
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.
Useful websites about this historical figure of the Middle Ages, from your About.com Guide
Public-domain images from the Book of Kells, free for your use, here at the Medieval History site.
General Knowledge Quiz II This mixed bag of general questions about the Middle Ages will test your knowledge
Belisarius served his emperor with unstinting loyalty, but he was not so honorably repaid.
King Francis I of France is considered France's first Renaissance King.
Books that focus on the Crusades in general, and are not limited to a single Crusade.
An index of maps that depict all or portions of the British Isles during the Middle Ages.
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.
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.
Online text of the History of Iraq; public domain document that you may copy, download, print and distribute as you see fit.
The 200 years following the official withdrawal of Roman troops from Britain are the least well-documented in the recorded history of the British Isles.
The origins and history of sumptuary laws and the motives for passing them in the Middle Ages.
The term heptarchy should really refer to seven individual rulers of one country, but historically, it has another meaning.
Biographies of Christopher Columbus, historical background, primary and secondary sources, and books for younger readers.
Basic information and useful websites about William the Conqueror.
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 Theodosian Code is an important indicator of the continuity of Roman law from the ancient era into the Middle Ages.
Saint Benedict of Nursia founded a dozen monasteries and established the Benedictine Rule for monastic living
A collection of medieval-themed clip art, including shields, swords, knights and ladies, created by your Guide.
King Harold Godwinson was the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.
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.
The real development of canopy beds in medieval Europe. Part of your Guide's refutation of the infamous Bad Old Days net hoax.
A selection of modern English translations of the Old English Epic, Beowulf, including verse and prose versions.
The use of silk in the Middle Ages.
Portrait of Henry as a child by an unknown artist. Page 4.
Frequently asked questions about medieval history, from your About.com Guide
How a wide variety of wool cloth was manufactured in the Middle Ages, from sorting the wool to the finishing stages.
Online text of the History of Iraq; public domain document that you may copy, download, print and distribute as you see fit.
Raphael Sanzio is considered by many to have produced some of the world's most beautiful paintings. .
A book of hours was a prayer book containing appropriate prayers for specific hours of the day, days of the week, months, and seasons. Books of hours were usually beautifully illuminated, and some of the more notable ones are among the finest works of medieval art in existence.
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.