Since before 3500 BC people have been putting defensive walls around their settlements. As I’m sure you all know, these pesky walls and fortifications can be a real pain when you want to get inside somewhere for whatever reason. Maybe you’re at war with the occupants, maybe they have something of yours, like some loot … More Siege Warfare Through the Ages – Which Siege Tactics Are Right For You?
When we think about the Crusades, our normal thought is of armoured Christian knights fighting on horseback against the Muslim Turks. It is often forgotten that there were masses of ordinary people, including women and children, who went on these journeys and fought alongside the soldiers and upper classes. In the First Crusade, the military … More Peasants on Crusade
The Crusades are arguably known for their brutality and violence during the middle ages, however this violence is usually pictured during the horrendous battles and sieges. Whereas, the Crusaders actually faced many of their difficulties whilst travelling to Jerusalem, whether they travelling to the Holy Land by foot or by ship. These issues included controlling … More How did the Crusaders ever make it to the Holy Land?
The Northern Crusades, otherwise known as the Baltic Crusades, were religious wars that took place in the 12th and 13th centuries in order to subjugate and forcibly baptize the indigenous peoples of various parts of Northern Europe such as Finland and North and Eastern Germany, but most significantly the areas of modern day Estonia, Latvia … More The Livonian Crusade – The Beginning of The End of Paganism in Europe
In 1829 Sir Walter Scott delighted his readers with Ivanhoe. The novel for sure was a product of the romantic nationalistic movement that most of Europe was embracing but, possibly without meaning to do so, he also depicted the landscape of England after 1066, and its occupants. The image he provides about the Norman invaders … More Gens Normannorum: What is Norman Identity?
Before I studied history I didn’t know a lot about certain periods, one of which was the apparent gap between the time of the Romans and the beginning of the true Medieval period. Eventually I found out that this is known as ‘The Migration Period’. This period of history is often overlooked in many places, … More What Is The Migration Period? – Part 1: The Romans and The Goths
Today we are going to talk about something that my archaeology friends find fascinating, and most other humanist consider as particularly gross – the dead. Death is a key moment in anyones existence – dare I say The Most Crucial? But it can be quite a nasty and blunt topic to discuss. Nevertheless, in the … More Burial Practices in Early Medieval Northern Europe
Carrying on with my talks on church reform, we will have a quick look at the case of the Anglo-Norman church following the conquest of 1066. Pre-conquest England had a relatively coherent religious agenda and structure, founded on the Regularis Concordia and an active cult of saints. The Anglo-Saxon monasteries were prosperous thanks to the … More The Creation of the Anglo-Norman Church
This post will talk about the small city of Girona in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia in Spain within the medieval period, paying particular attention to my recent visit to the city, the Cathedral and the history of Girona’s Jewish population. Girona is roughly 62 miles (22Km) north of its more famous neighbouring city, … More Girona: Travel guide, Medieval past & Sightseeing
Today we are going to talk about something intrinsically linked with my second favourite Renaissance (Yes, you hear me correctly…) – The Carolingian Renaissance and the impact this had in the constitution of the Church. Again in the revisionist fashion of my posts-of-late, I will be re-evaluating this process, and explore it in a way … More Carolingian Church Reform? A Re-evaluation of the Renovatio of the 8th and 9th Centuries