Early Modern Discovery

Looking back at this day in 1493 the Portuguese-born discoverer Christopher Columbus mistook manatees for mermaids when he sailed near the Dominican Republic. He reports seeing three “mermaids” and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” In the history of the discovery of new lands, there can be seen a pattern … More Early Modern Discovery

Girona: Travel guide, Medieval past & Sightseeing

  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

How did physicians explain the Black Death?

The Black Death was a new and terrifying epidemic, which raced through several continents without any known cause. By looking at first hand accounts of the Black Death in Europe, as well as modern day perspectives, is it possible to tell whether the immediate responses to the disease can provide an explanation about the medical understanding of … More How did physicians explain the Black Death?

Ideas Concerning Death in Medieval Culture and Society

The various rituals, practices, observances and perceptions of death in the Middle Ages are well worth discussion and debate. Death is and has been a present and fascinating concern for every civilization as it is one of the universal certainties of the human experience. This fascination is heightened however in Medieval European societies where death … More Ideas Concerning Death in Medieval Culture and Society

Was the Devil important to early modern England?

Was Hell that prominent during early modern England? The supernatural was a subject which was wholly believed during the medieval and early modern period. God and Religion would be the people’s savior from Satan and his many demons. The modern perception of this belief would suggest that late medieval to early modern England was a … More Was the Devil important to early modern England?

TANNENBERG 1410

I found myself doing some research on the battle of Tannenberg 1410, a little while after its anniversary in 2010. I coursed a module on the Crusades as a university student and this is a topic I came across. Needless to say, I am not a military historian – but I thought this conflict in … More TANNENBERG 1410

Revisiting Burckhardt’s Italian Despot – The Este and Borgia Families

Once again, I have found myself revisiting some old research. You may know already that around 2010 I was particularly keen on the Renaissance  – repressed art historian at the core, what could you expect? Having spent some time analysing the different Italian factions of this period, I came across Buckhardt – as you should … More Revisiting Burckhardt’s Italian Despot – The Este and Borgia Families

Medieval Graffiti: the boredom of choirboys?

From Winchester Cathedral to the Rosslyn Chapel, the walls of Britain’s religious houses echo with the voices of a long-dead past. But why is medieval graffiti so commonplace? And what does it mean for modern historians? In a recent article for History Extra, Jessica Hope explores various meanings behind the countless examples of graffiti which … More Medieval Graffiti: the boredom of choirboys?