WEB Hrastovlje Dance macabre. Photo: Zairon

Medieval Ghosts

Medieval ghosts appeared in different forms under different circumstances. At first they were pale harbingers of dire warnings. Later, they turned into scary and macabre beings….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saints and Souls

Between 1024 and 1033 the monks at Cluny began commemorating the Dead Souls on the day after All Saints….

Living with the Dead

In the Middle Ages Polish priests and theologians fought to eradicate old and traditional ways of cohabiting with the dead. Yet it does not seem as if they ever succeeded….

Souling

In the late Middle Ages theologians tried to keep All Saints and All Souls strictly apart. But traditions like souling and the distribution of Soul Cakes helped to fuse the feasts….

Soul Cakes

There is no doubt that the tradition of giving alms in the form of bread or cookies on All Saints and All Souls has both ancient and medieval roots

Sweets for Souls

Urban legend in USA has it that we cannot offer the children home baked goodies at Halloween (some weirdos excel in filling them with crushed glass). More is the pity since our European traditions offer a selection of medieval traditional fare

News

Sword found at Marlow @ University of Reading

Two Princely Graves from the Migration Period – in Sachsen-Anhalt and the Thames Valley

05/10/2020

Two Migration Period Graves are considered “once-in-a-lifetime” finds in England and Germany Read more

Skull of St. Cnut resting on the silk pillow © Schousboe

Cnut the Holy in Odense Cathedral

03/10/2020

For nine centuries, the Cathedral in Odense has held the relics of a Danish King, Cnut the Holy and his brother Benedict. Both were murdered inside St. Albans in AD 1086. Read more

Histogenes - banner

Who were the migrants of the migratory period?

03/10/2020

Last year, ten million euros were granted to the project, HistoGenes, to study the aDNA of 6000 individuals from AD 400-900. Read more

Olaug excavating fishbones in the magazine. © OiU/Anne Karin Hufthammer

Medieval Food in Norwegians Towns

03/10/2020

A new interdisciplinary research project – The impact of food culture in Medieval towns (FOODIMPACT) will analyse more than 30.000 items in the Cultural Museum in Oslo Read more

Kristofer Hivjy acting as Tormund Giantsbane © HBO

The Gjellestad Excavation of a Viking ship Live Streamed

03/10/2020

Last week, the Gjellestad excavation was live streamed by Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation Read more

Sturgeon (Beluga) Source: Flickr/ Jin Kemoole

Boiled Sturgeon

03/09/2020

The sturgeon was a royal fish. According to ancient law, any sturgeon found on the beaches or caught in the Atlantic or the Baltic, belonged to the king. Read more

Frans Snyder Fishmarket with sturgeon. The Hermitage. Source: wikipedia

An Ancient Atlantic Sturgeon and a Sea-Monster

02/09/2020

Recently, archaeologists from Lund University succeeded in identifying a massive specimen of an Atlantic sturgeon in the womb of a capsized royal ship off the Baltic coast Read more

The Missorium of Theodosius. Ca AD 388. Source: Wikipedia/Ángel M. Felicísimo

Ethnogenesis and Indigeneity

27/08/2020

In the latter half of the 20th-century historians of Late Antiquity have been ferociously engaged in debates concerning the “identity of the Goths”. Were they a people? In what sense? And what does Ethnogenesis and Indigeneity mean? Read more

New Books

Blanche's Crown from Münich. Wikipedia

Royal Magnificence

04/10/2020

REVIEW: How do you recognise a king or a queen? Through splendid Magnificence, a new book reveals. Read more

Los Hitos, Orgaz, Toledo © Archeología Medieval

Ecclesiastical Landscapes in Medieval Europe

04/10/2020

REVIEW: New book on “Ecclesiastical Landscapes” aims to explore the diversity and unity of how churches and monasteries set their mark on their surrounding landscape Read more

Coin of Cnut the Holy © National Museum of Copenhagen. CC-BY-SA

Life And Cult Of Cnut The Holy

04/10/2020

REVIEW: In 2016, the City of Odense celebrated the 850th anniversary of the murder of Cnut IV in the church of St. Alban in Odense. A splendid report of the symposium has been generously published as open source. Read more

Au sieur de Bellenville, roi d'armes en Artois. BnF, MF 5230

Regnal Communities or Nations in the High Middle Ages

19/02/2020

Medieval historians hesitate to talk about medieval nation-states. Instead, they prefer to talk about kingdoms and their corresponding royal communities or assemblies. New book reviews the questions regarding terminology. Read more

New Research

Migration period brooches

Disc-on-Bow and Cruciform Brooches

26/10/2020

New research points to the role distinct brooches played in the formation of  “ethnic” identities in the North Sea region during the migration period and in the Early Viking Age; and the role women played as custodians of their cultural and mythological heritage. Already in the 6th and 7th centuries,… Read more

Gokstad Mound. Source: Wikipedia

Constructing and deconstructing the Gokstad mound

08/10/2020

Norwegian archeologists are revisiting the old mounds ind which Viking Ships were buried. It appears, these mounds were carefully created as part of the burial traditions. Read more

Histogenes - banner

Who were the migrants of the migratory period?

03/10/2020

Last year, ten million euros were granted to the project, HistoGenes, to study the aDNA of 6000 individuals from AD 400-900. Read more

Olaug excavating fishbones in the magazine. © OiU/Anne Karin Hufthammer

Medieval Food in Norwegians Towns

03/10/2020

A new interdisciplinary research project – The impact of food culture in Medieval towns (FOODIMPACT) will analyse more than 30.000 items in the Cultural Museum in Oslo Read more

New Exhibitions

Exhibition in Toulouse: Visigoths. Kings of Toulouse

Visigoths in Toulouse

24/08/2020

The Visigoths in Toulouse forged one of the first barbarian kingdom inside the Roman Empire, ruling from 420 – 507. In 2020 an exhibition in Toulouse celebrates the 1600-anniversary of their foundation. This summer a major exhibition focusing on the Visigothic kingdom in Toulouse 420 – 507 has been organised… Read more

Nuns. Powerful women in the Middle Ages. A view of the exhibition. Copyright: © Swiss National Museum

Nuns and their lives in the 14th century

04/08/2020

This summer, visitors to Zürich National Museum can study the remarkable story of the careers of medieval nuns. Extended to mid-august, an exhibition is worth looking into, if you are in the vicinity. Read more

Papal letter confirming donation to Absalon 1186. © Royal Danish Archive

The Early History of Copenhagen at a New Museum

11/02/2020

Last week, a new attraction opened, The Museum of Copenhagen, covering the history from the ice-age hunters and gatherers and into the near future. Central is the brand new story of the earliest period in the life of the town ca. 1000 Read more

Closer to Van Eyck - Map of digitized works © closertovaneyck.kikirpa.be

Facing Van Eyck – The Miracle of the Detail

08/02/2020

Come September, Brussels houses an exhibition focusing on the visually detailed techniques of Jan van Eyck and his work of art. The exhibition is paired with a prized digital resource. Read more

Soul Cakes

There is no doubt that the tradition of giving alms in the form of bread or cookies on All Saints and All Souls has both ancient and medieval roots

Sweets for Souls

Urban legend in USA has it that we cannot offer the children home baked goodies at Halloween (some weirdos excel in filling them with crushed glass). More is the pity since our European traditions offer a selection of medieval traditional fare