Margrete I's dress being unpacked at Christiansborg in september 2021 © Thorkild Jensen

Royal Golden Dress from ca. 1400 returns to Denmark

Until 1659 the medieval dress of Queen Margaret I of Denmark and Norway was kept as a precious relic in the Cathedral in Roskilde. Today it is back for a splendid exhibition in Copenhagen at Christiansborg

Pomegranates and a Medieval Royal Dress from 1400

Pomegranates were a medieval luxury and may have inspired a famous royal dress from ca. 1400

New Viking Exhibitions 2020-22

Sword and ax from Langeid, first half of the 11th century. © Museum of Cultural History, UiO

New Viking Exhibition in Oslo

A new Viking exhibition – Vikingr – opened last year in Oslo, showcasing some of the fabulous finds from recent years

Salme Vikingship © Salme Viikingiturg

Vikings Before Vikings

When the two Viking ships found at Salme and holding the remains of 41 dead warriors were dated to ca. AD 700-750, the sensation rippled through academic circles. Now, the finds are exhibited in Estonia.

Photomontage Viking © National Museum of Denmark. Martin de Thurah og Kasper Tuxen

The Viking Expedition – Copenhagen 2021

In a few weeks time, The National Museum of Denmark opens its doors to a whole new “take” of the Viking Experience….

Feature Photo from Exhibition in Stockholm summer 2021

The Viking World – Exhibition in Stockholm 2021

A new exhibition in Stockholm called the Viking World boasts of being the world’s largest. Opening its doors in June, the jury is still out. But the preview seems impressive….

Viking silver mounted warrior Source: Moesgaard/RUS

The Rus – Vikings of the East

In January 2022, the Museum at Moesgaard in Århus plans to open a new exhibition telling how the Vikings conquered the East while sailing, trading, raiding and settling from Novgorod to Kiev and further South

Thomas Becket – Exhibition in London

Reliquary casket showing the murder of Thomas Becket. Limoges, France, about 1180-1190. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Thomas Becket – Major Exhibition

850 years ago, on the 29th of December, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered at the altar in his Cathedral on King Henry II’s instigation. A major exhibition in the British Museum promises to guide us through his history

Detail of Alabaster panel from an altarpiece showing Becket’s consecration as archbishop. England, first half of the 15th century. Private Collection. © Nicholas and Jane Ferguson.

Becket – Life, Death, and Legacy

The celebrations and activities surrounding the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket have suffered due to the pandemic. Luckily, an important conference has shifted to zoom and April 2021

Becket reliquary © The Dean and Chapter at Canterbury Cathedral

Thomas Becket’s Shirt Returns in 2022

A garment traditionally thought to have been worn by Saint Thomas Becket at the time of his brutal murder in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 was to return to the UK as part of the commemorations to mark 850 years since his death. The return has been postponed to 2022

Thomas Becket at Sdr Nærå in Denmark © National Museum and Arnold Mikkelsen

Was Thomas Becket a Controversial Saint in Scandinavia?

The history of the 12th-century Scandinavian church and the formation of the Norwegian and Swedish provinces is interwoven with the murder of Thomas Becket

Svend Estridsen. Wikipedia/ John Lee

The Story of Henry II and Thomas Becket – Retold as a Moral Exemplum by Saxo Grammaticus

The story by Saxo of a murder, prompted by the Danish King, Sven Estridsen, in the Cathedral in Roskilde ca. 1160, echoes the events a hundred years later, when Henry II had Thomas Becket murdered


Medvedgrad 2018. Source: Twitter/Ante kristic

Medieval History and Nature at Medvedgrad and Medvenica in Croatia


Medvedgrad is a medieval castle located on the southern slope of the Medvenica mountain near Zagreb.  Read more

Eric Ploughpenny. Mural in Ringsted Church c. 1280-1300

Eric IV – Murdered Danish King c. 1216-1241


August 1250, Eric IV – also known as Eric Ploughpenny – was murdered on a boat and dumped in the firth of Schlei. His death was the culmination of ten years of civil war and the harbinger of a tumultuous period in the medieval history of Denmark. Read more

Viking ship. Wreck Six from Roskilde © Medievalhistories (OD)

Viking Exhibitions in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo in 2021


REVIEW: Last year, Oslo opened its doors to a new permanent Viking exhibition. June 2021, Stockholm and Copenhagen followed. Read more

The Stones at Jelling © Schousboe (OD)

The Baptism of Harold Bluetooth, the Ordeal of Poppo and a New Source


A new source – Avico’s Annals – tells a very different story about the famous conversion and baptism of Harold Bluetooth in the 960s Read more

The Lendbreen Pass – and a Lost Viking Settlement


Cold, and desolate, the mountainous landscape in Jotunheimen in Norway offers hardship and tough hikes. Nevertheless, a thousand years ago, a rugged mountain pass was one of the arteries of Viking Age traffic. Read more

Viking settlement at Lendbreen pass c. AD 750-1050 © Secrets of the Ice

Viking Age or Viking World? – New Manifest


New paper reviews the achievements and challenges of archaeological research on Viking Age Northern Europe and explores potential avenues for future research. Read more

From: Peraldus. A Theological miscellany, including the Summa de vitiis. England 1236 to c. 1250. © British Library. Harley 3244, f 37r

Digital Anglo-Norman Dictionary Launched


Researchers at Aberystwyth University have launched a new digital platform providing detailed chronological information for all Anglo-Norman words for the first time ever online Read more

Medieval Feast in Durham © Blackfriars Restaurant

Fast and Feast – a Taste of Easter Past


The intriguing world of medieval Easter will be unearthed at a new virtual course staged by Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle in conjunction with Durham University’s Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies Read more

New Books

Interior from the exhibition in Bergen© Bergen University

Norwegian Church Art in Bergen


The collection of medieval church art at the University Museum of Bergen in Norway is among the finest of its kind in Europe. A new catalogue presents the collection in several languages. Read more

Finchale Abbey. Source: Pitchup/Caravan Park

Godrich of Finchale – Merchant, Pilgrim, Hermit and Saint


Godrich of Finchale (1070-1170)  was a popular saint in the county of Durham, where he ended his days as a hermit. A new edition of his life was recently published. Read more

Iron shackles from the Black Earth of Birka. Found 1872 by Hjalmar Stolpe

A History of Slavery in the Viking Age


Viking slavery was not primarily about acquiring slaves for the Nordic countries. Rather, it was a valuable commodity sold on the large slave-markets Read more

Viking slaves from Grimsta. Photo: Ove Hemmendorf, 1974/Swedish National Heritage Board

The Archaeology of Slavery in Early Medieval Northern Europe


Vikings were not just raiders and traders, but also slavers. Until now the role of slave-trading has primarily been explored through written sources. A new comprehensive overview of the archaeological evidence offers valuable insights into this “invisible commodity”. Read more

New Research

Church at Thurnau. Source: Wikipedia

Limbo at Thunau


Archaeologists have been working for decades to excavate the early medieval settlements at Thurnau near Gars in Eastern Austria. Recent studies of the burial ground excavated in 1975-2000 tell the story of the burial of the unbaptized destined for limbo. Read more

Harvest Scene from Cotton MS Julius A VI, fol 6r , British Library.

From Wheat to Rye – Agriculture and Climate in Europe during Late Antiquity


During the 4th-8th century, vast stretches of Europe shifted from growing wheat to rye. Careful studies indicate the shift was a reflection towards a new, more balanced peasant economy. Read more

The Schlüsselfeld Ship. Source: Wikipedia

The Schlüsselfeld Ship


In the 14th century, it became fashionable to decorate tables at noble or royal banquets with models of ships, symbolising “Good Luck” and “Fair Wind”. Later, the wealthy merchants in the cities picked up this fashion. The Schlüsselfeld ship is one of the more famous. Read more

Dining with Richard II. From: BL Royal, MS 14 E IV, fol 265 v. Source: wikipedia

Ships as Table Decorations in the Middle Ages


Ships were prized ornaments decorating the tables of kings and lords into the 16th and 17th century. Read more