The Three Magi San Vitale in Ravenna. Source: Wikipedia

The Three Magi – or Setting the Social Scene

The story of the Magi – also called the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings – visiting and adoring the child in the house of Mary in Bethlehem is unique. Peculiar to Matthew, the story positions Christ in society. No wonder the story has changed through time

Early Christian Magi from sarchophag-Vatican-Museum 3d century . Source: Wikipedia

The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi

Facts or Fairy tale? Each year we tell the wondrous story about the brilliant star and the magi bringing gifts to Baby Jesus. Recent book explores the ancient context of the story and its role in the formation of Late Antiquity

Museum Schnütgen Altar source: wikipedia

The Three Magi in Cologne 1164 – 2014

In 2014 Cologne celebrated the 850th anniversary of the arrival of the three Magi with several exhibitions. Read about the events here

The Adoration of the Magi, from a book of hours (text in Latin), Provence, France, about 1480–90, Georges Trubert. The J. Paul Getty Museum

Balthazar, the Black King

Exploring prejudice and persecution in the Medieval World, the Getty Center last year mounted an exhibition on Balthazar. Late autumn 2019, this initiative was followed by another exhibition on the topoi of the Black King, Balthazar, in Medieval and Renaissance Art


Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg © VisitAlsace

The Royal Castle in Alsace – Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg


The Castle Ruin at Staufenberg from the 12th century in Alsace was rebuilt by the Emperor, Wilhelm II between 1900-1908. An archaeological report tells the story of this iconic “Medieval Castle” Read more

Merseburg Charms. Soucre: wikipedia

Civilizations of the Supernatural


Astrology, amulets, pagan magic charms, witches, and superstitions. All figure in a new book
Read more

July 2019. International Medieval Congress 2019. Black and whites.

IMC 2021 Goes Virtual


International Medieval Congress in 2021 will be digitally organised. Clearly, Leeds hope to overwinter as the flagship of the Medieval History World Read more

Denghis Khan © Musee du Nantes

China Tries to Corrupt History of Mongol Culture


Du to Chinese attempt at censorship, the Museum of Nantes in Bretagne has been forced to postpone an exhibition of Genghis Khan and the Mongols Read more

Sword found at Marlow @ University of Reading

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


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


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?


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


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 Books

Detail: Arab fresco from chapel in the Palace in palermo Wikipedia

Narrating Muslim Sicily


Valuable new book tells the story of Muslim Sicily AD 902– 1091 through a plethora of Arab historians, geographers, jurists and philologists Read more

Fresco from Penjikent Source: Wikipedia/Daniel Kohanski

The Eastern Frontier


Transoxania, Khurasan, and Tokharistan – which comprise large parts of today’s Central Asia – have long been an important frontier zone. New book tells the story of it history in Late Antiquity and later Read more

The Battle of Maldon Plains Wikipedia

The Battle of Maldon


A new book tells the story of the Battle of Maldon AD 991and explores the famous poem, which framed the devastating event as a heroic and epic tale. Read more

Utrecht_Psalter psalm 11 wikipedia

Making and Unmaking the Carolingians


What is power? How do you wield its symbols? And how did the Carolingians master the noble art of ruling over vast tracts of Europe? New book by Stuart Airlie tells the story Read more

New Research

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

Chaucer's pilgrims on the road to Canterbury, from 'The Siege of Thebes', by John Lydgate, England, 1457–60, Royal MS 18 D II, f. 148r. British Library/Wikipedia

Marian Ughi visits St. Thomas of Becket in 1444


A newly discovered travel account of a Florentine merchant visiting Canterbury and the shrine of Thomas Becket sheds light on late medieval devotion Read more

New Exhibitions

Exhibition in Toulouse: Visigoths. Kings of Toulouse

Visigoths in Toulouse


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


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


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 ©

Facing Van Eyck – The Miracle of the Detail


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