The Middle Ages is a periodisation of European history, encompassing the period from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the Renaissance in the 15th century.

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What is known about the possibility of a “real King Arthur”?

I once saw a documentary that discussed a discovered possible "round table" but wondered how "pie in the sky" this possibility was as well as just how much/how little evidence is there for any ...
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187 views

Why was there never a tachanka-style cannon or crossbow?

There seems to be a clear line of progression for many weapons. For example, in the west, crossbows were mounted on carts by the Roman empire, while in the east, they were mounted on camels. The ...
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Why did England and Portugal cheap out on the Battle of Aljubarrota?

One of the most important and famous battles in the Iberian Peninsula took place in Aljubarrota. There were two main parties: Castille (With Aragonian, French and Italian support) Portugal (With ...
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What caused the turning point in Hundred Years' War?

At school I have learned that the English had upper hand in the war until Joan of Arc convinced the French king to give an army under her command to besiege Orléans and since then, the French forced ...
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Using a lance while on a charging horse against ground based enemy

In historic light cavalry, if a rider was using a lance, how many times could it be reused? How long before it became a liability by getting someone stuck on the end of it, or got snagged on a body ...
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Is chain mail expensive?

I've read many textbooks and talked to plenty of people who explained to me that making thousands of rings, then interlocking them is terribly expensive. This confuses me because history had Vikings ...
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297 views

Divine Right of Kings: Why?

I know this question is too broad and I expect it to be closed: that's fine. But I lack the specific History background to be able to ask a better question at the moment (too many other pots in the ...
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1answer
225 views

Did Hungarian Army ever use Crescent banners?

I was reading about Battle of Mohi between Mongol Empire and Kingdom of Hungary. The Wikipedia contains this artistic depiction of the battle: The cavalry on left hand looks like Mongols while ...
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156 views

Did medieval Europeans really walk around barefoot in winter?

Luaan posted a comment on a question, as follows (emphasis mine): Take an old-school shoe with no rubber, and you'll see that it's extremely slippery on wet surfaces - medieval Europeans went ...
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In the Medieval period, how long would an average swordsmith need to forge an average sword?

Based on this question over in RPG, I'm trying to figure out how long it took to forge a sword in the Medieval/Renaissance smith to make swords. I am recalling a figure of about 9-12 months per sword,...
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6answers
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What were shoe soles made from in previous ages?

Today, nearly all commercial footwear has a sole made of either rubber or plastic with rubber-like qualities. It's a great material for the job, but it comes from a tree that's native to the Americas,...
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How did Europeans first acquire gunpowder?

I know that gunpowder was first invented in China around the 10th century, and it seems that gunpowder likely made its way to Europe via the "Silk Road." However, there doesn't seem to be a ton of ...
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What was the status of Arab Christians during the crusades?

Did Arab Christians take an active role in the crusades in the Holy Land or at any point on their trip to the Holy Land. Or were they victims of the crusaders? Did the crusaders typically ...
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4answers
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How were the borders of the Holy Roman Empire established?

We all know that the Holy Roman Empire was a collection of minor Germanic states in the Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Wikipedia stated that: The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of ...
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2answers
179 views

How much did a good sword cost in Medieval Western Europe?

I realize the title is probably too broad to answer, so I'll narrow it down a bit: Sword types: Viking swords, and/or Arming swords Quality: Pattern welded iron/steel, crucible (or pseudo-crucible) ...
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2answers
170 views

At what point did noblemen stop being the backbone of the military? [closed]

During the Dark Ages one of the primary responsibilities of noblemen was to engage in warfare. It was a large part of their education, and a nobleman was expected to be able to win easily against a ...
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1answer
707 views

What is known about how many Ulfberht swords exist?

For those who don't know, the Ulfberht sword was a Viking weapon of the finest quality, made with exquisite skill from the best materials available. They were produced between 800 and 1000 CE in ...
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675 views

Is there evidence of extensive Viking presence in North America?

The Vikings appear to have had two long-lasting communities in Greenland, and a site has been found at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland Canada. But is there any solid evidence that the Vikings had ...
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608 views

Was early marriage of queens not considered pedophilia?

Joan of the Tower was married on 17 July 1328 to David II of Scotland at Berwick-upon-Tweed. She was seven years old, he was only four. Isabella of Valois married Richard II at the age of six and was ...
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227 views

Why were the first Universities created?

I have read through my world history book and did some research online, but I have been unable to learn why the first Universities were created?
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Where did Medieval Europe's gold come from?

Medieval Europe processed copious amounts of gold into religious artifacts, jewelry and of course gold coins, as evidenced by the large number of those that survive to this day. Given that today, no ...
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3answers
534 views

Was either side legally in the right in the Hundred Years War?

Legalistically speaking which side was right in the Hundred Years War. My view is that the Salic law combined with the principle that nobody can transmit a right greater than he himself can possess (...
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5answers
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Life in the middle ages for ordinary people? [closed]

From studying medieval history and reading related literature, I know enough about day to day life in the sense of life expectancy, work, pleasure, etc. My question is, given that human nature is ...
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784 views

What was the cultural background of Burgundians?

In the Middle Ages there was a big country in Europe between France and German kingdoms, Burgundy. What language did they speak there? Were they more German or French in origin?
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Was Frederick II of Hohenstaufen really a medieval Dr. Mengele?

According to legend, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, who was intelligent (spoke six languages) and influential, also purportedly used cold-blooded methods to further his "scientific" inquiries. ...
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4answers
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How long would the average sword last in the middle ages?

Assuming normal wear and tear, how long before a knight had to replace his sword?
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418 views

What particularly watershed events led to the War of the Roses?

What were the key events that led to the War of the Roses occurring in England during the 15th century. Was there any particular event that was the tipping point?
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Was there any mention in historical articles regarding Joan of Arc's physical appearance?

Modern media seems to portray Joan of Arc as a very attractive girl. I don't quite buy this interpretation of her as it would also suggest plenty of suitors and could be counter productive in a camp ...
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What kinds of documents were forged in the middle ages and how common was forgery?

For example I was reading about the Privilegium Maius, and was wondering what other instances of document forging were there in the middle ages ?
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Why did Baldwin of Boulogne proclaim Edessa a County, not a Kingdom?

[Edessa was] ruled by Thoros, who was officially a vassal of the Turks but in reality acted independently. He did not expect that situation to continue for very much longer without help, so he offered ...
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1answer
121 views

What did 'regular' medieval people think about royalty? [closed]

During the Medieval times what was the general consensus of the common-people in regards to the King and his close associates? From a number of documentaries i have watched recently it looks like the ...
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113 views

The Code of Corsairs of Mediterranean of the Middle Ages

How was the code and operating rules of the corsairs of the Mediterranean used, such as by Barbary Corsairs or Knights of the Order, during Middle Ages? There are references to agreements in the ...
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1answer
210 views

A zoo during the rule of Omayyad or Abbasid dynasty?

I recall that when I was in high school that I read a text -which sounds more like a legend- about an Arabic Sultan/Caliph who on a trip trough his empire passed by an injured (wild) animal (don't ...
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How does the cost-benefit relationship of owning a horse differ today from the Middle Ages or Early Industrial Revolution?

If I were to be gifted a horse nowadays, I would've been pissed. I would have to spend a lot of money in its food, in a blacksmith for horseshoes, grooming, cleaning his box, the rent of his box, ...
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What was the life expectancy in Medieval Britain?

I'm working on doing background research for one of my novels and I'm looking for roughly how old a male in the peasant class would've lived around 5th or 6th century Britain.
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1answer
372 views

Who was Balavignus?

I was reading up on some history on the Black Death and came across the name "Balavignus". He was a Jewish doctor who urged people to apply hygienic measures, based on some biblical verses in ...
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2answers
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In Europe, why were hereditary dynasties more prevalent in the medieval world than in the ancient world? [closed]

I know that at least in Western Europe, the various dynasties that held the title of Holy Roman Emperor claimed descent from Charlemagne. In France, the Capetians were the first to call themselves ...
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3answers
221 views

What was the first major technological advancement that occurred after the fall of the Roman Empire? [closed]

Popular perception is that technology and science stopped advancing for quite some time after the fall of the Roman Empire. Is this true? Or were significant advances steadily made, just at a slower ...
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1answer
108 views

What rank did cadet branches hold in the peerage?

I've looked at the answers for the question "How did cadet branches start?", and based off the information in that forum, I would like to know what rank equivalent to peerage the cadet branch could ...
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Exact date of Aquitania uprising over Charlemagne?

I read that the uprising of the Aquitainians and Gascons led by Hunald II, probably son of King Waifar, was in 769. But I can't find info about the exact date (only the month name).
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Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch's strange title

The title of Jean III de Grailly, Captal de Buch, seems odd to me. It was acquired by his father Jean II de Grailly (so it was passed down from father to son like other titles of nobility): Jean ...
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4answers
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How did Medieval Armies survive the use of mail armor in the deserts of the Middle East?

Something that has long puzzled me is the use of full mail hauberks and the like in the Crusades. How did Crusaders and their various enemies avoid cooking inside their armor? I know many of them did ...
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What did people of the middles ages call their period?

It's clear that middle ages is a term from the Renaissance. My question is: What names did scholars use during the middle ages for their period? Well, of course middle ages is a single name for a ...
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If the heir to a Kingdom is called Crown Prince, what is the heir to a Duchy called?

Just like the title said. What a heir to a hereditary Duchy is called? (as opposed to someone appointed by a King). I mean a Duchy where the Duke inherited his title to his son/daughter. Since the ...
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3answers
359 views

Did medieval guards wear heavy armor for long periods of time?

We've all seen guards in movies walking around with full plate mail, clunking with each step. Now, I know that plate mail was much more mobile, and much less heavy, than movies and literature imply. ...
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1answer
243 views

What happend to the other Kaabas?

According to Muslim historians and others the nowadays known Kaaba/Cube الكعبة wasn't unique, and so apparently there have been many Kaabas around in the Arabic Peninsula, but the one in Mecca ...
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2answers
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How much do we know about Emperor Ashoka?

A recent Indian television series is showing a detailed life characteristic of Ashoka's childhood. Though its a work of fiction, I would like to know how much of the show is based on fact. Furthermore,...
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1answer
478 views

How were peasant houses constructed in medieval England?

What was the typical construction material and process for a house in medieval England? Specifically, for a typical farming serf, operating a few acres of land. This question is meant as a more-...
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1answer
172 views

Building a house in the middle age in europe (specifically germany) [closed]

How was is to build a house in the middle age in europe? Where did people get the materials from? How long did it take? What were the differences between building outside the city and in the city? How ...
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Housing Materials, Structure and Style in the late Middle Ages in Germany

So my friend and I are coming to develop an Age of Empires-esque game set in the late Middle Ages. Like any good developers we're doing our research first and we've come up with some issues. When ...