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Questions tagged [early-medieval]

The Early Medieval Period of European history lasted from the 5th century to the 10th century.

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Schism of 1054 - what were the positions of Jerusalem, Alexandria and Antioch?

Q1 Given that the validity of the Western legates' act is doubtful since Pope Leo had died and Cerularius' excommunication only applied to individuals, why was the schism allowed to continue to the ...
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What were some of the main dangers of the political and economic order of Early Medieval Northern Europe?

I have found that during this time period, Early Medieval Northern Europe was having issues with:agriculture, famine, and the Black Death. Soil issues lead to mass starvation and Plague striking ...
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How accepted were public displays of affection in medieval France?

Were a man and a woman allowed to kiss/hug/hold hands in public? Did it differ depending on whether they were married or not? What about if they were engaged? If it was forbidden, what punishment did ...
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Why there is no Islamic architecture with glass in windows before 18th century?

Why there is no Islamic architecture with glass in windows before 18th century? Glass windows frequently appear in gothic architecture since 11th century but why Medieval Islamic architecture lack ...
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Are there any sources on the Tempestarii?

The Tempestarii were weather mages in the Frankish Empire Recorded and were recorded on by Agobard of Lyons. I read the text he wrote on them but I cannot find other texts on them that go into more ...
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How did agricultural productivity change in Italy with the fall of the Roman Empire and through the early Middle Ages?

I have heard that overall agricultural productivity decreased with the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. In part at least it must be in relation to a general decrease of population - less people ...
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When was the festival of the See of Peter in the 6th Century?

I've been researching the decrees of the second Council of Tours (AD 567), specifically Canon XXII: Some still hold fast the old error, that they should honor the 1st of January. Others, on the ...
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When did the round house fall out of vernacular use throughout Britain and Ireland?

TL;DR When did roundhouses fall out of vernacular use? The time frame we have is full of gaps: They fell out of use in South-West Britain in the 8th Century. Wales may have had them potentially for ...
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What made it possible for the Normans to conquer large areas in Ireland? [closed]

What made it possible for the Normans to conquer/dominate large areas in Ireland in a relative short amount of time when there were relatively few of them? The vikings were to my knowledge quite ...
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1answer
262 views

How did Irish defeat Norse at Battle of Tara in 980 CE.?

At the Battle of Tara in 980 C.E. the Norse were (apparently) heavily defeated by the Irish. There is not much material or sources on this battle. Does anyone have ideas on how the Irish were able to ...
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9answers
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Did medieval scholars believe the Earth was round?

There seems to be almost a consensus that the medieval belief on flat earth is a myth. Wikipedia even has a whole article dedicated to this subject, and the general argument is that the "flat earth ...
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Importance of religion for a common man in medieval India

I have recently studied the rise of Islam and the origins of Bhakti movement in medieval India. All the sources that I have referred to talk of the spread of new religious ideas and people converting ...
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How did people put down a drinking horn?

It's easy to put down a glass. You just put it on the table. It won't spill unless somebody tips it over. How did people put a full drinking horn on the table? Did they have some sort of thingy to ...
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Why did Danish people not “connect” with neighbor nations until Viking Age?

I was watching the excellent documentary Historien om Danmark and they basically said Denmark (and Scandinavia as a whole) was pretty much isolated until Viking Age starting in late 8th century (...
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Did Anglo-Saxons make use of large-scale, non-military Roman ruins?

There are plenty of examples of the Anglo-Saxons using Roman ruins as part of their defensive and domestic architecture (i.e. Alfred building burhs that incorporated some Roman walls and roads). I am ...
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Was the date skip of the Gregorian calender reform understood to skip weekdays accordingly?

The date was adjusted, but did the general population, that was more concerned with the weekly rhythm, also adjust their weekday?
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What crops were part of the medieval spring harvest?

I am listening to a lecture series and the professor mentioned a "spring harvest" starting in mid to late March. I think this is a mistake - the winter crops were not harvested until the Summer - but ...
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2answers
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Is Attila The Hun's Throne actually located in The Veneto?

Torcello Island is a small island approximately 5 miles East of Venice. The island's "claim to fame" is a small ancient stone chair which has been nicknamed, "Attila's Throne"-(named after, Attila "...
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Why are Vikings singled out for raids in Britain and Ireland when records may indicate most raids were by local rulers?

The main (original) sources for the evidence cited here were written by monks and priests who have usually been cited by modern historians as being biased against Vikings. However, recent research ...
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1answer
393 views

Anglo-saxon law banning sheepskin covered shields

The Law of King Athelstan states: Fourthly: that no shieldwright cover a shield with sheep's skin; and if he so do, let him pay thirty shillings. (http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/...
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1answer
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Treatments for the Plague

We have all heard of the Plague Doctors, but is there any information on the Treatments that they offered the sick? I have looked at the work of Guy de Chauliac but I have been unable to find a copy ...
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What are some government expenditure reports from the Middle ages?

I'm curious to see how much money went where in the medieval governments of Europe, but I'm not even sure where to start looking.
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How many barons were there in feudal 10th century France?

Around AD 1000, the king was technically owner of all of France but the land was 'leased' to his vassals: dukes, counts, lower barons, and these in turn leased it to lower barons and knights. What I ...
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2answers
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Which regions/dynasties do the flags in this Fresco about Byzantine-Persian war represent?

Piero Della Francesca painted the following Fresco to depict battle between Heraclius of Byzantine Empire and Khosrou II of Persian Empire. Which regions or dynasties do the flags represent? From ...
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Why were crusaders called “Latins”? [closed]

Crusaders were called "Latins" by some narrative sources and Mediaeval historians. Medieval sources: Albertus Aquensis, Willermus Tyrensis Why was this descriptive term used?
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Ravenna Cosmography and populations on the Balkans?

In 680 Bulgar tribes under the leadership of Asparukh moved south across the Danube and settled in the area between the lower Danube and the Balkan, establishing their capital at Pliska. A peace ...
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188 views

How large could king Arthur's kingdom have realistically been? [closed]

I fully understand that most what is written about king Arthur is shrouded in myth, many stories having been written several centuries after his time period. Most material I found focuses on the ...
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4answers
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How tight were shield walls in Saxon England?

After watching the BBC show The Last Kingdom, depicting conflicts between Saxons and Danes in the 800s AD, I was surprised by the multi-layered shield walls depicted. For example: or even: I had ...
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3answers
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Did medieval commanders exchange words before battle?

Random question for anyone who reads accounts of medieval battles. Was it customary for European medieval commanders to exchange words before battle, not merely for diplomatic reasons but more out of ...
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2answers
425 views

Did barbarians capture monks or priest of civilized kingdoms to teach them?

I'm watching the loosely accurate TV show Vikings. When Vikings pillage the Briton monastery of Lindisfarne, they also capture some monks as slaves. Later, one of the monks assimilates pretty well to ...
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1answer
314 views

Death by candle [closed]

Many sources state that candles have been heavily used for light and timekeeping starting as early as 3000 BCE. Until electric lighting took over starting in the 19th century, candles and oil lamps ...
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1answer
409 views

What is the other ancient Indian magic trick described by Adi Shankaracharya?

It is well-known that the so-called Indian rope trick is alluded to by the ancient Hindu philosopher Adi Shankaracharya in this section of his commentary on a Hindu scripture called the Mandukya ...
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What happened at Bloody Corner?

Up until today, I was under the impression that there was a battle between the Danes and the locals on Bloody Corner in Northam, Devon UK. This was possibly the death site of Hubba the Dane. It was ...
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What did Vikings wear in cold wet conditions at sea?

As you can see from this BBC documentary, the crew of this 2009 summertime journey from Denmark to Ireland in a Viking longship suffered from hypothermia (approx 00:20:00 into the video), even though ...
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1answer
427 views

Noble hierarchy in the early middle ages [closed]

I know it would have varied, but what would a typical hierarchy of feudal noble titles have been during the early middle ages in western Europe and Britain? Was it much different than what existed in ...
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How did marrying off one's daughter help secure an alliance, in early medieval Europe?

Marriage between royal family was often a way to secure / strengthen an alliance between two monarchs. For example, according to Wikipedia Marriage between dynasties could serve to initiate, ...
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Why did monarchy become common practice after the fall of Rome?

Why did the government of most nations after the fall of Rome and the beginning of medieval age turn to monarchy? Before the fall of Rome most nations seem to be organized after different model and ...
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What was housing like in early Medieval Scotland?

I've read detailed social history on Scotland which goes back to about the 16th century, and it would seem like some of the poorest Scots of that era sometimes lived in housing which was as modest as ...
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Did parties of adventurers actually exist? [closed]

In the role-playing sense of parties of particularly various skilled people going around and killing animals, killing bandits, sorting out various awkward local political/military problems and ...
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6answers
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Size of Viking armies and raiding parties in 9th-10th centuries?

I am watching the Vikings series, and although I don't consider it a historically accurate series, I noticed somethings that I am curious about. The series takes place in the late 8th century, ...
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2answers
749 views

Were children often renamed in late Saxon England?

In Bernard Cornwall's The Last Kingdom the protagonist is renamed at age 10 or so after his brother, aged 16+, is killed by Danes. The protagonist is an Alderman's second son in Northumberland and is ...
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Ratio of population to military size throughout European history? [closed]

I realise that this is a fairly broad question, but I am trying to get a sense of the ratio between the total population and the size of the military that societies could support at different times ...
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3answers
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Extent of Empire of Lalitaditya Muktapida?

I recently came across this Wikipedia page of Lalitaditya Muktapida. The map in the page shows an enormous empire of him, stretching from China to Anatolia (as far as I can make out) in a relatively ...
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What is the current academic consensus on Charlemagne's genealogy?

Every source I have seen agrees that Charlemagne's ancestral tree begins as follows: Charlemagne (c. 747 – 814) Pepin the Short (c. 714 – 768) Charles Martel (c. 688 – 741) Pepin of Herstal (c. 635 – ...
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2answers
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Did a Jewish King of Narbonne exist?

In today's edition of Le Monde, Marek Halter mentions something about Jewish Kings in Carolingian France, recognized by Charlemagne. Probably using Arthur Zuckerman 'Jewish Kingdom in feudal France' ...
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802 views

What is the ancestry of the Robertians, progenitors of the Bourbon dynasty?

The countries Spain and Luxembourg are currently ruled by kings from the House of Bourbon, so I thought I'd try to trace their (patrilineal) ancestry as far back as possible. Well, the Bourbons are ...
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2answers
393 views

Are there any remaining existant texts that describe the styles and techniques of Medieval European swordsmanship?

We have, in the modern day, no shortage of movies which feature characters from the Medieval period of European history engaged in combat, with swords, cavalry, and arrows. Do we have any historical ...
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Were the living standards in Medieval Europe a lot worse than in the Muslim world?

This comment, tells us that during the dark age, the living conditions in Muslim world were considerably better than that of medieval Europe. Even it this was true for the people at the top, was it ...
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Why did silver gain prominence in trade over gold in Early Medieval Europe?

After the Roman Empire's slow decline, and its withdrawal from much of northern Europe (France, Germany, Britain), gold coin use seems to have declined to the point where it would be a rare to see any....