Questions tagged [early-medieval]

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

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88
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9answers
24k views

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 ...
36
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3answers
4k views

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 ...
33
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4answers
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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 ...
25
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1answer
874 views

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 ...
24
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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, ...
23
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2answers
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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 ...
21
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2answers
1k 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 ...
18
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
17
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9answers
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Why did Latin disappear so completely in Britain after the Romans left?

My impression, wholly prone to error, is that despite centuries of Roman occupation, after the Anglo-Saxon invasions, Latin virtually became a dead language in Britain. Other parts of the Roman ...
16
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
15
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6answers
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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 ...
14
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2answers
437 views

Did the early Christian community on Iceland require the import of wine for liturgy?

Roman Catholic liturgy requires wine, which cannot be produced in Iceland. Did the Christianisation of early Norse settlers entail a need to constantly import wine as a result?
13
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2answers
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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 ...
12
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2answers
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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 ...
12
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3answers
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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 – ...
11
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2answers
915 views

What are the precursors of the Bayeux Tapestry?

Background from Wikipedia: Bayeux Tapestry is one of a kind, cr. 70 metres long, narrative embroidery depicting the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, and culminating in the Battle ...
10
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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' ...
10
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2answers
449 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 ...
10
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1answer
501 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/...
9
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2answers
948 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 ...
9
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1answer
298 views

Can it be claimed there were Bulgarians in the Balkans before 681 AD?

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 ...
8
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2answers
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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....
8
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4answers
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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, ...
8
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2answers
605 views

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 ...
7
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3answers
434 views

Was there actually debate amongst the Norse about the existence or location of Britain?

In the TV show "Vikings" much is made in the first couple of episodes about raiding to the west. They make it seem as though they didn't know about England. That seems highly unlikely to me. ...
7
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1answer
162 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
173 views

How would an early Medieval German market have looked?

I am trying to find sources on how a medieval German market would have looked. Any artwork (painting, wood carving, wood print) would be perfect, but even just a description would already be great. My ...
7
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2answers
706 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
1k views

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 ...
6
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2answers
494 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 ...
6
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
6
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0answers
99 views

How was law enforcement handled in medieval China before professional police?

This question came from: How was law enforcement handled in large US cities before professional police? China (Zhōng Gúo 中国) has had very large cities with more than a million people since the early ...
6
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0answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
3k views

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 ...
5
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2answers
301 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
498 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
5
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1answer
517 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 ...
4
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2answers
448 views

How often would monks leave their monasteries in the Middle Ages?

I have been reading about medieval monasteries, and I recently read that monks could sometimes act as village priests. This confused me as I had read that monks couldn't leave their monasteries. Was ...
4
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2answers
202 views

Why did the recorded history of Poland start after the reign of Miezsko I?

Norman Davies says this in his book, God's Playground, Volume I regarding Miezsko I: He started the recorded history of the Poles which has continued without a break from that day to this. Even I ...
4
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0answers
89 views

Is there any evidence of naval ramming in the 9th and 10th century North Sea?

In Bernard Cornwell's 'Sword of the Kings', his main character uses the tactic of ramming to sink an enemy ship before engaging in hand-to-hand combat with surviving ships which get leashed together. ...
4
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0answers
226 views

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 ...
3
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3answers
1k views

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 (...
3
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2answers
329 views

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 "...
3
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2answers
895 views

How did the Chinese crossbows that shot bullets work?

It's commonly accepted that East Asian people invented the crossbow. However, it seems they had crossbows that shoot bullets as well. As an example, Jing Fang uses this description when explaining his ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Significance of division of Caledonia by Northumbrian Advance

In Chapter 4 of The Isles by Norman Davies, he writes: One effect of the Northumbrian advance was to split British territory in Caledonia into two. By the eighth century at the latest, the ...
3
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0answers
261 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
283 views

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?
2
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2answers
364 views

How did the layout of a Medieval European village typically change as it grew into a town?

Some of the research I've done so far WordlbuidingSE: How did the layout of a village change over time? This question was too broad, it's now more specific: It is not about settlements that were ...
2
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2answers
533 views

What would a 9th-century German count do if he wanted to spend some time with his wife?

Are there any records of leisure activities by married noble couples in approximately 821? What sort of things can they both do? Did women go on hunts with men? Could there have been a theater, or a ...