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Questions tagged [middle-ages]

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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Did medieval ransom taking have agents?

Medieval ransom taking was big- people were taken of all types of social standing for wide ranges of payments for their release- virtually a business. Did the business have agents who provide various ...
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1answer
135 views

In medieval England was heresy dealt with in the king's courts or church courts?

In medieval England was heresy dealt with in the kings courts or church courts? Clearly heresy was a crime against the church but the punishment was death so presumably it must have been dealt with ...
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Source material for a tale originating from the Middle ages: “Falling off a church and surviving by falling on someone”

I'm looking for the original story of a tale I've been told years ago back in high school by my history teacher. A worker in France was working on a church and lost his balance and fell. He landed on ...
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1answer
105 views

Are there any famous people who died from cancer before 1800? [closed]

Cancer was described by the ancient Egyptians by 1600 BC and, much later, by Hippocrates and then Celsus during the early empire. Cases were diagnosed but there is no mention of people who were famous....
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Youngest age for the militia in the middle ages

I know it probably differed from village to village, town to town, city to city, but what was the standard bare minimum age for anyone to join the local militia or receive any sort of combat/survival ...
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How did medieval fishermen work a long line?

How did medieval fishermen use a long line? What did they use as bait? How many hooks were there? When was it put out? When was it pulled in? I want as many details as possible.
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Did a villein ever rise to the nobility in Medieval England?

I know that there are tales of burghers and other commoners getting rich through trade. Was it unknown for villeins to climb the social scale?
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Oppression of non-ethnic Hungarians in Hungary pre 1800s

I was reading about Magyarization and it is noted that this process only began in the 1800s. However, I was wondering about earlier oppression of Romanians specifically in the Transylvania regions pre-...
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116 views

What is an antimendicant?

I am reading a book (Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, Books Under Suspicion, (University of Notre Dame Press) 2006.) called Books Under Suspicion. In it, there is an ongoing struggle between the mendicant orders ...
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160 views

Are there any documented cases from ancient or medieval times of someone escaping captivity by cross-dressing?

In 1642, at the beginning of the English Civil War, the Irish Royalist Daniel O'Neill escaped from the Tower of London where he had been imprisoned by the Parliamentarians by tying bed sheets and a ...
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205 views

What expenses did a village have?

I'm trying to research the incomes and expenditures of a small village in medieval England. The village occupies a formerly abandoned settlement situated against an abandoned castle. The village is a ...
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What is the date and original source of this medieval picture?

While researching the history of chimneys, I came across this medieval image on two different sites, neither of which gives any details. Source: Dark Ages Project. The same picture can also be found ...
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229 views

Aside from Henry VIII, did a king ever take part in a joust as an unknown knight (incognito)?

The unknown knight would seem to belong in the realm of fiction - witness Gareth in Le Morte d'Arthur and Wilfred in Ivanhoe, among others - but incognito knights fighting in jousts or melees were not ...
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303 views

Why did King Arthur have such a great influence in Brittany?

King Arthur, according to its literature, was a British leader. However, its influence in Brittany is huge. The Brocéliande, the mythical forest where Merlin was buried, is there, lots of family names ...
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Did foreign language phrase books exist in the ancient world?

I am finding out about the ancient equivalent to modern foreign language phrase books, used in conversations. Such as a medieval Italian-Latin conversational book, or an ancient English-French ...
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1answer
97 views

The Abbasid ransom for the Black Stone (Hajar Aswad)

The Black Stone (Al Hajaru Al Aswad, popularly called Hajar Aswad) of the Kaaba in Mecca was stolen in 930 AD by the Qarmatians, and was returned 23 years later in 952 AD for "a huge" ransom paid by ...
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1answer
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Who are the three men standing and what are they holding at this University of Paris Doctors' Meeting?

The image below is used on several sites but none of them give much information on this painting other than "Medieval Education in Europe: Meeting of Doctors in the University of Paris" and the source ...
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Has there ever been an archbishop or bishop younger than the 16-year-old James of Nicosia?

In 1456, King John II of Cyprus appointed his illegitimate son James as Latin Archbishop of Nicosia. James was just 16 at the time. James soon lost his position, being forced to flee the following ...
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1answer
181 views

What was the range of medieval bombards?

We know the weights of various medieval bombards and the weight of the stones they launched (such as the famous Mons Meg or Dardanelles gun). But I can't find any information about their range or how ...
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1answer
224 views

How did contemporaries view the Byzantine Empire during the 11th century?

I'm curious about how the Byzantine empire was viewed by contemporaries during the Middle Ages (11th century). By contemporaries, I mean the other powers of the era, such as Western European countries,...
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1answer
168 views

Identify two Medieval Indian coins

Can someone help me identifying these two old coins found in India? They are made of copper. They are very thick and weigh around 10 grams. Both the coins have a diameter of 1.5cm and thickness of 0....
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Was ambition considered a character flaw in medieval times or Renaissance?

In Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar", ambition is an undesirable trait: "The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault". Was ambition widely considered ...
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226 views

Did Europe experience forest deficits prior to 19th century?

I would like to understand if there were issues with forests in Europe prior to 19th century and, if so, what were the reasons behind them? Two versions that I have are overusing forests as the ...
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1answer
481 views

Why was the battle of Bouvines that incredible?

I've been looking on some history books, history of the Plantagenets (who were part of this) and history of the Capetians, and I don't see why it was such a shock that Phillip II won the battle of ...
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1answer
246 views

What is the name of the weapon shown in the image below? [closed]

I am looking for the proper name of the sword in the image below. I was not sure which stack exchange site to post this on so I put it here, figuring it was a type of medieval weaponry, if an obscure ...
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Did Constantine I of Cilician Armenia usurp the throne or did he rule legitimately?

The accounts concerning four brothers who became Kings of Cilician Armenia towards the end of the 13th century tell a tale of murder, usurpation and treachery, but who betrayed who and when is far ...
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Did horse sacrifice persist in Christian Europe?

While researching the Indo-European horse sacrifice, I happened upon the following claim online: Although the papal ban seems to have greatly reduced the consumption of horseflesh in most of Europe,...
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Which early rulers used the title of King of Italy? [closed]

It is easy to list modern rulers who used the title of King of Italy. The kings of the modern Kingdom of Italy were Victor Emmanuel II 1861-1878, Umberto I 1878-1900, Victor Emmanuel III 1900-1946, ...
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2answers
184 views

Do medieval historic references to “Semites” refer to Jews or to speakers of Semitic in general?

In medieval times, we often read of Semitic pogroms and expulsions etc., for example in Spain, or after the Black Death. Do the original sources refer specifically to "Semites" or to "Jews"? And if ...
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1answer
518 views

Did Jeanne d'Arc really tell a woman that she couldn't serve on the battlefield?

When I was browsing TV Tropes today, I came across this interesting tidbit of information on Jeanne d'Arc's Useful Notes page: "Also, Joan has been attributed with feminist and/or populist views, ...
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1answer
182 views

Weird weapons in medieval times [closed]

I know that this will be a bit vague, but here goes: what’s the weirdest weapon ever made/used in the medieval times? I meant in terms of how it’s used. I wrote the man catcher question so I would ...
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1answer
331 views

Were man catchers actually used in medieval times?

I know that man catchers were invented sometime during the medieval times, but were they actually used during the medieval times?
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Example of a battering ram used to successfully breach a gate

I am looking for a specific example of a battering ram used to breach the gate of a castle or fortification in Europe. I can find lots of indirect references to the use of battering rams on gates (...
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2answers
260 views

Eastern Europe during middle ages, a world view [closed]

I am a Belgian man conversant in Dutch, French, English, German (so English is not my first language), therefore you read many mistakes. My question is this: in our class and country it seems that ...
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1answer
195 views

Knights relieving vows and deeds of arms

I've been doing a lot of reading lately of books like Ivanhoe, The White Company, etc. that take place in medieval times. Frequently, I see a knight in one of those books asking another knight if he ...
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2answers
441 views

What did European people of the 5th century AD eat during spring and what was the availability?

It is commonly believed that winter during that age was a period of starvation, with very limited means of procuring food. If the above is true, what did the commoners (peasants, serfs, etc) had to ...
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263 views

What are the dimensions of the house in this picture?

What are the approximate dimensions of The Yeomans' House, Bignor, West Sussex, England?
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306 views

What obligations did a freed slave have to his/her former master in Anglo-Saxon England?

As in Ancient Rome, slaves in Anglo-Saxon England could gain their freedom: The manumission (freeing) of slaves was solemnized by ceremony, the presence of witnesses, and legal documentation... ...
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2answers
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Who was Richard of York at the Battle of Grunwald?

Gloria.TV states that "the foreign knight,...Richard of York" fought, and was killed, at the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) in 1410. I can find no one from the house of York who might have been at ...
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What is the pre-schism Christian church called today?

I've come upon numerous instances where a pre-11th century person or artifact is associated with either the Orthodox or Catholic church. The most recent example is in Francis Fukuyama's "The Origins ...
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1answer
163 views

Why was Caliph Suleyman disliked by the noted generals in the Umayyad army?

Caliph Suleyman of Umayyad Empire was by all accounts a rash man who kept a grudge. He also appears to have had stormy relations with the Army's Walidist generals. His only apparent support in the ...
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1answer
228 views

Turko-Mongol horse tactics and Western European response

Did not seem that Western European armies stood up to Turco-Mongol military tactics such as the horse archer. Did these European armies ever learn to counter those tactics? The Slavs (Polish) had a ...
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How widespread was the consumption of rabbit meat by the poor in Medieval and Early-Modern Britain?

The Romans raised rabbits as livestock in Spain in the 2nd century BC and later brought them to Britain. French monks are believed to have domesticated them in the 5th century AD for their meat and ...
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131 views

Did the Danes sack Hamburg after the conquest of Hedeby in 983?

In 983, the Danes reconquered the southern Schleswig area from the Germans. Some sites claim that the Danes conquered Holstein as well during this invasion and even sacked Hamburg in cooperation with ...
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2answers
353 views

Is there evidence that the annual pilgrimage to Mecca facilitated cultural exchanges?

I've read once (but I don't recall where anymore) that the Hajj, that is, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, had an important non-religious consequence in medieval times, namely the fast spread of new ...
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Was Leo II of Armenia poisoned?

Leo II, also known as Leon II or Levon II, became the King of Armenian Cilicia from 1269/70 and was a vassal of the Mongols. Five of his 16 children by his highly regarded wife Keran (who later ...
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Are there any documented cases where a society was capable of large scale selflessness for the benefit of future generations? [closed]

Are there any documented cases in history where a society has altruistically created or conserved something exclusively for the benefit of next generations at a large scale? An good example of such ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the title of a medieval mayor?

In the medieval/renaissance era what is the title of a person who runs a city in his king's kingdom? Like he isn't the king but he serves him by running the city. I think they could be called a ...
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1answer
185 views

When did medieval monarchs start being depicted with ermine fur garments?

Probably all medieval monarchs wore fur garments when the weather was cold enough. But what seems to be the normal medieval picture of monarch in civilian dress was to wear a long robe with a cloak ...
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1answer
500 views

How did people say “I have to go to the bathroom” before the bathroom and pipes were common?

I am writing a story in a medieval world of fantasy, and today a little girl is trapped next to her brother in a hole. The girl has to go to the bathroom, but I do not know how to be someone that age ...