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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19
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2answers
2k views

What is the history of the university asylum law?

I fear this question may be rather broad and I would like help to narrow it down. Currently a debate is ongoing in Greece regarding the law preventing police from stepping into university campuses. ...
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Did the pope try to suppress the number zero?

Is there any evidence indicating that the Pope attempted to suppress the number zero? In an editorial review, Rob Lightner claims that "Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea", by Charles Seife, ...
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Are there any medieval records of girls with large clitorises misidentified (and subsequently raised) as boys?

Several years ago, I read a piece of trivia in a popular science magazine1, which said pretty much exactly: In the Middle Ages there were many cases where a newborn girl was born with a clitoris ...
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Could Phillip IV of Spain have prevented Spain's decline? [on hold]

Phillip IV, like most of the Habsburgs before him was debatably a pretty damaging ruler during the waning years of Habsburg reign in Spain. Causing various break-aways from provinces, principalities, ...
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Did Pope Urban II issue the papal bull “terra nullius” in 1095?

Countless sources claim that the origin of the term terra nullius is from a papal bull issued by Pope Urban II in 1095 called "Terra nullius". Here are a two: Pramod K. Nayar, The Postcolonial ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
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Was Richard I's imprisonment by Leopold of Austria justified?

I read in Wikipedia and Britannica about Richard I of England regarding his imprisonment and I was perplexed by the fact that a sovereign monarch, and a crusader at that, could be imprisoned by a ...
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3answers
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What should I call bands of armed men in the Middle Ages?

I am writing a fiction short story roughly based off medieval times in Europe. In it I have a group of men who live in a castle and fight for the castle's lord. (They mainly protect the surrounding ...
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Which arm was the shield held in?

I'm asking a question elsewhere and I'm sure I've heard some historical text to back this up as well as sound reasoning: you want your strongest arm to stop yourself from getting killed by using a ...
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3answers
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How did commoners in late medieval to early modern Europe learn to read?

Literacy in the early Middle Ages was very low, but as I recall, by the time of Reformation quite a lot of commoners could read. Even if they were not very good in reading and writing, by the 17th ...
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2answers
427 views

Were war horses unable to graze naturally in grass fields and so needed to be feed manually with exclusive type of hay?

I found this trivia in a historical strategy game (the game name will be kept secret) and so I want to know the credibility of it. It states that war horse (i mean destrier or other type of european ...
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0answers
91 views

What are the most accurate depictions of medieval cavalry charges in movies or TV series? [closed]

Reading this excellent question/answer about the Physics of heavy cavalry charges, I am wondering what are the most accurate depictions of medieval cavalry charges in movies or TV series? Two come to ...
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1answer
574 views

When the Swiss Guard was formed, was the height requirement 174 cm (5' 8 1/2")?

The current minimum height required for the Swiss Guard at the Vatican is 5'8 1/2" or 174 cm (Swiss Guard requirements). Has that always been the case? I remember reading years ago that the minimum ...
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1answer
217 views

Why did Al-Andalus become cosmopolitan?

I have been watching some BBC documentaries on the history of Spain recently. 'Blood and Gold: The Making of Spain with Simon Sebag Montefiore', and 'The Art of Spain' (Episode 1: The Moorish South). ...
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2answers
396 views

Did every medieval village in Europe have a manor, castle, or other type of lord's residence?

I know that some villages were the sole and only property of certain minor lords or knights. Such villages surely had a manor (or even a castle) where the lord lives. On the other hand, many lords ...
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2answers
287 views

Where was the ruling seat of East Francia located under Henry the Fowler?

It seems safe to assume that Bavaria wasn't an option as Arnulf the Bad controlled this area throughout Henry's reign. The only possible candidates that I can find are Memleben (where Henry died) or ...
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1answer
100 views

Is there a source for Medieval army composition and tactics across cultures?

It's mostly a source question, because the topic is too large to be covered by simple questions and answers, so im sorry if i posted this in the wrong place. I'm trying to research on the ...
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10answers
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Why did only the English adopt, evolve and use the longbow en masse in war?

The bow was a relatively common weapon on dark age battlefields as Harold's arrow in the eye at Hastings will attest. But shortly after is was largely superseded by the crossbow, partly because pretty ...
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2answers
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When did the Roman Empire fall according to contemporaries?

The Roman Empire divided itself into two parts, the Eastern Roman Empire headquartered in Constantinople and the Western Roman Empire headquartered in Rome. The city of Rome itself fell in the year ...
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1answer
314 views

To what extent was Christianity responsible for the dark ages of Western Europe?

Some sources assert that Christianity caused the dark ages of Western Europe. But actually, to what extent Christianity was actually responsible for the dark ages of Western Europe? I know this can ...
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1answer
232 views

Why the belt or strap in some plate armor and some other armor exposed in the middle front side?

(the belt or strap locate at the middle side of the breastplate or the plackart) Won't the belt become easy target to be cut or to be worn out? Making the armor prone to break up or unable to cover ...
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1answer
196 views

What was the relation of Barons to Counts/Dukes/Earls in England during the medieval ages? [closed]

Barons from what I gather, were under direct obligation to the king. What was the position of counts or dukes? Was their position that of viceroy? As in the barons in the area under the county/duchy ...
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1answer
277 views

Do medieval mongols horse archer have deformed arms like English bowman?

And is there other archer inside/outside of Europe in ancient time suffer the same deformity like English archer? From skeleton reconstruction . I also cant find the credible site, but its pretty ...
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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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How were noblewomen named/titled in Medieval France, c. 11th century?

I was reading through some articles on Wikipedia and long story short I ended up reading about 11th century dukes of France. I noticed that a lot of their wives had names such as, e.g. Adelaide of ...
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3answers
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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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3answers
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What caused the imposition of strict celibacy for Catholic priests during the 11th century?

At the Second Lateran Council in 1139, the Catholic Church implemented a rule requiring all priests to remain celibate. Although the Church has already talked about being celibate for the previous ...
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1answer
192 views

How did currency exchange work in the Middle Ages, especially if the coins are not recognized?

According to Wikipedia, there were a wide range of currencies in the Middle Ages: The various Germanic states in the west all had coinages that imitated existing Roman and Byzantine forms. Gold ...
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1answer
349 views

Are there any ideas as to what the English landscape was like before the arrival of the Angles?

I am not sure if this question is within the guidelines (it may be), but I am curious as to this: In North America, for instance, it is often said it was heavily forested and that a squirrel could get ...
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2answers
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How heavy were the heaviest war hammers actually used?

On the German Wikipedia page about warhammers it says their weight reached from 3 to 14 Kg! Having done some really heavy sports in my past, I was truly surprised by this last number! I searched ...
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7answers
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Why was Poland spared from the Black Death?

The featured image of the Wikipedia page for the Black Death is a gif showing the spread of the bubonic plague throughout Europe. There are a few places where the plague never spread to, including the ...
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1answer
303 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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A question about the definition of heresy (13th. C)

I write considering a definition of heresy, given by Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln (fl. 1235), who's words are widely cited in regards to the history of the inquisition: An opinion created by human ...
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0answers
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Medieval infantry deployed in ranks of #(?) men (formation depth)?

We know quite a lot about Greek phalanx, its deployment and depth and, I believe, about Roman legions as well. But do we know anything about Western European infantry formations of high/late middle ...
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5answers
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What's the correct term for a waitress in the Middle Ages?

How was a waitress called in the Middle Ages? Handmaid, waitress, maid, ...? And is there a different name for the ones who did this kind of job inside a castle, in contrast to the women doing this ...
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2answers
784 views

Did Aurangzeb issue a farman promising 4 Rs for all males that convert and 2 Rs for females?

I found a reference to this farman here (first link) But I can't find the source of the author (or if its authentic). Is it from an akhbar or from a biography of Aurangzeb? Its mentioned as a farman ...
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1answer
248 views

What did people of the middle ages call their periods? [closed]

I initially misread this question and am now left wondering what the answer to my first interpretation is. What did the people of the middle ages call their periods? I'm curious not only about ...
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3answers
279 views

What is an example of effective flanking maneuvers in medieval battles?

I'm interested in better understanding medieval military tactics. I know that flanking maneuvers are often considered devastating in battles but I can find any good examples of this tactic being ...
6
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1answer
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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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0answers
258 views

Did the British Queen raise young women of humble lineage to serve her?

The House of the Portuguese Queens in the 13th and 14th century could be described more or less as the following: high social class - donas or ladies-in-waiting (widows or women married to important ...
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2answers
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Was the Maltese Falcon a real historical artifact?

Am wondering if any of this is true (Hammett, The Maltese Falcon, p. 150). "The archives of the Order from the twelfth century on are still at Malta. They are not intact, but what is there ...
3
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1answer
357 views

What does it mean to “take the Cross”

I am reading Simon Schama's A History of Britain Volume I, which often makes reference to this form of punishment. For example, on p144: "The assassin's made for Yorkshire, where they lived ...
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1answer
231 views

Is the term “chainmail” historically accurate, or a modern invention?

I've heard the claim that the armour widely known today as "chainmail" or "chain mail" was never historically never called by that name in the era when it was used in Europe, rather known as "mail" or ...
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Did men and women feast together in the early Middle Ages?

I am interested in important feasts of the upper classes (nobility), e.g., Easter or the baptism of important heirs, in the Eastern Frankish kingdom around 900 AD, specifically the duchy of Saxony. ...
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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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5answers
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Which European monarch of the middle ages died furthest from home?

After a lot of googling on this - and thinking the crusades might provide an answer - the best I've come up with is Louis IX of France who died in Tunis on the 8th crusade. That's 920 miles 'as the ...
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1answer
190 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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1answer
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Did Henry V’s archers at Agincourt fight with no pants / breeches on because of dysentery?

At the Battle of Agincourt (1415), according to the War History Online article The Time English Soldiers went to Battle without Pants, and Won The conditions for the archers at the start of the ...
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2answers
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What was the place of a catapult in a formation

My question is where would you usually keep a catapult on a battlefield. It feels as if you shouldn't keep it in the rear back of the army since it won't reach the target, and also you want to have as ...
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What evidence is there of the vision aids people used before the invention of eyeglasses in about 1286?

The Wikipedia article on glasses says ‘scattered evidence exists for use of vision aid devices in Greek and Roman times’ but only cites the example of Nero’s emerald. This article on Magnifying ...