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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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What techniques were used to make rings in medieval times?

There is a lot of information on the internet regarding the process by which rings are made today using modern tools. What techniques were used before the 17th century to do it?
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Why didn't the steppe bow spread further?

So, this question was triggered by my reading Stephen Turnbull's book on the Gempei War, when he says that he thinks that the yumi, or Japanese longbow, had an effective range of 10 meters against ...
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5answers
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Where were there growing economies in dark age Europe, excluding Iberia and Constantinople?

Question: Were there major places where the economy grew, inversely to wider situation, in the late Roman Empire and dark age Europe, c. 350-950? The examples that I can think of are Venice and the ...
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What were the most controversial thesis' of the Scholastics?

What actual theses were controversial and caused a stir at the time (not today) in the sense of having the most amount of written response? What specific questions were defended in actual theses by ...
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How and why buttermilk was added to English medieval butter?

My question engages in the history of butter. I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but I will give it a try. I read an old Jewish text (Sharei Dura 78) dated to the 13th century that ...
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4answers
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Has an heir ever made the country believe the current ruler died in order to take over the throne?

Before the invention of the telegraph, a message couldn't travel faster than the speed of a horse (or maybe a messenger pigeon or something along those lines - still pretty slow). Has there ever been ...
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Primary sources on Medieval Christian depictions of non-Christians (in English)

I'm a history student and I'm looking for primary sources in English (not Latin) that could help me with my research. I'm trying to find primary sources preferably written by Christian monks about the ...
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293 views

How the average female body used to be before the industrial revolution? [closed]

I have this curiosity for several reasons.History articles says that before the isdustrial revolution most people used to be quite poor and most of the population were peasants. In other words, most ...
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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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What animals did South East Asians ride in the Middle Ages?

I just got curious, what animals were used by Asians (peasants and rich people) for riding in the Middle Ages? In the west region of the Earth people rode horses, but I guess horses were not common in ...
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1answer
292 views

What was the relationship between science and religion in the European early middle ages? [closed]

What was the relationship between science and religion in the early middle ages of Europe? Faith and Reason proposal on Area 51
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Why didn't the Black Death result in favorable results for surviving peasants in China?

Black Death affected Europe and China alike. In Europe, the Black Death resulted in social mobility of the peasants, and as a result, labor-saving innovations were introduced. All these laid ...
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2answers
637 views

Why did the Mongols destroy the library during the siege of Baghdad in 1258?

For all what we know the Mongolian Empire was not simply a collection of brainless brutes, but they had intense knowledge of their opponents: descriptions, maps, information about the technology, ...
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1answer
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How long did it take to bind a book in 13th century England?

I am looking for information on the time it took for the construction and binding of books in particular, not the writing or copying of them. So, considering that the material is ready to be bound, ...
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Who populated North Africa in the Middle Ages? [closed]

I need to find out who populated North Africa in the Middle ages for a project in school but no luck I tried bing.
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After the fall of the Roman Empire, where did their armor go? Was it used by any dark ages forces?

It is my understanding that the plate armor manufactured in the time after the fall of Rome was far inferior to anything that the Romans used in their legions. (Of course, if I am wrong on any of this ...
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1answer
156 views

What did Jacob Burckhardt intend to say by 'turn within' and 'turn without'?

Source: The Well-Educated Mind (2 edn 2016), pp. 230-231. It is to Jacob Burckhardt that we owe the popular conception of the Renaissance as the time when man began to be modern. Burckhardt ...
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What does King Henry III have on his lap in this illustration from a Matthew Paris chronicle?

In Abbreviatio chronicorum Angliae, the chronicler Matthew Paris (d. 1259) included drawings of the Norman and Plantagenet kings up to Henry III. The image below shows from L-R, top-bottom: Henry II, ...
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316 views

Were travelling judges paid in medieval England?

During the reign of Henry II (1154-89), some key changes in the English judicial system took place. One of these was the introduction of travelling judges: In 1166, Henry issued a Declaration at ...
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Were there records kept of French nobility before the invasion of England in 1066?

I can trace my family name (Chance) back to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Were any records kept (do they survive?) of French nobility around or before this time? Or is it a known dead end for ...
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1answer
320 views

Which Kings of France visited England?

Every English King from Edward the Confessor (d. 1066) to Edward IV (d. 1483) was in France at some point during their lives, almost all during their reigns, and some were born there. These 'visits' ...
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How large was Henry the Fowler's army?

About how many fighting men was Henry the Fowler, King of East Frankia (919 - 936) and Duke of Saxony (912 - 936) able to field during a given campaign?
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1answer
345 views

In a challenge to duel, what happened if a thrown gauntlet (and later, glove) was refused?

What would become of a gauntlet or glove after a denied duel? I'm not finding any hints on Google. Would the challenger abandon it after throwing it to their challengee's feet, as a matter of honor? ...
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Were there any high-ranking female soldiers during the Middle ages?

There are several fictional works describing female knights in a fantasy world, but do they have any real world counterpart? For example, a knight or a high-ranking female military officer during the ...
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2answers
478 views

During feudalism in Europe, was one's allegiance to the lord more or less important than the allegiance to the king?

So, let's say your feudal overlord is rebelling against the king. Who do you owe your allegiance to, the lord, or the king? It's best to fight for the one who's going to win, obviously, but what would ...
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1answer
118 views

Which king of Burgundy sheltered two Robertians?

I am having trouble retrieving this information. A duke or king of Burgundy took custody of, I'm pretty sure, Odo and Robert, sons of Robert the Strong. It's possible that it was some later Robertians,...
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When was King John of England given the name 'Dollheart', and who first used it?

As if being called 'Lackland' and 'Softsword' was not bad enough, King John also acquired the very unflattering-sounding name of Dollheart. This is mentioned on this University of Sheffield page, in ...
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Who did Nachmanides marry?

I would like to know who Nachmanides married. What was her name and how old was he when he married her? I asked everyone I knew and googled it a thousand times but I could not find an answer. Thanks!
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1answer
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What was the military makeup of the Baltic tribes/Lithuania from 1200 to 1500?

There is quite a lot written on the Teutonic order and it's military, but I'm having a harder time finding any good English sources on the military of one of it's chief foes, Lithuania and the other ...
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2answers
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Did cows in Medieval times have calves in spring or all year round?

I'm a Dairy Educator and want to learn about milking and cows in Medieval Times. I suspect that cows had calves only in spring, like most livestock. Am I correct? Would Medieval people drink the ...
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What is the large blue object on the right in this picture showing Greek fire?

This well-known image showing a Byzantine dromon type ship using Greek fire has a blue object behind or on the ship on the right for which I have not been able to find any explanation: Image source: ...
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1answer
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What periods and locations in early European history had evidence based criminal trials?

What periods and locations in European history had evidence based criminal trials? I'm interested in creating a medieval role playing setting and some fictional narratives involving crime ...
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1answer
232 views

Medieval symbol for money/trade/banking

I take part in arranging a medieval fair. As part of that I have the task of creating a pair of moneyboxes for use at the counter of the main place where the visitors can buy something to eat and ...
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1answer
171 views

What was the conflict in Milan from 1041-1044?

I was researching the Pataria movement in Milan that began around 1045. I found mention of a compromise of Milan in 1044. This got me interested in these earlier events. The only information that I ...
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366 views

Did Ancient or Medieval People Know About Underground Rivers/Lakes?

If they did, did they utilize them for farming? If so, how would they?
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1answer
531 views

How did England react to the arrival of the Black Death?

For an assignment, I need to be studying the Black Plague, and different people's reactions to it. I know about England when the Black Plague hit it. However, were people in England aware of the fact ...
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0answers
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Percentage of helmet owners in 15th century Europe

There already is a similar question, but it has been closed as unclear. I will attempt to post a clear question instead. Time : 15th century Country: medieval Europe excluding Eastern Roman Empire, ...
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1answer
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Why did greaves go in and out of fashion?

I made a very counterintuitive find. Wikipedia says: Greaves were common until around the ninth century, when they largely disappeared.There is not much evidence of their use until the second ...
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2answers
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How were the hides of wild beasts cured and tanned back in the 11th century? [closed]

I am currently running a roleplaying game where my player wants to work as a tanner but being honest i have no clue about how tanning and curing worked back when modern chemicals or equipment didn't ...
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0answers
112 views

What was the Hospitaller gonfalon like in the 12th and 13th centuries?

The Templar Order had a gonfalon (a military standard of a specific type) of black and white called the beauseant (I have come to prefer the spelling most common in the book I first took it from ...
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1answer
285 views

What is the earliest evidence for the use of hearing aids?

D. N. Brooks, in Hearing aids – a historical survey states that Emperor Hadrian reportedly used to cup his hand behind his ear, the better to hear the affairs of state...Historically, the cupped ...
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What did medieval European knights do if they were defeated in battle?

I know that in medieval Japan, if samurai were defeated in battle or dishonored in any way they had to commit seppuku (killed themselves). I just wanted to know if medieval Europe had a similar rule.