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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
24
votes
2answers
2k 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
670 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
431 views

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, ...
2
votes
0answers
147 views

How long did it take to make a woolen sweater?

In premodern times, in temperate or colder climates, clothing was orders of magnitude more expensive than today and textile production made up a large percentage of total economic activity. I'm ...
3
votes
0answers
192 views

What became of the Richard III infidelity surprise?

Back when Richard III of England's grave was discovered, a paper published in Nature Communications reported that while his identity was confirmed through a direct-female descendent of his sister, Y-...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

Was there and if so what was a northern silk road route from Khazaria to China?

From the reading I had done in various sources through the years, I understood that possible silk road routes from Khazaria to China were: Northern: Atil - Tashkent - Dunhuang - Chang'an Central: ...
22
votes
2answers
6k views

What were the effects of the Black Death in the Muslim world?

What were the effects of The Black Death in the Muslim world? Both Wikpedia's page on The Black Death's migration and The Black Death have information regarding the effects of Black Death in the ...
9
votes
2answers
807 views

Where in a city would a cathedral be built?

I am creating a medieval style village in a video game I am developing. Trying to be as accurate as possible I have studied the basic form Gothic Cathedrals and come to a pretty good understanding. ...
1
vote
2answers
220 views

Is the depiction of the Stirling Castle Knight historically accurate?

For some reason BBC depicted him with a shaved head. I was wondering if it is historically accurate for a 700 year old English nobleman to have a shaved head?
21
votes
3answers
7k views

Where did the term “Middle Ages” come from?

Where did the term "Middle Ages" come from? Who was the first known person to use that term?
32
votes
4answers
5k views

How much would 300 pounds (money value) weigh in Medieval England?

I remember reading a Robin Hood story as a child where the Sheriff of Nottingham rode though Sherwood forest, as I remember foolishly going alone, and Robin Hood robbed him of 300 pounds. And I ...
6
votes
3answers
781 views

Were there prominent secular philosophers in the European middle ages? If so, who?

I've only done a small amount of reading on the middle ages, and on the history of Western philosophy, but from what I can glean education and religion were tightly coupled during the period, so most ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Should the Great Schism of 1054 be taken to be 1204 (or 1182) instead?

It seems that 1054 wasn't such a big deal: forty years later Pope Urban and Emperor Alexios were on such good terms that a crusade was initiated to save Constantinople and the Holy Lands; even in 1136 ...
8
votes
2answers
266 views

How did philosophical and scientific knowledge in Christian Europe in 1085 compare to the body of knowledge contained in the library of Toledo?

In 1085, Moorish Toledo was conquered by Alfonso VI. According to prof. Robert Sapolsky (he is a primatologist and neurobiologist, but usually all information he gives is very reliable), at the time ...
12
votes
2answers
430 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). ...
13
votes
2answers
175 views

Did Thomas Aquinas's correspondent James of Tonengo become bishop of Vercelli?

Thomas Aquinas wrote the long letter/short treatise De Sortibus at the request of his friend James / Jacobus / Giacomo of Tonengo. James was a candidate to be bishop of Vercelli (Northwest Italy) but ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Did Edward the Confessor choose Harold Godwinson as his successor?

It has been claimed that King Edward the Confessor chose Earl Harold Godwinson as his successor on his deathbed in January 1066. I googled "did Edward the Confessor name Harold his heir?" and got ...
30
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the meaning of a knight fighting a snail in medieval book illustrations?

Someone sent me this really weird picture of a medieval illustration. It depicted a knight fighting a snail, and was basically a viral snarky commentary about how weird medieval ideas were. I tried ...
5
votes
5answers
941 views

What's the point of fortified castles inside fortified cities?

In the Middle Ages, people built highly fortified castles for royalty inside cities that were already fortified by walls. What was the reasoning behind that? Were they made to protect royal families ...
2
votes
0answers
172 views

How did medieval peasants decide where to build their houses?

When a person moved out of their parents' house, they needed a house. How was it decided where this house would be located? For example, did they just pick the next available spot on a path? Were ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Were “hitmen” a real historical occupation?

The trained killer-for-hire is a fairly standard trope in all kinds of media about courtly intrigue. That way, the king's life can be in danger basically all the time. But did these people actually ...
7
votes
1answer
838 views

During the Middle Ages, how many people could fishing feed?

I known fishing was pretty popular in the middle-age. But I don't know how many people could be fed by a single fisher? I'd like to know it mostly for river fishing but I'm also interested by sea ...
1
vote
2answers
372 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
301 views

How many people lived in a medium sized European villiage around the year 800?

My question is, how many people lived in a medium sized European village (like Germany) in the year 800. And how many people would have walked on the streets in a daily routine?
3
votes
1answer
510 views

Why did so many Saxons emigrate to England?

I read some interesting DNA research recently showing that vikings left little or no DNA traces in the population of present day UK but Saxons on the other hand left a huge imprint. It amazes me that ...
25
votes
1answer
4k views

Did Saladin speak any European languages?

As the leader of a large coalition force I'm aware he was multilingual, speaking at least Kurdish and Arabic (one site added Turkish) but a European language seems like a longshot. If he did speak one,...
6
votes
1answer
228 views

Under primogenture in 12th century France, if the eldest son predeceases his father, did the grandson or an younger son inherit?

Okay so I'm not sure how to word this eloquently, I'm sorry, but please bear with me. Let's say that a lord, eg. a Duke had two sons. The older one got married, had a male heir, and then died while ...
1
vote
2answers
222 views

How is the term “medieval” used to describe non-European civilizations and cultures?

I have done a quick Bing search, and the term refers to the Middle Ages, a time period in Western European history. It has the alternative meaning of "very old-fashioned or primitive". Yet, ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do we clink glasses and say cheers?

Is it true that in Medieval Times kings used to invite other king for a feast and poison other king's drink? this became so prevelant that the guest king would clink his glass with the host king's ...
4
votes
0answers
150 views

How was reconnaissance performed in medieval warfare?

During the middle ages reconnaissance played at least a minor part in a tactician's plans. As evidenced by this question Irish Hobelars would be used to scout ahead in terrain that was too difficult ...
11
votes
2answers
899 views

Who was the oldest woman to give birth in the Medieval Europe that we know of?

In 1166, Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of Henry II of England, gave birth to the future King John when she was at least 42 years old (it is more likely she was 43 or 44). Eleanor of Castile, wife of ...
0
votes
1answer
159 views

When did “killing” become wrong in society? [closed]

It occurred to me that in many medieval settings, people getting killed is just a part of life. If you angered a feudal lord or noble, they could cut off your hands or kill you and no one bats an eye. ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Were titles in the British Peerage ever connected to land grants, and if so, when did they stop being connected to land?

I have been trying to understand the peerage systems of Britain as of late, and I have a number of questions. Let's assume we're in the middle ages. A baron-in-chief, Thomas Smith, holds a number of ...
1
vote
0answers
58 views

Have any palimpsests been found in medieval Icelandic (saga) literature?

Old Norse mythology and history are mostly known through Icelandic medieval parchements. Have those been found to include palimpsests, like medieval parchement in Europe has?
8
votes
1answer
218 views

Is there a Welsh or Irish equivalent to the Declaration of Arbroath or Magna Carta?

Are there any pre-modern documents (or were there any, if they didn't survive) in Welsh or Irish history, which are broadly equivalent in intention and purpose to the Declaration of Arbroath or the ...
2
votes
7answers
600 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
112 views

How did private property work in medieval France?

Were you required to purchase a land deed to get permission from the ruler of the area, or could you build wherever you wanted? If the latter is how it worked throughout Europe for the most part, I ...
2
votes
3answers
201 views

What is the origin of the first dynasty in Scotland?

Who gave anyone the authority to appoint themselves and hence start a royal line? I assume today's royalty come from this royal line The standard answer is Kenneth Macalpine as far as I can see with ...
12
votes
3answers
751 views

Were Archimedes screws used in pre-modern times in the far east?

Screw pumps or Archimedes screws were used by the Romans in mine dewatering. They were possibly used in ancient Babylon (a few hundred years before Archimedes) to irrigate the famous hanging gardens. ...
6
votes
1answer
354 views

Is the use of flamethrower style naval weapons depicted in this game accurate?

In the popular strategy game Age of Empires 2, one key naval unit is the so-called Fire Ship. Fire ships in the game use a siphon to launch a continuous stream of fire projectiles on the enemy. ...
3
votes
2answers
679 views

Why was silage only invented in the 19th century?

For thousands of years in the Northern climates mankind had to slaughter a large proportion of their livestock due to a shortage of winter fodder. What prevented mankind from using silage/haylage ...
0
votes
2answers
195 views

In a medieval city how large a market was needed relative to population? [closed]

In a large medieval city fed by the agricultural product of the area, plus imports such as grains, spices, fish, etc. and also serving as a regional hub for the exchange of trade goods, what ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Were alchemists respected in Europe? [closed]

What was the general altitude towards alchemists? Were they respected? Who funded them?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Did Charlemagne's Christian conquest of Germany cause the Vikings to hit back at Britain?

A documentary on The Dark Ages says that Vikings invaded the British isles after Charlemagne of France conquered some of Germany and forced the Germans to convert or die in the years 783-804. The ...
1
vote
1answer
171 views

Is there art or written evidence of crescent shaped arrows being used for bird-hunting in Medieval Europe?

I have heard it said that crescent arrows were used for hunting birds in medieval Europe. I could not find any art or literary evidence for it, though. The art I found for bird hunting generally ...
21
votes
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
34k views

What was life expectancy in early medieval Britain?

I'm working on doing background research for one of my novels and I'm looking for roughly how old a male in the peasant class would've lived around 5th or 6th century Britain.
8
votes
2answers
12k views

How much do we know about Emperor Ashoka?

A recent Indian television series is showing a detailed life characteristic of Ashoka's childhood. Though its a work of fiction, I would like to know how much of the show is based on fact. Furthermore,...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How widespread was the Arabic Language in Syria before Islamic conquest?

Before the Islamic conquest of Syria and the whole Levant, how widespread was the use of the Arabic language there? Are there any resources show what the percentage of Arabic in that region is as well?...
45
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there any proof that Robin Hood existed?

Is there any written proof/documentation that Robin Hood ever existed? Did he ever get arrested and got his name written in the prison books or something like that?

1
2 3 4 5
16