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
11
votes
2answers
911 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
70 views

Does anyone know of a good source on French folk customs?

I have been looking into French culture and was wondering if anyone knows of a book or collection of documents, etc... That contain prayers, customs, etc... That the French practiced. Kinda like a ...
7
votes
2answers
726 views

Did anyone ever win a kingdom through single combat without a backing army or blood tie to the throne?

I've read of instances where historians suggest that single combat of champions has been used to preempt wholesale slaughter on the battlefield; and I think I've read instances where blood relatives ...
35
votes
2answers
7k views

How kind were the Muslim occupations of North Africa?

I grew up in Egypt and although I was raised in Muslim-majority country, I am atheist now. In history classes we were told a doubtful story: The Muslims would have been kind and merciful invaders ...
19
votes
0answers
587 views

Did men and women feast together in the early medieval East Francia?

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. ...
25
votes
1answer
3k views

How did William the Conqueror consolidate his military victory?

Seems to me once you have won the war, your troubles are just beginning. You've got a small number of men few that can speak the local language. How do you go about putting your men in charge, ...
5
votes
1answer
751 views

What does “two ells within the selvages” mean in the Magna Carta?

Clause 35 of the Magna Carta defines some standard weights and measures to be used throughout the realm. The first part is straightforward: the standard weight/mass used for wine, ale and corn is the ...
33
votes
2answers
6k views

Is this medieval picture of hanging 5 royals showing an historical event?

I was reading up on medieval hanging and came across this picture. It shows five royals (kings? princes?) being hanged from trees, but the articles I read don't mention any royal hangings. I had a ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Who were the social elites of the European middle ages?

I have recently been reading into the European Middle Ages, where one of the challenges is the limited sources available. I have often seen seen this described as a source bias towards the elite ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

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: ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

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 ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Has a battering ram been used to 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 (...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
32
votes
1answer
7k views

In what way were Renaissance battles like chess matches?

I have been reading Ross King's Brunelleschi's Dome: The Story of the Great Cathedral in Florence. Although the book is well documented, it has an astonishing passage for which the author provides no ...
4
votes
1answer
436 views

What is the earliest reference to King Arthur being raised by Sir Ector?

Thomas Malory's book "Le Morte D'Arthur" is the most famous account of King Arthur's life. It begins with the story of how Arthur's father Uther Pendragon desired Igrayne, the wife of the Duke of ...
11
votes
1answer
669 views

When was King John of England given the name 'Dollheart', and who first used it?

As if being called 'Lackland' (by his father, Henry II) and 'Softsword' (by "some English chroniclers") was not bad enough, King John also acquired the very unflattering-sounding nickname of Dollheart....
0
votes
0answers
119 views

How would you address a merchant in the High Middle Ages?

If you were to address a powerful and affluent noble with a wide monopoly over trade in the 11th-13th centuries, what would you call them? (Assuming you are of lesser rank to them) Would it be Sir, ...
0
votes
0answers
176 views

How effective was medieval horse armor?

Medieval longbows seem now to have been only marginally effective against armoured knights of early fifteenth century although Henry Fifth was wounded in the face at Shrewsbury in 1403 with a limited ...
9
votes
2answers
844 views

Why did Stephen II of Blois (father of King Stephen of England) abandon the First Crusade in 1098 knowing how much he would lose by doing so?

Having taken the crusader’s vow and raised an army of thousands, why did Stephen II of Blois forsake the enormous prestige associated with crusading and risk shame and accusations of cowardice by ...
82
votes
5answers
15k views

Did medieval stores have names?

Re-posting this question of mine from the Worldbuilding Stack Exchange: I know it's common for shops and stores to be named in D&D and other fantasy settings, but how common was that practice in ...
6
votes
1answer
328 views

How did medieval serfs obtain their iron goods?

Serfs were farmers who paid taxes in agricultural produce and subsisted on the remainder. As I understand it, they (unlike freeholders) did not sell their produce or manufactured goods for personal ...
-4
votes
1answer
218 views

How were the beds in which privileged man in medieval Europe slept? [closed]

I think it is correct to say that for all medieval Europe time the basic peasant, worker bed was a cold stone floor or at most a mattress made out of straw. I wonder how and on top of what powerful ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Where is the sword used to execute Queen Anne Boleyn?

If a 'skilled' (with sword) executioner was summoned from Calais, did he bring his own 'equipment' and, if so, is there record of him & it there? Was the sword seized when Francis, Duke of Guise ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Did the Buyids emerge as allies of the Abbasid Caliphate?

The Buyid dynasty were Shia sympathizers. However, I might have read somewhere that the Buyids came to power as allies of the Abbasids. This would have been as an anti Tabaristan or anti Ziyarid ...
8
votes
0answers
117 views

Who revoked their signatures from the union agreement at the Council of Florence?

In many Byzantine history books, a general statement is made that from the 700 strong delegation to the council of Florence, "many Orthodox bishops revoked their signatures" after the council ...
3
votes
0answers
104 views

Are there any records of Foreign investments or Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in history from pre-medieval or medieval period?

A foreign direct investment (FDI) is an investment in the form of a controlling ownership in a business in one country by an entity based in another country. If we look at the articles about the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Were the arches on medieval bridges large enough to permit river traffic? [closed]

I’ve been looking through the Civitates Orbis Terrarum to get a sense of the way Medieval cities and their surroundings were organized, but there are some questions I haven’t been able to answer about ...
3
votes
2answers
927 views

What specific training did members of medieval military orders get?

What were the dominant martial and clerical themes to the training of knights in medieval military orders? Were there specific fighting or training techniques, or weapons, adopted to meet religious ...
7
votes
1answer
462 views

Were women banned from entering the castle of Trakai?

According to legend, Vytautas the Great banned women from entering the Trakai Island Castle under penalty of death. I read it in Russian, it is called "The Horse of knyaz Vytautas". The plot is ...
18
votes
3answers
13k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
456 views

How were de jure lands determined during the Middle Ages in Western Europe?

I was continuing my research on the strained relationship of France and England during the Middle-Ages. As I was reading up on Philip II Augustus of France in Wikipedia I stumbled upon this: The ...
9
votes
1answer
908 views

How close would a peasant from middle ages England ever come to interacting with the king?

Presuming we have a peasant who works on land owned by a "common" lord (sorry, here I don't know the terminology. I mean a landowner who is not a royal), how close would that person ever get to ...
4
votes
1answer
305 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....
8
votes
1answer
181 views

Where was the Barberini psalter created?

Would you know where the Barberini psalter was created? I have checked the on-line sources and cannot find the answer (maybe I have overlooked it?) It was created in the 11th century. The obvious ...
2
votes
1answer
400 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
191 views

What did a tournament sword made of whale bone (baleen) look like?

I accidentally found this information from the Wikipedia page Boiled leather: The word cuirass for a breastplate indicates that these were originally made of leather.[11] In the Late Middle Ages, ...
3
votes
1answer
330 views

How effective are rope helmets as protection?

I accidentally found this in some 15th century painting in "The Arrest of Christ" in the "Karlsruher Passion" from Master of the Karlsruhe Passion (Hans Hirtz?) "The Disrobing of Christ" and after ...
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
384 views

Was there a semi-professional soldiering class in Early Middle Ages Europe?

We're all familiar with the basic setup of feudal society: a large class of peasants supporting a small martial-administrative class of knights. In the event of a big war, peasants get handed some ...
32
votes
6answers
7k views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

Where can I find information about “stone power” / lapidaire?

While doing some research about Middle-Ages jewelry, where stones comes from and the economy around it, I found a website mentioning this book and mention beliefs in some magical properties of ...
70
votes
1answer
14k views

What drugs were used in England during the High Middle Ages?

It's well known that alcohol was brewed and drunk throughout the Middle ages in England, but I wonder what is known from archaeological evidence and contemporary sources about what other drugs were ...
3
votes
1answer
197 views

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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there any writings by blinded and/or exiled Byzantine emperors?

Several Byzantine Emperors were deposed and subsequently blinded and/or exiled by their successors. Are there any extant texts authored by any of these deposed emperors?
5
votes
2answers
559 views

How were large monetary transactions conducted in medieval Europe?

Recently, I have read in the news about a large hoard of Norman coins in England being found. Apparently, all of these coins were silver pennies. And then it occurred to me that small silver coins ...
31
votes
4answers
8k views

How did medieval manors handle population growth? Was there room for more fields to be ploughed?

Most villeins were bound to the manor and not allowed to move elsewhere. But what happened when the population grew? The size of the manor remained the same didn't it, so how did they keep up with the ...
18
votes
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 ...
-3
votes
2answers
177 views

How was the black death spread? [closed]

When discussing the black plague, many historians believe it to be the bubonic plague transmitted by fleas on rats. I was wondering if there are any competing theories to what caused this mass death.
21
votes
2answers
3k 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. ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

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, ...

1 2 3
4
5
15