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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76 views

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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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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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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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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535 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
369 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
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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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485 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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287 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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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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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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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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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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562 views

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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355 views

When did hand cannons become handguns?

When did hand cannons change to handguns? The Wikipedia article doesn’t address when the change happens in my opinion, but I could be wrong. I’m asking mostly for curiosities sake. I know that hand ...
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
596 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 ...
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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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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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2answers
370 views

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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424 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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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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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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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
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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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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
488 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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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
735 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
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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,...