Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
142

Lyon's theory is rather flawed. First of all, the Etymologiae was written in the 7th century. Just because one paragraph from one chapter in the book might possibly be construed as implying a flat earth, does not mean serious scholars for the next 1,000 years all believe the earth to be flat. Without direct evidence of medieval scholars calling the Earth ...


72

Thomas Aquinas wrote a number of works in the 13th century, some of which were introductory (at least to medieval students - less so to today's students, who are not familiar with scholastic terminology). Most of these would have been read by many, if not most, scholars during their Trivium studies. One of these works, well-known to this day, is the Summa ...


48

This may be off topic as Wikipedia has a pretty complete article on the Islamic Golden Age. The short answer is yes, while European nobles were sitting on wooden/stone chairs in cold stone buildings, the Arab nobles were laying on comfortable carpets, living a pretty good life quite similar to the old Roman nobles, enjoying many exotic goods and luxuries. ...


47

In short, either when it was empty or it had a stand. Drinking horns were used by many different cultures on different continents (Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe e.t.c.) and in different time periods up to this day. Often, they were not intended to be put down while liquid remained but this was not always the case. Xenophon, among others, attested to ...


47

Well, it isn't exactly true that medieval scholars understood the world to be round. They were much, much more subtle in their thinking that that. You see, it was quite clear that the world couldn't be precisely round, and much of their thinking went into improving that model. To see why the medieval view was much more subtle than authors like Lyon even ...


32

It depends what period of Medieval History you're talking about (since the term can often be a catch-all referring to everything from late antiquity to the Renaissance, or can specifically refer to the period after the High Middle Ages - 14th/15th centuries), and what specific parts of Europe and the Middle East. Note that Europe was severely depopulated at ...


25

You might want to find a copy of the 1990 translation of Hans Delbrück, The History of the Art of War - v.II IIRC, if not III. He discusses the size of Viking forces beseiging Paris, and how small they must have been to have been bought off at the price they were. What you must remember is that communications didn't exist, other than someone on a horse ...


24

You can see De sphaera mundi by the astronomer Johannes de Sacrobosco (c. 1195 – c. 1256) : "it was one of the most influential works of pre-Copernican astronomy in Europe. Though principally about the universe, De sphaera contains a clear description of the Earth as a sphere which agrees with widespread opinion in Europe during the higher Middle Ages, ...


22

The short answer is that it didn't. Monarchies did not become more common, and Europe in general did not adopt absolutist rule, immediately after the fall of Rome. First, to answer your literal question, monarchies were already common before Rome fell. Imperial Rome was itself a monarchy, even though the imperators were initially careful to maintain the ...


20

Medieval Scholars were much more sophisticated than they are usually given credit for. Knowledge of the shape of the Earth were never really "lost". Apart from their own observations, there were also classical works that supported this view. During late antiquity, Boethius had access to Ptolemy, even if it later was forgotten and had to be reintroduced to ...


19

The short answer is, of course, that Latin didn't completely disappear from Britain at the end of the Romano-British period. However, the use of Latin did decline much more than in Britain than it did in other provinces of the Western Roman empire. Britain is actually the big exception in the western empire. The fact that the Romano-British infrastructure ...


17

Initially, raids were sporadic and for the wealth of monasteries and slaves. They were quick, and would get away once finished with their err... business. So the English could not effectively put up a challenge. After the death of Ragnar Lothbrook , the protagonist of the series you are watching, the Norsemen invaded England. They came in really large ...


14

It wasn't a kingdom. The idea is that there existed a Jewish principality in the Frankish realm, led by a Nāśī as vassals of the Carolingian kings. It is mostly advocated by Arthur Zuckerman, as you have noted. His theory has however been widely dismissed by historians in general. Zuckerman's claim is that the Jews of Septimania aided Pepin the Short in his ...


14

The silver denarius was the principal coin of the Roman Republic and Empire. The denarius remained an important Roman coin until the Roman economy began to crumble. As the Roman economy crumbled, the denarius which had proliferated the empire began to be adapted to local needs. The medieval period for almost all regional economies is marked by re-use of ...


13

Baptism is one time only in a life in the Roman Catholic Church. So this fiction has a major research fail: an Anglo-Saxon (AS) Christian will be Roman Catholic Church, not Protestant anabaptist religion, and cannot be re-baptised. At confirmation, in modern usage he may add a favorite saint's name to his own and take up using it, but that's modern. Camden ...


12

Angus Maddison provides some historical GDP data on his website. From this data, at around 1000AD the per-capita GDP of Europe is about 425 1990 international dollars (this figure is about 31,000 for 2008 USA). The two stand-outs are Spain and Italy at 450, likely due to trade and contact with the Arab world. Compare this figure to the Middle-Eastern ...


11

1) Long before Rome fell it had abandoned Republicanism. After Diocletian and the Crisis of the Third Century the Emperors no longer felt any need to consult with the Senate. The Senate's role in government and in the legitimacy of the Empire was symbolic. This is the first flaw in the question - the transition between Republic and Monarchy occurred during ...


11

The situation in early medieval Ireland was rather unique, as I explained in an answer to another question. The situation there was largely a legacy of the fact that the early monasteries had been founded under Irish Brehon Law. The point made by M & H. Whittock about the attacks in Ireland seems reasonable, although the comment about Aldhelm, abbot of ...


10

There are several extant examples of medieval 'fight books'. Many exist to instruct combatants on how to fight in a judicial combat or other codified engagement to settle a dispute. The oldest known medieval 'fight book' (and my personal favourite in terms of studying and using) is Tower MS I.33 (13thC approx) which covers the use of sword and buckler. The ...


10

The numbers involved in Viking raids on 9th and 10th century England are not easy to gauge, but it is possible to come up with some estimates. First though, it is useful to get a clearer overall picture of the raids. DIFFERENT PHASES OF RAIDS AND THEIR FREQUENCY AND SCALE According M & H. Whittock in ‘The Viking Blitzkrieg AD 789 – 1098’ (referring to ...


10

A key theme of Athelstan's Grately Codes is dealing with theft and other forms of dishonesty. To the king’s mind, theft constituted the greatest single problem and represented the most significant manifestation of social breakdown across the realm. He legislated repeatedly – even disproportionately – in his law codes for the prevention of thievery ...


10

I have a tiny bit of evidence of another type to add about medieval belief in a spherical Earth. A globus cruciger is a globe or orb topped by a cross, and part of the regalia of Christian monarchs. In ancient times gods and monarchs were depicted with orbs that symbolized the spherical Earth and/or the spherical heavens believed to surround the Earth. ...


10

Short answer Wine was imported but was often scarce and always expensive. It was a liturgical requirement, but it was not one that was always (or even often) met without bending the rules a little. When supplies ran out or low, substitutes were used, though by the first half of the 13th century the popes were clamping down on this practice. Given the ...


9

This is an interesting and difficult question. Unfortunately, not much is known of Viking equipment, including clothing, because such military goods were relatively expensive and rare. For example, in those times (800-1000 AD) it was common for people to go barefoot, shoes were so expensive. Written works from the time rarely discuss viking clothing in any ...


9

The change over to the Gregorian Calendar happened over a period of over 300 years across the western world. Consequently the number of skipped days varied by country depending on when they changed over (the longer they left it, the more days needed to be skipped). However, the skip only affected the calendar date and not the day of the week. So for example,...


9

There are several cases of Roman era ruins being repurposed by Anglo-Saxons, though I'm not certain if you'll call them "large scale". As the other answers noted, the Anglo-Saxons generally stayed away from Roman ruins and perhaps the most common way they reused these old structures were to use them for construction materials. Nonetheless, many structures ...


8

Such marriages were usually part of wider treaties, including a dowry, non-aggression and/or mutual support agreements. The king didn't just get a queen, he got a chunk of land, possible inheritance rights, not to mention preventing his enemies making the same pact with his wife's family. Foreign princesses were mistreated - Catherine of Aragon after Prince ...


8

There are about 20 examples at the association for Renaissance Military Arts. Wikipedia's article on Historical European Martial Arts lists a few more. The Academy of European Martial Arts knowledgebase has an online library. If you are interested, I would recommend starting there, and supplementing with a google search on "manual of the sword", and ...


8

Jesse Byock in "Viking Age Iceland" reports "a type of rough woolen cloak (vararfeldr) that provided protection from the rain". A higher grade of the same wool was impregnated with animal fat and used for sailcloth. Furthermore, seal fat was "used to grease leather clothes, making them water repellent." Staying dry by using a greased outer layer seems a ...


8

Note: I'm taking "Danish people" to mean people that lived in Denmark. they could have attacked what is now Germany, Poland, Belgium, Holland and even Lithuania and France, traveling near the coast, which is much safer. However, they invaded Scotland and England (which are much further away) England was by no means "much" further away from France. The ...


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