clairvaux L’abbaye de Clairvaux est entourée par un mur de 3 km de long, symbole de l’enfermement © Sylvain Bordier

Clairvaux 1115 – 2015

Aube en Champagne celebrates the 900th anniversary of the Cistercian foundation, the Abbey of Claivaux in 2015 with a major exhibition….

Medieval Histories 2015 May 15 cover

Medieval Histories 2015 May, No 14

This week we focus on Cistercian Studies…

Brian Patrick McGuire

Cistercian Studies Conference in Kalamazoo – Past and Future

Brian Patrick McGuire tells about his life-long immersion in Cistercian Studies and the Cistercian Studies Conference in Kalamazoo….

Kalamazoo books

Cistercians at Kalamazoo 2015

1115 Clairvaux was founded in France. Commemorating the events 900 years later, the 2015 Cistercian Studies Conference will once more be held at Kalamazoo….

Jörg Breu the elder cistercians working in the field

New Cistercian Studies – A Handlist of Good Books

Cistercian Studies is a fruitful field inside Medieval Studies in general. Here is a list of books, which can be used as introduction….


No to large ships in Venice

Medieval Venice under Siege by Cruise Ships

Italian big business and – probably – corrupt politicians wish to dig a canal in the lagoon at Venice, enabling gargantuan cruise-ships to hover over the skyline of the medieval city

Venezia piazza s.Marco wikipedia

Sunken Dream of Venice

No-one in their right mind travels to Venice these days. Overcrowded with tourists and empty of local Venetians, it does no inspire to any sort of travel, but that of the armchair. We bring you a short overview of the history and a list of books


Medieval boat is lifted from the ground near the river stella - Foto: Turco Massimo

Medieval riverboat found in the Grado Lagoon

Medieval riverboat from the 10th century has been discovered in the river Stella near the Grado Lagoon close to Udine in Northern Italy

Horses on the terrace of San Marco in Venice

Sacred Plunder

In Sacred Plunder, David Perry argues that plundered relics, and narratives about them, played a central role in shaping the memorial legacy of the Fourth Crusade and the development of Venice’s civic identity in the thirteenth century… 

Saint Denis Effigy of Charles V. Source: Wikipedia

Charles V, King of France 1364 – 80

Charles V was King of France during the first phase of the 100-years war and in the aftermath of the Black Death. Nevertheless, he succeeded in creating one of the first Late Medieval Courts…

Charles V and Joanna of Bourbon Source wikipedia

Daily Life of Charles V

How did a late medieval king conduct his business? What did his daily life look like? Recent studies of Charles V, King of France (1338 – 1380) reveals a way of life that is quite different from what we might first think.

Charles V is enthroned,

Coronation of Charles V

In 1364 Charles V (1338 -1380) was crowned as king of France in Rheims. The following year he commissioned a beautiful manuscript to commemorate the event – the so-called Coronation Book of Charles V.

chateau de vincennes

Château de Vincennes

Situated in an odd corner of suburban Paris, this castle is seldom on the itinerary of the cultural tourist. After an extensive renovation ending in 2010, in It deserves a visit.

Medieval News…

Shandwick_Stone_ Wikipedia

Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland

18. May 2015

This project, running from February 2015 to April 2016, is a strategic effort inspire all those with an interest in carved stones in Scotland

Crucifixion with the Virgin and saint John the Evangelist fonds demotte

Long Lost Gothic Ivories

18. May 2015

Gothic Ivories were early on an important collectors’ item. The Gothic Ivories Project has been busy publishing some very old catalogues of photos of pieces with unknown whereabouts.

Viking Woman in red dress

Viking Fashion on the Catwalk

6. May 2015

The year is 873 and Frida is deciding what to wear. Her new red dress is finally ready, as are her freshly polished shell-shaped brooches designed to hold it in place at her shoulders. The dress is the latest in Viking fashion.

Local Museum in Elvdalen Wikipedia

Is Elfdalian an Ancient Norse Dialect? Or language?

5. May 2015

Is Elfdalian a dialect? Or a distinct language? Whichever way it is characterised, it is a very old variety of a Swedish dialect, Dalecarlian

Visby Wall Source wikipedia

The Wall in Visby at Gotland

4. May 2015

February 2012 90 m2 of the wall around Visby crumpled to earth. Now the wall has been repaired using medieval techniques, kept alive in the countryside.

Fish wrapped in green grass and grilled on open fire

Grilled Fish and Nettles in Medieval Caravate

27. April 2015

Fish filled with nettles and grilled over a blazing fire were on the menu in medieval Caravate near Lago Maggiore

Caistor Castle

The Paston Letters Online

26. April 2015

The collection known as the Paston Letters, one of the largest archives of 15th-century, is now online

Karmravank Armenian monastery Lake Van

Medieval Armenia

24. April 2015

Today the world remembers the 100-year anniversary of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians. We should also remember the awful cultural destruction

New Books…

Horses on the terrace of San Marco in Venice

Sacred Plunder

11. May 2015

In 1204 the Fourth Crusade famously ended with the capture of Constantinople. One result was a massive influx of valuables to the city of Venice. New book explores how the stories told about these events helped to recreate Venice as an important political player in the later Middle Ages.

Birds head haggadah

Skies of Parchment – Seas of Inc

7. May 2015

Magnificently illustrated with pages from hundreds of manuscripts, ‘Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink’ offers surprising new perspectives on Jewish life

glass bowl with Peter Paul and Peregrina

The Bishop of Rome in Late Antiquity

6. May 2015

At various times over the past millennium bishops of Rome have claimed a universal primacy of jurisdiction over all Christians and a superiority over civil authority. Reactions to these claims have shaped the modern world profoundly. Did the Roman bishop make such claims in the millennium prior to that?

Angilbert tomb meaux wikipedia

The Ransom of the Soul

5. May 2015

In his latest book, Peter Brown explores the transition of the Christian ideas of afterlife from AD 250 – 650. This shift laid the foundation for the heartfelt despair and fear, which came to foster the wealth of countless religious institutions, hospitals and churches in the Middle Ages. The Ransom of the Soul. Afterlife and Wealth in Early Western Christianity …

Liber Floridus Monster

The Monstrous New Art: Divided Forms in the Late Medieval Motet

2. May 2015

Late medieval motet texts are brimming with chimeras, centaurs and other strange creatures. In The Monstrous New Art, Anna Zayaruznaya explores the musical ramifications of this menagerie

Ruthwell Cross Sout Face Source: Wikipedia

The Art, Literature and Material Culture of the Medieval World

2. May 2015

The contributions in the book reach from Spain to Ireland and cover a wide field of medieval art. Each article explores a specific piece of artistic expression of the cultural crossroads criss-crossing medieval history

Common Pleas Lawcourt England 15th century Wikipedia

Unwritten Verities: The Making of England’s Vernacular Legal Culture, 1463-1549

2. May 2015

One peculiar element in The legal culture of England is the commitment to the unwritten “law”. New book tells the story

Turaida castle in Livonia

Livonia, Rus’ and the Baltic Crusades in the Thirteenth Century

2. May 2015

A new book on Livonia and the Rus’ focus on the Baltic Crusades in a wider European context.

Conferences and CfP’s…

Mosaics at the Entrance to Hagia Sophia in Constantinople/Istanbul Source Wikipedia

Sacrality at the Medieval Court

26. May 2015

The sacred nature of the medieval ruler has been studied extensively. However, the physical performance of this sacredness has been relatively neglected. Major conference in Göttingen aims to focus on the materiality of the sacrality of medieval rulers.

St Marie zur Höhe Soest Paderborn wallpaintings

Mural paintings in the Middle Ages

19. May 2015

Interdisciplinary Conference: new research on mural paintings in the Middle Ages

Abbey of New Melleray in Iowa

Cistercian Studies Conference – Past and Future

18. May 2015

Brian Patrick McGuire tells about his life-long immersion in Cistercian Studies and the Cistercian Studies Conference in Kalamazoo

St bernard de clairvaux church yard

Cistercians at Kalamazoo 2015

12. May 2015

1115 Clairvaux was founded in France. Commemorating the events 900 years later, the 2015 Cistercian Studies Conference will be held at Kalamazoo.

Clairvaux lay refectory interior

Clairvaux 1115 – 2015

19. May 2015

Aube en Champagne celebrates the 900th anniversary of the Cistercian foundation, the Abbey of Clairvaux in 2015

Scenes from Lérian et Lauréolle - Tapestry - 16th century Musee de Cluny

Travelling in the Middle Ages

14. April 2015

Exciting exhibition at the Bargello in Firenze tells the story of medieval travellers and their journeys

Baptistery in Barcelona ©_muhba

Visigoths in Barcelona

17. March 2015

The City Museum in Barcelona has remodeled its exhibition devoted to the period from Late Antiquity and into the 8th century: the Visigothic period

View from the old Bishop's palace in Rouen

Joan of Arc Museum opens in Rouen in March

27. February 2015

Next month a Joan of Arc Installation opens in Rouen. It appears she is set up to surpass Madame Tusseauds and turn into a digitized saint

Riemenschneider Sammlung Marks-Thomée © Bildarchiv Foto Marburg / Thomas Scheidt

Marks-Thomée Collection of Renaissance and Medieval Art on Show

27. February 2015

For the first time in a hundred years the private Thomée Collection, containing priceless medieval and renaissance art, is on show in Aachen


Agincourt 1415 – 2015

8. January 2015

The battle at Agincourt in Nord-Pas-de Calais is famous for the heroic fight between the outnumbered English archers and the French iron-clad chivalry. This year England and France commemorates the battle.

Frances I at Louvre

Francis I of France 1515 – 2015

6. January 2015

2015 France celebrates the 500-year anniversary of the coronation of Francis I in Reims

Magna Carta British Library Cotton MS Augustus II.106

Magna Carta

11. December 2014

2015 England and with it large parts of the Anglo-Saxon World is set to celebrate the 800-year anniversary of Magna Carta. A spat of books are in the crucible