medieval Interior of the Cathedral in Lund

Pope Francis visits Scandinavia

The Pope visits Lund, the Oldest Metropolis In Scandinavia and celebrates an ecumenical service together with  Lutheran Scandinavia on Reformation day, the 31st of October.

The Cathedral in Lund in Sweden. Source: Wikipedia

The Medieval City of Lund in Scania

Lund is believed to have been founded in AD 990. In 1103 it became the see of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Scandinavia.

Man from Drottens Kyrke/St. Salavator in Lund © Elin Kudo

Sweyn Forkbeard Buried in Lund?

Sveyn Forkbeard was perhaps buried in Lund in Scania, where what is left of his church can be seen


Mummers. Source: Bodleian Library MS. Bodl. 264 fol 22r/Wikipedia


In the late Middle Ages theologians tried to keep All Saints and All Souls strictly apart. But traditions like souling and the distribution of soul-cakes helped to fuse the feasts

Miscellanea secundum usum ordinis Cluniacensis: Consecration of the Abbey of Cluny by Pope Urban II in 1095. Mauscript 17716, f.91r Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale de France.

Saints and Souls

Between 1024 and 1033 the monks at Cluny began commemorating the Dead Souls on the day after All Saints

Jakub Schikaneder, All Souls Day 1888. Source National Gallery of Prague/Wikipedia

Living with the Dead

In the Middle Ages Polish priests and theologians fought to eradicate old and traditional ways of cohabiting with the dead. Yet it does not seem as if they ever succeeded

Ancient and Medieval Mola Salsa Cakes - Soul Cakes

Soul Cakes

There is no doubt that the tradition of giving alms in the form of bread or cookies on All Saints and All Souls has both ancient and medieval roots

Soul Cakes being delivered

Sweets for Souls

Urban legend in USA has it that we cannot offer the children home baked goodies at Halloween (some weirdos excel in filling them with crushed glass). More is the pity since our European traditions offer a selection of medieval traditional fare

Gutlac punting in the Fens (Guthlac sailing to Crowland with Tatwin. from: British Library, Harley Roll Y 6, oundel 4

Medieval Fenlands

For a long time a number of research projects have explored the culturally fluid landscape of the Medieval Fenlands in Eastern England. New book tells the story

Highland Cattle grazing in the Wicken Fen

Culture and Identity in the Early Medieval Fenlands

New studies of the use of the fluid landscape in the Early Medieval Fenlands point to a continuity in the settlement-structure from pre-Roman times

Nydamboat from Gottorp Castle c. AD 310 - 20. The construction of this boat is similar to that which was used at Sutton Hoo. © Gottorp Castle

Hoch and his family in Oakington

On the edge of the Fenlands at Oikington an Anglo-Saxon man named Hoch built a farm sometime in the 5th century. here, his family was buried

European Eel © Environment Agency

Eels in the Medieval Fenlands

The eel is a curious animal. Now listed on the international red list of threatened species, it used to be the ubiquitous food for small holders and poor peasants in the early middle ages

Boiling the Soup the medieval way

Recipes for Medieval Eels

In the Early Middle Ages eels were abundant and served as comfort food for hungry peasants. Later it turned into a royal and and very expensive delicatessen

Crowland Abbey © Rex Slye

St. Guthlac and Crowland Abbey

The Anglo-Saxon hermit, St. Guthlac, had a career reaching from aristocratic warrior over monastic visionary to patron saint of Crowland Abbey

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village

A Lost Tribal Hidage?

Bede used charters and other written documents while writing his histories. Careful sifting of the evidence reveals that he probably also used a now lost “Tribal Hidage”...

Staffordshire Hoard Item 550: strip with inscription © Staffordshire Hoard

The Mercian Kingdom in Turmoil

Understanding the Staffordshire Hoard is not an easy task. Was it the stock of a goldsmith, hidden and then lost? A sacrifice of valuables from a vanquished enemy? Or the wilful burial of the wealth and symbols of the Mercians’ ancestors?

700-year-old fish weir in the Fergus Estuary, County Clare, Ireland, which the UCD archaeologists have been examining © UCD School of Archaeology

Cultural Environmental History Research

19. November 2016

We may feel that nature is given. But it is also a significant cultural and historical construct. New book offers introduction to environmental history

Green Man from Norwich Cathedral. Source: Wikipedia

Environment in the Classical and Medieval Worlds

19. November 2016

Environmentalism covers the ancient idea that environments and climate influences our mentalities. New book offers an introduction

Detail of a miniature of lion cubs born dead and reanimated by their fathers who breathe life into them, in the Bestiary, England (?North or Central), c. 1200–c. 1210, Royal MS 12 C XIX, f. 6r

Environmental Humanities in Pre-Modern Cultures

19. November 2016

New series in environmental humanities aim to offer interdisciplinary approaches to medieval, early modern, and global pre-industrial cultures

Transporting the cassone to the bride's new home

Bridal Chests or Cassoni from Medieval Italy

18. November 2016

Cassoni are known as bridal chests made in Italy from the 14th to the 16th centuries. Lavishly painted, they were gifted by the groom to the bride.

Giovanni dal Ponte: Coronation of the Virgin. © l'Accademia di Firenze

Giovanni dal Ponte (1385-1437)

17. November 2016

Giovanni dal Porte is an important Florentine artist bridging late Gothic and Early Renaissance. This winter, an exhibition in Florence shows his work.

Finds from the grave of a priestess or Vöelva (sorceress) in ôland, Sweden. Source: Wikipedia

Magic Viking Staffs

16. November 2016

The staff or wand was an important accessory used by the Völva when carrying out her magic. New book explores the staffs in both literature and archaeology

Donald Trump and Family

Enter the Medieval Clan

11. November 2016

This week we have witnessed a shift in global politics difficult to come to terms with. One way is by imagining a post-liberal, clannish, medieval society.

The Frescoes from the Monastery in Sigena in the Art Museum in Barcelona

Monastery of Santa María de Sigena

10. November 2016

Nearly destroyed in 1936 during the Civil War, the murals from Santa María de Sigena are at the centre of a vicious fight between Catalonia and Aragon

Theotokos from the 6th century. St. Catherine in Sinai. Source: Wikipedia

Cultural Consequences of the Justinian Plague

5. November 2016

What were the consequences of the Justinian Plague in the 6th century? How did people react to the pain and suffering, which by all accounts were just as devastating as those in the 14th century?

Yersinia Pestis source of early medieval Justinian plague

How Devastating was the Justinian Plague in the 6th Century?

4. November 2016

New overview of mass-graves s offers tantalising glimpse of how to measure the impact of the Justinian Plague on the “Fall of Rome”.

Torksey reconstruction-BBC

The Winter Camp of the Great Viking Army at Torksey

3. November 2016

In 2013 the archaeological discovery of the Viking Winter Camp of the “mycel heathen here” in Torksey was reported. Now comes the scientific publicationin The Antiquaries Journal.

Detail: Medieval Table Fountain, French 1320 - 40. © Cleveland Art Museum

Cleveland’s Gothic Table Fountain

2. November 2016

Cleveland Museum of Art celebrates its centenary in 2016. For medievalist a particular exhibition of Cleveland’s Gothic Table Fountain is exciting

Shrine Madonna or Vierge Ouverte, Germany c. 1400. Source: Musee de Cluny/Wikipedia

Worlds Within. Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna

2. November 2016

Medieval Shrine Madonnas were intimate sculptures, delicately carved and painted to let the devoted audience contemplate Mary as Mother worlds within

The annunciation. From the Albani Psalter. Source: Wikipedia

Mother of Mercy – Bane of the Jews

1. November 2016

In Anglo-Norman England, the Benedictines found innovative ways to venerate Mary as the Mother of Mercy exhibiting her as the favourite enemy of the Jews.

Mother of Mercy by Paolo Veneziano. 14th century. From Museum of the Cathedral in Cesena. Source: Wikipedia

Mary of Mercy in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Art

1. November 2016

Mary of Mercy sheltering her devotees beneath her blue cape is a beloved icon of faithful Christians. A new book traces the history of this emblem.

Islamic World Map from leiden

Medieval Islamic Maps

1. November 2016

Why is South always on top of medieval Islamic Maps? And why are the islands in the Mediterranean placed like pearls on a string ? New book tells the story.

University-Square-Marquee in medieval Leeds detail

Conferences 2017

Check the calendar which is continuously updated! And don’t forget to write to us if you wish to have a conference, symposium or workshop added…


Jobs for medievalists

Jobs for Medievalists

Jobs for Medievalists! Get the latest job postings here…

St. Patrick charms the snake. Source: British Library: BL Harley 4751, f. 61r.

Minor Medieval News – September 2016

Each month we stumble over news which might interest – upcoming exhibitions, new blogs, new resources. Don’t miss the updated list…

banner new medieval history books 2016

Medieval History Books 2016

Totally unfair, we have highlighted a handful of books on Medieval History, which we are looking forward to in 2016….


Medieval Anniversaries 2016

1016 Cnut the Great Conquered England and in 1066 William the Conqueror defeated Harold at the Battle of Hastings. However, more anniversaries are in the pipeline….

Detail Opus Anglicanum British Museum MLA. 84 6.6

Medieval Exhibitions 2016

This year opens with a number of exhibitions on medieval matters of the more esoteric kind. However, autumn will bring a major exhibition in Paris on the Merovingians….