martedì 22 aprile 2008

Medieval Money

Medieval Money
Money & Trade
The growth in Trade
As Europe became more peaceful and orderly, people began to be more interested in buying things and demands for luxury items such as silks and gems increased. Trade grew and medieval merchants who used to be just peddlars became more properous and a rich merchant class emerged. The marketplace became the focus of many towns. New jobs were created in towns as well as new powerful estabilshments like banks. This had an negative effect on the old feudal system.
By the 1300s, as the cities grew richer and more powerful, the merchant class wanted their freedom. In England this was bought by paying an annual tax to the king or Lord and the free towns became known as boroughs.
Coins in the Middle Ages
Medieval European coinage was standardized by Charlemagne around 800 AD when he conquered most of Europe. The standard Denier (Penny in English, Pfennig in German, Denaro in Italian) was a silver coin about the size of a US penny. It's thought that its value at the time was about that of a meal. For the next 4-500 years, most coinage in Europe followed this standard pattern. Most Medieval coins have a cross somewhere into the design. German and other eastern regions often incorporate an eagle into the design while English coins generally carry a crude portrait of the King. French coins will often show a monogram, castle, or cathedral.

sabato 19 aprile 2008

Medieval Dublin

Medieval Dublin

Have you ever wondered where exactly the medieval town was located, or why the modern Irish name for Dublin is Baile Atha Cliath, or why there were two cathedrals in the Middle Ages, or why St. Stephen's Green is so called? Medieval Dublin lies mainly hidden from view, yet the signs are there for those who know how to interpret them. The following ten-point guide to the more important visible remains can be used either as a collection of individual items or as a continuous sequence

venerdì 18 aprile 2008

St. George

The Martyrdom of St. George in the South English Legendary (c. 1270-80)
Edited by E. Gordon Whatley, with Anne B. Thompson and Robert K. Upchurch
Originally Published in Saints' Lives in Middle English Collections
Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications, 2004

lunedì 14 aprile 2008

Medieval Jerusalem

Medieval Jerusalem

The year was 1095 CE, William the Conqueror had united England under one crown 30 years earlier.* The French had been dividing properties amongst their sons for generations, causing bloodshed between brothers over small pieces of real estate. In reaction, Pope Urban II expanded "The Truce of God", which outlawed fighting from Sunday to Wednesday, and banned fighting involving priests, monks, women, laborers and merchants on any day of the week. Italy was a collection of city-states, constantly being overrun by invading hordes, the latest of which were the Normans, who had just started to become "civilized".
There was also the Byzantine empire, ruling from Constantinople, who
se emperor at this time was Alexius Comnenus. To his East, the Turks were rapidly encroaching on his empire, and had begun attacking pilgrims on their way to - and in - Jerusalem, causing him great distress. He wrote to his friend Robert, the Count of Flanders, in 1093, telling him about supposed atrocities committed by the Turks on the Christian pilgrims, and Robert passed this letter on to Pope Urban II. Urban, an opportunist, saw this as a perfect way to solve some of his local problems. He personally promoted a Holy Crusade to reclaim the Holy Lands from the barbarian Turks. Thus, the First Crusade was launched in 1096 CE

martedì 8 aprile 2008

Medieval writings

Medieval Writings
Welcome to new users of this site, and welcome back to those returning for another look. This constantly growing project revolves around the culture of the written word in the middle ages. There is information on what people wrote about, as well as what they didn't write about but evidently knew anyway, some discussions on the working methods and materials of writing and concepts of literacy, and a steadily growing set of examples of historic scripts from around the 5th to around the 16th century. That is a broad chronology for medieval, but is there to demonstrate certain continuities in the culture and practice of writing. There are interactive paleography exercises derived from writing samples either in my possession or that of others or in archival institutions. Some examples have been published in very ancient paleography books that represent the finest of scholarship but which unfortunately nobody seems to read any more. The others have been nutted out by the partnership we call Tillotson's Medieval Enterprises, which means the interpretations may not be so authoritative, but you may not find them anywhere else. The project continues to grow, so bookmark the site so that you can return at leisure to explore around it.

domenica 6 aprile 2008

Medieval German Literature

Medieval German Literature
The literature of any culture may be said to begin a long time before its first extant works were written down in manuscript form; the earliest manuscripts of German literature extend back to the eighth century. We can be sure of this because there exist in other Germanic languages, notably Gothic, Old English, and Old Norse, similar works that clearly belong to a common Germanic tradition. The events they recount, so far as they are historical, took place during the «Völkerwanderung», the mass-movement of Germanic peoples (375-568), that is, before the Germanic tribes split into the people we now designate as German, Scandinavian, and Anglo-Saxon. There can be no doubt that these troubled times gave impulse to creating songs, sagas, and legends, and that singers and poets?often summarily referred to as ´skopsª?gave them artistic form. Historical events were interwoven with mythological elements and motifs from other cultures, but there is a great deal of material common to all the Germanic literatures. It should be noted in this context that the appearance of any literature of note was contingent upon the de facto, if only superficial, incorporation of the Germanic tribes into the Church (DeBoor). It was during this early period that there developed the peculiar form known as alliterative poetry or «Stabreimdichtung», whose characteristics are the use of regular alliteration of stressed syllables and a four-beat line, associated in Norse poetry with the poetical device of kennings or descriptive periphrases of nouns.Although we are aware of the existence of this body of oral poetry and can trace its influence on works that are extant, it is risky to attempt to reconstruct Germanic works or to posit a «Germanic hero» type, in the sense that such heroes are supposedly endowed with qualities not found in other literatures. In fact, the heroes of Germanic works, so far as we can determine, share many of their characteristics with early heroes of other cultures. Nevertheless, they do possess some distinguishing moral and social values which will be considered later.
Medieval literature in Germany is generally divided into Old High German, early Middle High German, the classical period of Middle High German literature, and later Middle High German Literature, often also including earliest New High German Literature. The first of these divisions, which covers the period from about 775 to about 1075, is more of a linguistic than a literary division. It actually includes works written in several dialects, and one of the most important poems of the period, the Heliand, is written in Old Low German (that is, Old Saxon). The second period encompasses widely divergent literary monuments of the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. The classical period, during which almost all the outstanding works of medieval German literature were written, ex-tends from about 1170 to 1230. Its important cultural and literary characteristics are clearly


martedì 1 aprile 2008

Medieval Travel

Medieval Travel web site
The all new medieval travel site, come travel back in time, when knights were bold and Camelot was not the
name of a national lottery company.

Medieval travel contains information on medieval times, medieval castles, medieval armour, medieval weapon, medieval knight, medieval clothing, medieval costume, medieval times.

Medieval restaurant, medieval dress, medieval sword, medieval art, medieval food, medieval music, medieval history, medieval shields, medieval game, medieval clothes