Tag Archives: Medieval history

Medieval Arms and Armoury

Medieval Arms and Armoury


European warriors of the early Middle Ages used both indigenous forms of military equipment and arms and armor derived from late Roman types. One of the most widely used types of helmet was the Spangenhelm. Body armor was usually either a short-sleeved mail shirt (byrnie), made up of interlocking iron rings, or a garment of overlapping scales of iron, bronze, or horn.

The Political Transformation of Medieval France

The Political Transformation of Medieval France

The first three decades of the 15th century were a time of civil war, military defeat, and political humiliation in France. The enfeebled monarchy, caught in a vise between England’s Henry V and Henry’s Burgundian ally Philip, went so far as to renounce the dauphin, the heir to the throne, and to bequeath the kingdom to Henry.

King Kenneth MacAlpin and the Alban kings

King Kenneth MacAlpin and the Alban kings

The centre of administration of the Pictish kingdom in the 9th century was Forteviot on the River Earn. Close by the Dunkeld, King Kenneth MacAlpin (Cináed mac Ailpín) set up a new religious centre about 850AD. This was an acknowledgement of the fact that Iona was now no longer tenable as a religious capital, although the monastery was eventually re-established and it remained the burial place of Pictish kings until the time of Donald Ban.

Propaganda in the Wars of the Roses

Propaganda in the Wars of the Roses

In June 1864 Lewis Carroll was in London seeing to the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. On June 22nd he visited Lambeth Palace and while there (he notes in his diary) ‘the librarian, Mr Stubbs, showed me some interesting old MSS and relics’. I wonder whether one of those old manuscripts was not Lambeth MS 448: even the most casual reader cannot ignore the great number of decapitations recorded there. Alas, Alice was already with the publishers, so that manuscript cannot be the source for the Queen of Hearts.

The First Crusade: The shock of the new?

The First Crusade: The shock of the new?

When in March of 1095 Pope Urban II made a speech to an assembly of French nobility and clergy at Clermont, in which he explained that the Christians in the east, both Catholic and Orthodox, were facing daily attacks and depredations from the Muslim population and lords, and offered those who would unite against this common foe remission of their sins, few could have expected the huge impact that his words would have on both East and West.