Tag Archives: Medieval history

The Story of Parzival

The Story of Parzival


The Bavarian knight and poet Wolfram von Eschenbach (c.1170 – 1220), author of Parzival, was not the first great artist to be attracted by the story. Chrétien de Troyes, author of the unfinished Perceval, le Conte du Graal (Perceval, the Story of the Grail), was also inspired by the tale. He dedicated the romance to his patron Philip, count of Flanders, and his account of the Arthurian hero has a stylistic and thematic connection with Peredur, one of the medieval Welsh prose tales collectively known as the Mabinogi.

Kievan Russia: The introduction of Christianity

Kievan Russia: The introduction of Christianity

So little is known about Kievan Russia that it has been easy to surround it with the glamour of mystery and opulence. It is true that Russian life, to the extent that any generalizations about it have meaning, centered in Kiev for centuries; it was in fact more than three and a half centuries between the advent of the Scandinavian Varangians and the far more important, enduring and fateful inundation of all Russia by the great Mongol conquests of the 12th century.

Dissolution of the Monasteries in England: 1536-1541

Dissolution of the Monasteries in England: 1536-1541

In 1534, Thomas Cromwell began his Visitation of the Monasteries. The official aim of these visits was to view the character of those running it. Unofficially, however, his other purpose was to value the properties they ran, and to take inventory of their assets. The reason for this was because at around this time, the state’s treasuries were already running low, and Henry VIII needed a new source of revenues.

Forest, deer parks and hunting in the time of chivalry

Forest, deer parks and hunting in the time of chivalry

Like the inclusion of crenellations, the creation of a deer park required a license from the Crown. The ownership of hunting land or the right to hunt within it was as much a symbol of noble status as the fortified dwelling or heraldic arms. Vast tracts of land, by the late 12th century maybe as much as a third of southern England, were set aside for hunting.

Saints, relics and heretics (c. 325 – 1434)

Saints, relics and heretics (c. 325 – 1434)

The saints honoured by the Christian faithful during the medieval centuries were a specific group within the wider category of souls who had been admitted to heaven. When alive, the venerated saints had demonstrated exceptional holiness, and miraculous events that had occurred before and after their deaths were attributed to them.