Dying in custody

The United States has one of the highest rates of people dying in police custody. In medieval England, King John had one of the highest rates of people dying in his prisons or special confinement. And high-profile deaths to boot. There are surely degrees of cruelty but whether keeping your foot on someone’s neck forContinue reading “Dying in custody”

The rise and fall of a medieval woman from cheese to oat: Matilda de Briouze

The study of medieval women has become quite trendy in the last decades or so. The narrative sources can tell us quite a lot about some women who have been able to escape the rigid and circumscribing expectations of most medieval authors. Perhaps there is no better example than the exceptional figure of Matilda deContinue reading “The rise and fall of a medieval woman from cheese to oat: Matilda de Briouze”

England vs. Italy in medieval records. Do we need a winner?

This evening’s joint session of late Medieval and early Modern Italian seminars at the IHR was one of those rare occasions where historians leave behind their scholarly shell and show what historical debate is all about. This meeting’s agonistic element lay in the provocative title ‘England and Italy: Which holds the Record for Records?’, which hadContinue reading “England vs. Italy in medieval records. Do we need a winner?”

Una, două despre uscarea rufelor

Am crescut, ca majoritatea amicilor mei români, la bloc. Nu orice bloc, în nici un caz un bloc din cele care se ridică azi, cu intrare pentru persoane cu dezabilitati si  parcare subterană. Dimpotrivă, intrarea în blocul copilariei mele făcea uneori din orice om sănătos o persoană cu dezabilitați (mai ales iarna) iar subteranul eraContinue reading “Una, două despre uscarea rufelor”

Joust casualties

In the film A Knight’s Tale, Joscelin asks Adhemar if “men are killed in the joust”. He replies that accidents do happen. Fair enough! On 22 February 1216 Geoffrey of Mandeville died of a wound he had received “when, as is the custom of the Francs, horsemen attacked each other in turns with lances or poles whileContinue reading “Joust casualties”

The 1215 siege of Rochester Castle

Rex iterum refectis copiis armatorum, V idus Octobris (Sunday, 11 October 1215), die Dominica, Roffensem civitatem improvisus occupavit et ingressus castellum obsedit, machinis multimodis obsessos infestans. Erant autem in castello praecipui Willelmus de Albegni, et Reginaldus de Cornhulle, Willelmus de Amesforde, et alii plures nobiles cum plus quam centum militibus et servientibus, ac balistariis stenuisContinue reading “The 1215 siege of Rochester Castle”

The Pipe Rolls of Medieval England

I”ve just discovered quite a lot on the condition of the Exchequer Pipe Rolls as sources for historians nowadays. Here are some useful links for researchers: The Pipe Rolls Society, in charge of editing the manuscripts, has published more than 90 volumes of edited material that is available for sale throught their website. This isContinue reading “The Pipe Rolls of Medieval England”

The English: a people without a history?

by openDemocracy Author: Michael Collins Of all Britain’s peoples, the English have traditionally been the centrepiece of ‘British history’. Nonetheless, argues UCL historian Michael Collins, it is they who have the most to worry about when it comes to their sense of the past. According to A. J. P. Taylor, in 1934 Oxford University Press commissioned its HistoryContinue reading “The English: a people without a history?”