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#medieval history
scotianostra · 5 hours ago
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 The graves of Sir John de Graham and Sir John Stewart 
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amlounsbury · a day ago
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Finally finished is epic book. Lots of notes to take! Yes, I plan to count the flags I used. I have already canabalized some from the front to be able to finish the book, but thus far I have taken notes from 30 flags. More to come!
Book: A History of Private Life: Revelations of the Medieval World. Ed. Georges Duby. Trans. Arthur Goldhammer.
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elizabethan-memes · a day ago
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I find medieval and early modern people's brains fascinating because they could logic their way to complex theology, mathematics, and metallurgy, gothic architecture, elaborate fashion, intense poetry, inventive cuisine, but they couldn’t logic their way to “two men having sex is perfectly fine and society will not collapse because of it”
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richmond-rex · 3 days ago
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Doubtless Edward’s motives were as much financial as chivalric, but it is clear that it was no longer unthinkable that the London merchants should participate in the festivities of the Court. Henry VII invited the mayor, aldermen and other Londoners to the Epiphany celebrations in 1494 when there were elaborate pageants, ‘disguisings’ and dancing. The king chose this occasion to dub the mayor a knight, and the feasting continued all night until at day break the king and queen returned to Westminster Palace and the mayor and his brethren took their barges back to London. The knighthoods which were increasingly conferred on the London aldermen, and their participation in courtly festivities, symbolise the way in which the chivalric world of the Court and the mercantile world of the London citizens were moving closer together.
— Caroline Barron, “Chivalry, Pageantry and Merchant Culture in Medieval London” In: Heraldry, Pageantry, and Social Display in Medieval England (edited by Peter Cross and Maurice Keen).
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richmond-rex · 3 days ago
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— Caroline Barron, “Chivalry, Pageantry and Merchant Culture in Medieval London” In: Heraldry, Pageantry, and Social Display in Medieval England (edited by Peter Cross and Maurice Keen).
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Nicolaa de la Haye - Sheriff of Lincoln
Nicolaa (also sometimes spelled Nicola of Nicholaa) was born around 1160. She was the daughter of the hereditary castellan and sheriff of Lincoln, England. Since her father had no male heir, she inherited both offices when he died. Her first husband died in 1178 and she married a second time to Gerard de Camville in the late 1180s and gave birth to two sons. 
Though her husband governed her possessions at that time, Nicolaa showed an indomitable spirit. The couple was involved in a violent dispute between the royal chancellor and the future King John in 1191 during King Richard I’s absence on the Third Crusade. In spring 1191, Gerard pledged himself to John and as a result, Nicolaa found herself besieged in Lincoln’s castle during her husband’s absence.
According to Richard of Devizes, Nicolaa “not thinking about anything womanly, defended … [Lincoln] castle manfully” against chancellor William de Longchamp’s forces. She held for a month until he lifted the siege. When Richard I went back to England in 1194, Nicolaa and her husband were punished for their disloyalty and had to win back the royal favor.
Gerard died in 1215 and Nicolaa assumed both roles of castellan and sheriff in her own right. It was unusual, though not unheard off, for a woman to hold an office with military responsibilities. Some women indeed served as sheriffs during the 13th century. Ela Longespée (1244-1276) was for instance sheriff of Wiltshire and Isabella de Clifford and Idonea de Leyburn were two sisters who served as joint sheriffs of Westmorland under Edward I.
In the wake of the conflict between king John and his barons, she defended Lincoln castle again in 1216. Nicolaa met with king John the same year and went out with the keys of the castle and asked to be removed from the office arguing that: “she was a woman of great age and had endured many labours and anxieties in the […] castle and was not able to endure such [burdens] any longer”. The king, however, asked her to keep the castle. Nicolaa was also later rewarded with additional properties. 
Her skills were once again put to the test in 1217. Nicolaa commanded the royalist garrison in Lincoln and was besieged by a rebel army. Her allies praised her from being a “worthy lady” deserving of god’s protection in “body and soul” while her foes said that she was a “a very cunning, bad-hearted and vigorous old woman”. Finally, a royalist army came to help this “matron who defended herself so manfully”, as wrote Walter of Coventry. Nicolaa’s efforts has helped to secure a decisive royalist victory and to protect the crown. 
Nicolaa was afterward relieved from the office of sheriff by king Henry III, but managed to keep control of her castle and her city. She had to defend her home several times against the earl of Salisbury. She finally relinquished the castle in 1226 and died in 1230. 
Bibliography:
Balfour David, “Nicolaa de la Haye”, in: Higham Robin, Pennington Reina (ed.), Amazons to fighter pilots, biographical dictionary of military women, vol.1
Coulson Charles, Castles in medieval society
Wilkinson Louise, “Lady Nicholaa de la Haye”, 
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amlounsbury · 5 days ago
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You know you’re in deep when you accidentally buy a book you’ve already got... Oh well, I guess I just have to hand it over to my partner for his own collection.
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ladyniniane · 5 days ago
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“She surveyed a wide variety of records from throughout Western Europe, including tax records, inventories of wages paid on construction sites, and municipal accounts, and discovered numerous instances of women working alongside men on construction sites as far back at the 13th century.  Most of these women were employed as day laborers, carrying out tasks such as moving water and building supplies around the sites, digging ditches and serving as assistants to bricklayers and stonemasons. For example, in the Spanish city of Seville during the 14th century, women were hired to dig trenches for the foundation of a new city wall, while at the nearby city of Toledo, one or two women were hired each day for the construction of the city’s cathedral, where they gathered lime and worked on the roof. Meanwhile in the French city of Toulouse, almost half the laborers working on the Perigord college site were women. Ross also finds several examples from England and Germany.
(...)
Roff also finds records showing women taking part in specialized building trades. In London in 1383, Katherine Lightfoot is recorded as the supplier of 2,000 painted tiles for bath in the King’s palace. Meanwhile, tax records from Paris during the years 1296 and 1313 reveal the existence of two female masons, a tiler and a plasterer. These women were not poorer individuals, rather they were the wives of male craftsman, and in some cases their widows. The 15th-century French writer Christine de Pizan noted in her book The Treasury of the City of Ladies that craftswomen, “should learn all the shop details so that she can properly supervise the workers when her husband is away or not paying attention.”
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wholesomecrusading · 5 days ago
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Another ridiculously cool fortress used at the times of the Crusades: the fortified caves of Niha, in Lebanon.
The cave-fortress dates back at least to the 9th century. Theses natural caves were carved into a proper castle, with rooms, silos and citerns.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, it was an essential strategic point to control the road to Sidon, and even became the center of a small lordship from the mid-12th century forward.
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The Beloved Wife: Gentle and Beautiful Anna of Schweidnitz (1339-1362) ~ A Guest Post by Katarzyna Ogrodnik-Fujcik
The Beloved Wife: Gentle and Beautiful Anna of Schweidnitz (1339-1362) ~ A Guest Post by Katarzyna Ogrodnik-Fujcik
Anna of Schweidnitz and Charles IV of Luxembourg, Chapel of St Catherine, Karlštejn, The Czech Republic. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Charles IV of Luxembourg, King of Bohemia and King of the Romans, lost both his young son and his second wife, the boy’s mother, respectively. Twice widowed he decided to marry his son’s fiancee, the young Anna of Schweidnitz and thus secure the Schweidnitz…
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newhistorybooks · 6 days ago
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"Medieval women and urban justice explores legal actions involving women in three medieval towns – Nottingham, Chester, and Winchester – during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It details women’s involvement in litigation concerning debt and trespass, as well as the actions for which they were punished under local policing and regulations.Through the examination of original court records, the book reveals the identities of hundreds of ordinary urban women and the wide range of lawsuits and actions that they participated in."
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ricardianed · 6 days ago
What do you think of the concept of chivalry?
Well, from a historical standpoint, I think it’s pretty much common knowledge that it was an ideal, even in its heyday. 
However, I actually read a really interesting concept in a history magazine I received for Easter (my family knows my niche areas of interest), which is the concept that any sort of chivalric valour fell out of practice the more and more the renaissance came about and the more Italian concept of the “gentleman” came forward. 
While chivalry literally has it’s etymology in the word “cheval,” or “horse” in French (for horsemen), its true ideals grew out of a combination of the fact that wooing women back in the day and ladies was literally pretty much the only independent way to move up the ranks socially for many men (ironically), and vice versa. But we tend to forget that literally half of the Medieval era involved men wooing young women (sometimes far too young cough cough Margaret Beaufort), arranging marriages to get more land, and in a world that was so incredibly violent, that these more chivalric virtues ended up being completely endorsed by the church in England and France actually in particular (mostly because it was an excuse to stop bloodshed that didn’t directly benefit them). 
Like most idiots people, traditionally heterosexual men in a supremely heterosexual medieval society would most often listen to something that would win them the affections (and money) of a hot lady, as a well as a title from her father who is happy to have someone take her off his hands and have his legacy continue, rather than a set of ideals enforced by the church (#lame).
But I did like this concept overall, because while it wasn’t meant to necessarily put the power back into the women’s court, in some sense, it highlights that probably ninety percent of chivalric values were men looking for female approval in order to marry rich (and by association, the lady’s family’s approval) that he was meeting some idealistic values, rather than men wooing for the sense of some grand sense of love, as we like to think of chivalry today.
I’m not sure if you meant chivalry in the historical sense, but I’m going to assume you did, since I usually post/create a disturbing amount of War of the Roses material. Like most people, the concept itself I like in theory, but I think in practice, like this article highlighted, it can really be watered down to “Noble women actually had more power than they were ever aware of, in that most of the time they held the financial backing of their family and titles that would be given to who they marry. Ambitious, upwardly mobile men knew this, and flipped the script about chivalry being about women falling for hot chivalric men because #patriarchy. At the same time, however, these same men also recognised they needed these same noble women in order to move upwards. Once the Renaissance occurred, and there were more (albeit limited) means of upward mobility, as well as this more Italian concept of “the gentleman (who didn’t really have to act like the gentleman we think of today), the concept of chivalry puttered out.”
(You’re welcome for that beautiful run-on horrible thesis statement Classics degree).
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wholesomecrusading · 7 days ago
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A wonderful blue goat.
From 'The Ashmole Bestiary' (Bodleian Mss. Ashmole 1511), made in Peterborough ou Lincoln circa 1201–1225.
Source: https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/objects/faeff7fb-f8a7-44b5-95ed-cff9a9ffd198/
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wholesomecrusading · 7 days ago
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Historians be like: "You can't understand ANYTHING about modern politics if you don't read my 6000 pages thesis on medieval bagpipes !"
The Government: I'm still not giving you money.
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fascism/racism cw
uuuuhhh seeing some weird shit again...
when it comes to talking about fascists and white supremacists using/misusing  Arthurian (or general medieval) history/literature/ideas/imagery, i think it’s really valuable to distinguish between:
the general need to understand history and its nuances - just like today, events in the past were complicated and often involved many different parties, all with different beliefs/worldviews/agendas. things were rarely clear-cut, and pretending that they were a) is insulting to medieval people (they were every bit as complex, clever, and diverse as we are), and b) prevents us from properly understanding our own social and political contexts (i.e. we can’t create solutions to complex, institutionalised issues unless we acknowledge how complex they are)
the need to understand that, when it comes to modern usage of medievalism by fascists/white supremacists, there doesn’t need to be the same level of nuance! neo-Nazis in Charlottesville carrying medieval flags with heraldic symbols and Old Norse runes?? NOT the time to flex your knowledge and talk about how “in that one skirmish in that one town a single Jewish person did x and so the picture is more complicated than we think” (also...blaming the victim, much?) (^^^event is a bit old now, i know, just an article i had on hand)
that’s not helpful, and it derails the conversation away from the difficult, uncomfortable topic of modern white supremacy and its roots, and towards more benign, comfortable debates around historicity. 
which just provides a smokescreen for white supremacists and the like to continue their harmful arguments under the guise of “historical debate”. also, it’s a flinch away from confronting our current political, social, and religious contexts - it’s a very, uh, loaded choice to argue about how complicated the Crusades were (yep, they were! moving right along!) rather than sitting there and saying to yourself, “yes, Muslims deserve to be able to practice their faith without literally fearing death, that is generally accepted as the absolute bare-minimum” 
instead of reacting defensively, take a moment to reflect on why your knee-jerk reaction is to try minimise things and make them easier for you to digest
i’m seeing this so much in certain Arthurian/general medieval spaces these days (...think part of this in gen med might be because of The Old Guard??), so if it needs to be said - nobody is saying you can’t enjoy Arthurian/medieval lit! but you need to be aware that this is not a neutral space, and conversations aren’t always fun little intellectual exercises (especially for people who belong to these minority groups, for whom this history carries very real, present-day consequences)
i’m miles away from being the first person to say this, but just in case it needed saying again... 
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amatalefay · 7 days ago
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me: *slaps the top of my Medieval History & Literature term paper on Hildegard von Bingen* this bad boy can fit so many In the Green references in it
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paganimagevault · 8 days ago
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Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon helmet 6th-7th C. CE
"I was glad to find in your book a formal contradiction, at length, of the Judiciary usurpation of legislative powers; for such the judges have usurped in their repeated decisions that Christianity is a part of the Common law. the proof of the contrary which you have adduced is incontrovertible, to wit, that the Common law existed, while the Anglo-Saxons were yet Pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed. But it may amuse you to shew when, and by what means they stole this law in upon us." -From Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 5 June 1824
https://paganimagevault.blogspot.com/2019/11/sutton-hoo-anglo-saxon-helmet.html
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sherdnerdcollective · 9 days ago
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wholesomecrusading · 10 days ago
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A simple flow-chart explaining medieval sexuality
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This humorous flow-chart was made by historian James A. Brundage, who specialized among other things in the history of medieval sexuality.
Of course, this is a theoretical model that was probably not followed perfectly, but I'd never realized how many rules there were !
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