Long before humans had figured out beer, we learned that you can make a damn tasty crunk-juice by stewing rainwater in a beehive. Mead was the drink of ancient Greek philosophers, Asian hunter-gatherers, and Celtic berserkers. It’s also the secret behind some of the best summer cocktails.
The Black Book of Carmarthen, named for the color of its binding and believed location of origin (the Augustinian Priory of Saints John the Evangelist and Teulydog in Carmarthem), is the oldest surviving manuscript written in the Welsh language.
If future generations want to know how we whiled away our daily hours, they'll need to look no further than our constant streams of tweets, pictures, and status updates. But what of the poor medieval villager who had no Instagram with which to document the badass tapestry he just wove?
Some tropes are so ingrained in Medieval-inspired fantasy stories that it's tempting to think that they represent real aspects of Medieval life. But often these stories are just reinforcing myths and misconceptions about life in the Middle Ages.
It wasn't easy to find a specific book on library shelves in the Middle Ages. The spine title had not yet been invented, and the books weren't published in standard sizes. But readers didn't have to spend hours searching, thanks to an ingenious system that made use of concepts similar to modern GPS.
While they weren't always depicted as shirtless teen heartthrobs, creatures who turn from human into wolf (and vice versa) appear in tales dating back to antiquity. So throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, artists have had plenty of strange and creepy stories to inform their werewolf illustrations.
Andrew E. Larsen is an historian who specializes in Medieval England and blogs about pop culture and history at An Historian Goes to the Movies. In "Disney's Robin Hood: A Bit More Medieval Than You Might Think," Larsen explores the film's true inspiration, which wasn't Robin Hood but a different medieval tale.
The past and the future seem to collide in this week's writing prompt. Why is this giant mechanical creation outfitted like a medieval knight?
And you thought zombie comics were a recent idea? Over the centuries, medieval artists applied their talents to illustrate a mysterious tale of animated corpses who tormented the living.
At first glance, these may look like Russian Orthodox iconography from the Middle ages. But they are actually striking illustrations of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien by Ukrainian artist Sergei Iukhimov.
Fantasy doesn't necessarily have to be historically accurate, but some tropes are so entrenched in Medieval-style fantasy that people come to mistake them for historical fact. What is based on real history and what is just a convincing fiction?
It seems to be common wisdom that Europeans in the Middle Ages drank primarily beer and wine because water wasn't generally safe to drink. This, however, is a rather persistent myth as water was a regular part of the Medieval diet.
A 13th-century Viking code that has eluded scholars was finally cracked by a runologist working at the University of Oslo. So, what was the secret message? "Kiss me."
What happens when a cat sneaks over and pees all over the precious manuscript that you've spent months of your life inscribing? If you're this 15th century monk, you leave a note cursing the cat and move on with your writing.
We know that skimpy armor that shows off a woman's cleavage is rather impractical for combat and that sculpted "boob plate" armor can be a hazard to your health, but on occasions that women did don armor in medieval Europe, what kind of armor did they actually wear? And is shapely, feminine armor a modern convention,…
The medieval crusaders may be long gone, but some of them left behind something a bit personal. In a ruined castle in Cyprus, researchers discovered a latrine that still contained the fecal parasites of the European invaders.
There's plenty of silliness sitting in the margins of illuminated manuscripts, and the Tumblr The Discarded Image collects some of the goofiest of the goofy: cats licking their junk, murderous bunny rabbits, prankster monkeys, amorous animals, and tongue-wagging jokesters. But perhaps the highlight of blog is its…
The science of dendrochronology observes changes in the pattern of tree rings in an attempt to create a time line and infer climate changes. Using tree ring data, it is possible to link the past 11,000 years in parts of Germany & Northern Ireland, but only the past few centuries in other parts of the world.…
Public health initiatives have been a major benefit of living in the 20th and 21st centuries. They've spared many of us from terrible communicable diseases, ensured we live past childhood, and helped cause human life expectancy to increase by 18 years worldwide in the past 50 years alone.