Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eleanor of Aquitaine (l. c. 1122-1204 CE) was one of the most impressive and powerful figures of the High Middle Ages (1000-1300 CE) – male or female – whose influence shaped the politics, art, medieval literature, and perception of women...
The Siege of Acre, 1189-91 CE
The Siege of Acre, located on the northern coast of Israel, was the first major battle of the Third Crusade (1189-1192 CE). The protracted siege by a mixed force of European armies against the Muslim garrison and nearby army of Saladin, the...
First Punic War
The First Punic War (264-241 BCE) was fought between Carthage and Rome largely over control of Sicily. The war was fought on the island, at sea, and in north Africa. Both sides enjoyed victories and suffered near-catastrophic defeats. The...
Map of the Ayyubid Empire
A map indicating (in red) the greatest extent of the Ayyubid Dynasty's empire (1171-1250 CE). Green indicates the areas controlled by the Crusader states (aka Latin East).
The First Fitna (656-661 CE) was the first civil war of the Islamic Empire fought between the fourth Rashidun Caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib (656-661 CE), and the governor of Syria, Muawiya (later Muawiya I; r. 661-680 CE). Deep fissures divided...
Zengids & the Crusaders: Race for Egypt (1163-1169 CE)
In the aftermath of the failure of the Second Crusade (1147-1149 CE), which only managed to bring Damascus under Nur ad-Din's (sometimes also given as Nur al-Din, l. 1118-1174 CE) dominion, Egypt acquired top priority – both from a...
The Armour of an English Medieval Knight
English medieval knights wore metal armour of iron or steel to protect themselves from archers and the long swords of opponents. From the 9th century CE, chain mail suits gave protection and freedom of movement until solid plate armour became...
The Weapons of an English Medieval Knight
The weapons of an English medieval knight in combat included the long sword, wooden lance with an iron tip, metal-headed mace, battle-axe, and dagger. Trained since childhood and practised at tournaments, the skilled knight could inflict...
Religion in the Middle Ages
Religion in the Middle Ages, though dominated by the Catholic Church, was far more varied than only orthodox Christianity. In the Early Middle Ages (c. 476-1000 CE), long-established pagan beliefs and practices entwined with those of the...
Despotate of Epirus
The Despotate of Epirus was one of the successor states of the Byzantine Empire when it disintegrated following the Fourth Crusade's capture of Constantinople in 1204 CE. It was originally the most successful of those successor states, coming...