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Medieval Hygiene
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Medieval Hygiene

People in the Middle Ages have acquired something of a bad reputation when it comes to cleanliness, especially the peasantry. However, despite the general lack of running water and other modern amenities, there were common expectations of...
Medieval Knight
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Medieval Knight

Knights were the most-feared and best-protected warriors on the medieval battlefield, while off it, they were amongst the most fashionably dressed and best-mannered members of society. To reach this elevated position, however, became more...
Black Death
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Black Death

The Black Death was a plague pandemic which devastated medieval Europe from 1347 to 1352 CE, killing an estimated 25-30 million people. The disease originated in central Asia and was taken to the Crimea by Mongol warriors and traders. The...
Toilets in a Medieval Castle
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Toilets in a Medieval Castle

The medieval toilet or latrine, then called a privy or garderobe, was a primitive affair, but in a castle, one might find a little more comfort and certainly a great deal more design effort than had been invested elsewhere. Practicality...
Viking Hygiene, Clothing, & Jewelry
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Viking Hygiene, Clothing, & Jewelry

Although the Vikings are routinely depicted as rough, grimy, and violent, they were actually quite refined, took personal hygiene seriously, and wore fine clothes ornamented by jewelry. Some Christian chroniclers who condemned the Vikings...
Medieval Knights: 12 of the Best
Articleby Mark Cartwright

Medieval Knights: 12 of the Best

The knights of medieval Europe were meant to be the finest fighting men of their age, even more important, they were expected to be pure in thought and deed, as exemplified in the chivalrous code which they (usually) followed. Here are the...
Medieval Tournament
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Medieval Tournament

The medieval tournament was a forum for European knights where they could practise and show off their military skills in activities such as jousting or the mêlée, indulge in a bit of pageantry, display their chivalrous qualities...
Reactions to Plague in the Ancient & Medieval World
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Reactions to Plague in the Ancient & Medieval World

Throughout history, epidemics and pandemics of plague and other diseases have caused widespread panic and social disorder even, in some instances, when the people of one region were aware of a pervasive infection elsewhere. In the case of...
Medieval Literature
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Medieval Literature

Medieval literature is defined broadly as any work written in Latin or the vernacular between c. 476-1500 CE, including philosophy, religious treatises, legal texts, as well as works of the imagination. More narrowly, however, the term applies...
Medieval Heraldry
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Medieval Heraldry

Heraldry, that is the use of inherited coats of arms and other symbols to show personal identity and family lineage, began on the mid-12th century CE battlefield as an easy means to identify medieval royalty and princes who were otherwise...