Category Archives: Medieval

Defining the Middle Ages

Lindesfarne Gospel Page

I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with this blog when I started it.  Honestly, my first thought was steampunk.  I’m sure I will eventually get around to it, but it clearly hasn’t been my focus. I am a medievalist.  I am greatly enjoying writing about that passion, and, strangely enough, people seem actually interested in reading about it.  I also have become remarkably interested in medieval art, which must have sneaked in during my years teaching

Medieval Astronomical Clocks

Prague Astronomical Clock, 1410

These Astronomical Clocks Were a Wonder of the Medieval World. I have a wee bit of an issue with an article that talks about these devices being around for over 1000 years and then not giving an example older than the 14th century, but the pictures are nevertheless marvelous and are testament to the sorts of cool things going on in the time period. My area is primarily the middle ages (or the mid-evil period, as essay exams repeatedly say,

Our Holy St. Matthew of the Sandwich Board

There are two major types of historical art I like The really good stuff, about which I am really picky, and The really awful stuff.  It gets bonus points if it is medieval, and it usually is. Hence, Vampire Monkey Christ.  I giggle every time I look at it.  Can it really be as awful as I remember?  Yup. But the Vampire Monkey Christ belt buckle was made by someone without artistic skill.  The Book of Durrow, however, was created

Vaaaaampire Monkey Christ

Vampire Monkey Christ

For whatever reason, that’s always the pronunciation I hear in my head when I look at this thing. In the early Middle Ages, status was gained almost exclusively through combat. As such, it they were going to hold up a figure like, say, Jesus Christ, being a pacifist really didn’t make a lot of sense to them. As such, they commonly portrayed Jesus not as a mild mannered preacher surrounded by children but as a fierce warrior defending humanity from

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