Christmas Has Truly Arrived When the Monks Start Decorating the Hedgehog

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(Actually, the hedgehog was believed to slip into vineyards and steal grapes.) [Read more...]

Medieval People by Michael Prestwich (Book Review)

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Anyone who reads even cursorily about the Middle Ages encounters the many vivid personalities who emerge from the history books, from titanic figures like St. Thomas Aquinas and Eleanor of Aquitaine to lesser known people like Simon de Montfort (largely responsible for the horrors of the Albigensian Crusade) and the Countess Matilda of Tuscany (an ally [Read More...]

The Devil Tempts St. Benedict

Rule

This illumination showed up in my medievalist Twitter feed today and I tracked it back to the so-called Mettener Regel (1414), a manuscript of the rule of Saint Benedict as practiced at the Abbey of Metten. The manuscript is illustrated by moments in the life of St. Benedict. At first, I thought this might be an illustration [Read More...]

The Feast of St. Edmund

Wolf with the head of St. Edmund

I only discovered A Clerk of Oxford this month, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite blogs. The blogger is a medievalist who writes long, fascinating posts highlighted by her excellent translations from Old English. Today, for the Feast of St. Edmund, she offers generous selections from Ælfric’s Life of Edmund (10th Century), both in the original, so you get the sense [Read More...]

Five Catholic Things to Listen to on Spotify

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Spotify has a pretty deep archive, but its poor tagging and search features make it difficult to burrow into the more obscure corners and find the weird stuff hidden below pop songs and other junk. Here are five things that may be of interest to Catholics. Pope John Paul II: Mass in English is not a [Read More...]

Medieval Handwriting: The App

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I don’t expect that many of you need to learn to distinguish among and transcribe the many kinds of medieval hands found in old manuscripts, but Medieval Handwriting is still a must for medieval buffs. The app, available for Android and iOS, includes 26 religious manuscript pages. Each has an introduction, specimen letter forms, and [Read More...]

The Bible of St. Louis

Bible-of-st-louis

The Bible of St. Louis is one of the greatest works of illumination in history, with 4,887 illustrations providing an astonishing view of both scripture and the 13th century. The three volumes contain excerpts from the Bible and commentary. They were commissioned between 1226 and 1234 by Blanche of Castile for the education of her son, King [Read More...]

St. Thomas Aquinas Believed in Ghosts

St. Thomas Aquinas at Prayer

We’re coming up fast on Halloween, so I want to jump ahead a bit to see what St. Thomas Aquinas has to say about ghosts. The section is found in the Summa Theologica, Supplementum Tertiæ Partis: Question 69. Matters concerning the resurrection, and first of the place where souls are after death, Article 3. Whether [Read More...]


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