Medieval Latin Dictionary Finished After 100 Years

latin

Work on the The Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources (DMLBS) began in 1913. It was completed this month,  58,000 entries, 3,830 pages, and 17 volumes later: Begun in 1913, the finished dictionary is the culmination of a century-long enterprise which has had over 200 researchers working on it over the decades. Based on the writings found in poetry, [Read More...]

Medieval Warrior Snails

snail

The British Library’s Medieval Manuscripts Blog has an interesting compilation of marginal art depicting knights charging at snails. I’ve seen snails in marginals before, but never realized they were such a persistent motif. The symbolism and placement is still puzzling to many medievalists, particularly since the snail did not have a stable meaning associated with [Read More...]

St. Augustine and the Jews

The pilleus cornutus was a pointed had which medieval Jewish men had to wear when travelling outside their ghettos.

This is a post from way back at the beginning of this blog, but it’s one of the better things I’ve published here and it wasn’t seen by too many people at the time. Since today is the feast day of St. Augustine, I decided to rerun it.  The paper was the product of a [Read More...]

Mysterious Medieval Manuscript is Probably Not a Hoax

voynichcosmological

The Voynich Manuscript has baffled everyone since it was first acquired (or, some say, forged) by collector Wilfrid Voynich in 1912. Probably dating to the 15th century and originating in Northern Italy, the manuscript consists of 240 pages of vellum covered in a mysterious, indecipherable script and illustrations of non-existent plants, astronomical diagrams, tiny naked [Read More...]

Really Old Medieval Cookbook Found

Medieval cooking

Researchers have discovered a collection of recipes written in Latin by monks of Durham Cathedral in 1140. Some are calling it the oldest such collection of the Middle Ages. Many of the dishes sound like they would work on a modern restaurant menu. Faith Wallis, an expert in medical history and science based at McGill [Read More...]

Weird Medieval Marginalia

boneless

I guess it’s nice when the internet discovers the much-better-than-the Renaissance-or-Enlightenment awesomeness of the Middle Ages, but like schoolboys searching for the dirty words in the dictionary, they often only seems to find the bizarre or outrageously sexual stuff. Case in point: Buzzfeed’s 20 Bizarre Examples of Medieval Marginalia. Please, please, PLEASE do not click that [Read More...]

Medieval Bras Discovered

medievallingerie

Someone’s getting a whole thesis out of this one. Textiles is a difficult area of archaeology, because cloth can be hard to preserve. Our records of what women wore under their clothes is hardly complete, and most assumed that upper class women wore a combination of bodice and chemis on the top, and both genders [Read More...]

Medieval Monks and Recusants to be Reburied in England

Five monks , two men, and two women will be reburied two decades after they were discovered, and then forgotten, by archaeologists excavating  Eynsham Abbey, Oxfordshire. The four laypeople had been buried secretly, possibly because they were Catholic recusants and unwilling to to be buried according to protestant rites. Nine bodies left languishing in a storeroom for decades will [Read More...]


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