Gentlenesse in the Dragon Age Universe

I am a medievalist; the bulk of my study has been on Geoffrey Chaucer and his works. Chaucer, most well known for The Canterbury Tales, was intrigued by the concept of “gentlenesse.” At the very least, many of his works (including Tales like The Wife of Bath’s Tale and The Clerk’s Tale) deal with this issue.

Gentlenesse is about the qualities that make one gentle or genteel. What is nobility? Is it something one is born with? Or is it something one can aspire to be? Can a person born in poverty be noble, be gentle? This was an important topic in the Middle Ages as a new middle class emerged. Did wealth make one a noble? Lineage? Actions? Read More Gentlenesse in the Dragon Age Universe

Catherine of Siena: Rebel, Problem Solver, Foreskin Jewelry Designer

What… or who… is actually being maligned?

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Medieval Legends

Not many people know this, but I have a fondness for “Strange yet true!” tales, of the type that are clearly false (stories about aliens, Bigfoot, etc). Nothing like reading some Carl Sagan followed by Chariots of the Gods. Modern legends are easy to find, but older ones can be hidden, forgotten or wrapped into other tales. Still, if we look hard enough, we can still find “Strange yet true” (and by true we mean false) tales.

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3 Medieval Outlaws

Was Robin Hood real? Most evidence (it’s lack) suggests no. He seemed real enough to medieval people. And stories about Robin may have been based on three real medieval outlaws: Hereward the Wake, Eustace the Monk, and Fulk Fitzwarin.

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Happy Charlemagne Coronation Day!

I’m not religious, but I love celebrations. Instead of Christmas, I dedicate my tree to Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne.

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Wassail Was-what?

The holidays are a time for family, friends, fun, and. . . hazy traditions. Wassail is a drink or a time to party or something right? Dating back to Ye Olden Days? Or is it something more?

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Medieval Snowe, a Year Round Treat

Snowe is a dessert recipe of sorts — it’s a sweet dish, though I could see eating it at breakfast, for a snack, etc. I think it will be especially nice in summertime. It’s a simple, light dessert — doesn’t require much prep time.

Pictures and recipe after the jump.

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