Categories
Pop Culture

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 […]

Categories
History

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

What… or who… is actually being maligned?

Categories
History

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 […]

Categories
History

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.

Categories
History

Happy Charlemagne Coronation Day!

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

Categories
History

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?

Categories
Food

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.

Categories
Food

Medieval Wafers

Wafers, waffles, pizzelles. Whatever you call, it’s tasty. A medieval combination of waffle and cookie.

Categories
Food

Medieval Gingerbread, Perfect for a Modern Autumn

Medieval gingerbread is one of my specialties. It’s very easy to make and produces a lot of end product to share with family and friends. It’s a sweet or confection, not a cookie/cake like modern gingerbread. And sticky. You can also shape it, so it can be an especially pretty dessert. Pictures and recipe after the […]

Categories
Crossposts

Queen Melisende

Melisende, promoter of the arts, ruled (and co-ruled) Jerusalem in the 1100s.

Categories
Crossposts

Queen Urraca

Medieval Spanish Queen Urraca’s marriage led to rebellion and war.

Categories
History

Tales from History: Anne and Richard

Since we’re all still recovering from the Red Wedding and what not, let me share with you one of my favorite medieval stories (that is, this is about a historical event, not a fictional tale). George R. R. Martin’s works are based, in part, on fifteenth century England’s War of the Roses, which is my […]