Early Modern Medievalism: The End or Creation of the Middle Ages?

Post by Dr Mike Rodman Jones, School of English Albrecht Durer’s St Jerome in his Study (1513) is a seminal work in Renaissance art history. It is also one that, in its subject, execution, and reception, divides cultural time in a way that both omits and contains the Middle Ages. St Jerome (d. 420) appears …

Eclipses and comets and portents (oh my)

Contrary to popular opinion medieval people did not think that the world was flat. Educated people worked on an Aristotelean idea that the world was round and that it had different zones (including places that were either too hot or too cold to live in). However, medieval people, just in Antiquity, did not know that …

‘þe best mylke is womman milke’: Does Breast Milk Heal? – Guest post by Erin Connelly

On a recent episode of GPs: Behind Closed Doors (Channel 5), a reality show that examines doctor-patient relationships, a young mother told her GP that she had been treating her infant’s conjunctivitis with breast milk. The GP was surprised by this treatment and advised against it, stating that it was both ineffective and unpleasant. However, …

The Lylye of Medicynes – Guest post by Erin Connelly

‘ȝif it be a pore man . . .’: Healthcare for the Rich and Poor in the Lylye of Medicynes Economic disparity has come to the forefront of public consciousness in recent years: a report produced by Oxfam ahead of the World Economic Forum in 2014 states that ‘half of the world’s wealth is owned …

Rethinking Ravenna: review

A guest post by Maroula Perisanidi, postgraduate student in History ‘Our royalty is an imitation of yours, modelled on your good purpose, a copy of the only empire, in so far as we follow you we excel all other nations’ These are the terms used by Cassiodorus on behalf of King Theoderic (493–526) to express …

Ross Balzaretti, Thinking about Ravenna

A guest blog by Dr Ross Balzaretti, History, University of Nottingham Judith Herrin is one of those (all too rare) historians who asks and answers unexpected questions, and her forthcoming IMR lecture ‘Rethinking Ravenna: The Ostrogothic Inheritance’ (5.30pm, 27 March 2014, A41, Clive Grainger Building, University Park) will no doubt do just that. I am …

Literatures of Older Scots and Middle English

If there are challenges in establishing Older Scots and Middle English as different languages (see previous blog) those are matched equally in attempting to define an Older Scots literary tradition. The Middle English literary tradition is so multifarious that to insist on separateness for Scotland seems doomed to failure. We can see, for instance, that …

Past identities: medieval differences between Scotland and England

The photo attached to this blog can be replicated in many family albums. The girls here happen to be my goddaughter and her sister, on their way to visit friends and family in Scotland, but they might equally be my children on the same mission north. There remains a slight sense of travelling to a …

Feasting the Dead: Hallowe’en

Today is Hallowe’en which according to many sources is based on ‘Celtic’ traditions, because the Celtic year begun on the first of November. While Hallowe’en is not necessarily about the dead (more about the undead) it falls on the night before All Saints’ Day. The Hallow part of the word is derived from Old English …

What is Robin Hood?

I’d never really thought of Robin Hood as jousting. A mean sword fighter, yes; good with the quarter staff, if not as good as Little John; and of course superlative with a long bow. Just not the lance. So it took me a few moments to re-orientate myself at the Robin Hood Pageant at Nottingham …