December 12, 2017, by Anya

Survive University Like A Medieval King

If there’s one thing medieval kings really cornered the market on, it’s dying in bizarre ways. You might think that these deaths are irrelevant to you, a young student living in the modern age, but you would be terribly wrong: they can offer us all valuable lessons on how to survive university.


1) Don’t Eat A Surfeit of Anything

King Henry I, best known for not being King Henry VIII, reputedly died of eating a surfeit of lampreys. If you’ve ever seen a lamprey, you may wonder how or why anyone ate enough of them to die. If not, don’t look it up, it’s not worth the indigestion. So before you reach for that next mince pie, or that fourth pot noodle, or that sixteenth digestive, remember the tragic death of King Henry I, and beware.

2) Don’t Gloat

Sigurd the Mighty, having defeated his enemy, strapped his severed head to his saddle. The teeth rubbed against his leg, causing a wound that became infected and eventually killed him. Aside from being an absolutely glorious case of poetic justice, this is also deeply relevant to you as a student. The next time you roll up to a lecture bright and early, beaming with joie de vivre, and ask the half-dead person next to you what they got on the coursework, remember: they might bite you in the leg. And it might kill you.

3) Don’t Anger The Geese

What do Richard of Normandy, King William II, Valdemar the Young and Emperor Basil I all have in common? They all died while hunting. There may not be any wild boar or red deer stags on campus, but there is something far angrier: geese. And while they may be smaller, there are lots of them and only one of you.


People may tell you, if you study history, classics, or archaeology, that your degree has no practical use. But when they reach for that sixteenth lamprey at dinner, you’ll have your revenge.

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