Tag Middle Ages

Finding the Medieval in Pop Culture

Michael Alexander— The rise of the visual media, film, television, video, DVD and other forms of electronic transfer, has transformed the mediation of the stories which human beings need, stories previously transmitted through the spoken, the written and the printed word, or by words spoken in live theaters. The visual

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The St. Brice’s Day Massacre: Then and Now

Levi Roach— “And in this year the king ordered all the Danish men who were in England to be slain; this was done on St. Brice’s feast day [13 November], because it was made known to the king that they treacherously wanted to deprive him and then all his counsellors

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Frederick Barbarossa’s Bittersweet Ending

John Freed— On 22 June 1941, Germany launched Operation Barbarossa. Hitler’s personal decision to name the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union after Frederick Barbarossa (b. 1122, r. 1152-90) was the culmination of the nineteenth-century appropriation of the medieval emperor as the symbol of German national unity. Frederick’s uncle and

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The World’s First Corporations

It is commonly believed that the first corporations were English and Dutch trading corporations from the 1600s. But Germain Sicard, in an overlooked 1952 thesis, argued that the first corporations arose much earlier, in mills from the 1300s in Toulouse, France. His landmark research brings these mills to life and

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The social economics of the spice trade

Tuesday’s episode of NPR’s Planet Money features an extended piece on the booming spice economy of the Middle Ages, which seems to hold some of the earliest lessons in global economics. Always in high demand in the West, spices were not only used to enliven the bland European cuisine of

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NYT: Tapestry in the Baroque is “stupefying” and “awesome”

In today’s New York Times, Holland Cotter lauded “Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor,” a new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Cotter called the exhibition “awesome in its exacting detail” and “a demonstration of beauty of a very particular and surprisingly personal kind.” The epic tapestries, she

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