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The Medieval Magazine

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Highlights from our recent issues

 

Earning Your Badge
Mementos of
Pilgrimage

By Danièle Cybulskie

One of the brilliant things about humankind is our desire to continuously strive to accomplish difficult things: epic journeys, great feats, tough challenges. We do this to learn more about ourselves, to test ourselves, or sometimes to set ourselves on a spiritual journey. One of our most enduring and common impulses is to share our triumphs with the world. While the majority of people who climb Everest today doubtless do it for personal reasons, rare indeed is the person who climbs the mountain and never tells anyone.

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TRAVEL: Prague
Medieval Paradise

By Sandra Alvarez

For the medieval history buff, Prague is truly spectacular. It boasts the honor of being one of the top ten most intact medieval cities in Europe. It is certainly a title well earned; its historic center has been considered a UNESCO heritage site since 1992. The city was spared bombing during WWII, so it has retained its almost untouched Gothic charm. I was lucky to spend four days visiting Prague, and while this list of things to see is but the tip of the iceberg, it is a good place to start your journey in this medieval paradise.

Diet, prejudice, and non-Popular Participation in Byzantine Politics

By João Vicente de Medeiros Publio  Dias

In 1047, an uprising broke in Byzantium under the leadership of Leo Tornikes, seeking to depose the emperor Constantine IX Monomachos (1042-1055). The rebels were able to achieve a major victory over the imperial forces before the walls of Constantinople. The city was vulnerable and ready to be taken over, but instead of entering in the city with his troops and deposing Constantine by force, Tornikes waited for an invitation by the inhabitants. This gave the emperor time to reinforce his position and eventually defeat the rebel. How can we explain this hesitation?

 
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Eat Like a King: Dietary Advice to Theuderic I

By Minjie Su
We are what we eat. This expression probably has had more of a ring of truth to those who lived in the Middle Ages, than to us. Hippocratic and Galenic medicine was still the norm, and humoral theory formed the foundation for the understanding of the human body and temperament. To stay in good health, it was essential to keep the four humors (black
bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood) in balance.

The Warrior
Merchants

By Meghna N. Desai

The Indus Valley Civilisation laid the founding stone in establishing organised trade relations with Mesopotamia and Egypt. Archaeologist Prof. J.M. Kenoyer, who spent decades unearthing the trade and crafts technologies of the Indus Valley writes, ‘..no single individual or dynasty dominated the cities for very long, and that they may have been controlled by several competing groups of elites, i.e. landowners, merchants, or  ritual specialists. Collectively, these communities appear to have established and maintained order and hierarchy among many different social classes and economic groups that would have been present in larger cities.’

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The Cult Of Saints: Sainte Foy

By Sydney K. Gobin

Divine rays of ethereal light stream through rich, multicolored glass; overwhelming scents are emitted from hanging lanterns, masking the indistinguishable mixture of odors brought into the sacred space; footsteps echo against the cavernous stone walls. Angels, demons, saints, and prophets peer downward imploring self-reflection and fear upon the visitors; recalling those they left behind and those who came before. Monopolizing the senses, the pilgrimage church served as an awe-inspiring symbol of the holy power which reigned supreme in France during the Middle Ages. These monumental stone institutions were part of a network of churches leading the penitent pilgrim along their treacherous journey of hope.