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medieval history



  • Fact and Fiction in "The Last Duel"

    by Sara McDougall and David Perry

    "The film effectively depicts the violence embedded in medieval ideas of elite masculinity while taking historical liberties when it comes to the real nature and function of trials by combat, or how rape accusations worked in medieval Europe."



  • Viking Map of Americas Shown to be a 20th Century Forgery

    by David M. Perry and Matthew Gabriele

    Both financial gain and the prevalent sectarian conflicts over immigration and nationality in early 20th century America probably motivated the forgery and muted the inclination to challenge it. 



  • Is this the Moment for Dante's Purgatory?

    by Judith Thurman

    Dante's epic examined the uncharted space of the new Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. New translations make his vision speak to today's mood of unsettlement and uncertainty.



  • The Many Myths of the Term ‘Anglo-Saxon’

    by Mary Rambaran-Olm and Erik Wade

    References to America's "Anglo-Saxon heritage" are often racist dogwhistles, and usually fully detached from the history of the Anglo-Saxon people. 


  • The History Behind Demands for "Trial by Combat"

    by Eric Jager

    A call for "trial by combat" may seem desperate or insane, but may also hint at a desire for a clear, definitive verdict when truth proves elusive. A medievalist reconstructs the world that allowed the last legal, judicial duel. 



  • Vikings, Crusaders, Confederates

    by Matthew Gabriele

    The far-right has combined a selective and outdated version of medieval history from popular culture to express values of racial superiority, aggressive masculinity and violence in defense of threatened values.


  • How Venetians Invented Health Care

    by Meredith F. Small

    It's been widely discussed during this pandemic year that Venetians invented the quarantine. But the author of a new book on Venice's history of innovation argues that it was just one of the public health measures for which we can thank them.