The northern diaspora we call the age of the Vikings is testament to the mobility of early medieval Europe. So too is the fact that the most contemporary account we have of the viking raid on Lindisfarne of 8 June 793 comes from the court of Charlemagne in faraway Aachen. Alcuin, a Northumbrian monk and... Continue Reading →
Even at the very beginning, their affair was barely private. He joked about it in his lectures and wrote love songs about her that were sung far and wide. But they were both, in their own way, already famous. By the 1110s, Peter Abelard was in his thirties, with a fast-growing reputation as a philosopher... Continue Reading →
A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure and privilege of talking about the Dissolution of the Monasteries to Suzannah Lipscomb for her fantastic new podcast series #NotJustTheTudors. Do have a listen! The link is here.
There are few easier ways to enrage a medievalist than to refer to the era they study as ‘the Dark Ages’. But those who think of the medieval world – and medieval Catholicism in particular – as the antithesis of reason and progress, might be surprised to learn that the great Benedictine abbey at St... Continue Reading →
The visions began when Hildegard of Bingen was young – perhaps as young as three. But unlike many mystical religious experiences, the visions did not come in dreams or ecstatic states; ecstasy, she thought, was a defect. They came like a cloud of light inside her on which forms and shadows moved while her eyes... Continue Reading →