Medieval Crime Reports Are A Treasure Trove Of Details On Daily Life

If future generations want to know how we whiled away our daily hours, they'll need to look no further than our constant streams of tweets, pictures, and status updates. But what of the poor medieval villager who had no Instagram with which to document the badass tapestry he just wove? » 2/20/15 4:20pm 2/20/15 4:20pm

10 Worst Misconceptions About Medieval Life You'd Get From Fantasy Books

Some tropes are so ingrained in Medieval-inspired fantasy stories that it's tempting to think that they represent real aspects of Medieval life. But often these stories are just reinforcing myths and misconceptions about life in the Middle Ages. » 2/19/15 11:00am 2/19/15 11:00am

The Greatest Werewolf Art Of The Middle Ages And Renaissance

While they weren't always depicted as shirtless teen heartthrobs, creatures who turn from human into wolf (and vice versa) appear in tales dating back to antiquity. So throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, artists have had plenty of strange and creepy stories to inform their werewolf illustrations. » 10/30/14 3:00pm 10/30/14 3:00pm

Modern Forensics Reveal Gruesome Details Of King Richard III's Death

Richard III was the last king of England to die in battle. But as a new forensic analysis of his remains shows, he didn't just die in battle — he had the living tar beat out of him. Here's how this king met his maker on that fateful day in 1485. » 9/17/14 9:30am 9/17/14 9:30am

What Common Medieval Fantasy Tropes Have No Basis In Actual History?

Fantasy doesn't necessarily have to be historically accurate, but some tropes are so entrenched in Medieval-style fantasy that people come to mistake them for historical fact. What is based on real history and what is just a convincing fiction? » 5/08/14 11:40am 5/08/14 11:40am

No, Medieval people didn't drink booze to avoid dirty water

It seems to be common wisdom that Europeans in the Middle Ages drank primarily beer and wine because water wasn't generally safe to drink. This, however, is a rather persistent myth as water was a regular part of the Medieval diet. » 2/28/14 9:40am 2/28/14 9:40am

Why cutting off the tail off someone's horse used to be a huge insult

During the Middle Ages, horses were a symbol of wealth, power — and manliness. So, if you really, really, wanted to hurt a guy, you could hit him where it hurt the most — by cutting off his horse's tail. » 2/10/14 2:20pm 2/10/14 2:20pm

What kind of armor did Medieval women really wear?

We know that skimpy armor that shows off a woman's cleavage is rather impractical for combat and that sculpted "boob plate" armor can be a hazard to your health, but on occasions that women did don armor in medieval Europe, what kind of armor did they actually wear? And is shapely, feminine armor a modern convention,… » 1/16/14 11:00am 1/16/14 11:00am

This goofy scene from A Knight's Tale recreates history far better than…

When A Knight's Tale came out in 2001, critics snarked about how director Brian Helgeland used contemporary rock music in a medieval jousting flick. But this opening scene, with peasants dancing to Queen at a jousting match, is one of the greatest examples of historical recreation you'll ever see. » 3/15/13 1:17pm 3/15/13 1:17pm

Medieval monks complained about their jobs in the margins of ancient…

Medieval monks were the bored data entry workers of their day, spending hours copying manuscripts in uncomfortable chairs and cold rooms. To keep themselves entertained, they often made little doodles or silly comments in the margins of manuscripts they were copying. In the new issue of Lapham's Quarterly, author … » 3/23/12 1:52pm 3/23/12 1:52pm