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Tag Archives: Medieval
Battle of the Nations
So apparently medieval combat is now an international sport.
Check out these ten misconceptions about life in medieval times. It turns out the Middle Ages was not exactly like a D&D campaign. It was often quite a bit more interesting. 🙂
How to Find a Book in a Medieval Library
According to medievalist Erik Kwakkel, they used a sort of low-tech GPS system:
A book was tagged with a unique identifier (a shelfmark) that was entered into a searchable database (a library catalogue), which could subsequently be consulted with a handheld device (a portable version of the catalogue).
And now I want one.
Creepy Medieval Sea Monsters
Via io9: “These drawings of sea monsters, taken from books written in Europe centuries ago, prove that you don’t need CGI to create a seriously incredible creature.”
Yeah, but those things with two tails are just wrong.
Medieval Fantasy vs. 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?
The Anatomy of a Dragon
The British Library has compiled a treasury of medieval images of dragons in honor of Saint George’s Day.
Dragons are near-ubiquitious in medieval manuscripts. They take pride of place in bestiaries and herbals, books of history and legend, and Apocalypse texts, to name a few. They serve as symbols, heraldic devices, and even as ‘just’ decoration, and their physical characteristics can vary widely. Cinematic and literary depictions of dragons today are fairly consistent; they are almost always shown as reptilian, winged, fire-breathing creatures (in a word, Smaug). But this was by no means a constant portrayal in the medieval period.
Let’s have a look at a very common medieval trope – of the dragon as the nemesis of a saint or angel. Below we can see dragons facing off against St George (again), St Margaret, and the Archangel Michael. All these examples are drawn from late 15th century manuscripts, but their dragons are very different, and range from a lizard-y animal with duck-like feet to a winged leonine creature and a demon.