Early Middle Ages Furniture: History & Design

I still remember my visit to Florence, where the missus and I went to a lovely Medieval palazzo, smack in the middle of the city. The massive doors could be bolted from the inside. The staircase leading to the bedrooms was overlooked by an interior balcony that...

Just How Much Does Plate Armor Weigh Anyway?

Both fantasy and historical fiction love knights. And, as everyone knows, knights often mean armor. Plate armor, to be precise. The problem is that some seem to think that plate armor was practically weightless while others have knights flailing helplessly on the...

Can You Carry Your Sword(s) on Your Back?

Witcher fans will recognize this handsome fellow immediately: One striking thing about Geralt of Rivia is the way he carries his swords on his back. While it looks pretty cool, though, how accurate is it? Can you, indeed, carry around your sword like this? Murphy...

The Amazing True Story of Sir John Chandos

Henrey Bradley recently shared on Quora the remarkable tale of Sir John Chandos who rose from obscurity to become a hero of the Hundred Years War and a knight distinct from all others. Born to a family of small nobility in Derbyshire, Chandos, from a young age, honed...

Henry VIII’s Surprising Prayer Book Markings

Henry VIII is often remembered for his cruelty: a harsh and irritable monarch with a foul temperament. And yet, a more vulnerable figure emerges from the notes in his personal prayer books according to an Artnet article by Richard Whiddington. After a jousting mishap...

Ancient Greek Sea Monsters

Everyone knows of mermaids, and some are even aware of their Greek origins: as a seafaring culture, the ancient Greeks had several sea creatures that fit the bill, from sirens to nereids and naiads. Not many are familiar with the wide range of sea monsters that...

The Unlikely Origins of Beatrix Potter’s Tales

Everyone loves Beatrix Potter and her charming character, Peter Rabbit, which first appeared in 1902 and has since sold over 45 million copies worldwide. The inception of the tales is traced back to 1893, when Potter began writing to a friend’s sick child,...

10 Phrases that Originated in the Middle Ages

Some of our most popular phrases have a long history, including some that go back to the Middle Ages. Here are 10 medieval phrases from the Dictionary of Idioms and their Origins, as reported by Medievalists. 1. “You are the apple of my eye” In early medieval England,...

The Fire Lance

Remember Stargate and the cool lance that doubled as a missile launcher? Surprisingly enough, this wasn’t as unheard of as you may assume (well, not the energy weapon but the combo of lance and gun). If you are looking for inspiration for an unusual weapon for...

That Day in Rome… and the UK

April Fools is a custom associated with making jokes (Prima Aprilis) and dates back to Roman times. At that time, or more precisely, on March 25, the Hilaria festival took place, which was celebrated on the occasion of the vernal equinox and the worship of the...