Medieval

A detail from a ‘balneological’ page from the Voynich Manuscript © akg-images

Despite recent claims, the Voynich Manuscript remains one of history’s biggest mysteries. 

Abraham von Kiduna received by the host of a brothel, German woodcut, 1477.

What was life like for medieval prostitutes? A case in the German town of Nördlingen reveals a hellish world of exploitation and violence.

‘The Bath’, from Valerius Maximus’ Facta et dicta memorabilia, 15th century, French.

In the medieval period you could touch the divine – and smell it, see it, hear it and taste it, sometimes all at once.

Boniface VIII presiding over the college of cardinals, Italian manuscript, 14th century.

The late-medieval papal chapel was a powerful jewel in the papal tiara.

Harold swears an oath to William of Normandy, Bayeux Tapestry, c.1070.

French was the only language worth speaking in medieval Britain – and not just by the upper classes.

A little-known encounter between the English and French navies should rank alongside Trafalgar and the defeat of the Armada.

Woodcut of Henry IV from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493. Copyright aka-images

Looking beyond the usual rogues’ gallery of historical figures can help us to better understand the past.

St Mary’s church, Credenhill, Herefordshire. 14th-century window with St Thomas de Cantilupe on the right alongside St Thomas Becket

The small city of Hereford became one of England’s most important pilgrim sites due to the many miracles attributed to a local saint.

Portrait of Katerina Lemmel from a church panel

Rather than being narcissistic, images of the self were used to represent a spiritual community.

Herstmonceux Medieval Festival © Andrew Campbell Photography

Minoo Dinshaw is disappointed to discover that ignorance of the Middle Ages can found even among the most elevated company.