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Medieval

‘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.

The Tabernacle page of the Codex Amiantinus

One of the grandest, certainly one of the largest, manuscripts produced in the medieval West, the Codex Amiatinus is often overlooked as an Anglo-Saxon treasure. Conor O’Brien shows how its makers used it to assert their identity and to establish their place firmly within the Christian world.

Transitory power: Henry I in 'Sir Thomas Holme's Book of Arms', English, 15th century

As the search for lost medieval kings continues, interest in them seems stronger than ever. But a warning from the past speaks of their – and our – ruin.