1000 years of European borders change in this timelapse map

Europe_map_Year_1000 This is a great timelapse video showing how European borders have changed over the last 1000 years.

Watching the borders ebb and flow during the medieval years is fascinating! The more modern era of the 18th and 19th century are amazing as you watch the growth of Russia and Germany.

Enjoy the video

800 Years Later, India’s Nalanda University opens again

Nalanda_UniversityOne of India’s most famous universities from antiquity, . Both the ruins of the old Nalanda University and the new Nalanda University are located near Rajgir in India’s Bihar state, an area that has a high concentration of ancient religious and historical sites, including Bodh Gaya, the site where the Buddha gained Enlightenment. This area was the core of ancient Magadha, a kingdom in ancient India that was known for its intellectual and political ferment.

In addition to being a center of Hinduism, it was in Magadha that Buddhism and Jainism arose. India’s first empire, the Mauryan Empire, arose from Magadha; its most famous emperor, Ashoka, was highly influential in patronizing and spreading Buddhism throughout Asia. In fact, the present day state of Bihar’s name is derived from the word vihara, the term for a Buddhist monastery, which is testament to the large number of monasteries that dotted the region that became Bihar.

Nalanda University arose from this context, the same way the schools of Athens and Alexandria arose from the intellectual fervor of the Hellenistic Mediterranean. There were many other ancient Indian universities as well, including Takshashila (Taxila) in modern day Pakistan, but Nalanda University stood out due to its size and cosmopolitanism.

Built during the Gupta Empire – the state associated with India’s golden age of culture and science – the original Nalanda University existed from between 413 C.E. and 1193 C.E. Although it was founded as a center for Buddhist philosophical study, it eventually became an institution for the study of various subjects, including secular ones, similar to the manner in which many medieval Christian universities evolved from being scholastic centers to more general institutions. Nalanda University was especially famous for the study of mathematics and medicine.

Photo:Arunava de Sarkar/Wikimedia Commons

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer

The_Hobbit _The_Battle_of_the_Five_Armies_3I’ve watched and loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy but I still haven’t seen any of The Hobbit movies.

This December The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in movie theaters across the world. It is the third and final installment of The Hobbit trilogy.

Director Peter Jackson described The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as the movie that bridged the gap in tone between the relatively peaceful middle-earth of the Hobbit movies, and the dark, more divided realm that we find in Lord of the Rings.

The first official trailer is out and it looks good! Enjoy the trailer and let us know in the comments if you plan on seeing the third and final installment The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Sharing history of Kenilworth’s medieval Gatehouse

Kenilworth_Castle_gatehouse

The history of Kenilworth’s medieval Gatehouse is to be revealed to all. Warwickshire County Council’s in-house archaeology team, Archaeology Warwickshire, is working with Kenilworth Abbey Advisory Committee’s Harry Sunley Memorial Project on plans to open the 14th century ‘Tantara’ Gatehouse to visitors. The Gatehouse in Abbey Fields is the most significant standing remain of the…

Age of Empires Castle Siege for Windows 8

Age of Empires Castle Siege

With a release date of September 2014 Microsoft is reviving its famed Age of Empires franchise. The latest installment Age of Empires Castle Siege will be available for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. I’m not sure that’s a feature as they highlight below. Not releasing Age of Empires Castle Siege for iOS ignores the…

Richard III to be reburied at Leicester cathedral in March

Richard III Skull

We first reported on the confirmation of King Richard III’s remains back in February 2013. It was announced earlier this month that Richard III ‘s reburial will take place at Leicester Cathedral in March 2015. ~The Archivist Richard III will be reburied at Leicester cathedral next March, it has been announced. The reinterment service will…

Vikings Season 3 Sneak Peak

vikings logo

San Diego Comic Con 2014 is wrapping up but not without a few treats from Vikings. While HISTORY Channel is keeping a lot of Season 3 a secret they did confirm, along with Michael Hirst that the Vikings will indeed raid Paris. Hirst said “we’ll have 100 ships and 3000 men attacking a “citadel”, Hirst…

Medieval Barbie…finally!

medieval-barbie

Barbie is an icon of American toys spanning the last 55 years. She has weathered the years well and even acquired a Dream House, Corvette, Jeep and various other material luxuries. But there always seemed to be something missing from Barbie’s vast collection…swords! Now thanks to Jim Rodda, Barbie has a sword and a full…

Does Leicester’s Richard III centre live up to the hype?

Richard-III-Leicester-centre

A £4m visitor centre built next to the Leicester car park where Richard III’s skeleton was discovered is opening on Saturday. It aims to cash in on the excitement generated by the discovery of the medieval king’s bones but will it live up to the hype? “I don’t know what the fuss is about,” says…

Game of Thrones theme song played by the Queen’s guards

Game of Thrones Season 3 Poster

There are numerous versions of the Game of Thrones theme circulating the internet. But none with such a royal connection. Here is a video of the Queen’s Guards playing the Game of Thrones theme.

£78,000 For Anglo Saxon Coin, Could it Solve an Anglo-Saxon Murder?

anglo-saxon-rare-silver-coin

A rare silver coin has sold for £78,000 at auction, and experts claim its discovery could provide a clue to the gruesome murder of an Anglo-Saxon king 1,200 years ago. The coin was struck in the reign of East Anglian ruler Aethelbert II and describes him as king – the only time this title has…

Anglo Saxon Map of London

Anglo saxon London map

Look around any map of London and you’ll find the echoes of long-forgotten individuals. Cena, Padda, Fulla… ancient farmers who had no idea their names would live on down the centuries as Kennington, Paddington and Fulham. Could the dairyman whose cheese farm (Ces wican) once graced the banks of the Thames have conceived that his…

Medieval Torre Abbey is named as Heritage Project of the Year winner

Torre_Abbey

The historical Grade II-listed Torre Abbey has won this year’s Michelmores/Western Morning News Property Award 2014 in the Heritage Project of the Year category. The project was funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Torbay Council with Kier Western & Wales in charge of the multi-million pound works. Built in 1196 Torre…

Alcazar of Seville royal castle to become ‘Game of Thrones’ set

Alcazar-of-Seville

If, like us, you’ve been wondering about the Red Viper’s vaguely Spanish pedigree, you may finally be getting an answer. A medieval castle in southern Spain will serve as the newest backdrop in the next season of “Game of Thrones.” The staff of the Alcazar of Seville confirmed that the castle has been chosen as…

Was Edward the Black Prince really a nasty piece of work?

Edward The Black Prince

A newly discovered letter that has lain unread for over 600 years is forcing a rethink of a 14th Century prince with a controversial reputation, writes Luke Foddy. He was the superstar of his age, winning his spurs in battle aged just 16. But the reputation of Edward of Woodstock – or the Black Prince,…