Dr Sean Cunningham talks Prince Arthur at the National Archives

Prince Arthur cover

We featured Dr Sean Cunningham’s book Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was a couple years ago on this site. Now you have chance to hear him talk about Prince Arthur and Henry VIII.

Dr Cunningham will speak on Wednesday, 20 March at the National Archives.

Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was examines the life of Prince Arthur, the first son of King Henry VII and older brother to King Henry VIII

If you are able I recommend attending the event. Get all the details and purchase tickets through eventbrite

Event Description:

During the early part of the sixteenth century, England should have been ruled by King Arthur Tudor, not Henry VIII.

Had Arthur, the first-born son of Henry VII, lived into adulthood, his younger brother Henry would never have become King of England. The nation’s subsequent history would have been very different, since the massive religious, social and political changes of Henry VIII’s reign might not have been necessary at all.

In this talk, our Head of Medieval Records, Dr Sean Cunningham, will look at Prince Arthur’s life and assess what type of king he might have been in lieu of the changes wrought by his brother Henry VIII.

Australia is Going Medieval


The Guardian Australia is running a video series highlighting different subcultures and communities bringing people together across the country.

Going Medieval enters the chivalrous world of medieval reenactment in the Sydney suburb of St Ives, where passionate men and women dress up to fight, craft, eat, drink and make merry as characters from European history.

This medieval astrolabe is officially world’s oldest known such instrument

David Mearns/University of Warwick

A mariner’s astrolabe recovered from the wreck of one of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama’s ships is now officially the oldest known such artifact, according to a new paper in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. The device is even going into the Guinness Book of World Records, along with the ship’s bell, now that the age of both artifacts has been independently verified.

A key distinction here is that this is the oldest known mariner’s astrolabe. Astrolabes are actually very ancient instruments—possibly dating as far back as the second century BCE—for determining the time and position of the stars in the sky by measuring a celestial body’s altitude above the horizon. They were mostly used for astronomical studies, although they also proved useful for navigation on land. Navigating at sea on a pitching deck was a bit more problematic, unless the waters were calm.

The development of a mariner’s astrolabe—a simple ring marked in degrees for measuring celestial altitudes—helped solve that problem. It was eventually replaced by the invention of the sextant in the 18th century, which was much more precise for seafaring navigation. Mariner’s astrolabes are among the most prized artifacts recovered from shipwrecks; only 108 are currently catalogued worldwide.

Read the full story on Ars Technica

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