VIKINGS: Athelstan’s Journal: Gods


We are a few short weeks away from the Season 3 premiere of Vikings! This is a great video of Athelstan’s internal conflict. I hope he plays a more prominent role in Season 3, he seemed to have a smaller story line last season.

Vikings Season 3 premieres on the HISTORY channel on 19 February 2015.

Athelstan’s Journal: Gods

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‘Schoolboy error’ on Magna Carta £2 coin

Magna_Carta_CoinA historian has questioned the accuracy of a new £2 coin showing the signing of the Magna Carta, saying King John would have not have used a quill.

Dr Marc Morris, an expert in the Middle Ages, said experts at the Royal Mint made a “schoolboy error”.

The Magna Carta would have been ‘endorsed’ by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on June 15 1215, with a Royal seal, rather than with the stroke of a quill pen, said Dr Morris, who presented the Channel 4 show Castle

The charter enshrined that taxpayers had a right to be represented, the right to a fair trial and that nobody was “above the law”, even Royalty.

The Royal Mint commissioned the coin artist John Bergdahl to create the £2 coin to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the charter.

It is on sale for £10, complete with a ‘medieval inspired’ display mount and is a celebration of the “catalyst towards freedom for the ordinary man”.

Dr Morris, 41, the author of several books – among them The Bigod Earls of Norfolk in the Thirteenth Century and King John: Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta – said the coin was ‘historically wrong’.

He said: “To depict King John holding a quill is simply a schoolboy error.

“Medieval kings did not authenticate documents by signing them, they did it by sealing them – or rather by getting one of their officials to do it for them.

“All the pen in John’s hand symbolises is ignorance of this basic fact.”

Israeli fighters prepare to battle Europeans…in medieval knight fighting match

Lego Knights | Medieval ArchivesTown in central Israel to host international ‘Duel Professional’ tournament in special medieval-style arena

Those who find themselves in the central Israeli town of Rishon Lezion next week are likely to stumble across teams of medieval nights dressed in full combat garb battling it out with each other.

While it may feel as though they have stepped back in time to the Crusader period, they will in fact be witnessing the second International Tournament of Medieval Knight Fighting in Israel taking place on January 22.

Knights will be battling it out in a medieval-style arena in the international sport tournament, “Medieval Battles” – World Medieval Fighting Championship – WMFC: Israeli Challenge.

Medieval knight fighting has developed in recent years into a sport throughout the world and has been enjoyed in Israel already for several years.

Rare chance to see beauty of Wiltshire medieval church chalices


The Lacock Cup, which is now in the British Museum after being bought from St Cyriac’s Church for £1.3m, goes on public display at Salisbury Museum this spring. Alongside it are three other medieval chalices from Wiltshire churches: the silver parcel-gilt, late 15th century chalice from St Mary’s Church, Codford; a 16th century silver gilt…

Barbie Romanus: A New 3D Printing Kickstarter


Last summer we featured a Kickstarter campaign creating medieval armor for Barbie. Creator Zheng3(Jim Rodda) is taking Barbie back in time again! His new Kickstarter campaign, Faire Play 2: When in Rome sends Barbie back to Ancient Rome with her own chariot. Everybody always makes a big deal about Barbie’s corvette, but who needs a…

Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts – free online course


Stanford University is offering a free online course called Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts starting Tuesday, 20 January 2015. The class is taught by a fantastic group of medievalists, including Professor Elaine Treharne, if you’re not following Elaine on twitter, you really should! In fact you can connect with all the instructors on Twitter, they are…

Modern forensics solve 700-year-old murder mystery of Cangrande I della Scala

Cangrande I della Scala

The contents of the bowels of an Italian medieval warlord have revealed his nefarious cause of death nearly 700 years later. It’s commonly accepted that life expectancy in the Middle Ages was pretty low, hovering around the early 30s — mainly because of the hazards of childhood. If a person made it to adulthood, the…

John Rhys-Davies joins the cast of ‘Shannara’


The Lord of the Rings alum John Rhys-Davies has joined the cast of the Viacom-owned cable network’s buzzy adaptation, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The 10-episode series takes place in a world set thousands of years after the destruction of civilization as we know it. The adaptation of Terry Brooks’ book series follows the Shannara…

2014 Medieval Year in Review: Podcasts

Charlemagne The Father of Europe

2014 was a fantastic year for the Medieval Archives Podcast! Thanks to all our great fans we were featured in the iTunes store! We talked with more authors in 2014 including best sellers Bernard Cornwell and Dan Jones. The topics covered varied from medieval torture methods to religious reformers. Some of the topics were requested…

2014 Medieval Year in Review: News

2014 was again the year of King Richard III. His re-burial date and place was officially announced and the monarch will be laid to rest in 2015. Although not everyone is happy with his final resting place. But really York or Leicester, isn’t it better than under a car park? There was also some interesting…

2014 Medieval Year in Review: Television

The White Queen

While the silver screen offered very little for medieval viewing the small screen is taking over! There was the obvious Season 4 of Game of Thrones, but it wasn’t alone. HISTORY, Starz, PBS and even Netflix offered something for TV Viewing. In fact your best bet for medieval fantasy is Television. Game of Thrones continues…

2014 Medieval Year in Review: Movies

The_Hobbit _The_Battle_of_the_Five_Armies_3

I love movies! All kinds, but I’ma sucker for medieval themed movies. 2014 wasn’t a good year for the genre. There were few offerings to entice medievalists into the movie theaters. We did get the final installment of The Hobbit trilogy which was a good ending to the monolithic franchise. With The Hobbit coming out…

2014 Medieval Year in Review: Books

Dan Jones Wars of the Roses

2014 was another great year for Medieval books, both non-fiction and historical fiction. Kngihts, Kings, Vikings and of course the Plantagenets! We were honored to talk to several best selling authors this year. One of my all time favorite hisotrical fiction authors and an relative newcomer to the non-fiction world. In September best selling author…

2014 Medieval Year in Review: Games & Apps

Medieval Lego Knight

The App store continues to dominate the smartphone market, but Google Play and Windows are making a nice dent. However with 3 different options there still isn’t a great offering for medieval apps. 2014 saw a few games released for smartphones and unfortunately no outstanding educational or reference medieval apps. Below is a break down…

I’ll Be King For Christmas: Medieval Coronations on Christmas Day


Crowning ceremonies have existed since Ancient Times and are even described in detail in two books of the Bible, Kings II and Chronicles II. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that the coronations became commonplace as the the Kings were seen as ordained by God. Perhaps one of the most famous Christmas Day Coronations is…