Tag Archive: Italy

Black Death Pathogen Extinct?

Using a technique for extracting ancient DNA, researchers have found that the form of Yersinia pestis that caused the Black Death in medieval Europe may be extinct, according to a new study publishing today (August 29) in PNAS. The new approach could help researchers understand why that pandemic was so deadly. “It’s a really interesting…

Italian town prepares to joust

It is time for the butcher to polish up his battle-axe and the schoolmistress to stitch fresh silks on her noblewoman’s gown as the hired horseman hones his lance and primes his mount for combat. Jousting season in Sulmona, and the people of this ancient town, nestled in Italy’s central mountains, are making fevered preparations…

Hole in the head: How medieval soldiers survived after battle thanks to early day brain surgery

A massive haul of bones discovered in a medieval graveyard has given an insight into the medical capabilities of people 1,500 years ago. The skeletons, found in central Italy, show that many soldiers buried close to one another survived after suffering blows to the head with maces and battle axes. There are signs of medical…

In 40 Days, ‘Wings of Tatev’ Brings 7000 People to Medieval Monastery

More than 7,000 people have visited the Medieval Monastery of Tatev in Southern Armenia since the October inauguration of a 5.7-kilometer-long aerial tramway that transports visitors from the village of Halidzor across the Vorotan gorge to the village of Tatev, within walking distance of the monastery. The cable car line, dubbed “The Wings of Tatev,”…

Relating to “Juliet”: Author dug into Italian history to unearth 1300s’ family feuds

Writer Anne Fortier grew up in Denmark and dreamed of Italy. This wasn’t the stuff of far-fetched fantasy; her mother had once worked in Verona and took her daughter there on regular visits. Fortier took a few minutes while in Denver to talk about Shakespeare, Italy and how her novel “Juliet” came to be. The…

Medieval mystic helps to discover God’s presence

Pope Benedict says the penitential path of Blessed Angela of Foligno, Italy, offers modern men and women a lesson on discovering the presence of God in their lives. The little-known woman experienced a conversion in the late 13th century. She used to look down on those who observed strict poverty in religious life, but she…

Restoration of a unique Armenian monastery

It was once a beacon of light for an entire country, home to 500 monks, a seat of learning and spiritual fulfilment. Little remains of the glorious past of the 9th century Tatev Monastery in southern Armenia. But that could soon change thanks to an ambitious restoration project. During the Middle Ages, Tatev was one…

Pope cites medieval mystic as model for discovering God’s presence

Pope Benedict XVI said the penitential path of a little-known medieval mystic offers modern men and women a lesson on discovering the presence of God in their lives. He made the remarks at his general audience Oct. 13 in St. Peter’s Square, where tens of thousands of pilgrims joined him on an unusually warm fall…

Bacteria confirmed as culprit in Black Death

Anthropologists said on Friday they had confirmed long-running suspicions that a germ called Yersinia pestis caused the plague that wiped out an estimated third of Europe’s population in the Middle Ages. Teeth and bones sampled from 76 skeletons found in “plague pits” in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands and sequenced for DNA intrusion are…

Medieval book looted during war to go back to Italy

A 12th century manuscript will be returned to Italy from the British Library thanks to a new law governing artwork looted during the Nazi era. The Beneventan Missal, which is thought to have been stolen from Benevento’s Metropolitan Chapter during the Allied bombing of Italy in 1943, will be given back to the city of…

Medieval frescoes discovered behind wallpaper

Behind the yellowed wallpaper in one of Rome’s no longer used municipal offices, a discovery was made. What has come to light is probably a Triumphant Christ with his faithful followers Peter and Paul portrayed in a medieval triptych recently discovered in a tower of the Senatorial Palace on the Capitol. The characters in the…