Tag Archive: University of St Andrews

The Secret Lives of Medieval Books

Medieval Book

The most heavily worn payer in the manuscript was dedicated to St. Sebastian, who was thought to be efficacious against the bubonic plague. Image courtesy of the University of St. Andrews When medieval Europeans read religious texts, what were their favorite prayers? Which sections did they return to time and time again, and which parts…

A New Theory on the Origin of the Lewis Chessmen

The Lewis Chessmen are the most famous and important chess pieces in history. They have a long historical and scholarly record, part of which is that they were made in Norway roughly 800 years ago. But now two Icelandic men are challenging that belief and trying to prove that the pieces came from their country….

1066 and all those baby names

Norman names such as William, Henry and Alice have been popular for 1,000 years. Why did the English copy their invaders? The date 1066. William the Conqueror. King Harold with the arrow in his eye. Soldiers in those nose-protector helmets. But many people will struggle to come up with more than these sketchy facts about…