6 myths about Richard III

Richard III (1452–85) was the last Yorkist king of England, whose death at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 signified the end of the Wars of the Roses and marked the start of the Tudor age. Many myths persist about the last Plantagenet king, whose remains were discovered beneath a Leicester car park in 2012. Did Richard III murder the Princes in the Tower? Did he want to marry his niece, Elizabeth of York? And was he a usurper? HistoryExtra.com

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King Richard III
by Unknown artist
oil on panel, late 16th century
NPG 148

Take a Virtual Tour of Hieronymus Bosch’s Bewildering Masterpiece The Garden of Earthly Delights

Art historians have argued about the meaning of The Garden of Earthly DelightsHieronymus Bosch’s enormously sized, lavishly detailed, and compellingly grotesque late 14th- or early 15th-century triptych—more or less since the painter’s death. What does it really say about the appearance and fall of man on Earth that it seems to depict? How seriously or ironically does it say it? Does it offer us a warning against temptation, or a celebration of temptation? Does it take a religious or anti-religious stance? And what’s with all those creepy animals and bizarre pseudo-sex acts?  OpenCulture.com

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15th Century Treasures Revealed in British Stately Home Attic

In Britain, an attic in a historic home has revealed a trove of 15th century treasures. The rare items were uncovered during the recent COVID-19 lockdown and were discovered thanks to the hard work of a lone archaeologist. These 15th century treasures are expected to provide insights into the history of English Catholicism during the period when it was heavily persecuted by successive royal governments. Ancient-Origins.net

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Battle of Visby: Medieval Massacre Leaves Behind Harrowing Remains of Fallen Soldiers

The Battle of Visby was a violent Medieval battle near the town of Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland, fought between the inhabitants of Gotland and the Danes, with the latter emerging victorious. The battle left a lasting archaeological legacy; masses of slaughtered soldiers and citizens lay scattered across what was once a blood battle field. Slashed and broken bones, skeletons still in their chain mail and armor, and smashed skulls, some still with spears and knives protruding out of them. One can only imagine what they endured before they breathed their last breaths. Ancient-Origins.net

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1200 year old soapery discovered

Archaeologists working in Israel have discovered the remains of an olive oil soap making workshop, farm houses and medieval gameboards. 

The Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery after a six-month excavation at the town of Rahat in southern Israel. The soap making workshop, known as a soapery, dates back about 1200 years and is the oldest of its kind found in the country. Medievalists.net

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Medieval baby names: what were people called in the Middle Ages?

How did people name their children in the Middle Ages? Why did we start using surnames? And what were the most popular names? HistoryExtra content director Dr David Musgrove chats to Dr James Chetwood about the way people’s personal names changed dramatically over the course of the Middle Ages, and what this tells us about medieval society. HistoryExtra.com

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Why Were Medieval Europeans So Obsessed With Long, Pointy Shoes?

In 1463, London outlawed the shoes of its fanciest men. These dapper lords had grown ridiculous in their dapperness, and had taken to ambling streets shod in long, carrot-shaped shoes that tapered to impish tips, some as long as five inches beyond the toe. These shoes were called “crakows” or “poulaines” (a term also used to refer to the tips alone), and the court of King Edward IV eventually found them offensive enough to pass a sumptuary law prohibiting shoe tips that extended over two inches beyond the toe. AtlasObscura.com

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At a royal Parisian wedding the standard footwear was very pointy. Christophel Fine Art/UIG via Getty Images

At home with the medieval aristocracy

Professor Louise Wilkinson, a medievalist at the University of Lincoln talks about her research into the household accounts of Eleanor de Montfort, a key figure in the mid-13th century civil war. The conversation particularly discusses what these accounts tell us about day-to-day life in an aristocratic household – what people ate and drank, what they wore, and what they did on a daily basis – as well as how they inform us about the ramifications of the political upheavals that occurred at the time.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about medieval queens, but were afraid to ask

Dr Elena Woodacre is an expert on medieval and early modern queens and queenship at the University of Winchester. In this podcast, she answers the most popular listener and internet search questions about medieval queens, in our ‘Everything you want to know’ series. Who was the most beautiful queen, how much power did queens have, and how did they balance motherhood and royal life, are just some of the questions posed.

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