Have you ever doodled in the margins of something you're writing? If so, then Medieval snail fights might interest you--yes, I said snails. The knight vs. snail motif is a recurring one in the margins of Medieval manuscripts, and researchers have yet to figure out why. However, this article from Smithsonian Magazine gives an interesting… Continue reading Article: Why Were Medieval Knights Always Fighting Snails?
What did the past smell like? This is a question that this article from Smithsonian Magazine tries to address. While it focusses on the attempts to recreate Cleopatra's perfume, it also talks about the importance of scent to culture and ways that we might recapture the scents of the past. link to Scientists Recreate Cleopatra's… Continue reading Article: Scientists Recreate Cleopatra’s Favorite Perfume
Unfortunately, the degree to which women were involved in Medieval art and bookbinding has been lost to history. This article from ScienceAdvances details a discovery in the teeth of the remains of a Medieval nun that suggests women may have been more involved in the medieval arts than had previously been thought. Link to Medieval… Continue reading Article: Medieval women’s early involvement in manuscript production suggested by lapis lazuli identification in dental calculus
This article from Smithsonian Magazine showcases the breadth of the influence of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. After saving an carved stone panel from looters, archeologists uncovered evidence that the Neo-Assyrian culture interacted with the Arameans in what is today Turkey. link to Ancient Rock Art Depicting Divine Procession...
Art can be lost to the world in many different ways. War, natural disasters, deliberate destruction, and theft are just a few of those ways. One of the most brazen examples of art theft in history is the Gardner Museum Theft. Early on a March day in 1990, thirteen works of art (mostly paintings) were… Continue reading Article: Gardner Museum Theft: an active and ongoing investigation
Unfortunately, not all art is valued all of the time. In Italy, the traditional villages and their traditional way of life were seen as old and tired in the first half of the twentieth century, and many people moved to the city for a faster-paced, hopefully more lucrative life. Things are changing now, and Italy… Continue reading Article: How Italy Is Bringing Its Rustic Villages Back to Life
While illuminated manuscripts were created in more times and places than Medieval Europe, the quality and beauty of the Medieval examples are undeniable. In this article from The Collector, you can get a look at 6 truly amazing examples. link to 6 Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts That Will Amaze You
Have you ever heard of Pysanky Easter Eggs from Ukraine? Did you know that some Christian traditions place Easter on a different date than the one usually celebrated in the West? This article from Time explains these topics and more. link to The History Behind the Ukrainian Tradition of Decorating Pysanky Easter Eggs
Brunhild and Fredegund were queens of the Merovingian Dynasty. They survived the assassinations of their kings and maneuvered their way through the political power plays of their times. Unfortunately, both them and the dynasty they belonged to are often left out of discussions of the Middle Ages. This article from Smithsonian Magazine shines a light… Continue reading Article: The Medieval Queens Whose Daring, Murderous Reigns Were Quickly Forgotten
The Venus of Willendorf got its name from the place in Austria where it was found. However, this new article from Smithsonian Magazine, presents that theory that the Venus may have actually been made in Italy and transported to Austria by a group of hunter-gatherers. link to 3-D Scans Show 30,000-Year Old Stone Sculpture...
Are you interested in pottery, painting, or the Greeks? If so, then you should check out this great article from the Metropolitan Museum Journal. It discusses the often undervalued culture and art of the Greek Geometric Period. In particular it focusses on one specific Greek krater (wine vessel and/or grave marker). To download the article,… Continue reading Article: “Ships on a ‘Wine-Dark Sea’ in the Age of Homer”: Metropolitan Museum Journal, v. 35 (2000)
Those who care about art face difficult choices when war strikes. In Ukraine, museum staff and art lovers have had to decide what they can do to protect their country's artistic and cultural heritage from destruction. link to "Cultural Catastrophe": Ukrainians Fear for Art and Monuments Amid Onslaught
In 1937, Pablo Picasso painted Guernica to illustrate his reaction to the Nazi bombing in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. This work is part of a long tradition of artists reacting to current events in general and war in particular. Visuals of this type often have a significant impact on their viewers and help… Continue reading Article: 10 Facts About Guernica by Pablo Picasso
Musicians, artists, and other creators of the Humanities often respond to current events in their work. In this article, Newsweek discusses the internet's response to John Ondrasik's (Five for Fighting) song about the impact that the President of Ukraine is having on the world. link to "Can One Man Save the World" Song About Zelensky… Continue reading Article: “Can One Man Save the World” Song About Zelensky Takes the Internet by Storm