Eleanor of Aquitaine’s “Court of Love”
Allegedly, the noblewomen of Poitiers solved the problems of love, lost and found. But was the court real, or was it just the fanciful invention of historians?
A Natural History of Dragons
Dragons began life as snakes, but natural historians gradually began describing them in more fantastical ways.
Paying Moms to Breastfeed in Medieval Europe
The idea of offering remuneration to women for breastfeeding—even their own children—wasn’t unusual in late medieval and early modern Europe.
The Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestries Depict a “Virgin-Capture Legend”
They’re big in elementary school, but unicorn tableaux also have a complex iconographic history that combines religious and secular myths.
The Hardworking Dogs of Medieval Europe
Not everyone can be a pampered pooch.
The Complex Economics of Medieval Convents
Medieval convents were better funded than many scholars assume, thanks in part to royal patrons sympathetic to the holy women's mission.
Regulating Sex Work in Medieval Europe
When sex work was considered a "necessary evil," legal brothels provided certain protections for the women who worked there.
The Silkwomen of Medieval London
A group of skilled women ran the silk-making industry in 15th century London. So why didn't they protect their workers' rights by forming a guild?
The Landlord Asks for a Christmas Rose
Bizarre customs of landholding—from demands for flowers to ritualized flatulence—reflect the philosophy that developed under the feudal system.
From the Belly of a Goat to the Mouth of a King
Bezoars, a strange lump formed in the belly of a goat, once were considered a panacea, and worth more than their weight in gold.