Wednesday, 27 July 2011

July issue of BBC History Magazine features the Crusades

BBC History Magazine, a leading monthly periodical on all things history, features an article about the Crusades and Christian-Muslim medieval interaction. “Traders and Crusaders”, by Thomas Asbridge of Queen Mary University of London, examines how relations between Europe and the Islamic Middle East “were about more than war and hatred.”

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Sunday, 24 July 2011

Heavy Metal Hardens Battle

The French may have had a better chance at the Battle of Agincourt had they not been weighed down by heavy body armour, say researchers.

A study published July 19 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows that soldiers carrying armour in Medieval times would have been using more than twice the amount of energy had they not been wearing it. This is the first clear experimental evidence of the limitations of wearing Medieval armour on a soldier's performance.

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Monday, 18 July 2011

Digging into Henry V111's defences

Archaeologists are about to start excavating the site of a blockhouse thought to have been built by Henry VIII on the Angle Peninsula to defend against French invasion.

Clinging to the edge of a sea cliff in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the blockhouse is a crumbling reminder of a bitter feud between Britain and France.

It was probably built as part of Henry VIII’s coastal defences after his divorce from Catherine of Aragon, when Britain was left politically isolated by a treaty between France and Spain – and the King was determined to defend his country from attack.

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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Key keeper sought for 12th Century castle near Bridgend

A key keeper is being sought to take care of a 12th Century castle in south Wales.

Cadw, the Welsh Government's historic environment service, needs someone to look after Newcastle, near Bridgend.

The post, which comes with a "modest" fee, involves checking the monument on a daily basis and keeping it free of litter.

The key keeper will also report any damage, vandalism or anti-social behaviour at the site.

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Monday, 4 July 2011

Discoveries at a Templar abbey in Ireland

Mourne Abbey in County Cork, Ireland, has been the focus of an archaeological excavation to discover more about the history of this medieval religious center.

The abbey was built around 1199 by the Knights Templar. After the rulers of Europe turned on the Templars and destroyed the order in 1307, resulting in 700 years of conspiracy theories, the abbey was handed over to the Knights Hospitaller. This knightly order got its name because its original purpose was to care for sick pilgrims in Jerusalem after the First Crusade, but soon they acquired more land and more power to become one of the leading forces in the Holy Land and Europe. They owned some of the toughest castles in the world.

Their power waned after the Muslims reconquered the Holy Land but the order still exists today. The abbey was abandoned when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries as part of his break from Rome in 1541. It has since fallen into picturesque ruin.

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