Medieval History
500 AD to 1500 AD—the fall of the Western Roman Empire through the Renaissance

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Dying to Be Beautiful: Deadly Cosmetics

by Eleanor Herman The story of poison is the story of power. For centuries, royal families have feared the gut-roiling, vomit-inducing agony of a little something added to their food or wine by an enemy. To avoid poison, they depended

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Killing the King with Cuisine

by Eleanor Herman It would only take one person to slip a little something into a king’s food. Henry VIII had two hundred people employed in his kitchens at Hampton Court: cooks, scullery maids, stewards, carvers, porters, bakers, butchers, gardeners,

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Francis Willoughby Begins his Legendary Journey to the West Indies

by Matthew Parker Francis Willoughby would be described by contemporaries as both charming and self-centered; his military and political careers would show him to be at times impetuous and at others indecisive. In many ways he was a visionary, but he

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The Rise and Fall of the Viking Crusades

by John Haywood The Wendish Crusade In 1144, the crusaders lost the key city of Edessa in Syria to the Turks. Pope Eugenius III’s response to this setback was to call the Second Crusade, the first major crusading expedition to

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The Lewis Chessmen: Brexit and a New North Sea Style

by Nancy Marie Brown Look at a map and remember the key position this area enjoyed from the 8th to the 13th centuries. From the beginning of the Viking Age in 793, the sea road connected these places we think

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