One of the million things I loath are flawless characters both fictional and nonfictional. They are predictable, boring and disingenuous. So why on Earth, you ask, would I write about a goody two-shoes like Saint Louis? First of all a saint isn’t mere human and nowhere near as nauseating and simplistic as modern superheroes; second, … Continue reading Saint Louis aka Gary Stu
One peachy morning, Peter of Blois complained in a letter about the food and wine served at the court of Henry II (1154 – 1189) who was known not to give a damn about food. Half-baked bread, stale fish, and meat, the wine is turned sour or moldy - thick, greasy, stale, flat and … Continue reading Food in the High Middle Ages
Once there was a knight who lost a sheath for his sword. Wishing to ease his plight, a lady said to this saddened lord: “Good sir, I can lend you my sheath. My husband wants it no more. It’s as good as new, I swear. The sheath is yours to bear if you handle it … Continue reading A song by Neidhart, loosely and cluelessly translated by yours truly
Gather around, I bring you Guilhèm IX, the Duke of Aquitaine, referred to in the 13th century vida as “one of the most courtly men in the world and one of the greatest deceivers of women. He was a fine knight at arms, liberal in his womanizing, and a fine composer and singer of songs. … Continue reading He was a fine knight at arms, liberal in his womanizing
The Northern Slavs worshiped Slavic gods well into the early 13th century. Germans, in their zeal to have all their neighbors on the Jesus boat, sent missionaries among the pagans to show them “the way.” When the Slavs weren’t impressed, the Germans would send the knights. The pagans from Turaida figured that the Cistercian missionary … Continue reading Should we sacrifice this Christian monk? Let’s see what the horse says.