Tag Archives: Dark Ages

High religion: War gods and Wyrd

As I explained in the last post, I am dividing pagan beliefs into “low” and “high” religion. Low religion is the daily stuff of getting along with the earth and raising children. High religion is the philosophy and mythos of … Continue reading

Posted in Med. and Magic | Tagged , , | Comments Off on High religion: War gods and Wyrd

Low religion: Nerthus and Frey

When I say “low,” I am thinking of the way the Anglicans distinguish between “high church” and “low church,” and applying this distinction analogically to early European pagan beliefs. For this purpose, low religion is everything connected to daily life … Continue reading

Posted in Med. and Magic | Tagged , | Comments Off on Low religion: Nerthus and Frey

Medicine and Magic: what is the world?

We interact with our planet in so many ways, but most importantly, we have to interact with a bit of the physical world in our own corporeal nature. We have bodies, the world acts upon them, we become injured, sick, … Continue reading

Posted in Med. and Magic | Tagged , | Comments Off on Medicine and Magic: what is the world?

Early medieval ladies

This post is a follow-up to an earlier one about the lives of castle ladies. Prior to 1100, medieval ladies didn’t have castles, they had halls. There was one key difference that completely shaped the lady’s life. That is, instead … Continue reading

Posted in Castles, Medieval cycle of life, Women | Tagged , | Comments Off on Early medieval ladies

Christians in early Muslim Spain

One of the big questions people ask about the medieval years when Islam was ascendant is, “Is it true that they were much more tolerant of Christians and Jews? Was it a “golden age” of co-existence?” Part of the answer … Continue reading

Posted in Muslim Empire | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Christmas with Charlemagne

When Pope Gregory first sent Latin missionaries to the outer northern wilds of Europe, he instructed them to make it easy for converts. If they were used to gathering on a hilltop somewhere on a certain day, find a saint’s … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Holidays | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Early co-existence within the Caliphate

The theme of this series is the relationship between East and West through the Middle Ages, including attitudes and precedents. Although the Christians and Jews within the East were not, by definition, Westerners, their shared beliefs with the old Roman … Continue reading

Posted in Muslim Empire | Tagged | Leave a comment

Muslim invasion of France

In 730, the Land of the Franks appeared to be wide open for conquest. The Franks were the most primitive people the Muslims had yet fought, and their Merovingian kings had become increasingly powerless. The border areas were especially decentralized; … Continue reading

Posted in Muslim Empire | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Muslim conquest of Spain

The single most significant fact about the Muslim empire is that, by around 725, it linked lands from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. This was the widest strip around the Equator that any empire had yet united. Most of … Continue reading

Posted in Muslim Empire | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Stress lines in the Islamic Empire

From early on, there were three basic tectonic lines that kept Mohammed’s legacy from ever being placid or unified. (1) Tribal tensions inside Mohammed’s Quraysh tribe, but between different clans. Then tension and aggression between the Quraysh and other Arabs, … Continue reading

Posted in Muslim Empire | Tagged , | Leave a comment