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John II Komnenos
Definition by Mark Cartwright

John II Komnenos

John II Komnenos “the Handsome” was emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 1118 CE to 1143 CE. John, almost constantly on campaign throughout his reign, would continue the military successes of his father Alexios I with significant...
Isaac I Komnenos
Definition by Michael Goodyear

Isaac I Komnenos

Isaac I Komnenos was the Byzantine emperor from 1057 to 1059 CE. Although his reign was brief, he was known for being a capable and militarily astute general and emperor. As the first emperor to lead troops himself in battle in over 30 years...
Medieval Literature
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Medieval Literature

Medieval literature is defined broadly as any work written in Latin or the vernacular between c. 476-1500 CE, including philosophy, religious treatises, legal texts, as well as works of the imagination. More narrowly, however, the term applies...
Cathars
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Cathars

The Cathars (also known as Cathari from the Greek Katharoi for “pure ones”) were a dualist medieval religious sect of Southern France which flourished in the 12th century CE and challenged the authority of the Catholic Church...
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine (l. c. 1122-1204 CE) was one of the most impressive and powerful figures of the High Middle Ages (1000-1300 CE) – male or female – whose influence shaped the politics, art, medieval literature, and perception...
Courtly Love
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Courtly Love

Courtly Love (Amour Courtois) refers to an innovative literary genre of poetry of the High Middle Ages (1000-1300 CE) which elevated the position of women in society and established the motifs of the romance genre recognizable in the present...
Grail Legend
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Grail Legend

The Grail Legend (also known as the Grail Quest, Quest for the Holy Grail) developed in Europe c. 1050-1485 CE. It most likely originated in Ireland as folklore before appearing in written form sometime before 1056 CE in The Prophetic Ecstasy...
Minoan Frescoes
Article by Mark Cartwright

Minoan Frescoes

Frescoes are the source of some of the most striking imagery handed down to us from the Minoan civilization of Bronze Age Crete (2000-1500 BCE). Further, without written records, they are often the only source, along with decorated pottery...
The Hippodrome of Constantinople
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Hippodrome of Constantinople

The Hippodrome of Constantinople was an arena used for chariot racing throughout the Byzantine period. First built during the reign of Roman emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century CE, the structure was made more grandiose by emperor...
1204: The Sack of Constantinople
Article by Mark Cartwright

1204: The Sack of Constantinople

In 1204 CE the unthinkable happened and Constantinople, after nine centuries of withstanding all comers, was brutally sacked. Even more startling was the fact that the perpetrators were not any of the traditional enemies of the Byzantine...