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Varangian Guard
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Varangian Guard

The mercenary Varangian Guard was an elite Byzantine army corps and the personal bodyguard of emperors beginning with Basil II in c. 988 CE. The Viking unit was famous for the stature of its members and their blood-thirsty conduct in battle...
Huns
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Huns

The Huns were a nomadic tribe prominent in the 4th and 5th century CE whose origin is unknown but, most likely, they came from "somewhere between the eastern edge of the Altai Mountains and the Caspian Sea, roughly modern Kazakhstan"...
Lagertha
Definition by Emma Groeneveld

Lagertha

Lagertha (also spelt Lathgertha or Ladgerda) is a legendary Viking shieldmaiden known from Saxo Grammaticus' early 13th-century CE Gesta Danorum. In this work, written in Latin and concerning Danish history, she is the first wife of Ragnar...
The Vikings in Iceland
Article by Joshua J. Mark

The Vikings in Iceland

The medieval sources on the discovery and settlement of Iceland frequently refer to the explorers as “Vikings” but, technically, they were not. The term “Viking” applies only to Scandinavian raiders, not to Scandinavians...
William the Conqueror & the Ely Rebellion
Article by Mark Cartwright

William the Conqueror & the Ely Rebellion

By early 1070 CE William I (r. 1066-1087 CE) had almost completed the Norman conquest of England. There remained threats from the border regions with Wales and Scotland but the north of England had finally be subdued by the ruthless harrying...
Iliad
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Iliad

Homer's Iliad describes the final year of the Trojan War, a legendary conflict between an alliance of Greek cities and the city of Troy in Anatolia. It was probably written sometime in the 8th century BCE after a long oral tradition, but...
Book of Kells
Definition by Joshua J. Mark

Book of Kells

The Book of Kells (c. 800 CE) is an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels of the Christian New Testament, currently housed at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. The work is the most famous of the medieval illuminated manuscripts for the...
Derrynaflan Hoard
Definition by Jenny Snook

Derrynaflan Hoard

The Derrynaflan Hoard is a collection of Irish altar vessels dating between the 8th and 9th centuries CE. Discovered on the island of Derrynaflan, in the townland of Lurgoe, Co. Tipperary in 1980 CE, the pieces are now on display at the National...
Ardagh Chalice
Definition by Jenny Snook

Ardagh Chalice

The Ardagh Chalice, one of the finest examples of Irish metalwork from the Middle Ages, was found in 1868 CE as part of a hoard at an Irish ringfort in Reerasta, near Ardagh, Co. Limerick. While the chalice is the only...
Medieval Knights: 12 of the Best
Article by Mark Cartwright

Medieval Knights: 12 of the Best

The knights of medieval Europe were meant to be the finest fighting men of their age, even more important, they were expected to be pure in thought and deed, as exemplified in the chivalrous code which they (usually) followed. Here are the...