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Heloise and Abelard – Middle Ages in Europe

By |2017-09-05T02:42:54+00:00September 5th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Heloise and Abelard The story of Peter Abelard and his wife Heloise is one of the saddest love stories of Western history. Abelard, who was born in 1079 AD, came to Paris as a young man and taught classes at the new Christian church school there. (This was just a few years after the Norman Conquest). Abelard [...]

Love stories and the history of love

By |2017-08-16T11:56:26+00:00August 16th, 2017|People|

Hades and Persephone in the underworld People have been falling in love for hundreds of thousands of years, since they were monkeys and not really even people yet. And they have been telling stories about famous lovers for probably almost that long. Our earliest love stories go back to about 2500 BC, when [...]

Christian nuns – Medieval Europe

By |2018-04-24T09:15:23+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Egyptian caves where early monks and nuns lived The first Christian nuns, like the first Christian monks, lived in Africa - they lived alone in the desert in Egypt in the 300s and 400s AD, where they could be alone to pray all day. Like the men, they probably got the idea from earlier Buddhist nuns in India (many traders went back and forth [...]

Anna Comnena’s Alexiad – Byzantine literature

By |2017-08-03T21:02:22+00:00August 3rd, 2017|Literature, Medieval|

Anna Comnena, author of the Alexiad Anna Comnena was born a princess in 1083 AD, the oldest child of the Byzantine emperor Alexios. She was named for her grandmother, the powerful empress Anna, who ruled the Empire whenever Alexios was away fighting wars. This Anna raised her granddaughter, little Anna, with the hope that she would [...]

Chartres cathedral – medieval France

By |2018-09-01T07:29:13+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Chartres on the horizon Why was Chartres so important? Even though Chartres, near Paris, France, was only a small town, it had an important treasure: the dress that people said Mary was wearing when she gave birth to the baby Jesus (or maybe when she found out she was pregnant). Thousands of people came on pilgrimage every year to [...]