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What is excommunication? Christianity – religion

By | 2017-08-21T22:41:35+00:00 August 21st, 2017|Religion|

Medieval excommunication ceremony Excommunication was a Christian idea. It meant you could not  take Communion anymore. Beginning in the Roman period, bishops or groups of bishops excommunicated people who were doing things the Church didn't like. The Pope sometimes personally excommunicated very powerful people like kings and emperors. It might not sound so serious to be excommunicated. Who cares, [...]

What is a regent? Kings and Queens

By | 2017-08-03T16:11:32+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Empress Wu of the T'ang Dynasty A regent is someone who rules for somebody else. Usually it is an uncle or mother who rules for a child. Maybe the child is too young to be king. Or maybe they're ruling for a mentally disabled king. The regent rules only until the child is old [...]

King John and the Magna Carta

By | 2018-04-24T09:04:03+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Prince John on a coin When Richard the Lionhearted died in 1199 AD (when he was 42), his younger brother John became king. The lords (the rich men) of England hated John. They hated him partly because John had taxed everyone so much to pay for the Third Crusade. And they also hated him because John seems [...]

King Henry II of England – Medieval history

By | 2018-05-22T23:15:30+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Henry II of England Queen Matilda of England When William the Conqueror died in 1087 AD, he left the throne of England to his sons William II and then Henry, and Henry left it to his daughter Matilda, the widow of Henry V of Germany. Delilah treacherously cuts off Samson's hair while he sleeps. Carved into [...]

Eleanor of Aquitaine – Queen of France and England

By | 2018-04-12T00:08:02+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Eleanor of Aquitaine (Cloisters Museum, New York City) Eleanor of Aquitaine was fifteen years old in 1137 AD, and not yet married, when her father, the Duke of Aquitaine, died suddenly. Eleanor had no brothers, so she inherited her father's duchy, which included most of southern France. Coin minted when Eleanor was ruling [...]

Basil, Zoe, and the Armenian Dynasty

By | 2017-08-01T16:42:13+00:00 August 1st, 2017|History, Medieval|

Basil I (867-886 AD) Basil killed Bardas and took over as Roman Emperor in 867 AD. That started the Armenian Dynasty. People call it that because of Basil's Armenian ancestors. (Sometimes people call it the Macedonian Dynasty because Basil was born in Macedon.) Basil continued basically the same policies as Bardas had. He was nice to the Bulgars [...]

What is the Magna Carta?

By | 2018-04-24T08:12:11+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Government, History, Medieval|

The Magna Carta Since the time of Edward the Confessor in the 1000s AD, the kings of England had been getting more and more powerful. That was pretty much okay as long as the kings were good kings, like William the Conqueror or Henry II. But when King Richard died in 1199, his younger brother John became king, and John was [...]

Saladin Tax – Medieval Europe

By | 2018-04-24T08:11:08+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Economy, Medieval|

Sherwood Forest, where Robin Hood lived In the Early Middle Ages, most people did not pay any money taxes to the king. Instead, they gave chickens, honey, or work days to their own lord. Then in turn their lord passed on services to the king - if the king could make him do it. But in order to [...]