Ancient Word of the Day: Philoxenia

Philoxenia is a word that comes from Ancient Greek. This literally translates to be “friends with a stranger”. Philo – Friend, Xenia – Stranger. In Ancient Greece, hospitality in the same was held as a great virtue. Great honour was bestowed upon guests by the host. If a stranger was to appear on your doorstepContinue reading “Ancient Word of the Day: Philoxenia”

Book Review: Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies

Life in a Medieval Castle is one of a series of compelling historical reference books written by acclaimed husband and wife historians Frances and Joseph Gies in the 1970’s. Life in a Medieval Castle (along with companion books Life in a Medieval Village and Life in a Medival City) were re-released in 205 under the weightContinue reading “Book Review: Life in a Medieval Castle by Frances and Joseph Gies”

Seven suspenseful and unforgettable historical novels

Great historical novels are fully immersed in time, place and have a tangible effect of bringing you into a time period that you may otherwise never know. This is what’s truly exhilerating about the historical novel. The setting and surroundings become like a fully formed character in the novel. Whether we’re talking about a BritishContinue reading “Seven suspenseful and unforgettable historical novels”

How real women dressed over the ages

A lot of fuss and attention is given to how wealthy women dressed in ancient times. Yet for every affluent woman there would be 10 other women of more humble origins, toiling and working in low paid and thankless jobs. Here are some really incredible videos that showcase how these women dressed over time. WomenContinue reading “How real women dressed over the ages”

Ten Quirky and Mind Expanding History Books

Here’s a collection of the best and treasured history books that I don’t think I could ever part with. They are quirky and delve into a little known aspect of history making them delightful lazy weekend reading. I hope you can get a hold of them, if you do…please let me know what you thinkContinue reading “Ten Quirky and Mind Expanding History Books”

Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner

Lost Wisdom and its two other companion books Lost Crafts and Lost Lore are beautifully typeset and laid out. Their contents are a cabinet of curiosities – a wunderkammer of the same sort as the Book of Barely Imagined Beings, which I have mentioned in the past. Although in this case Lost Wisdom runs theContinue reading “Book Review: Lost Wisdom by Una McGovern and Paul Jenner”

Medieval bangers and tavern stompers circa 2020

Treat thine ears and eyes to a new genre of music – bardcore! Perhaps you’re looking for that tavern banger that you enjoyed back in 1365. Or perhaps you want to reminisce on the summer solstice when you gathered with jolly folk at Stonehenge, got wasted on mead and were visited by a strange celestialContinue reading “Medieval bangers and tavern stompers circa 2020”

Book Review: Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Tulip Fever is one of the most captivating historical fiction reads I have had the pleasure of enjoying in recent years. Tulip Fever takes place in Amsterdam in the 1630’s during a time of immense wealth that is brought into the country by merchants and tulip sellers. If you enjoyed that other iconic historical novelContinue reading “Book Review: Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach”

The symbolism of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle

Detail of ‘Smell’ c1500, from The lady and the unicorn series. wool and silk, 368 x 322 cm. Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris Photo © RMN-GP / M Urtado Mark De Vitis, University of Sydney The arrival of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle at the Art Gallery ofContinue reading “The symbolism of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry cycle”

Ancient word of the day: Athene Noctua or Athena’s Owl

The Greek goddess Athena had as her sacred animal familiar the owl, also known as the Athene Noctua in Latin. The Romans, fond as they were of stealing from the Greek pantheon, renamed Athena to Minerva. Athena and her owl are considered to be symbols of wisdom, in both cultures. Athene Noctua Athena’s owl orContinue reading “Ancient word of the day: Athene Noctua or Athena’s Owl”