Medieval History (Middle Ages)
Tip: Press ctrl and F (or Command and F on a Mac) to perform a keyword search of this page. To keyword search all Best of History Web Sites pages use the search engine located on each page.
Turning the Pages
Turning the Pages is an award-winning interactive display system developed by The British Library to increase public access and enjoyment of some of its most valuable treasures. Visitors are able to virtually "turn" the pages of manuscripts in a realistic way, using touch-screen technology and animation. There are currently fifteen treasures on display in Turning the Pages and several coincide with the Medieval period: Pinnacle of Anglo-Saxon Art depicts the priceless Lindisfarne Gospels, one of the most magnificent manuscripts of the early Middle Ages. The Lisbon Hebrew Bible depicts Jewish cultural life in Portugal prior to expulsion and forced conversions in December 1496. The Sherborne Missal is the largest, late medieval service book to have survived the Reformation intact. The Golden Haggadah is one of the finest of the surviving Haggadah manuscripts from medieval Spain. These vivid, striking displays are a must-see. Requires free Shockwave plug-in.
Internet Medieval Sourcebook
The Internet History Sourcebooks are wonderful collections of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts for educational use by Paul Halsall. The site and its documents are well organized and the breadth of materials is impressive. The Internet Medieval Sourcebook is organized as three main index pages, with a number of supplementary documents. There is an index of selected and excerpted texts for teaching purposes, a help page on use of the Sourcebook for research questions, a section devoted to secondary articles, texts on the history of law, copy-permitted maps and images, a guide to medieval-themed films and music, and more. The Sourcebooks are unevenly maintained, so expect some broken links.
Labyrinth: Medieval Resources
This Georgetown University site features free, organized access to electronic resources in medieval studies. Among its offerings are bibliographies, a searchable index, links to special topics, and full-text versions of medieval works. You can search for various types of materials, such as video, maps, images, primary text, course, and more. The Labyrinth's menus and links provide connections to databases, services, texts, and images on other servers. Surprisingly, history and politics are not found among its list of topics.
The Decameron Web
This site is an interactive project by Brown University students designed to prompt investigation and discussion of the Decameron texts -- stories from people escaping Florence at the time of the Plague. A "true encyclopedia" of early modern life and a "summa" of late medieval culture, the Decameron explores perennially human situations and dilemmas.
BBC: Inside the Medieval Mind on YouTube
The Online Medieval and Classical Library
Part of the Berkeley Digital Library, OMACL is an extensive collection of some of the most important literary works of Classical and Medieval civilization. Most of the texts date from the medieval European period. Among the genres represented are Arthurian works, epics, romances, chronicles, historical works; mythology , and other primary-source literature. You may search all of the texts in this collection or browse by Title, Author, Genre, or Language.
Introduction to Medieval Writing
This web site provides an introduction to medieval manuscripts through the history and decoding of handwriting. Most sections focus on the workings of a scribe during the Middle Ages and the (time-consuming) manuscript production process. Visitors can try their hand at decoding through interactive exercises. The website is from a retired reader in medieval history at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia and his wife.
NetSERF: The Internet Connection for Medieval Resources
A large collection of Internet Medieval resources, this site provides access to an impressive array of scholarly resources on Medieval times. As there is a wide range of material, visitors may wish to start with a list of the "top ten" NetSerf sites or use the Advanced Search option. Site and its selections are somewhat dated (in Internet years), but there are many jewels to be found here.
Site Officiel du Musée du Louvre
At the official web site of the Louvre there are virtual tours of many galleries and exhibitions showcasing its 35,000 works of art. Of note is Thematic Trails : Decorative Arts in the Middle Ages which presents plaques and statuettes from the reign of Charlemagne, ivory and paten from Constantinople, among other objects. There is also a detailed history of the museum with the virtual tour and special focus on the Middle Ages. objects themselves are accessed through a list of individual collections, with selected works, history of the collection, and information about the galleries. The site also offers a Louvre Atlas search engine that allows users to locate any of the roughly 35,000 works of art exhibited in the museum.
Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts
This web site from the National Library of the Netherlands and the Museum Meermanno-Westreenianum provides access to roughly 11,000 manuscript illuminations. These are searchable in several languages and are drawn mostly from the late medieval period (15th century). Note that only illuminations, not entire manuscripts, are accessible via this site.
This medieval-oriented blog offers news, articles, videos and general information about the Middle Ages and medieval society. Posts include "Top Ten Medieval Stories of 2010," "Christmas in the Middle Ages," "The Black Death," and "Dancing with Death: Warfare, Wounds and Disease in the Middle Ages," among others.
De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History
This an academic association, representing scholars interested in medieval warfare. It offers an online resources section, with articles, primary texts and book reviews. broad portal useful for anyone interested in the technical, tactical, social, economic, political, religious, diplomatic, geographic, or gendered aspects of war. the Online Resources for Medieval Warfare section of the main site provides a rich treasury of materials accessible to teachers and students. The material is made up almost entirely of texts.
The Byzantine Empire bridged the gap between ancient and early modern Europe. From its inception as the eastern half of the partitioned Roman Empire in the fourth century AD through to its final disappearance in the fifteenth century, Byzantium played the role of an economic, political, and cultural superpower. At "Explore Byzantium" you will find a historical overview, timelines, maps, articles, and bibliographic material - all dedicated to this fascinating civilization. The site also features an extensive photographic gallery, which details some of the surviving examples of Byzantine architecture and public art - from Italy through to the empire's heartland in modern Greece and Turkey.
Medieval warfare: sources and approaches
This 50-minute National Archives podcast explores how records created before 1485 can be used to study medieval armies, campaigns and battles in Britain and France.
This extensive database website explores the role of Christian women in the religion and society of medieval Europe. Its content includes profiles of women’s religious communities in medieval Europe; dozens of primary source texts; brief biographies of religious women; hundreds of images of architecture, sculpture, and book illumination and other objects. It also features a glossary and a listing of secondary sources.
ORB: The Online Reference Book for Medieval Studies
ORB is an academic site, written and maintained by medieval scholars for fellow instructors and students. It offers a topical index of medieval studies and related links. It also recommends sources for the non-specialist. Unfortunately the site no longer appears to be actively maintained and updated.
International Joan of Arc Society
This is a scholarly web site that, among other objectives, produces texts and translations of the trials of Joan of Arc and . Most of the teaching document are course syllabi. There are maps of Joan's journeys One of the more interesting sections presents numerous ways in which "high" art and popular culture have depicted Joan of Arc.
Medieval Church is an Internet resource for studying the Church of the Middle Ages. It provides detailed bibliographies, theological articles, and Web resources.
The Ecole Initiative
This hypertext of Early Church history features documents, images, a glossary and a chronology. There are both short an long essays on various topics and timeline with geographical cross-index. Unfortunately it is no longer maintained.
The Catholic Encyclopedia
Features an extensive list of articles and short bios on numerous historic individuals associated with the Catholic Church. That said, it is not exclusively a church encyclopedia, nor is it limited to churchmen.
A popular introductory Web guide to Medieval History from About.com. Features a series of brief articles on related topics as well as a few recommended web sites.
Foundation for Medieval Genealogy
The FMG's goals include advancing public education in the study of medieval genealogy. To that end there is an "Open Access"' area with research guides and more access to resources if you register at the site. The Foundation is also developing a bibliographic dataset of secondary source material for medieval genealogy that includes books and journal articles in the library collection of the FMG.
Medieval and Renaissance Fact and Fiction
This page is meant to be a guide to resources available on the Web for people who are interested in the history, culture, literature, and re-creation of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Essays in Medieval History
There are 17 volumes of Essays in Medieval History from 1984 to 2000 available Published by the West Virginia University Press. EMS Volumes 18 to present are available only through Project MUSE, a paid subscription service.
The Britannia Lexicon
The Britannia Lexicon offers a glossary of keywords used during the Middle Ages in which the user can find the meaning of terms associated with the period.
Periodical Atlas of Europe
The Periodical Atlas of Europe features 21 online maps showing the countries of Europe at the end of each century from year 1 to year 2000. Also includes a few images of historical sites.
This Britannia website provides a series of brief articles about King Arthur and related topics, such as Characters, Places, Sources, Texts, and (of course) the Round Table. There is also a timeline and link to suggested related websites.
The Robin Hood Project
The Robin Hood Project at the University of Rochester aims to make available in e-format texts, images, bibliographies, and basic information about the Robin Hood stories. The project explains the development of the Robin Hood character and provides character information, showcases select images, authors, and texts, and suggests related links and guides.
Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga
This Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History site was created around an exhibit commemorating the 1000th anniversary of the Viking landing in the New World. Besides a cool Flash-generated introduction, the site contains extensive documentation on the contents of the exhibit, as well as: a Virtual Viking Voyage - a multimedia feature including 3D animations of ship building, runes and sagas; video interviews with leading experts in the field; and detailed histories of Viking settlements and journeys from Scandinavia to Newfoundland. Appropriate for grades 7-12.
The Medieval Arms Race
A PBS Nova site, this describes and illustrates some of the major weapons and strategies used in what became a medieval arms race. Clear, easy to follow, and appropriate for young students. Appropriate for grades 5-9.
Destroy the Castle
This Nova Science game challenges students to engineer a trebuchet that can knock down a castle wall. Fun and engaging. Appropriate for grades 5-9.
The Black Plague
Before going as a traveler on one of several journeys to start, either as a Pilgrim or as a Trader/Voyager you will need to research the plague. The plague was spread by these trading and pilgrim routes, as travelers went from town to town. Find out about the plague during modern times and during the Middle Ages. Use your journal to keep track of what you find out along the way. SCORE activity for middle schoolers
A Medieval Cartoon
Unravel the meaning of this 1233 medieval cartoon. From the National Archives Learning Curve. Key Stage 3.
BBC History: Ages of Treasure Timelines
From the Palaeolithic to the Norman Conquest, explore British archaeological sites and treasures from the past, then test yourself on the eras and events in the Ages of Treasure game.
BBC History Games: Anglo Saxon Coins
Find out more about Anglo-Saxon money by taking a closer look at the coins and the stories behind them. When you think you know enough, test yourself by playing 'Coins' and see if you can make money talk. Appropriate for grades 5-9.
BBC Animation: Build a Medieval Arch
Play the animation and game to find out how medieval masons built cathedral arches - without the benefits of modern technology. Activity for middle schoolers
BBC History: Kings and Queens Through Time
In this animated timeline you put the kings and queens of England, and later the United Kingdom, in their proper place. There are four periods to explore. The Plantagenets and the Houses of Lancaster and York are featured in the first period, the Tudors and Stuarts in the second, and the House of Hanover in the third. The timeline concludes with the Windsors.
Witness to Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years War
Lesson plan from EDSITEment for grades 9-12 in which students read primary sources to understand Joan's place in the history of the Hundred Years' War.
Schools History explores the development of Castles and fortifications at this site. It covers Roman fortifications in Britain, Anglo-Saxon forts, Stone Keep Castles, and more and features images to illustrate key changes.
Medieval Calendar Calculator
This tool generates calendars from the years 500-1582 with a variety of options to learn more about historic events and celebrations.