Nautical charts revealed… it is all about details

Juliette Bourdier

Bonjour à tous,

Merci de consulter les cartes et de m’expliquer la conception du monde telle que nous l’avons lue dans le Mundi.
La semaine prochaine, nous lirons Li Ere Brendan

Les cartes marines sur parchemin, Nautical charts on parchment

   Gallica is the digital library of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF), open to the general public around the world. It serves as a digital encyclopedia and consists of printed materials and sound recordings. Gallica makes it possible to find sources that are rare, unusual, out-of-print, or difficult, if not impossible, to access. The BnF owns the largest world collection of ancient Nautical maps (more thn 500).

Recently, Gallica has opened an online exhibition of Nautical maps, you can find the exhibition, « L’âge d’or des cartes marines : quand l’Europe découvrait le monde ».

It includes the Carta Pisana, a map made at the end of the 13th…

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French Food… Recipe Medieval Style

Juliette Bourdier

French Medieval Food

Bread, accompanied by meat and wine, was the centrepiece of the medieval diet. Vegetables were more for peasants, both in reality and imagination. Not all foods had the same cultural value. Each had its place within a hierarchy extending from heaven to earth.

Cereals were the basic food, primarily as bread. Oats were eaten as porridge, mainly in the Atlantic regions of Europe. By the end of the Middle Ages, wheat had become the most sought-after cereal. Rye was cultivated only in the roughest soils, whilst millet was a speciality prominent in the south west of France. A recent arrival, buckwheat, began spreading through Brittany.

Vegetables were a daily part of the peasant’s diet. Cabbage, in particular, was king of medieval gardens. In towns, itinerant vendors sold green vegetables (spinach, leeks and cabbage) used for making purées and soups.

Fruit was considered fit for the nobility…

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Dating Medieval Manuscripts

Juliette Bourdier

The Algorithms That Automatically Date Medieval Manuscripts


Around a million medieval documents have no date making their historical significance difficult to quantify. But automated computer techniques look set to revolutionise the work for historians

An important aspect of any society is the way it keeps records of property and land transactions so that ownership can be properly established and disputes resolved. In medieval Britain, this process was largely carried out by religious or royal institutions which recorded transactions in documents, written in Latin, called charters.

Today, more than a million charters survive either as originals or more often as ancient copies. They provide a remarkable insight into the pressures at work in medieval politics, economics and society between the tenth and fourteenth centuries in England.

For example, historians can use these documents to study the rise and fall of military and religious organisations. A good example is the…

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John Flood - Department of English, University of Groningen

English readers have adopted Dante to the extent that they often seem to forget he was Italian. The New York Review of Books has a discussion of some recent treatments of Dante (two translations and Dan Brown’s Inferno) here. For the majority of Anglophones reading the original text is out of the question, so it’s important to choose a translation that works for you and not simply pick up the first one that comes along.

If you don’t want to try the text, look at William Blake’s unforgettable illustrations for The Divine Comedy, all of which can be found here in The Blake Archive.

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Medieval pattern drafting

This fall/winter I will attend my first medieval event and therefor will need something to wear.

Odly enough I must admit the middle ages never tempted me before. I tought the costumes and styles of the period seamed pretty plain and boring, and I figured I would never have the use of one.

But when the invitation for a Medieval feast arrived from my dancing company I didn’t heasitate. I signed up for both the party, the medieval dance course and the medieval sewing course. If you haven’t noticed, I have a tendency to go all in with things like this.

So now it was time to make an medieval outfit – and we only had about 1,5 months to do it. The first challenge was to decide on wich style of dress I was going to make.

medieval4The stylished simple Cotehartie

campbellp393Or the pretty high waisted gown from later in…

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Medieval inspiration

I had such dificulties deciding on what style of medieval dress I would make for the feast in november. Serching the internet I came up with two different choises.

1. The simple, yet elegant 14th century kirtle and cotehartie.

This style semed like the most usefull as it could be used during both medieval markets and events. It would be pretty easy to make and the style is what most re-enactments wear.

Altough usefull, it did not seem like such a rich and luxurius garnment for a grand feast.

Lets have a look:



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images (1)


tumblr_mevzsgDkIF1qfg4oyo7_1280Some of the more luxurius headresses worn to this type of dress.

My other option was…

2. The 15th century gown, with its high waist and big collar.

I’ve have always loved this style of dress, and long wanted to make one, even tough the high waist seam often look better on petit women.

This dress is…

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