Category Archives: medieval

Free Fantasy Story: Mari’s Garden

In lieu of a real blog entry, I offer you the following complete short story, a historical fantasy from the Dark Apostle universe.  This story features the early lives of two characters featured in Elisha Magus and Elisha Rex. Trigger … Continue reading

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Above the Salt: a Medieval History of a Vital Spice

During the Middle Ages, spices were often a marker of wealth.  Not everyone could afford them, and the idea of making a spice freely available on the table was purely extravagant–hence our term “above the salt,” meaning those people so … Continue reading

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Jubilee! The Theoretical Papal Homecoming of 1350

Pope Francis recently declared a Jubilee Year, which officially began on Tuesday, with the timely theme of Mercy.  In doing so, he follows a tradition nearly a millennium old of encouraging pilgrimage to Rome.  For the Catholic who is able … Continue reading

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The Beastly Tower: a Royal Menagerie

One of the most fascinating features of the Tower of London which has, alas, been lost to time is the Tower Menagerie, which makes an appearance in Elisha Rex.  How could I resist a setting like that? The menagerie began … Continue reading

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A Brief History of the Inquisition: The Original Thought Police

When I was playing more actively with the Society for Creative Anachronism, I had a Jewish friend with a Spanish persona, circa 1492.  He used to joke that, contrary to Monty Python’s claims, he *did*, expect the Spanish Inquisition. . … Continue reading

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Heretics, Witches, Homosexuals and Jews: A history, and a present, of persecution

One of the reasons I started writing my Dark Apostle series was the number of times that this list appeared during my research.  It is the historical equivalent of someone saying, “Round up the usual suspects,” whenever anything goes badly … Continue reading

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Skulls and Cross Bones: the Medieval Ossuary at Hythe

I’d like to introduce you to the beautiful Norman-era church of Saint Leonard’s at Hythe.  This small, seaside town is about midway between Hastings and Dover, just enough off the beaten track to get few visitors.  The church is also … Continue reading

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