Author Archives: thegrailquest

About thegrailquest

Anastasija Ropa holds a doctoral degree from Bangor University (North Wales), for a study in medieval and modern Arthurian literature. She has published a number of articles on medieval and modern Arthurian literature, focusing on its historical and artistic aspects. She is currently employed as guest lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Sport Education. Anastasija’s most recent research explores medieval equestrianism in English and French literary art and literature, and she is also engaged as part-time volunteer horse-trainer. In a nutshell: Lecturer at the Latvian Academy of Sport Education Graduate of the School of English, University of Wales, Bangor. Graduate of the University of Latvia Passionate about history, particularly the Middle Ages A horse-lover and horse-owner

Of the Livonians’ Cults, religion(S) and (Im)morality – Again

Dyonisius Fabricius, writing his Livonicae historiae in the first half of the seventeenth century, more than half a century after Balthasar Russow, makes the history of Livonian mores – and immoralities – so much more exciting to read, as well … Continue reading

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The Count of May Festival in Riga

With history being in fashion today, it is not surprising that many old traditions are revived or reinvented, attracting tourists and enriching the communities’ cultural lives. A good example of it is the Count of May festival in Riga, a … Continue reading

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Sex and witchcraft in early modern Livonia: the eyewitness accounts by Balthasar Russow and Dionysius Fabricius

It’s been a long time since my promised post on the outrageous morals of early modern Livonians, which fired Protestant pastors (Balthasar Russow, quoted from in my previous post) and Jesuit brothers alike. In fact, I have found another chronicle … Continue reading

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I dreamt a dream… Or horsemanship for Arthurian enthusiasts

I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming… A book about horses in Arthurian romance… My own book… It is a laconic book, with many pictures reproducing miniatures in famous French and English romances, with lots of … Continue reading

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Practical Horsemanship in Medieval Arthurian Romance

BOOK DESCRIPTION The figure of a knight on horseback is the emblem of medieval chivalry. Much has been written on the ideology and practicalities of knighthood as portrayed in medieval romance, especially Arthurian romance, and it is surprising that so … Continue reading

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Livonia’s Horses and Immorality in Russow’s Chronicle

In 1577, Balthasar Russow, a pastor from Revel, completed The Chronicle of Livonia. In the chronicle, he provides a full history of Livonia from its beginnings in 1158, when merchants from Bremen entered the land, to his own days. Relying … Continue reading

Posted in equestrian history, History, History of Livonia, Medieval animals, Medieval horses, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Do you have the right to command your horse?

What is the point of connection between medieval horse-riding practices and modern equestrian sports? Some say it is the sixteenth-century rise of the manege exercises, which developed into modern dressage, that is the starting point for equestrian sports in Europe. … Continue reading

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Did medieval knights love their horses?

At present, there are two opposite opinion on the nature of relations between knights and their warhorses. Many people believe that relations between knights and their warhorses were strictly utilitarian: a knight would have as much affection for his horse … Continue reading

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Sir Perceval and the Devil: Une Séduction échouée

To every success story, there is at least one, usually more than one, story of failure. If Lanval’s fairy did all the right things (see my previous post), the Devil, who adopted the guise of a beautiful forlorn female in … Continue reading

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Seduction success story: Sir Lanval

As mentioned in a previous post, there seems to have been a standard formula available to medieval would-be seductresses. Elements of the formula included tents, hot afternoons and distressed knights, all of which were necessary for a lusty lustful lady … Continue reading

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