Category Archives: History

Accomplishing the Mission: a prehistory to The Horse in Premodern European Culture

In July 2015, two medievalists met at one of the social spaces of the International Medieval Congress at Leeds. It must have been a reception, with wine flowing as usual, as the two medievalists who did not know each got … Continue reading

Posted in Academic life, academic writing, conference, equestrian history, History, Medieval animals, Medieval horses, Social Theory, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why Gingerbreads and Horses Make a Perfect Christmas Match

In Latvia, gingerbreads, paper-thin cookies made of brown dough with honey, pepper, and lots of other spices are traditionally baked for Christmas. Now, there are different spice mixes, but, as experience proves, pepper, ginger, cinnamon and honey are paramount for … Continue reading

Posted in equestrian history, History, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Top 7 Latvian Horsy Superstitions

Two most superstitious groups of people are probably sportsmen and those who are involved in agricultural work. It follows that equestrians are bound to have twice as many superstitions as ordinary folk. With this in mind, I asked Edgar, who, … Continue reading

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

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

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

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

Posted in Historical Sites and Monuments, History, History of Livonia, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Historical Sites and Monuments, History, History of Livonia, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Arthurian Literature, equestrian history, Gender and Literature, History, Medieval animals, Medieval horses, Medieval Literature, Practical Equestrianism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Arthurian Literature, equestrian history, Gender and Literature, Medieval animals, Medieval horses, Medieval Literature, Practical Equestrianism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , | 1 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

Posted in Arthurian Literature, equestrian history, Gender and Literature, History, Medieval animals, Medieval horses, Medieval Literature, Practical Equestrianism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment