Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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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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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How to seduce a knight

This blog provides a rough guide to seducing a paragon of chivalry, bringing him to your feet – and to your bed – resulting in displays of chivalry by day and nights of exhausting pleasure. Caution: only a truly mighty night can endure this routine for long. But then, nothing prevents a damsel from abandoning the exhausted hero in favour of the next prey.

The formula is time-proven and recorded in at least two medieval romances, that of Sir Lanval (variously known as Sir Launfal and Sir Landevale), which contains a formula of successful seduction, and of Sir Perceval (the Lancelot-Graal cycle version entitled La Queste del saint graal), which offers a cautionary tale of failed seduction. Continue reading

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Saints and Horses

There is something going on between saints and horses: a surprising number of saints, from the early years of Christianity, throughout the Middle Ages, and well into the early modern period, from all geographic regions, from Byzantium to Rus (for … Continue reading

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