Category Archives: Uncategorized

Matter of Epic or Romance: Comparing Castles in the UK and Latvia

Originally posted on thegrailquest:
On Easter Monday, me and my husband visited Ynys Mon, or Anglesey as the Saesneg call it, on a pilgrimage. The goal of our pilgrimage was the sacred well at which St. Seiriol, a Welsh 6-th…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Horseback Archery In Korea: A Traditional Sport.

Over the past couple of decades archery from the back of a horse has seen a revival as a sport and recreational activity. Countries all around the world, both those with and without a tradit… Source: Horseback Archery In Korea: … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hillforts in Latvia

Hillforts or castle mounds (pilskalns in Latvian, literally meaning ‘častle’ or ‘fort’ on a hill) is not the same as your typical medieval castle. For one thing, they appear early, dating back to the Neolithic period, and disappear from the Latvian landscape around the thirteenth-fourteenth centuries. On the other hand, they are so closely related to the later stone castles, both geographically (often occupying the same site) and historically that I believe they should be studied together. Continue reading

Posted in Historical Sites and Monuments, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Medieval Welsh Horses Had Weird Names

What did the greatest Arthurian knights call their steeds? You will never guess it, unless you read he Black Book of Caermarthen – or my post. Continue reading

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

Medieval Horses Love Water!

November has come, with its dull winter days, the first snow and cold, wet horses. Apparently, it was no problem in the fifteenth-century France, where the calendar page from the spectacular Bedford Hours show a horse splashing in a fountain: … Continue reading

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

What did medieval people know about Hungary?

What do the Old Norse sagas, the chronicle narrative of Jean Froissart and the Old Serbian annals have in common? How about the Dominican collection of pious exempla by Jacobus de Cessolis, Liber de moribus? Well, to give you yet another clue, think of the late French Arthurian romance of Melyador and the anonymous fifteenth-century Middle English metrical romance Capystranus. Still no nearer to the answer? Hungary and the Hungarians! Surprising as it may sound, Hungary makes a frequent and variegated appearance in a variety of medieval narrative sources across Europe, from Iceland to Italy, not to mention Germany, France, England and such close neighbours as Poland and Serbia. Continue reading

Posted in Academic life, conference, Historical Sites and Monuments, History, Medieval Literature, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be the Superhuman!

n the wake of the Paralympic Games in Rio, I wanted revisit the issue of athleticism for the (dis?)abled. In my previous post, I juxtaposed the video of Paralympic dressage with a quotation from Dom Duarte I’s treatise on horse-riding, where he argued that no apparent physical impediment should prevent anyone from becoming a reasonably good rider. Indeed, we see in the video extremely handicapped people who control the horses much better than most amateurs and look much more elegantly on horseback than any bunch of ordinary students at a riding school. And yet, these people are amateurs, too, for most paralympic athletes have daytime or part-time jobs and are not paid or are paid very little for being athletes. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Not Fit to Ride? Watch Paradressage

… some people think they cannot be good riders because of weakness, old age, or obesity, and therefore lose the will and give up learning what they need in order to attain knowledge. They are manifestly quite wrong in this, and in many other good things that they lose because of this despair, when they could acquire them if they had good hope… – wrote Dom Duarte I of Portugal Continue reading

Posted in Practical Equestrianism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

What is an Illuminated Charter?

What is a charter? What is an illuminated charter? Each national tradition of scholarship has their own approaches. Thus, one possibility may be to include everything produced in the chancery into the category of charters. Another approach would be to limit the scope of inquiry based on formal features: a document on one page, with signatures or other subscriptions, sealed or having place for a seal. Yet a third possibility is to make the analysis functional: as advised by a certain lawyer, a legal document would be any document that would result in certain action, the imposition of legal obligation, etc. In particular, indulgencies, though envisaging a contract of non-material kind, fit the functional definition well. Continue reading

Posted in Academic life, conference, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Illuminated Charters and Digital Humanities – A Conference Report

What is an illuminated charter? This is the question me and Edgar unfailingly heard from friends and relatives when we told them we are going to Vienna to a conference on Illuminated Charters. I must confess that I was puzzled and mystified when I first read the call for papers ‘Illuminated Charters: From the Margins of two Disciplines to the Core of Digital Humanities’. This may have been the reason I enlisted my co-author’s and husband’s help and sent a proposal to the conference organisers, on ‘The Functions of Illuminated Charters from Latvian and Lithuanian Archives in European Context’. Continue reading

Posted in Academic life, academic writing, conference, Historical Sites and Monuments, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment