Merlin, Myrddin Wyllt, & the ‘Men of the North’

Tim Clarkson, Scotland's Merlin: A Medieval Legend and Its Dark Age Origins, John Donald, 2016. Amazon US $22 PB, $8 Kindle. Tim Clarkson's new book, Scotland's Merlin, was a lovely break from my usual plague reading. Merlin is one of the few Arthurian characters who can stand alone from the Arthurian corpus as the Welsh figure... Continue Reading →


The Bavarians from the Ground Up

Since written history doesn't spread very much light on the people who lived in sixth century Bavaria, let's literally look to the ground and examine what their cemeteries tell us about them.  Aschheim is the only place where plague aDNA has been found, but as far as I know, it is the only Late Antique... Continue Reading →

Aberth’s An Environmental History of the Middle Ages: Crucible of Nature

John Aberth. An Environmental History of the Middle Ages: The Crucible of Nature. Routledge, 2013. 326 pages.Although the title of John Aberth's book An Environmental History of the Middle Ages: The Crucible of Nature is almost identical to Richard Hoffman's book recently reviewed here, they couldn't be more different. Aberth's book is a cultural history... Continue Reading →

CFP: Medieval Landscapes of Disease

Call for Papers Medieval Landscapes of Disease 50th International Congress of Medieval Studies Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI   -- May 14-17, 2015  In recognition that diseases are manifestations of their environment, this session seeks papers that place medieval diseases within their environmental context. Just as a seed must be placed in good soil to... Continue Reading →

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