Kultur & Literatur
The Ultimate Guide to the Medieval World from History Revealed Magazine

The Ultimate Guide to the Medieval World from History Revealed Magazine

The Ultimate Guide to the Medieval World - Special

The medieval world is one of knights in armour, of bloody dungeons, of crusades, of torture and of an endless stream of battles for the throne. But what was life actually like for the people who lived through it? Who were the winners and losers? INSIDE YOU WILL FIND: L Enthralling tales of the times L Maps and illustrations L Revealing images and expert analysis

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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1 Min.

The arrival of William the Conqueror on England’s southern shores close to 1,000 years ago, heralded the dawn of a new era – what we now call the medieval world. It was a time characterised by a seemingly endless round of wars over land and power that continued for centuries. The knights of the crusades took battle to the Holy Land, while closer to home, England and France locked horns in what became known, somewhat inaccurately, as the Hundred Years’ War. It was time of great change – the Black Death decimated the population as a terrifying plague swept across Europe. There were larger-than-life characters, such as Richard the Lionheart, Henry V, Joan of Arc and Richard III. And it could be a time of great cruelty, with horrific tortures used…

1 Min.
1066: the norman conquest

It is the best known date in English history. And rightly so, for William of Normandy’s conquest of England ushered in not just a change in the country’s ruling elite, but also major changes in England’s culture, language, land ownership and, indeed, its very place on the international stage. But it would be wrong to think that all this happened overnight – after one cataclysmic battle. The Battle of Hastings was vitally important, of course, but it was just one of three battles to be fought in England that year – and it would actually take several years of hard campaigning before William the Conqueror could feel secure on the English throne. We explore the dramatic and often violent events that made up what we now know as the Norman Conquest.…

2 Min.
1 how normandy and england were born

NORMANDY DESCENDED INTO VIOLENCE AND CHAOS During the summers of the eighth and ninth centuries, bands of Vikings sailed their longships from Scandinavia to raid monasteries and towns in Britain, but also in the region we now call northern France. After years of seasonal raiding, they began to overwinter in that area. By the early tenth century, one Viking leader, Rollo, had become powerful enough to force the French king to cede to him the region around Rouen. This became known as Normandy – the country of the ‘Northmen’. These Normans, as they became known, gradually shed their Viking heritage. They converted to Christianity, adopted a French dialect, mastered the art of mounted warfare and married into the families of their French neighbours. In 1035, Duke Robert of Normandy died, leaving William, his…

2 Min.
2 rival claims to the throne

When Edward the Confessor died, the individual with the best dynastic claim to succeed him was Edgar the Ætheling, grandson of King Edmund Ironside who had ruled for less than six months in 1016. But the hereditary principle was not as important in Anglo-Saxon England as it was to become in later years, and Edgar – who was only about 15 in 1066 – lacked a power base. Harold Godwinson had no dynastic claim. But he was the most powerful magnate in the kingdom and commanded the support of the council of English nobles known as the Witanagemot (or Witan). This was crucial, because their acceptance was the acid test for kingship. Harold also claimed that Edward, when on his deathbed, had named him as successor. Though William of Normandy was…

4 Min.
3 the invasion

William of Normandy was livid when he heard that Harold Godwinson had been crowned King of England. To William, it was not just a political challenge – it was a personal insult. Forget the fact that Edward may have named Harold as his successor on his deathbed, and that the Witan had elected the latter as king. In Williams eyes, these details did not invalidate Edward’s earlier promise to leave the throne to the Norman, nor Harold’s pledge to help him become king upon Edward’s death. William resolved to gather together an army, cross the Channel and seize the throne by force – a tough challenge that was easier said than done. So how did William manage to invade a hostile country in 1066? Here are his six steps to invasion… 1…

6 Min.
4 the battles

Hastings is probably the best-known battle in English history, but it was just one of three major actions fought in England in 1066. In fact, the first challenge to Harold’s kingship came not from Normandy but from England’s old nemesis: Scandinavia. In September 1066, Harold was keeping a wary eye on William’s preparations across the Channel. But more trouble was brewing across the North Sea – and partly of Harold’s own making. A year earlier, Harold’s younger brother, Tostig – at the time, Earl of Northumbria – faced a rebellion. Keen to keep England united in the face of the Norman threat, Harold sided with the rebels and Tostig was outlawed. In summer 1066, Tostig pledged to support fierce King Harald Hardrada of Norway, who believed he had a claim to the…