The cult of St Alexius: a new veneration of an old saint and Italian influence in the Catalan region

Although this fourth-century saint had become popular very early among the eastern Christians, in Western Europe St Alexius was the recipient of a wave of devotion only in the ninth and tenth century. From the ninth century onwards, different versions of his life spread in diverse religious communities from Spain to England. Around 1040 his…

All in the family? A beginner’s guide to Carolingian genealogies in the 10th and 11th century

One of the genres of source that I’m closely working with as part of the After Empire project is genealogies. Genealogies are especially interesting texts both for the questions that this project is investigating and for my own research interests: how do people engage with the past? And how in particular do they engage with…

Dealing with the recent past in St Maximin, Trier

Not only were the deeds of saints recorded in hagiographical sources; we regularly find traces of a local past as well. These traces can explain what elements of the past were important for a specific community. For example, in the following, I will argue that the Historia Miraculorum was written to justify a reform movement…

Viking Finger Ring

Date: 10th–11th century Place of Production: Unknown, found in Oxford, UK Description: Six twisted gold rods form a finger ring, in a style typical of Viking jewellery. The ring gets smaller towards the back, where the rods have been beaten flat together. Held at: British Museum Accession Number: 1905,1108.1 Images licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA…

Viking Gold Arm Ring

Date: 10th century Place of Production: Unknown, found in Buckinghamshire, UK Description: Twisted gold rods form a circular arm band, in a style typical of VIking jewellery. This particularly fine example was likely worn by a male. This type of arm band was worn as jewellery but could also serve as portable bullion. Held at: British…

Anglo-Saxon Gold Ring

Date: 10th century Place of Production: England, found in Faversham Description: This cast gold ring has at its centre a Roman carnelian intaglio, a typical example of the use and re-use of precious gems in the early medieval period. Although quite badly worn, much of the decoration is still visible, including seven elongated oval leaves, filigree…