Eadgifu, Louis IV, and Female Power

Over the last two decades there has been much discussion of why so few women are described as hostages in early medieval sources. Yet to date, there has been very limited interest in the role of women as active participants in hostage practices, here interpreted as brokering agreements, giving hostages, receiving them, or releasing those…

Project Report – Exeter Meeting January 2018

On 26 January 2018 eight members of After Empire gathered in Exeter for an internal project meeting, where we also had two collaborative meetings with our project partners. Firstly, we met with Rebecca Sullivan, CEO of the Historical Association, for a productive meeting discussing how the project might best meet the needs of teachers whose…

Henry II Sternenmantel

Date: c. 1020 Place of Production: Uncertain Description: Embroidered cope (ceremonial cloak) of Henry II. The original fabric of the cope no longer survives; the embroidered sections were cut out and remounted onto a new blue silk damask. The current cope is 3m x 1.5m and was originally commissioned by Duke Ismahel of Bari before being given to…

Bernward Doors

Date: c. 1015 Place of Production: Germany Description: Two bronze cast doors with relief decoration showing scenes from the Bible. Each of the doors was cast as a single piece using the lost-wax method. Each door measures 4.7 x c.1.2 m and weighs about 1.85 tonnes. Held at: Hildesheim Cathedral Image 1 in Public Domain. Image by Bischöfliche Pressestelle Hildesheim.…

Tomb effigy of Rudolf of Swabia

Date: 1080 Place of Production: Merseburg, Germany Description: Bronze tomb effigy embedded in the floor of Merseburg Cathedral. Rudolf’s tomb is one of the first known in the medieval west to be marked with a sculpted effigy in bronze, which was originally covered in gilding. Held at: Merseburg Cathedral Images licensed under CC BY 2.5. Image by Michail Jungierek.

Gero Crucifix

Date: c. 970s Place of Production: Cologne, Germany Description: Oak cross with crucified Christ, made for Archbishop Gero of Cologne. The sculpture is carved, painted and partially gilded. The halo and cross are original, but the surround was a later 17th-century Baroque addition. Standing over six feet tall, it is one of the earliest monumental…

Queen Edith’s Tomb

Date: c. 947 Place of Production: Germany Description: Edith was originally buried in the monastery of St Maurice in Magdeburg, which was converted into Magdeburg Cathedral. In 2008, the 16th-century stone sarcophagus in Magdeburg Cathedral was opened and a lead coffin found with Edith’s body inside. Held at: Magdeburg Cathedral Image in Public Domain. For more, see H. Meller, W.Schenkluhn,…

The Book of Deer

Book of Deer Date: Early tenth century(?) Place of Production: Lowland Scotland(?) Description: The Book of Deer/Leabhar Dhèir is a Gospel Book written in Latin, and was produced in the tenth century, perhaps in the Scottish lowlands: it is the earliest manuscript to survive that was made in Scotland. In the twelfth century, annotators from the monastery at…