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  Home: Features: Middle Ages in the News: 2000 Bookmark and Share

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Below you will find 47 items from around the world on many different topics in the news concerning the Middle Ages. These might range from obituaries of great scholars of the period to articles about the last efforts to preserve a medieval barn. The Middle Ages comes up quite regularly in the news and so we will aim to bring you the latest. To help with that we have also set up two methods for you to get these items:

Facelift for Tintern Abbey
A team of stonemasons has begun work on a major conservation programme at one of Britain's most famous monastic sites. Nearly 500 years old, Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley, south Wales, is undergoing a project of work to repair and restore damaged and eroded stonework.
Source: BBC News       Date: 24 Dec 2000

St. Chad: patron saint of the disputed election
Yes, Chad — St. Chad of Lichfield, England — no relation to the bits of paper punched out of ballots that have been the focus of so much scrutiny in Florida. However, the 7th-century saint’s life may still be an excellent example to those involved in the present-day wrangling over the White House.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 6 Dec 2000

Chad's church nets election hits
Of all the ramifications of the ongoing U.S. presidency battle, few could have been more unexpected, nor more bizarre, than the sudden interest being taken in a small parish church in the depths of rural England.
Source: CNN       Date: 5 Dec 2000

Treasures Saved for the Welsh Nation
The Minister for Culture, Sport and the Welsh Language, Jenny Randerson, announced today (Friday) that four major historic and artistic treasures have been safeguarded for the people of Wales. Accepted in lieu of capital taxes to a value of £865,000, the items comprise: "Portrait of Cedric Morris", a painting by Lucien Freud; "The Poulterer’s Shop", a painting by Frans Snyders; the "Chirk Castle Chattels"; and the "Margam Abbey Charters".
Source: News Wales       Date: 24 Nov 2000

Medieval fresco found in one of Rome's oldest churches
Source: CNN       Date: 8 Nov 2000

Historian Steven Runciman, scholar of the Crusades, dead at 97
Sir Steven Runciman, scholar of the Byzantine Empire whose respected work "A History of the Crusades" broke with the Western tradition of romanticizing the Catholic invaders, died Wednesday, his family said. He was 97.
Source: CNN       Date: 2 Nov 2000

Library's Chaucer Goes on CD-ROM
A new CD-ROM will make accessible to all one of the greatest treasures in the National Library of Wales. The Library's 'Hengwrt Chaucer' is probably the very oldest manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, one of the most important works of mediaeval English literature. It has been in Wales since at least the 17th century.
Source: News Wales       Date: 1 Nov 2000

Ancient Manuscript Goes on CD
Exactly 600 years ago, one of the greatest writers in the English language, Geoffrey Chaucer, died. Now, one of the most important manuscripts of his work - which has been in safe-keeping in Wales since at least the 17th Century - is being made available to new audiences via computer technology.
Source: BBC News       Date: 31 Oct 2000

Italian town offers walking tour of Giotto's works
Art lovers will be able to trace the path Italian painting took from medieval asceticism to Renaissance realism with a walking tour of works by Giotto and his followers in downtown Padua. Giotto is considered the founding father of Italian painting, and his masterpiece is the 1303 cycle of frescoes in Scrovegni Chapel in the northern city of Padua.
Source: CNN       Date: 30 Oct 2000

Chaucer: Still popular after 600 years
Which, loosely translated, means there was once a poet called Geoffrey Chaucer whose Canterbury Tales are still widely considered one of the greatest works in the history of the English language. Chaucer died 600 years ago this week, on October 25, 1400. Despite the age of his work, however, and the fact that it was written in Middle English -- an idiom peppered with unfamiliar words and phrases -- it remains as popular now as it has ever been.
Source: CNN       Date: 24 Oct 2000

Containing the Plague: Killing Plague-Infected Rodents Might Spread Disease to Humans
In a newly-created population dynamics model, Matthew Keeling, a Cambridge University mathematician, has found that although rats can spread the bubonic plague to people, killing infected rats can actually make the outbreak worse. That’s because there is another creature involved in the infection chain.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 19 Oct 2000

Normans Fight Saxons... and the Rain
A major re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, involving 1,000 Normans and Saxons, will go ahead this weekend despite the flooding in East Sussex. An English Heritage spokeswoman told BBC News Online there were no plans to cancel the event, despite three car parks at Battle Abbey being waterlogged.
Source: BBC News       Date: 13 Oct 2000

Uzbekistan Restores Timurid Legacy
Since independence in 1991 Uzbekistan has been restoring the legacy of its great 14th Century conqueror Tamerlane the Great - Amir Timur. The current Uzbek leadership has eradicated most of the traces of the former Soviet Union's domination.
Source: BBC News       Date: 6 Oct 2000

Roman Fresco Challenges Art History
The history of Western art may have to be rewritten after the discovery of a 13th Century fresco in a chapel in Rome. The fresco, long believed to have been lost, is attributed to master painter Pietro Cavallini (1250-1340) of the Roman school.
Source: BBC News       Date: 28 Sep 2000

Fresco discovery raises questions in Italy
A medieval fresco, which could undermine Giotto's role as the founder of Italian painting, has been discovered in the church of Santa Maria in the Italian town of Aracoeli. The work, which depicts a Madonna with child between Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, is thought to be by Pietro Cavallini -- a painter who pre-dates Giotto.
Source: CNN       Date: 27 Sep 2000

'Giotto's Remains Found'
A skeleton found beneath Florence's Duomo 30 years ago has been identified as that of Giotto, the famed early Renaissance artist. The face was reconstructed by Professor Francesco Mallegni, a palaeontologist at Pisa and Palermo universities.
Source: BBC News       Date: 20 Sep 2000

Calls for 'Glyndwr Day' on Anniversary
On the 600th anniversary of Owain Glyndwr becoming Prince of Wales, there have been calls for 16 September to be designated a National Day. All across Wales, events took place to celebrate the Welsh national hero.
Source: BBC News       Date: 18 Sep 2000

Medieval Ring is 'Treasure'
A late medieval gold ring discovered in south east Wales has been declared treasure following a coroner's hearing. The 15th century ring bears the image of Mary holding the infant Jesus and bears the legend "en boen an" - a motto which indicates the ring may have been a New Year gift.
Source: BBC News       Date: 15 Sep 2000

Paris museum unveils garden inspired by medieval tapestry
With not a blade of grass left from the original gardens planted 500 years ago, landscape artists dug deep into medieval botanical manuscripts to design the new gardens opening this month at France's National Museum of the Middle Ages.
Source: CNN       Date: 13 Sep 2000

Dark Age Disaster: Tree Rings Suggest Catastrophe Triggered Dark Ages
Something catastrophic occurred on Earth 1,500 years ago that may have led to the Dark Ages and coincided with the end of the Roman Empire and the death of King Arthur, a Northern Irish scientist said today. It could have been a bombardment of cometary debris or the eruption of a super volcano. But whatever it was, it is clearly etched in the chronology of tree rings from around the world, according to Professor Mike Baillie of Queen’s University in Belfast.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 8 Sep 2000

Weather From the Past: Centuries-Old Records Show Global Warming Trend
River captains long dead, 15th-century Japanese priests, and records kept by Swiss believers who liked to carry a statue of the Madonna across a frozen lake confirm that global warming is a real trend, scientists said today. An international team of researchers has pieced together records kept from as far back as 1443 to show that temperatures are not only rising — they are changing the way lakes and rivers freeze in the Northern Hemisphere.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 7 Sep 2000

Castle Under Attack From Vandals
Historic Monuments Agency Cadw is calling for an urgent meeting with police and staff at Conwy Castle in a bid to stamp out what they describe as "mindless vandalism." For the second time in a fortnight vandals have targeted the castle, and already the bill to repair the damage has run into thousands of pounds.
Source: BBC News       Date: 5 Sep 2000

The Plague Dogs: The Black Death Is Decimating Montana Prairie Dogs
The Black Death, the great scourge of humanity in the Middle Ages, is now decimating prairie dog populations in Montana.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 5 Sep 2000

Lost Princess's Memorial Vandalised
A memorial to the last native Princess of Wales has been badly damaged by vandals. The memorial to Princess Gwenllian was set up at Sempringham in Lincolnshire to mark the place where she was kept as a prisoner for 54 years following the death in battle of her father, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, in 1282.
Source: BBC News       Date: 31 Aug 2000

Tracing Syphilis: Medieval English Skeletons Had Syphilis Before Columbus
Recent excavations at a medieval friary in Northern England add weight to the theory that syphilis didn’t come to Europe from the New World. Skeletons excavated at Hull, dated to between 1300 and 1450, had clear signs of syphilis, said Anthea Boylston, a paleopathologist and leader of an archaeological team from University of Bradford in north England that conducted the dig. Several other skeletons also showed signs of the disease, she said.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 29 Aug 2000

Ransom Demand for Medieval Pope's Skull
It would seem that the Spanish and Aragonese chroniclers of the 14th and 15th Century were right when they predicted that the body of Pope Benedict X111 would never rest in peace. In the latest indignity to befall his remains, Pope Benedict's skull has been stolen from a remote village in north eastern Spain - and the thieves are demanding a ransom for its return.
Source: BBC News       Date: 26 Aug 2000

Hunt on for British Vikings
Scientists are to begin testing thousands of men to find out how much Viking blood is left in the UK. The research is being carried out for a new BBC documentary, Blood of the Viking, to be screened next year.
Source: BBC News       Date: 6 Aug 2000

Vikings Return to North America
The Vikings have returned to North America. A flotilla of 13 replica Viking ships, led by the 23m-long Islendingur, arrived on Friday off the Canadian coast - in L'Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland. The site is where Norse explorer Leif Eriksson first landed in North America 1,000 years ago.
Source: BBC News       Date: 29 Jul 2000

13th Century Mill Uncovered in Margam
Parts of a medieval mill have been unearthed by Hyder's water business, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, as part of a project to construct a pipeline for a new housing development near Margam. The corn mill at Llanmihangel farm is believed to be part of a monastic grange of Margam Abbey dating from the 13th Century.
Source: News Wales       Date: 19 Jul 2000

Greenland Marks Viking Voyage
Hundreds of people in Greenland are taking part in celebrations to mark a voyage the Viking captain, Leif Eriksson, is said to have made to North America 1,000 years ago. At the centre of festivities was the arrival of a replica Viking ship which had sailed to Greenland from Iceland.
Source: BBC News       Date: 15 Jul 2000

TV Hunt for Viking Bloodline
Scientists are searching for 2,500 British male volunteers willing to take part in a groundbreaking study of the nation's Viking heritage.
Source: BBC News       Date: 11 Jul 2000

Suffolk Site Throws up New Treasures
An Anglo Saxon cemetery has been uncovered during an archaeological dig at one of the UK's most important historic sites. The 1,500-year-old burial plots were found at Sutton Hoo, in Suffolk, where a 24m (80ft) long, wooden ship and treasure were discovered in 1939.
Source: BBC News       Date: 23 Jun 2000

The Gentle Vikings?
Tales of Vikings usually invoke images of bearded men in horned helmets plundering villages. As The Saturday Early Show's Russ Mitchell found out, while there is some truth to the tales, Viking life was more domestic than destructive.
Source: CBS News       Date: 12 Jun 2000

Tribute to Lost Welsh Princess
A north Wales council is to celebrate an almost-forgotten heroine of Welsh history. Blaenau Ffestiniog Town Council is due to raise the Welsh flag in remembrance of Gwenllian, the daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last leader of the native Welsh dynasties who held out against English conquest.
Source: BBC News       Date: 12 Jun 2000

Ancient Gospels Reveal Secret Sketches
Ancient sketches have been discovered beneath the manuscript of one of Britain's most treasured religious works. The sketches of flowers, animals and Latin script were found by a scholar at the British Library in London, beneath the illuminated Latin manuscript of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
Source: BBC News       Date: 30 May 2000

Historic Chessmen Check In
Viking treasure unearthed on a Scottish island has gone on display for the first time near the site where it was found. The Lewis chessmen, found on the island 170 years ago, were placed in the care of the British Museum. The pieces have been put on view at the Uig Community Centre on the west side of the island for one day only.
Source: BBC News       Date: 6 Apr 2000

Did the Vikings Make a Telescope?
The Vikings could have been using a telescope hundreds of years before Dutch spectacle makers supposedly invented the device in the late 16th century.
Source: BBC News       Date: 5 Apr 2000

Glyndwr Letter Back in Wales
An historic letter written by 15th century Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr has returned to Wales after 600 years. The Pennal Letter called for help from France in Glyndwr's rebellion against England.
Source: BBC News       Date: 5 Apr 2000

Warlord Tops Richest Ever List
An obscure Norman nobleman who made his fortune after the Battle of Hastings has been named as the richest Briton of the last millennium. William of Warenne, Earl of Surrey, was rewarded for his bravery in the Norman conquest by his distant cousin William the Conqueror. He was given lands and estates valued at more than £57bn in today's terms.
Source: BBC News       Date: 26 Mar 2000

Glyndwr Letter Returns to Wales
A letter written by Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr in the 15th century begging for help from France in his rebellion against England is to return home to Wales. For 500 years the Pennal Letter has remained in the archives of the French government despite periodic calls for its return.
Source: BBC News       Date: 22 Mar 2000

Owain Glyndwr Letters Returned to Wales
First Secretary Rhodri Morgan announced today, (Wednesday, 22 March) that the Pennal Letters and Seal of Owain Glyndwr will be coming home to Wales for a period of six months. The French Ministry of Culture and the Archives Nationales in Paris have agreed to lend the letters to the National Library of Wales for their major Owain Glyndwr exhibition from 8 April to 30 September 2000.
Source: News Wales       Date: 22 Mar 2000

Unholy Row Over Ancient Book
Rural Ireland is a place of monks and mystics where history is not just a thing of the past - just ask anyone in Kells. The angry people of the town are campaigning for the return of the beautiful 8th century illuminated gospels which bear its name. The book has been in the hands of Trinity College, Dublin, since the 17th century and now attracts half a million paying tourists a year.
Source: BBC News       Date: 25 Feb 2000

Ancient Sites Discovered in Welsh Forests
A graveyard for disgraced monks and a mysterious man-made well hidden in a Welsh forest are just some of the ancient monuments discovered in a huge archaeological survey. Forest Enterprise Wales has been exploring thousands of acres of woods throughout Wales.
Source: BBC News       Date: 27 Jan 2000

Tourist Guide Uncovers Treasure
Treasure dating back 1,000 years has been found by a tourist guide picking up litter in a crack in the wall of a cave which was the site of a Viking massacre. The find, including unique silver jewellery, was made at Dunmore Cave, a natural limestone national monument in Co Kilkenny, at the end of the last tourist season.
Source: BBC News       Date: 14 Jan 2000

Viking Hoard in the Irish Republic
A hoard of Viking treasure, dating back more than a thousand years, has been discovered in the Irish Republic in a cave popular with tourists. The hoard, includes silver and bronze coins and artefacts not seen before.
Source: BBC News       Date: 14 Jan 2000

Controversy Over Ancient Hungarian Artefact
Thousands of people lined the streets of Budapest to watch the Holy Crown of the eleventh century Hungarian King, Saint Stephen the First being transferred from the National Museum to the parliament building. There was tight security for the event to mark the one-thousandth anniversary of the founding of the Hungarian state.
Source: BBC News       Date: 1 Jan 2000

Glyndwr is Welsh Man of Millennium
BBC Wales News Online users have voted Owain Glyndwr as the Welsh person of the millennium. In a poll throughout December, users of BBC Wales's News Online and Ceefax services were asked to name the most influential Welsh person of the millennium.
Source: BBC News       Date: 1 Jan 2000


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