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  Home: Features: Middle Ages in the News: 2001 Bookmark and Share

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Below you will find 61 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:

Pisa's Leaning Tower Reopens to Public
After a decade of renovations to help reduce its most famous feature, the Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened Saturday to the delight of tourists who lined up to make the tilted climb.
Source: Fox News Channel       Date: 15 Dec 2001

Finding Meaning in the Margins
A prolific medievalist challenges art history's assumptions in a race against time.
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education       Date: 14 Dec 2001

Road Builders Find Saxon Remains
Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of 19 Saxon settlers, including children, at the site of a bypass being built in Buckinghamshire, in the south of England. Scientists say the burial site is pre-Christian and includes artefacts such as daggers and necklaces.
Source: BBC News       Date: 14 Dec 2001

Hunt for Ancient Fort Begins
Archaeologists are to begin excavations which it is hoped will uncover a 700-year-old fortress built by an English king to keep control of Scotland against William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Historic Scotland teams will start work in the grounds of Linlithgow Palace on Monday.
Source: BBC News       Date: 10 Dec 2001

Researchers catalog ancient manuscripts
Collection of documents from Mt. Athos monasteries will be the first database ever designed for Byzantine papers.
Source: LA Times       Date: 10 Dec 2001

Old castles are the latest thing
Harry Potter is responsible for a lot of things. One of the nicest is the rediscovery of the history and culture of Great Britain.
Source: National Post       Date: 8 Dec 2001

Viking Blood Still Flowing
Blood tests taken over the past year may help show part of Cumbria in northwest England was a Viking stronghold 1,200 years ago. Geneticists discovered the area around Penrith has clear evidence of Norwegian influence.
Source: BBC News       Date: 3 Dec 2001

Chartres soars as a Gothic masterpiece
For centuries, religious pilgrims and tourists have flocked to the Notre Dame de Chartres Cathedral. For the past four decades, guide and lecturer Malcom Miller has been there to greet them.
Source: Orlando Sentinal       Date: 2 Dec 2001

Kon Tiki Explorer Has New Theory
The Viking god Odin may have been a real king who lived in what is now southern Russia 2,000 years ago, Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl said in a controversial new book Thursday. In "The Hunt for Odin," Heyerdahl says his archaeological digs by the Sea of Azov in Russia backed evidence in 13th century sagas written by Snorre Sturlason that Odin was more than a myth.
Source: CBS News       Date: 29 Nov 2001

Some Chanted Evening: Medieval 'Edda,' Updated
"Storytelling is not dead. "The Edda," a theater piece based on a 13th-century Icelandic poetry cycle, performed over the weekend at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Center, proved the old rule valid since Homer: One man, one lyre, one epic still works best. No matter what seductions Hollywood may offer."
Source: Washington Post       Date: 12 Nov 2001

Arthurian Manuscript Loaned to Scotland
Hwn yw y Gododdin. Aneirin ae cant. This is the Gododdin. Aneirin sang it. He charged before three hundred of the finest, He cut down both centre and wing, He excelled in the forefront of the noblest host, He gave gifts of horses from the herd in winter, He fed black ravens on the rampart of a fortress. Though he was no Arthur, Among the powerful ones in battle, In the front rank, Gwawrddur was a palisade. This is the earliest reference to Arthur, as cited in the ancient epic poem Y Gododdin. Composed around 600AD, the poem tells the story of a great battle centred on the ancient kingdom of Gododdin, now known as Edinburgh.
Source: News Wales       Date: 8 Nov 2001

Grant to Repair Crumbling Castles
The future of two 14th Century castle ruins are more secure after English Heritage announced grants totalling £1m. Sheriff Hutton Castle, near York, and Harewood Castle, north of Leeds, are both listed as urgent priorities in the English Heritage "Buildings at Risk Register 2001". The castles will receive £444,385 and £500,000 respectively for urgent repairs over the next few years.
Source: BBC News       Date: 7 Nov 2001

2nd Runestone a hoax, say two who claim to have carved it
University of Minnesota graduate students in 1985 -- not a band of Norsemen exploring Minnesota in 1363 -- carved an ancient-language inscription on a rock near Kensington, Minn., they said Monday.
Source: Star Tribune       Date: 6 Nov 2001

Villagers Prepare to Slay Dragon
Villagers in Somerset are preparing themselves for a battle with a dragon. Their traditional clash with the giant beast takes place every 50 years. Legend says that if they fail to keep up the custom, a dragon that ravaged their villages will return.
Source: BBC News       Date: 31 Oct 2001

Medieval Islam brought Renaissance joy to the world
"With a rich history of philosophical and scientific debate, Muslims today are well equipped to handle society's demands, writes Helen Pringle."
Source: SMH.com.au       Date: 23 Oct 2001

The Crusaders' Giant Footprints
The average American probably thinks of the Crusades -- if he thinks of them at all -- as a dimly recalled page in a high school history book, possibly overlaid with images from the 1935 Cecil B. De Mille film epic starring Jason Robards Sr. and Loretta Young.
In the Islamic world, it's not like that.

Source: Washington Post       Date: 23 Oct 2001

Rare texts tell medieval tales
Documents that Egyptian Jews laid to rest centuries ago in a kind of mausoleum for sacred texts--delicate, crumbling manuscripts that form a priceless archive of everyday life in the Middle Ages--have arrived in Chicago for an exhibition in the Spertus Museum.
Source: Chicago Tribune       Date: 21 Oct 2001

Forgotten scripts reveal Italian medieval life
Significant liturgical writings describe how people felt and behaved during this period.
Source: University of Toronto       Date: 20 Oct 2001

Doomsday village unearthed
The remains of a medieval village have been discovered in Somerset.
Source: BBC News       Date: 15 Oct 2001

Illuminating Armenia's Medieval Past
On the national church's 1,700th anniversary, the Getty displays a rare, unbound manuscript.
Source: LATimes.com       Date: 9 Oct 2001

De-coding the Black Death
Scientists have worked out the complete genetic structure of the bacterium responsible for the plague. The breakthrough will help future work on treatments for a disease that has killed millions of people throughout history, and which is viewed as a possible weapon of bio-terrorism.
Source: BBC News       Date: 3 Oct 2001

Medieval Lavatory Discovered in Doctors’ Surgery
Work being carried out on a medical practice in Denbigh, North Wales, has uncovered a Guardrobe, a medieval lavatory that has been dated back to the 16th Century. The discovery was made by builders who are currently renovating the Hen Gartref building above the Bronyffynnon surgery on Bridge Street into additional consulting rooms and better office accomodation for the medical team.
Source: News Wales       Date: 3 Oct 2001

Scientists map bubonic plague gene
British scientists have deciphered the genetic blueprint of bubonic plague, the fearsome microbe that killed one-third of medieval Europe and could still be a frightening biological weapon in the hands of modern-day terrorists.
Source: CNN.com       Date: 3 Oct 2001

Ethiopia's Neglected Island Monasteries
As the boat's motor revved into action, and we set off from the green, fertile banks of Bahr Dar town into the great expanse of water before us, I could not help but marvel at the vastness of Ethiopia's largest Lake - Lake Tana.
Source: BBC News       Date: 24 Sep 2001

Rare glass returns to Exeter
Some rare examples of medieval stained glass made in Exeter have been restored, thanks to the detective work of a museum curator.
Source: BBC News       Date: 21 Sep 2001

Devastating Medieval Earthquake Finally Understood
In 1356 a devastating earthquake shook Basel, Switzerland and almost completely destroyed the city, leveling nearly every fortified castle within a 30-kilometer radius. The cause of the temblor remained a mystery for 645 years.
Source: Scientific American       Date: 19 Sep 2001

Siân Phillips Unveils Glyndwr Memorial
Veteran Welsh actress Siân Phillips has unveiled a 10-foot high sculpture dedicated to the daughter of the Welsh legend Owain Glyndwr in London. Catrin was captured with her children, two girls and one boy, at Harlech in 1409 during Owain's fight for the freedom of Wales.
Source: BBC News       Date: 16 Sep 2001

Facelift for bishop's palace
English Heritage has spent almost £400,000 making a medieval bishop's palace in Lincoln more attractive to visitors.
Source: BBC News       Date: 7 Sep 2001

Durham Cathedral Tops Building Poll
Durham Cathedral has been voted Britain's favourite building in a survey of the best and worst of British architecture. The Norman cathedral - which along with Durham Castle dominates the city's skyline - won more than 51% of votes cast by listeners to BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
Source: BBC News       Date: 27 Aug 2001

Lady Godiva: The Naked Truth
Archaeologists in Coventry have unearthed part of a 14th century stained glass window bearing the face of a beautiful woman. It is thought to be that of Lady Godiva, famous for riding naked through the streets of the city. Bob Chaundy, of the BBC's News Profiles Unit, lays bare the facts behind this "bareback" rider.
Source: BBC News       Date: 24 Aug 2001

Tombs Found in Mongolia Might Hold Genghis Khan
A team searching for Genghis Khan's elusive grave site said on Thursday it has discovered a walled burial ground 200 miles northeast of the Mongolian capital that may contain the 13th century conqueror's remains along with priceless artifacts.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 17 Aug 2001

US Scientists 'Track Genghis Khan'
Scientists from the University of Chicago say they believe they may have found the burial ground of the legendary 12th century Mongol leader, Genghis Khan. The team discovered a walled burial ground 322km (200 miles) north-east of the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, that contains at least 20 unopened tombs apparently connected with people of high status.
Source: BBC News       Date: 17 Aug 2001

Was Ebola Behind the Black Death?
Controversial new research suggests that contrary to the history books, the "Black Death" that devastated medieval Europe was not the bubonic plague, but rather an Ebola-like virus.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 30 Jul 2001

Muscovites Celebrate Monastery Restoration
Thousands of Russian Orthodox believers have paid their respects to one of the most revered of all Russian saints - St Sergius of Radonezh - amid celebrations marking the restoration of the Holy Trinity Monastery in Moscow. St Sergius founded the monastery in the 14th Century so that "contemplation of the Holy Trinity would conquer... this world's dissensions".
Source: BBC News       Date: 20 Jul 2001

Medieval Korean Records Corroborate English Observation of Sunspots
Source: Scientific American       Date: 18 Jul 2001

Tapestry found in litter bin
A medieval tapestry stolen from Glasgow's Burrell Collection has been recovered undamaged.
Source: BBC News       Date: 17 Jul 2001

Scholars Uncover Welsh Viking History
Although their domination of European lasted only three hundred years, the Vikings have always captured the imagination and fascination of children and adults alike. The latest opportunity to explore the impact of the Vikings on medieval society takes place next week, when scholars from the USA, Russia, the Middle East and Europe gather in Cardiff for an international conference on Viking settlements in Britain and Ireland.
Source: News Wales       Date: 28 Jun 2001

£15m Manuscript Saved for Nation
The British Library has preserved for the nation a unique 15th century illuminated manuscript worth £15m. The library has also made a virtual computer version of the Sherborne Missal so visitors can see more than they would if it was displayed under glass.
Source: BBC News       Date: 26 Jun 2001

Solving a Digital Jigsaw Puzzle
Computer programs that can sort images by color, detail and texture could help restore medieval frescoes ruined in an earthquake.
Source: Scientific American       Date: 25 Jun 2001

Book Casts New Light on Welsh Castles
A new book about the castles of Wales gives a revealing and different view on the subject. Different to other books on castles, which mostly concentrate on the Norman castles built by Edward I, Welsh Castles by Geraint Roberts also looks at the native Welsh castles and tells stories of the conquest from a Welsh point of view.
Source: News Wales       Date: 22 Jun 2001

Cathedral Restoration Reveals Some Surprises
The medieval builders who created so many of Britain's beautiful churches were artisans of a special caliber, as restorers working on Peterborough Cathedral's vast painted ceiling recently found.
Source: Washington Post       Date: 6 Jun 2001

Mass to Remember Lost Princess
The lost princess of Wales, Gwenllian, daughter of Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, will be remembered in a special mass which will be performed in Bangor Cathedral. In the 13th Century, when Wales was fighting for its independence against the King of England, Edward the First, Gwenllian was the only child and heir of the Welsh prince Llywelyn.
Source: BBC News       Date: 4 Jun 2001

What medieval witnesses saw was not big lunar impact
The idea that what humans witnessed and chronicled in 1178 A.D. was a major meteor impact that created the 22-kilometer (14-mile) lunar crater called Giordano Bruno is myth, a University of Arizona graduate student has discovered.
Source: Spaceflight Now       Date: 19 Apr 2001

Castle Ghost Hunt's 'Curious' Findings
Scientists using high-tech methods to examine ghostly goings-on at Edinburgh Castle say they are encouraged by their findings. Volunteers have reported apparitions and physical contact during the 10-day investigation into the vaults and tunnels around the historic fortress.
Source: BBC News       Date: 17 Apr 2001

Memorial to Glyndwr's Daughter
A memorial statue to the daughter of Welsh legend Owain Glyndwr is due to be unveiled in London later this year. Catrin was captured with her children at Harlech in 1409, during Owain's fight for the freedom of Wales.
Source: BBC News       Date: 14 Apr 2001

Campaigners Fire Battlefield Salvo
Scots from all over the world have converged on Stirling University in a bid to save a historic battle site from development. The site is thought to be where Scots King Kenneth McAlpin defeated the Picts and united the two races under his leadership in AD 834.
Source: BBC News       Date: 8 Apr 2001

Ghostbusters Probe Edinburgh Castle
Scientists have begun a serious investigation into reports that Edinburgh Castle's dungeons might be haunted. The investigation, launched in the historic castle's dungeons on Wednesday, is believed to be the most comprehensive investigation into the existence of spirit beings.
Source: BBC News       Date: 4 Apr 2001

Gene by Gene: Scientists Use Genetics to Trace Viking Heritage
The study published today by geneticists at University College London set out to reveal whether the ninth century Viking invasion of the Celtic Orkney Islands is evident in the genetic makeup of its present-day inhabitants.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 3 Apr 2001

New honour for king's innards
A tiny medieval church has been elevated to a protected national monument after being identified as the burial place of parts of Robert the Bruce, Scotland’s greatest king.
Source: The Times       Date: 1 Apr 2001

Ancient Chaucer Manuscript Now on CD-ROM at National Library of Wales
One of the greatest treasures in the National Library of Wales will be made accessible to all following the the official launch on 21 March of a new CD-ROM. 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: 21 Mar 2001

Patron Saint of the Internet: St. Isidore of Seville?
Instead of fumbling through bulky computer guides and frantically calling distant help desks, the religiously inclined may soon have a higher option when their computer crashes.
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 9 Feb 2001

Another obituary for Sir Richard Southern
Historian whose biographies of a medieval monk and bishop mirrored his own search for practical answers to the questions posed by faith.
Source: The Guardian       Date: 1 Feb 2001

Sir Richard Southern, medieval historian, dead at 88
Oxford historian whose teaching influenced a generation of scholars and whose books changed for ever the way we view the Middle Ages.
Source: The Times       Date: 1 Feb 2001

Islanders Celebrate Viking Roots
A Scottish Island community is celebrating its viking heritage by staging the country's biggest fire festival. The inhabitants of the Shetland town of Lerwick dress up in full norse costume and celebrate by burning a viking galley. The annual event held on the last Tuesday of January, draws visitors from across the world.
Source: BBC News       Date: 30 Jan 2001

Stamp of Approval for Glyndwr?
A postage stamp commemorating the 15th century Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr could be issued in three years' time. Owen John Thomas, the Welsh Assembly's Shadow Culture Secretary, has asked the Royal Mail to consider bringing out the stamp to coincide with the opening of the assembly's new debating chamber.
Source: BBC News       Date: 25 Jan 2001

Bannockburn Site Revisited
A panel of heritage experts led by a university historian has revealed the "true site" of the Battle of Bannockburn. Researchers were brought in by Stirling Council to pinpoint the exact location of the battlefield and solve a 600-year-old mystery.
Source: BBC News       Date: 24 Jan 2001

Deciphering the Five Languages of Early Medieval Wales
Inscriptions bearing the five different languages that existed in Wales prior to the Norman Conquest come under the spotlight at a forthcoming public lecture at Cardiff University.
Source: News Wales       Date: 23 Jan 2001

Facelift for Carmarthen Castle
Carmarthen Castle is to under go a change this month as work on the first stage of Phase 3 of the Carmarthen Castle Enhancement Scheme is to start today,Monday,22 January 2001.
Source: News Wales       Date: 22 Jan 2001

Secret of Norsemen's Potion Revealed
The Vikings went to war on it, the Scots used it to flavour their beer and in Wales the Celts treated their wounds with it. But now the remarkable properties of the bog myrtle plant may be set for a comeback. At least, that is what scientists in mid Wales are hoping.
Source: BBC News       Date: 19 Jan 2001

Master Painter Buried Six Centuries Later (Giotto)
The great Italian master painter Giotto has been finally laid to rest, 664 years after he died. Or has he?
Source: ABCNews.com       Date: 8 Jan 2001

Landlocked shipwrecks
If an archaeologist claimed to find medieval shipwrecks in forests and cornfields you might well be sceptical.
Source: BBC News       Date: 7 Jan 2001


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