lunes, 23 de noviembre de 2009

The parts of Romanesque Art

The Crusades

The crusades were a series of military campaigns commonly done by request of the Papacy, and that took place between the XIth and XIIIth century, against the Turks and Saracen (called this way the Muslims) for the reconquest of Holy Land.

Basically, it seems that they were explained by the expansionist interests of the feudal nobility, the control of the trade by Asia and the hegemonic zeal of the papacy on the monarchies and the churches of East, though they were declaring themselves with principle and object to recover Holy Land for the pilgrims, which the Turks, once conquered Jerusalem, were abusing mercilessly.

Possibly, the motivations of those who were taking part in them were very diverse, though in many cases it is possible to suppose also a real religious fervor.

The Crusades were expeditions tackled in fulfillment of a solemn vote to liberate the Holy Places of the Moslem domination. The origin of the word goes back to the cross done of fabric and used as emblem in the exterior clothes of those who took part in these initiatives.

jueves, 12 de noviembre de 2009

The bread in the middle ages

During the Middle Ages notable progresses were not produced in the panification. Besides the culture of wheat and of rye, it was continued by that of barley. In Europe, the culture of cereals descended, and with it the periods of hunger came, the shortage of the food bases, the shortage of the bread. In the epochs of more hunger, the bread is the most valued food. This way it appears in the literature of the epoch, for example in the Lazarillo de Tormes.

In many Europa's places the monasteries turned into the principal producers of bread. The white bread, in this epoch it continued being a sign of social prestige, only accessibly for rich and wealthy classes. In the year 943, in France, " the evil of the ardent ones " arises for the consumption of the bread of rye contaminated by the ergot, mushroom parasite that poisons the spike of this cereal.

The cities in the Middle Ages start receiving importance, and already in the 12th century there arise the first craft guilds of all kinds of professionals. This way, the union baker associates and they are constituted as professionals of the bread. To the being the bread I feed base of the population, in this epoch, as in Rome, the production and distribution this of the bread regulated by the government.
Beside being a food base, the bread also was in use - in environments of wealthy classes - as plate for placing the food, and once used it was thrown to the poor.

lunes, 2 de noviembre de 2009

Alfonso X

In this photo it is possible to see in the center Alfonso X, king of Castile and León, the tunic that wear it indicates, because it has the flag of Castile and León.

Alfonso had a group of translators in Toledo that classic texts were translating to christian, Jew and Arabic, I think that in this image he is with them, because a man is writing and it seems that is translating to Arabic.

jueves, 29 de octubre de 2009

Medieval arms

Former, in the middle ages, there were many assaults in the medieval castles, for what to have a castle would suppose big problems, because it is necessary to defend.


One of the principal defenses they are the big walls, in addition they have a great pit full of water with another wall behind, which facilitates the defense.

The assailants were rising directly for the walls of the castle, it was one of the most dangerous forms for the assailants, but this way they were to enter directly the castle and to fight against the persons who were waiting for them.

The gatehouse was the entry of the castle, was allowing that the enemies should not pass, in addition to come to it the drawbridge was necessary to cross and the moat, that were other two difficulties.


A way of attacking to the castle was the asault, was one of the most dangerous assaults for the enemies, because they had to enter directly the castle, where there were persons waiting for them inside.

Another way of invading the castle was excavating tunnels to enter inside the castle and also to debilitate the foundations.
In many occasions one was shooting water to them boiling.

domingo, 25 de octubre de 2009

jueves, 22 de octubre de 2009

The Bayeux Tapestry

Bayeux's Tapestry, also known as the Tapestry of the Queen Matilde, is an embroidery of the 11th century realized in England that reports the Norman conquest of the islands from the victory of Guillermo Conquering on the Saxon troops of the King Harold in Hastings (1066).

The tapestry is composed by nine fragments that, joined, shape a graphical statement of 68,8 m of length, 50 cm of height about 350 kg of weight. According to the tradition the embroidery was realized by the Queen Matilde, wife of Guillermo, and his ladies of company, wherefrom his second name comes.

Though the principal topic constitutes it Hastings's own battle, including preparations as the construction of a fleet to cross the channel of the Spot and to invade the island, in these almost 70 m of length one finds a valuable source to know uses, customs, trades offices and own events of the Middle Ages, almost as if we saw them just now, across a window of the time.

William the conqueror

William I of England better known as William the Conqueror, was Duke of Normandy from AD 1035 and King of England from late 1066 to his death. William is sometimes also referred to as "William II" in relation to his position as the second Duke of Normandy of that name. In particular, before his conquest of England, he was known as "William the Bastard" because of the illegitimacy of his birth. William was already known as "the Conqueror" prior to 1066, due to his military successes in Brittany.

To press his claim to the English crown, William invaded England in 1066, leading an army of Normans, Bretons, Dutchmen, and Frenchmen to victory over the English forces of King Harold Godwinson (who died in the conflict) at the Battle of Hastings, and suppressed subsequent English revolts in what has become known as the Norman Conquest.

His reign, which brought Norman-French culture to England, had an impact on the subsequent course of England in the Middle Ages. The details of that impact and the extent of the changes have been debated by scholars for over a century. In addition to the obvious change of ruler, his reign also saw a programme of building and fortification, changes to the English language, a shift in the upper levels of society and the church, and adoption of some aspects of continental church reform. More controversial are possible changes in law, royal administration, trade, agriculture, the peasantry, women's roles and rights, and education.

viernes, 9 de octubre de 2009


Constantinople was the imperial capital of the Roman Empire (Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). Strategically located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara at the point where Europe meets Asia, Byzantine Constantinople had been the capital of a Christian empire, successor to ancient Grece and Rome. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.

Depending on the background of its rulers, it often had several different names at any given time; among the most common were Byzantium, New Rome, (Latin: Nova Roma), Constantinople, and Stamboul. It was also called Tsargrad (City of the Emperors) by the Slavs, while to the Vikings it was known as Miklagarð, "the Great City", similar to the common Greek appellation "the City".

It was officially renamed to its modern Turkish name Istanbul in 1930 with the Turkish Postal Service Law, as part of Ataürk's national reforms. This name in turn derives from the Greek phrase eis tēn polin (to the City Constantinople).

Corpus Juris Civilis

The Corpus Juris Civilis is the modern name for a collection of fundamental works in jurisprudence, issued from 529 to 534 by order of Justinian I, Eastern Roman Emperor.

This code compiled, in the Latin language, all of the existing imperial constitutiones (imperial pronouncements having the force of law), back to the time of Hadrian. It used both the Codex Theodosianus and the fourth-century collections embodied in the Codex Gregorianus and Codex Hermogenianus, which provided the model for division into books that were divided into titles. These codices had developed authoritative standing.

Justinian gave orders to collect legal materials of various kinds into several new codes, spurred on by the revival of interest in the study of Roman law in the Middle Ages. This revived Roman law, in turn, became the foundation of law in all civil law jurisdictions. The provisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis also influenced the Canon law of the church since it was said that ecclesia vivit lege romana — the church lives under Roman law.

The work was directed by Tribonian, an official in Justinian's court, and distributed in three parts: Digesta (or"Pandectae"), Institutiones, and the Codex Constitutionum. A fourth part, the Novels (or"Novellae Constitutiones"), was added later.

jueves, 8 de octubre de 2009

Palatine Chapel in Aachen

The Palatine Chapel is a medieval chapel that was part of Charlemagne's palace, now included in the Catedhral in Aachen, Germany. It is the city's major landmark and the central monument of the so-called Carolingian renaissace. The chapel holds the remains of Charlemagne and was the site of coronations for 600 years.

Charlemagne began the construction of the Palatine Chapel around 792, along with the building of the rest of the palace structures.

The plan and decoration owe much to the sixth-centuryBasilica of san Vitale, Ravenna. Indeed Charlemagne visited Ravenna three times, the first in 787. In that year he wrote topope Hadrian I and requested "mosaic, marbles, and other materials from floors and walls" in Rome and Ravenna, for his palace.

The main entrance is dominated by awestwork comprising the western facade including the entrancevestibule, rooms at one or more levels above, and one or more towers. These overlook the atrium of the church. The addition of a westwork to churches is one of the Carolingian contributions to Western architectural traditions.

The construction, including barrel andgroin vaults and an octagonalcloister-vault in the dome, reflects late Roman, or Pre-Romanesque, practices rather than the Byzantine techniques employed at San Vitale, and its plan simplifies the complex geometry of the Ravenna building. Multi-coloured marble veneer is used to create a sumptuous interior. The chapel makes use of ancientspolia, conceivably from Ravenna (Einhard claimed they were from Rome and Ravenna), as well as newly carved materials. The bronze decoration is of extraordinarily high quality, especially the doors with lions heads and the interior railings, with their Corinthian order columns.