Robin Hood (2010) movie review

Since I’m a sap for anything medieval, I knew I would probably enjoy Ridley Scott’s, Robin Hood, even if his movies are generally too violent for my taste.  I have to say that I liked the movie more than I thought I would.  He refrained from his usual slo-mo blood spray as the hero kills another man (or dies himself), for which I was grateful.  In summary, the movie follows Robin from France, where he was in King Richard’s army on the way home from the Holy Land, to England, where Read More…

The Kingdoms of France

You might ask, and reasonably so, why a blog about medieval Wales would be posting about the kingdoms of France in the Middle Ages. The main reason is that it’s hard to understand the Norman conquest of England (and Wales and Scotland), without reference to the fact that they were Norman.  That means, they came from the Kingdom of Normandy, a region on the north coast of France.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_Aquitaine ‘France’ wasn’t ‘France’ as we know it today until after the Edwardian period. As the map dating from 1154 to the Read More…

We’re all descended from Charlemagne … and related to each other.

Charlemagne, or ‘Charles the Great’, was the ruler of what is now France in the early Middle Ages.  He had 18 children by 10 different wives and concubines. His children then went on to populate Europe, which is why everyone with European ancestry is descended from Charlemagne.  From the BBC: “Charlemagne (Charles the Great) was king of the Franks and Christian emperor of the West. He did much to define the shape and character of medieval Europe and presided over the Carolingian Renaissance. Charlemagne was born in the late 740s near Read More…

Medieval Moneylending

Edward Longshankes (Edward I) got himself in debt to various moneylenders in order to fund his wars.  During his reign, he fought with his father in the Baron’s War against Simon de Montfort, against Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the Prince of Wales, against the French, and against the Scots.  All of these wars cost money. A king had a couple of options when on a quest for funds.  One, he can tax his people.  Edward certainly did that.  Two, he can confiscate funds from those over whom he wields power.  I Read More…