Category Archives: Middle Ages

(documented 1519-1621)

CENTRAL AMERICA AZTEC Codex Chimalpopoca (1570) The Death of Quetzalcoatl Letters from Mexico      (Hernán Cortés, 1519-20) General History of the Things of New Spain (The Florentine Codex) The Festival in the Month of Tóxcatl The Sun, Moon, and Stars, … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Americas, Central and South American Indigenous Cultures, Central and South American Native Cultures, Indigenous Cultures, Middle Ages


from Lecture on Homicide
Commentary on [Thomas Aquinas]    Summa Theologiae 2A 2AE, Q64, A.5

  Francisco de Vitoria, a Dominican theologian and writer on a wide range of topics, was one of the most influential thinkers in 16th-century Catholic Europe. Born to a Basque family in Burgos, he became a member of the Dominican … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christianity, Europe, Martyrdom, Middle Ages, Selections, Sin, Vitoria, Francisco de


from Table Talk

  The German religious reformer, Martin Luther, was born in Saxony, the son of a prosperous but strict entrepreneur and local politician. In 1505, Luther received a master’s degree from the University of Erfurt, one of Germany’s finest schools. According … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Devil, Europe, Luther, Martin, Middle Ages, Protestantism, Selections, Sin


from Utopia
from A Dialogue of Comfort Against    Tribulation

  Born in London, the son of a prominent judge, Thomas More was educated at Oxford and Lincoln’s Inn, where he studied law. His humanist philosophy was influenced by his wide reading from scripture, the Church Fathers, classical literature, and … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Christianity, Devil, Europe, Middle Ages, More, Thomas, Poverty, Selections, Sin


from Rihla: On Sati and Religious Suicide

  Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Batutah, known as Ibn Battuta or sometimes Battuta, was born to a Berber family of Islamic legal scholars in Tangier, Morocco. He is known for the extent of his travels over 30 years, setting … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Africa, Hinduism, Ibn Batutta, Middle Ages, Selections


from The Book of Divine Consolation of the Blessed Angela of Foligno

  Little is known about the life of the Italian mystic Angela de Foligno. Tradition reports that she was born to a wealthy family but lost her father while still young. She married at an early age and had several … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Afterlife, Angela of Foligno, Christianity, Europe, Martyrdom, Middle Ages, Selections

(c. 1225-1274)

from Summa Theologiae: Whether One is Allowed to Kill Oneself

  St. Thomas Aquinas, the Italian scholastic philosopher and theologian, and the principal theological authority within the Roman Catholic Church and progenitor of the tradition known as Thomism, was the son of an Italian count, related through his mother to … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Aquinas, Thomas, Christianity, Europe, Middle Ages, Selections, Sin

(c. 1220-c. 1400)

from The Ynglinga Saga: Odin Marks    Himself with a Spear
from Gautrek’s Saga: The Family Cliff
from Njal’s Saga: The Burning of Njal

  The term “Viking” is a collective name for Norwegians, Swedes, Danes, and other Old Norse-speaking peoples of the period from roughly the 8th to 11th centuries, seafaring raiders who lived by plunder, conquest, and trade. Also called Northmen or … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Europe, Middle Ages, Norse Sagas, Selections

(c. 1210-1268)

from On the Laws and Customs of England:
   Where a Man Commits Felony Upon       His Own Person

  Henry de Bracton (Henricus de Brattona or Bractona) was an English jurist, judge, and important ecclesiastical figure in the 13th century. He was born in Bratton Clovelly, though the exact date is unknown, and was most likely educated at … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Bracton, Henry de, Europe, Middle Ages, Selections

(12-14th centuries)

On Avodah Zarah 18a
On the Torah: Concerning Genesis    Rabbah (Genesis 9:5)

  Tosafot, meaning “additions,” refers to a body of explanatory and critical remarks made by a group of Talmudic scholars known as the tosafists, who wrote in France and Germany from the late 11th–12th through the 14th centuries, during the … Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Judaism, Middle Ages, Middle East, Selections, Sin, Tosafot