Medieval & Renaissance History

After Bannockburn—After the Referendum: Robert the Bruce and the difficulties of Settlement

Michael Penman— Scotland’s medieval icons William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and their military encounters with England only occasionally reared their heads during the party leaders’ recent campaigning for and against Scottish independence. In January 2012, former Scottish Secretary and Stirling MP, Michael Forsyth, charged that SNP leader and Scottish

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Eminent Biography: André Vauchez on Francis of Assisi

Last month, as it became clear that Cardinal Bergoglio would likely be elected Pope, his friend Brazilian Cardinal Claudio hugged him and gave him a message. “He said don’t forget about the poor,” Pope Francis explained at a Vatican press conference. “And that’s how in my heart came the name

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Building the Cloisters

Follow @yaleARTbooks At first glance The Cloisters might be seen as an anachronism to its northern Manhattan neighborhood. Nestled within Fort Tryon Park (opened 1935), sitting above a grid of 1920s low-rise apartments, 1950s high-rise housing projects and the requisite array of fast food franchises, parking garages, and bodegas that

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Celebrating St. Francis of Assisi through the Art of Biography

Today, October 4, is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment. On this special day, many people celebrate by taking their pets to churches for a special blessing ceremony. Here at Yale Press, we’re marking the occasion a little

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The Venetian Book Tour

Are you spending your holiday in the romantic city of Venice this summer?  We’re not, either.  We have happily entertained fantasies about such a getaway, though, thanks to two recent Yale University Press books about Venetian architecture.  We also recently learned that one of our summer interns spent time in

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Marc Michael Epstein on the Rylands Haggadah

Earlier this year, Marc Michael Epstein, author of The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination, gave a lecture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, called “Bad Boy: Portrait of the Rylands Haggadah as Naughty Sibling.” In the text and video below, he explains the significance and pleasures of working

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Lest We Forget: How to Declare Our Beliefs

Sarah Underwood— Recent events have reminded us how difficult it was in the past, and often still is today, for people to speak openly about their ideas. From the Occupy Wall Street movement to the Arab Spring, public declaration of belief and protest continue to appear regularly in headlines. It

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Curator Helen Evans Tours the Objects of Byzantium and Islam

Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th – 9th Century), the revelatory exhibition now on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (accompanied by a rich catalogue of the same title), was recently lauded in the New York Times, praised specifically for “offering a soothing picture of artistic continuity.”  The

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Eminent Biography: Michael Hirst on Michelangelo

Born March 6, 1475 not far outside of Florence, Italy, Michelangelo di Ludovico Buonarroti Simoni seemed already to have the credentials to become the quintessential Renaissance Man. His hometown—Caprese—has since been renamed Caprese Michelangelo in honor of this most highly celebrated of artists.  Michelangelo’s early life, however, was notable for

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Painting the Face of Martin Luther

At first glance, being a sixteenth-century lord doesn’t sound half bad—live in a castle, commission vast paintings and sculptures, and occasionally cast a vote to elect a Holy Roman Emperor. Easy, right? Wrong. In The Serpent and the Lamb: Cranach, Luther, and the Making of the Reformation, historian Steven Ozment

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