Medieval History

The King's Evil and the Royal Touch

The practice of the monarch laying on hands to cure sick people lasted from the medieval period all the way to the 18th century in Britain and France. One disease in particular was so often "cured" it came to be known as the King's Evil.

Codex Gigas

This massive medieval manuscript, nicknamed "The Devil's Bible," contains multiple lengthy entries, a few shorter pieces, and several illustrations. Written by a single scribe, the Codex Gigas is often sensationalized in stories about its creation.

The Battle of Hastings

The Battle of Hastings is often boiled it down to a sentence: The Normans invaded Britain in 1066, and their victory ended the Anglo-Saxon phase of English history. But of course, that brief description really doesn't do the event justice.

The Mystic Margery Kempe

Born in the 1300s, Margery had 14 children with her husband before dedicating her life to God. In her 40s, she began a vision-inspired pilgrimage to visit holy sites, and these travels became the basis for her spiritual autobiography,

How the Bayeux Tapestry Works

The Bayeux Tapestry is considered the one of the most important images of the Medieval Age. It's a stunning piece of art, and it covers a crucial event in Western history: The Norman Conquest of Britain. Tune in to learn more about the Bayeux Tapestry.

How Knights Work

The knights of medieval Europe are often associated with a code of behavior known as chivalry -- but what were these knights actually like? Learn more about the reality behind the popular image of knights in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

How the Black Death Worked

When the Black Death swept across Europe, it killed an estimated 25 million people -- one third of Europe's total population. Tune in and learn more about the lasting effects of the Black Death in this HowStuffWorks podcast.

How Medieval Torture Devices Worked

Building on an earlier examination of the Spanish Inquisition, HowStuffWorks' history experts take a look at the disturbing world of medieval torture devices. Check out this podcast to learn more about torture and more Stuff You Missed in History Class.

How the Crusades Worked

The first Crusade began in 1095, and launched a struggle for control of Jerusalem in a series of arduous battles spanning more than two centuries. Learn more about the origin, escalation and consequences of the Crusades in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.

How King Arthur Worked

Thanks to his enduring presence in western culture, the name King Arthur conjures up a very specific image. Take a look at our HowStuffWorks podcast to learn more about the fact and fiction surround King Arthur.