My Personal Contributions to the AskHistorians Subreddit

Joan of Arc’s Charisma

People took Joan of Arc seriously because they believed in magic and miracles. She was only human though, but that’s what makes her story even more fascinating.

John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury (1387-1453)

John Talbot was a relentless captain. So relentless in fact that he would find reasons to fight even in times of peace. Once, he came back to England for a few years and he started a judicial quarrel that almost led to an open conflict. The Duke of Bedford was wise enough to summon him in France, on the frontline, where he brought havoc to his enemies. Talbot was very gifted in starting and managing feuds.

Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince (1330-1376)

The Black Prince achieved great military deeds and dazzled many people with his lavish court in southern France–he was prince of Aquitaine. At age 16 he “won his spurs” leading the English vanguard at the Battle of Crécy (1346). Ten years later he vanquished the French at Poitiers and even managed to capture their king, John the Good! He would still insure a great military victory at Najera (1367) against a Franco-Trastamaran coalition. The man was a military prodigy.

Your Survival Guide To Medieval Siege Warfare

I’m your average medieval citizen. My city is under siege, they’re starving us out over months but we’re fine for now. What is my daily life like? Is my coin still worth something? Do people trade or is the guard distributing rations? Do we still have fun to pass the time?

The Long Middle Ages

“Do you think people changed their way of life overnight? Of course not! Why then do we say that 1492 ends the Middle Ages? It’s more a landmark than anything else. People’s life didn’t change all of a sudden. If it did it was through a long process. 1492 is the high note of a long symphony, not some point of no return.”

Mark Twain. Joan of Arc. Frand Du Mond (1896). The Capture of the Tourelles.

Did Joan of Arc actually Lead the French Army?

Joan of Arc never was a formal military leader. Moreover her military “career” was far too short for her to prove herself as an autonomous leader. However, she showed promises and at that time women could lead armies.

Paris, BnF, français 5054. Martial d'Auvergne. Vigiles de la mort de Charles VII. Jeanne d'Arc. Charles VII. Joan of Arc. Troyes. Illuminated manuscript.

A Cold Case of Counterfeit History: Joan of Arc, the Secret Royal Princess.

Buckle up, girls and boys. We’re about to dive into counterfeit history. When historians don’t find authentic documents to prove their hypotheses, what do they do? The honest ones acknowledge their ignorance. There’s nothing glamour about it. That’s why the others fabricate the documents they need to prove their point—when they even bother to fabricate them…

La Hire. Peter Strauss. Joan of Arc. 1999

How Joan of Arc Died

The AskHistorians Subreddit invited me to pitch in on their latest Tuesday Trivia event. This week theme was FIRE. If you know me you guess by then what I decided to talk about. Again. Joan of Arc.

About maps of the early Holy Roman Empire

As a matter of fact, the traditional Germanic custom of splitting one kingdom into several depending on how many sons a king had fell out of use during the Ottonian era. It came a bit as a problem to Otto I. His brothers were jealous of his inheritance. However he managed to fight them off or to rally them to his cause and from then on, the succession law that turned the Carolingian Empire into a mosaic was no more.

What could 100,000 francs get you in the 14th century?

More gold is needed today than it was in the 13th and 14th century to buy—let’s say—a horse or a cow, because gold was much scarcer. Therefore it is almost impossible to really evaluate the value of 100 000 doubloons only by its gold value.

Fantastic Beasts 101. Bacchus, the Tiger and the Griffin.

The literature of bestiaries evolved substantially from the 5th to the 15th century. The founding stone of this literature is nonetheless the Physiologus, written in Greek in the 2nd century and translated into Latin in the 4th or 5th century.