Blogroll

Evil cats (really)

I’m a dog person. Always have been. So much so that my kids have as many dogs as there were humans in our nuclear family. Cats are another matter. Never liked them. Never trusted them. Now I come to find out maybe it’s in my (extremely lapsed) Catholic genes.

Chasing heretics was a favorite Catholic […]

The animal trials of the Middle Ages

In 1386, a large, diverse crowd gathered in the public square in Falaise, Normandy, France. They were there to witness the execution of a prisoner convicted of murder after mutilating the face and arms of a child. The prisoner wore a new suit of men’s clothes and even the hangman provided himself with a new […]

The pope who wrote a bestselling erotic novel

Throughout its history, the papacy has had its fair share of reprobates. At least Pope Pius II dallied from the straight and narrow before he was ordained, let alone pope. As a literati of his time, he even wrote a bestselling erotic novel.

Enea Silvio Piccolomini (“Aeneas Silvius” in the Latin used by the educated) […]

Medieval impotency trials

No, this isn’t another installment of Loco Lawsuits. Nor does it deal with the multibillion dollar sales of erectile dysfunction drugs. While some today may be embarrassed to even ask about or pick up an ED prescription, that’s nothing compared to dealing with ED in the Middle Ages.

Under medieval Church law, impotence was one […]

The Ball of the Burning Men

Wholly unexpected events were one of the things the Game of Thrones series used to its advantage. One of the most shocking was the third season’s “Red Wedding”, where leading members of the protagonist Stark family were massacred at a wedding reception. Today marks the 628th anniversary of an equally shocking event albeit one that […]