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One of the poisonous books. SDU, Author provided

Deadly Poison Discovered on Medieval Book Covers Could Have Killed

Some may remember the deadly book of Aristotle that plays a vital part in the plot of Umberto Eco’s 1980 novel The Name of the Rose . Poisoned by a mad Benedictine monk, the book wreaks havoc in a...
One of the four images of the cockatoo gifted to Frederick II by the ‘Sultan of Babylon’.

The Dark Legacy of an Exotic Parrot Gifted to an Ancient Emperor

Four images of an Australasian white cockatoo discovered in a 13th century Sicilian manuscript have reset historical models of the European “discovery’ of Australia. What is more, they mark the...
Photo showing the pages of the 25th oracle

Ancient Coptic text revealed to be divination tool for predicting the future

An ancient Christian oracle book of mysterious origins has been recently translated and found to contain a collection of encouragements, warnings, and cryptic divinations. The 1,500-year-old tome,...
The Search for the Lost Library of Ivan the Terrible

The Search for the Lost Library of Ivan the Terrible

The thought of a lost library is a tantalizing one, as one can speculate and imagine the kind of knowledge it might provide to the person who finds it. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that there...
This rare manuscript is the only recorded palimpsest of a Qur’an copied on to a Christian text

Eagle Eyed scholar Discovers a Rare Manuscript with Bible Text Hidden Under Quran

A rare manuscript has become a unique one thanks to the eagle eyes of a French scholar. Dr. Eléonore Cellard noticed that there was barely visible text beneath an 8th century copy of holy scripture...
The interior of a private library in Chinguetti.

From Tradition to Destruction: The Lost Libraries of Chinguetti

During the Middle Ages, Sahara outposts often found themselves filled with travelers, traders, and pilgrims passing through with their differing tasks. The pilgrims in particular interest us here, as...
 Book of Kells, Folio 32v, Christ Enthroned. Scanned from Treasures of Irish Art, 1500 BC to 1500 AD, From the Collections of the National Museum of Ireland.

Priceless Medieval Sacred Text Reveals Its True Origins

Arguably the world’s most famous medieval manuscript, the wonderfully illustrated Book of Kells , was “created in 2 parts over 50 years,” Dr Bernard Meehan of Trinity College, Dublin, told reporters...
Charter of Henry II: 1171-2.

Might This Small Ancient Manuscript Give Post-Brexit Bristolians Entry to Dublin?

Did you know that Bristolians are entitled to live in Dublin thanks to an 846-year-old charter written by King Henry II which has never been revoked? In other words, people from Bristol could remain...
60 pieces of scroll have been reassembled in the latest scroll.

One of the Last Two Known Dead Sea Scrolls Is Deciphered

Researchers from the Haifa University have reconstructed the contents of one of the last two undeciphered Dead Sea Scrolls, disclosing a distinctive calendar used by a Jewish sect that lived in the...
Detail of ‘Plucking the Red and White Roses in the Old Temple Gardens’ (c.1908) by Henry Arthur Payne.

‘Real Game of Thrones’ Story Is Told In This Interactive 15th Century Scroll

The Game of Thrones continues to attract an audience and many people interested in it also have a passion for history and the true stories that inspired the series. Now you can gain some new insight...
The notes in the Book of Deer are the first written examples of Scottish Gaelic and they hint at the location of the monastery where it was written

Search for Long-Lost Monastery Linked with the Medieval ‘Book of Deer’ May Be Over

The monastery where the significant Scottish text called the ‘Book of Deer’ was created disappeared from the pages of history about 1,000 years ago. After a decade of excavations looking for the site...
Wooden Tablets Verify China's First Emperor’s Obsession with Immortality

Wooden Tablets Verify China's First Emperor’s Obsession with Immortality

New archaeological finds shed light on Qin Shi Huang’s (first Emperor of China) quest for eternal life. According to 2000-year-old texts written on thousands of wooden slats, the Chinese Emperor did...
Bust of Euripides. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from ca. 330 BC. Codex Hierosolymitanus Sancti Sepulcri 36, p. 539.

Overwriting Euripides: Hidden Classical Texts Were Washed Over in Medieval Times

The idea to reduce, re-use, and recycle is not a modern phenomenon. Over the last few years, there have been several instances in which scientists and historians have found ancient texts being...
Maiestas Domini page from Codex Amiatinus (fol. 796v), Firenze, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana and folio 5r from the Codex Amiatinus (Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, MS Amiatinus 1), Ezra the scribe. "When the sacred books had been consumed in the fires of war, Ezra repaired the damage."

The Codex Amiatinus: The Skins of 500 Calves Were Used to Create this Monumental Manuscript

The Codex Amiatinus dates to the end of the 7th century AD; making it the oldest known surviving complete Catholic Bible written in the Latin Vulgate. It has been estimated that over 1500 calves were...
Romanian Postage stamp design 1989 with Conrad Hass, Austrian military engineer with an early rocket design.

Conrad Haas’ Flying Javelin: Yes, It Is 16th Century Rocket Science

Conrad Haas was a military engineer who lived during the 16 th century. Not much is known for certain about Haas’ life, in fact, he was largely forgotten by history. But this changed in 1961, when a...
Fragment of Apocalypse of Peter, part of the Nag-Hammadi-Codex found in Egypt.

Professors Find Original Greek Copy of Jesus’ Teachings to James

Two biblical scholars from the University of Texas at Austin claim to have discovered the first-known original Greek copy of a heretical Christian writing that describes the secret teachings of Jesus...

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