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17th-century icon of the Translation of the Relics of Saint. Nicholas of Myra. Historic Museum in Sanok, Poland. (Public Domain)

Furta Sacra: Medieval Trafficking In Saintly Relics

It is hard to imagine that the gruesome topic of bodysnatching and the ghastly, gory and gorgeous world of relics would be a main focus of religious veneration throughout the Middle Ages. Through...
The holy relics and reliquary of Saint Ivo of Kermartin (St. Yves or St. Ives; 1253–1303 AD) in Tréguier, Brittany, France.

Relic Cults: Why Dead Saints Were So Important in the Middle Ages

The practice of preserving and enshrining the remains of saints and heroes, or other items associated with their life or death, has been ongoing for thousands of years dating back well into the pre-...
The mountain citadel of Perperikon, located near Kardzhali in Bulgaria, is an isolated dream for archaeologists. (Victor Lauer / Adobe Stock)

The Great Mountain Citadel of Perperikon and the Dionysian Cult

The modern nation of Bulgaria was always at the crossroads of history. Situated in a crucial historic region, it is filled to the brim with important archaeological sites and places of immense value...
A Viking Burial. Credit: Igor Igorevich / Adobe Stock

Viking King Buried With a Pillow and Fine Silk, New Study Confirms

It’s amazing what we can learn from ancient textiles and other artifacts with scientific analysis. The Viking burial textiles in the coffins of two powerful Danish Vikings are providing us with...