The Lost Fort

My Travel and History Blog, Focussing mostly on Roman and Mediaeval Times


23 Feb 2010
  Birdoswald - The Timber Halls

I'm being very lazy with this post, because Carla Nayland has written such excellent essays about the Dark Age activity on the site of Birdoswald (the Roman Banna), one of the Hadrian's Wall forts, where excavations have brought to light traces of two large timber halls that made use of the Roman granary foundations.

I'm only going to add the illustrations. :)

Row of posts compared to the street and north granary foundations

The second timber hall has been excavated in 1987 and marked with timber posts in the ancient post holes so that visitors can get an image of size of the hall and its situation in relation to the granaries.

A somewhat earlier timber hall had been constructed over the south granary, but it was no longer use when the northern hall was built. This makes sense because a timber building had an average life span of 30 years and would then be rebuilt on a new place instead of undergoing repairs.

View from the other side, with the foundations of the second granary in the foreground

The style reminds of a Saxon long house, and according to the description and a drawing on site it looks like some sort of Meduseld. There are also some finds of Anglo-Saxon jewelry.

It would not be the first case where a local ruler saw the advantage of the Roman remains and the strategical situation of the place. The Norman keep in Cardiff is another example. What I'd like to know is whether the wall and trench fortifications at Birdoswald were still in maintained during the Dark Ages. Those times weren't exactly peaceful, after all.
 


18 Feb 2010
  Beautiful Roman Daggers

I've collected virtual Roman military daggers, pugii (the singular is pugio), for some time now whenever a museum allowed taking pictures. Here are some pretty ones found in Germany, dating from Augustean and Tiberian times.

For some reason, daggers are more frequently found than swords of the short gladius or the longer spatha type (though some gladius fragments have been found in Hedemünden). Maybe those have been recycled more often.

Legionary dagger, Hedemünden

The iron pugio was found in Hedemünden main camp (camp 1), and cleaned and conserved by the company of H. Biebler in Mühlhausen / Thuringia. What you find isn't such a shiny item, but some caked mix of metal, rust and dirt. It takes lot of experience to see there's something cool hiding in such a lump.

The photo was taken at the exhibition of the Hedemünden finds in Hannoversch-Münden, 2009.

Roman dagger, Oberammergau / Bavaria

This one is from the Imperium Exhibition in the Seelandhalle, Haltern. The notched exemplar to the left is an original found in Bavaria; the right side one a reconstruction. The dagger has a burr along the middle of the blade; the handle was fixed to the blade with five iron rivets. The weapon dates between 15 BC and the first half of the first century AD (a loan from the Landesmuseum Munich).

The item in the background that looks like the Roman version of a computer mouse is a catapult bolt with a bent pin that would have fixed it to the short wooden shaft.

Decorated pugio, found near the Hedemünden camp

The second Hedemünden dagger, found on the way between the main camp and the recently discovered smaller camp on the Kring hill. The find is interesting because it had been carefully deposited under a stone, and not simply lost. It may have been a sacrifice. (Displayed in the Imperium Exhibition 2009, together with some sandal nails.)

The pugio is damasced, with a middle burr and fullers running along both sides of it. The handle is layered. Around the iron nucleus - a continuation of the blade - there's a layer of bone and another iron one, held together with wire and rivets of non-ferrous metal. The iron-sheeted pommel has a wooden nucleus. A rather elaborately made and pretty weapon.

Decorated pugio, LWL Museum, Haltern

A local find from the Lippe river where the Romans had several forts and camps until the Varus disaster (and maybe even longer, as is now discussed). This pugio has a decorative pattern of silver and brass wire. Another beautiful weapon that may have been the possession of an officer, a centurion maybe. The higher ranking officers probably had even more expensive ones.
 


14 Feb 2010
  A Scottish Wedding

A special version for that Hallmark and Fleurop day, February 14th. *grin*

Lachlan Mhór MacLean's own marriage seems to have been a happy one. Neither did he need to kidnap his future father-in-law to get the bride, like another Lachlan MacLean in 1367 when he fell in love with Mary, the daughter of the Macdonald Lord of the Isles. Nor did he maroon his wife on a rock in the sea, as was the fate of Catherine Campbell, wife of the 11th MaclLan chief (see here).

No, Lachlan fell in love with Margaret Cunningham, daughter of William Cunningham Earl of Glencairn, while he stayed in the house as guest (not as hostage, for a change). Margaret obviously was quite taken with the handsome young Highland chief, and her father agreed to the marriage which took place in 1576. King James VI may have been miffed, though, because he had arranged for MacLean to marry the daughter of the Earl of Atholl.

The silhouette of Duart Castle, seen from the ferry

A less happy fate befell MacLean's mother. She was the sister of the Earl of Carlyle and had a fortune in her own right, which made her a desirable match still. One of her suitors was John MacIain of Ardnamurchan (alternate spelling MacIan), a smaller clan related to the Macdonalds. Obviously, Lachlan MacLean hoped to break the Macdonald alliance by allowing the marriage of his mother and John MacIain to take place, though the MacIains of Ardnamurchan had a lost a lot of power to the Campbells at that time and were not the biggest fish in the pond of MacLean's enemies.

I could not find out anything about John MacIain, and I can only make a few guesses about Lachlan's mother. Maybe my genealogist readers can find more with what little information I can provide.

Lachlan was born in 1554 and had at least one surviving sister (who married Angus Macdonald and ended up in the middle of a fierce feud between her husband and her brother). MacLean's heir apparent was a cousin, Allan MacLean of Morvern, so there seems to have been no further surviving male offspring. One can assume that the lady was something between 16 and her mid-twenties at Lachlan's birth, which would make her between 50 and 60 at the time of her third marriage in 1588. I don't know how old the bridegroom was; a man of her own age, or a trophy boy bought with her money.

Duart Castle

The marriage was celebrated at Torloisk House on Mull, close to Duart Castle. There are several versions of the ensuing events. In one, Lachlan MacLean, angry that John refused to join the MacLeans against Angus Macdonald, broke into the bridal chamber and dragged the bridegroom out of his mother's arms, while his men killed the Ardnamurchan retainers.

Another version has it that MacLean suspected that greed was MacIain's motive but gave in to his mother's wishes. When at the banquet following the ceremonies one of the MacIain men joked about gold being the true motive for the match, swords were out in seconds and while the MacLeans happily butchered the MacIains, Lachlan himself went for John. Only his mother's pleas saved the life of her unfortunate husband.

The third is the most spectacular one. It has Lachlan MacLean burst into the reception at Torloisk and single-handedly kill several MacIain retainers, then dragging John away to the dungeons. The badass Scot version, lol. It also implies that Lachlan didn't agree with the marriage in the first place.

View from the peninsula to Mull

Whatever version is true, eighteen MacIain of Ardnamurchan were killed, and John was thrown into the dungeons at Duart where he suffered 'dailie tortour and panis.' Ouch.

The dungeons must have been quite crowded at the time, since the three Spanish officers were hanging out there as well. John MacIain was held in captivity for a year until he was exchanged for MacLean's son, then a hostage of Angus Macdonald. That John was still alive after a year of torture makes it clear that Scots are very difficult to kill. Or that the chronicles exaggerate. ;)

Lachlan Mhór MacLean died in a battle on Islay in 1598, aged forty-four. A befitting end for him; a straw dead would have been the wrong way to go for that adventurous and brave MacLean chief.
 


9 Feb 2010
  A Clan Feud, a Spanish Galleon, and a Big Bang

Disclaimer: Since the 16th century is not my special interest and thus not represented in my private research library, I used the internet for this one *gasp* and mostly relied on older books avaliable online. Thus I won't guarantee that every fact is correct, though I assume the gist of the events is fairly accurate.

It started with some stolen cattle (which is pretty much the Scottish version of 'once upon a time'). Some outlaws with a grudge towards the Macdonald of Sleat chief lifted some MacLean cattle and made it look like the Macdonalds did it. Whereupon Lachlan Mhór Maclean attacked Donald Gorme Macdonald and killed some 60 Macdonalds, though Donald Gorme escaped on a ship. I'm not sure the version of Donald and MacLean being innocent victims of a trick is entirely true, but someone stole cattle, that much is clear. This is Scotland, after all. :)

Another Macdonald, Angus of Kintyre who was the brother-in-law of Lachlan Mhór, tried to reconcile both men. Against the counsel of his brothers, Angus visited Lachlan in Duart Castle, the seat of the MacLean chiefs. Lachlan welcomed his brother-in-law and retinue, but the next day fell upon them and took Angus captive.

Duart Castle

Lachlan Mhór MacKean had made himself known some years earlier when, upon coming of age in 1574 (or 1576) he left the court of King James VI at Edinburgh to claim the chiefship. His first deed was to shorten his stepfather Hector by a head. One source calls Hector 'wicked', so maybe he had it coming. The next to learn Lachlan Mhór was no easy target was Colin Campbell 6th Earl of Argyll. He'd plotted with the Macdonalds to snatch some MacLean lands which they invaded with several hundred fighting men. But Lachlan rallied his men and in turn invaded the Argyll lands until the earl thought the MacLean lands were too dearly bought and made peace. Part of sealing that peace was a marriage between Angus Macdonald of Kintyre and MacKean's sister. The arrangement worked until that unfortunate cattle incident in 1586.

Angus had to buy his release by giving the title to the Rhinns of Islay to Lachlan. His son James and his brother Ranald stayed as hostages in Duart castle. That didn't stop Angus from plotting revenge, though. Under the pretext of dealing with the formalities of the Rhinns of Islay transfer, Angus Macdonald invited Lachlan to his house of Mullintrae on Islay. Lachlan at first was mistrusting (heh, he had played the game himself before), but in the end Angus could persuade him of his affection and brotherly love - or at least his sincerity, since I doubt Lachlan believed in brotherly love at this point. But he was careful, left Ranald behind in chains at Duart and took James with him as sort of living shield.

MacLean and his kinsfolk and servants (86 people in all) were welcomed and invited to a sumptuous banquet, after which Maclean and his retinue were lodged in a long-house (the Macdonalds still lived a bit Viking style, it seems) some distance apart from the other buildings at Mullintrae. But Angus Macdonald had alterted his men to come to his house in secret at night, some 300-400 in all who now surrounded the long-house. Angus called upon Lachlan Mhór to receive the reposing cup, but Lachlan smelled a toad and came forth with his nephew James before him. The lad, beholding his father and other men with bare swords, cried for mercy to his uncle. Angus granted it, and Lachlan and his men surrendered.

To add fuel to the mess, Lachlan Mhór's heir apparent, Allan MacKean of Morvern (Lachlan's children being too young to succeed him) saw a chance to get the job. He spread a rumour that Ranald Macdonald, the hostage held at Duart, had been killed, in hope Angus would kill Lachlan in revenge. But Angus 'only' executed most of Lachlan's men. Clan feuds and dysfunctional families, oh my.

Interestingly, the Earl of Argyll who ten years before had a few chicken to fry with Lachlan MacLean now mobilised his influence to get the MacLean chief out of that predicament. Maybe he didn't want a too strong clan Macdonald, either. In the end, Lachlan was exchanged for Ranald Macdonald, and in turn had to give his son and 'divers other pledges' as hostages to Angus.

View from the castle battlements over the Sound of Mull, and Morvern

Angus Macdonald went to Ireland on business (no raiding this time), and Lachlan MacLean went to Islay and started the usual killing and burning, not caring for the hostages or the oaths sworn 'before the friends' at his delivery. This time Angus had enough. He didn't hurt the hostages, but he rallied not only his own Kintyre and Islay men, but also the Macdonald of Skye and Sleat, and fell upon MacLean's lands, cutting all the way to Ben More on Mull.

This same summer 1588, the Spanish Armada was defeated in the Channel. Some thirty galleons escaped across the North Sea and surrounded the Orkneys, but in the strait between Scotland and Ireland they met with a severe gale that drove most of the ships onto the Irish coast where the survivors of the wreckage were slaughtered. One galleon, the Florencia, escaped to the Bay of Tobermory on the outer end of Mull.

The captain of the Florencia, Don Pareira (his full name probably had a few 'y Inserto y Placenameos') at first thought he could demand assisstance because he had several hundred soldiers onboard. But Lachlan MacLean told him he'd better say 'please' because his clansmen weren't impressed by a ruffled galleon full of half starved soldiers, and the MacLean would repel any landing attempt. So Pareira offered to pay for the supplies and assisstance. Lachlan Mhór, considering the soldiers may come handy in his feud with the Macdonalds, struck a bargain to have one hundred Spanish soldiers accompany him on his foray into Macdonald lands as part of the payment.

So the MacLean clansmen and their Spanish additions went off ravaging Kintyre and the islands of Rum and Eigg and then laid siege to Mingary Castle, a Macdonald stronghold on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. I'm not sure about the timeline here: Last we've seen Angus Macdonald, he'd been busy on Mull, but if a Spanish boat could sail, or row, from Tobermory to Duart, I guess the Macdonalds had already left. It is never said they laid siege to Duart Castle, nor is it mentioned that Lachlan Mhór needed the Spanish soldiers to kick the Macdonalds out of Mull.

View from the battlements towards Mull

Meanwhile, Captain Pareira had repaired and resupplied his galleon and asked for the soldiers to be returned to him. MacLean basically agreed but said that there was still an open payment since the inhabitants of Tobermory had provided the crew with grain and cattle. The Florencia was rumoured to carry a treasure and Lachlan wanted some of the shiny gold coins. Can't blame him, either, cattle and grain are valuable in the Highlands. He kept three of the officers prisoner in Duart to make sure Pareira stuck to his part of the bargain.

MacLean sent young Donald Glas, the son of Allan MacLean of Morvern (the man who'd tried to get Lachlan killed) to deal with the Spaniards. The moment he entered the deck of the Florencia, Donald was disarmed and thrown into a cabin below. Looks like Pareira had learned the Scottish way to handle things. Lachlan MacLean still refused to deliver the Spanish officers until the demands of his people were paid, while Pareira threatened to carry Donald to sea.

The story of the following incident is still told today: When Donald Glas realised he'd been kidnapped by the Spaniards, he seeked to wreck revenge for the treason of his kinsmen (heh, when Scots do that to each other, it's ok, but when some outlanders do it to a Scot, it's a crime). He found out that his cabin was separated from the powder magazine only by a bulkhead, and by some means never explained, cut a hole into the planking and laid a train to the powder. Donald was allowed on deck to take a last farewell of his beloved homeland when the Florencia set sail, but the moment he was pushed under deck again, he set fire to the trail and the galleon blew up 'with terrific violence' in Tobermory Bay. Pieces of timber and bodies were flung ashore, it is said. But no gold coins, obviously.

There is no sure proof for Donald Maclean's role in the affair, but fact is that the galleon did blow up.

The three Spanish officers are still held in the dungeon at Duart Castle. *grin* At least, life sized puppets are. (I didn't take photos, though, because cameras were not allowed inside the castle because of insurance demands.) MacLean set the officers free and sent them to Edinburgh where they lodged a complaint with the king about the destruction of their galleon 'with sulphurous powder', but it seems to no avail.

Duart Castle in the evening sun, seen from the ferry

Lachlan MacLean and Angus Macdonald continued to feud happily ever after - well, until King James VI, afraid that he'd soon be out of Scots to govern, summoned the chiefs to Edinburgh where they were imprisoned in 1591. After paying a fine, they made peace with each other and with the king, but had to leave their oldest sons at court as hostages for their future obedience.

The legend of the treasure in coin and other valuables the Florencia led to several attempts at finding those shiny things. Divers went down shortly after the destruction. They used stones as weight which they dropped to resurface; an amazing feat with no other air but what they could pump into their lungs.

The Crown had assigned the treasure to the Campbell House of Argyll as part of its rights as admirals of the Western Seas, a fact that didn't sit well with the MacLean who claimed the first rights on the wreck. One Hector MacLean built a small fort overlooking Tobermory Bay and drove the divers off. The affair went to court and the Campbell rights were confirmed.

An attempt with a bell in 1665, commissioned by the 9th Earl of Argyll, led to locating the hull and some smaller items. I was suprised to learn that diving bells date that far back. Over the time, several more divings brought further items to light, among them a canon, but the big chest with the shiny gold coins remains hidden under the shifting sands in the bay. Or in legend. ;)

Most important books used:
Ralph D. Paine, The Book of Buried Treasure, 1911 (avaliable here)
Alexander MacGregor, The Feuds of the Clans, 1907 (avaliable in several versions online)
The Duart Castle Guidebook, 2000
 


4 Feb 2010
  Guarding the Sound of Mull - Duart Castle

Duart Castle, the ancient MacLean stronghold on Mull, is situated where the Sound of Mull meets with the Firth of Lorn and Loch Linnhe. It sits atop a crag, in view of Dunstaffnage and Dunollie castles, and is part of a chain of eight castles that protected Mull and the mainland. Today, you can reach it by ferry from Oban and a short bus trip.

Back in 1367, you'd have needed to be on the right side of Lachlan Lubanach 5th chief of clan MacLean to get passage on one of his war galleys. Lachlan married Mary Macdonald, the daughter of the Lord of the Isles who gave her Duart as dowry. It was a love match, it is said, and old Macdonald not too happy about it. Relations between the two clans remained uneasy in the future.

Duart Castle

At that time, Duart Castle was a rectangular wall enclosing a courtyard (which, I suppose, held some timber buildings), and it was Lachlan Lubanach who built the stone keep outside the curtain wall but connected with it. It's an unusual structure to have the keep outside the wall, but it is protected by its situation on the crag and the peninsular structure of the site. On the landward side, the curtain wall was 9 metres high, and the castle was additionally protected by a deep ditch cut into the solid rock.

In the 17th century, vaulted cellars (some of them serving as dungeons) and a kitchen were built inside the walls, with a hall on first floor level and a chamber above it. A two storey gatehouse was added to defend the entrance into the courtyard.

The keep atop the cliff

Being a Scottish clan, the MacLeans were involved in a lot of feuds and shifting alliances with other clans and the kings. The guidebook has some stories, like the one of Lachlan Cattanach (the Shaggy) MacLean and 11th chief, who abandoned his wife Catherine Campbell on a rock that would be flooded at high tide. She was rescued by a fisherman and sought shelter with her brother who in turn had Lachlan 'dirked in bed' (1523).

The MacLean chose the 'wrong' side during the first Jacobite rising, and in 1691 Sir John MacLean 4th Baronet of Morvern surrendered the castle to Archibald Campbell 1st Duke of Argyll who fought for William and Mary. Despite being in bad repair, the castle was used as garrison for Government troops until it was abandoned in 1751.

Duart Castle - seen from the land side

Duart Castle was sold a few times, slowly falling into ruins. But in 1910 Sir Fitzroy MacLean, 26th chief of the clan fulfilled a dream he had since a childhood visit to the hereditary lands and bought the castle. He took up the enormous and costly task to restore the building.

The restoration by the architect Sir John Burnett stayed close to the original features. Judging by a photo in the guidebook, the remains were substantial enough to serve as guideline. Further repairs were performed in 1991-95 under the present chief, Sir Lachlan Hector MacLean, 28th chief of the clan. Duart Castle is open to the public.

Some Maclean stories can be found here and here.
 




The Lost Fort is a travel and history blog based on my journeys in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and central / eastern Europe. It includes virtual town and castle tours with a focus on history, museum visits, hiking tours, and essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, illustrated with my own photos.


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I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who still hasn't got an Instagram account.
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Towns

Stockholm
The Vasa Museum

Historical Landscapes

Gotland
Gnisvärd Ship Setting


Finland

Towns

Porvoo
Mediaeval Porvoo


Russia

Towns

St. Petersburg
Isaac's Cathedral
Smolny Cathedral
Impressions from the The Neva River


Estonia

Towns

Tallinn
The History of Mediaeval Tallinn


Latvia

Towns

Riga
The History of Mediaeval Riga


Lithuania

Historical Landscapes

The Curonian Spit
Geology of the Curonian Spit


Poland

Towns

Gdańsk / Danzig
The History of Mediaeval Gdańsk
Mediaeval and Renaissance Gdańsk

Wrocław / Breslau
The Botanical Garden
The Wrocław Dwarfs


Czech Republic

Towns

Karlovy Vary / Karlsbad
Brief History of the Town

Kutná Hora
The Sedlec Ossuary


Belgium

Towns

Antwerp
The Old Town

Bruges
Mediaeval Bruges

Ghent
Mediaeval Ghent

Tongeren
Roman and Mediaeval Remains


Luxembourg

Towns

Luxembourg City
A Tour of the Town


France

Towns

Strasbourg
A Tour of the Town


Hiking Tours and Cruises

Germany

The Baltic Sea Coast
The Flensburg Firth
Rugia - Jasmund Peninsula and Kap Arkona
Rugia - Seaside Ressort Binz
A Tour on the Wakenitz River

Harz National Park
Arboretum (Bad Grund)
Bode Valley and Rosstrappe Cliff
Ilse Valley and Ilse's Rock
Oderteich Reservoir
Rappbode Reservoir
Views from Harz mountains

Nature Park Meissner-Kaufunger Wald
Hessian Switzerland

Nature Park Solling-Vogler
The Hutewald Forest
The Raised Bog Mecklenbruch

Thuringian Forests
Oberderdorla and Hainich National Park

Rivers and Lakes
The Danube in Spring
Edersee Reservoir
A Rainy Rhine Cruise
The Moselle
Vineyards at Saale and Unstrut
Weser River Ferry
Weser Skywalk

Wildlife
Harz Falcon Park
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The Baltic Sea Life
Ozeaneum Stralsund: The North Sea Life

Seasons
Spring in the Botanical Garden Göttingen
Spring at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Spring in the Rossbach Heath (Meissner)
Memories of Summer
Summer Hiking Tours 2016
Autumn in the Meissner
Autumn at Werra and Weser
Winter at the 'Kiessee' Lake
Winter Wonderland - Views from my Balcony


United Kingdom

Mountains and Valleys
West Highland Railway

The East Coast
By Ferry to Newcastle
Highland Mountains - Inverness to John o'Groats
Some Photos from the East Coast

Scottish Sea Shores
Crossing to Mull
Mull - Craignure to Fionnphort
Pentland Firth
Castles Seen from Afar (Dunollie and Kilchurn)
Staffa
Summer Days in Oban
Summer Nights in Oban

Wild Wales - With Castles
Views of Snowdownia
Views from Castle Battlements

Wildlife
Sea Gulls


Scandinavia

The Hurtigruten-Tour / Norway
A Voyage into Winter
Along the Coast of Norway - Light and Darkness
Along the Coast of Norway - North of the Polar Circle

Norway by Train
From Oslo to Bergen
From Trondheim to Oslo

Wildlife
Bearded Seals
Dog Sledding With Huskies
Eagles and Gulls in the Trollfjord


The Baltic Sea

A Baltic Sea Cruise

The Curonian Spit in Lithuania
Beaches at the Curonian Spit
Geology of the Curonian Spit






Roman History
General Essays

Provinces
- Germania
- Gallia Belgica
- Britannia

Mediaeval History
General Essays

By Country
- Germany
- England
- Scotland
- Wales
- Denmark
- Norway
- Sweden
- Livonia
- Lithuania
- Poland
- Bohemia

Other Times
- Prehistoric Times
- Post-Mediaeval History
-
Miscellanea
- Geology


Roman History

General Essays

The Romans at War

Forts and Fortifications
Exercise Halls
Mile Castles and Watch Towers
Soldiers' Living Quarters
Cavalry Barracks

Roman Militaria

Armour
Early Imperial Helmets
Late Roman Helmets
The Negau B Helmet

Weapons
Weapon Finds at Hedemünden
The pilum
Daggers
Swords

Other Equipment
Roman Saddles

Life and Religion

Religion
The Mithras Cult
Isis Worship
Curse Tablets and Good Luck Charms

Public Life
Roman Transport - Barges
Roman Transport - Amphorae and Barrels
Roman Water Supply

Roman villae
Villa Urbana Longuich
Villa Rustica Wachenheim

Everyday Life
Bathing Habits
Children's Toys
Face Pots

Miscellaneous Essays

The Legend of Alaric's Burial


Germania

Wars and Frontiers

Maps
Romans in Germania

Traces of the Pre-Varus Conquest
Roman Camp Hedemünden
New Finds in 2008

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Museum Park at Kalkriese

The Battle at the Harzhorn
Introduction

Along the Limes
The Cavalry Fort Aalen
Limes Fort Osterburken
Limes Fort Saalburg


Gallia Belgica

The Batavians

The Batavian Rebellion
A Short Introduction


Britannia

Roman Frontiers in Britain

The Hadrian's Wall
Introduction
The Fort at Segedunum / Wallsend


Mediaeval History

General Essays

Mediaeval Art and Craft

Mediaeval Art
Carved Monsters
The Choir Screen in the Cathedral of Mainz
The Gospels of Heinrich the Lion
Mediaeval Monster Carvings
The Viking Treasure of Hiddensee

Medieaval Craftmanship
Goldsmithery
Medical Instruments

Mediaeval Warfare

Mediaeval Weapons
Swords
Trebuchets

Castles and Fortifications
Dungeons and Oubliettes

Essays about Specific Topics

Feudalism

The History of Feudalism
The Beginnings
Feudalism in the 10th Century

Privileges and Special Relationships
The Privilege of the deditio
A Note on handgenginn maðr

The Hanseatic League

The History of the Hanseatic League
Introduction and Beginnings

Hanesatic Architecture
Examples of Brick Architecture

Goods and Trade
Stockfish Trade

The Order of the Teutonic Knights

Wars and Battles
The Conquest of Danzig
The Siege of Vilnius 1390

The Vikings

Viking Ships
The Nydam Ship


Germany

Geneaology

List of Mediaeval German Emperors

Geneaologies
Anglo-German Marriage Connections
Heinrich the Lion's Ancestors

Kings and Emperors

The Salian Dynasty
King Heinrich IV

House Welf and House Staufen
Emperor Otto IV, Introduction

Princes and Lords

Princes
Otto the Quarrelsome of Braunschweig-Göttingen
The Dukes of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen
Otto of Northeim
The Ludowing Landgraves of Thuringia
Albrecht II and Friedrich I of Thuringia

Counts and Local Lords
The Marshals of Ebersburg
The Counts of Everstein
The Counts of Hohnstein
The Lords of Plesse
The Counts of Reichenbach
The Counts of Winzenburg

Famous Feuds

Royal Troubles
Otto IV and Bishop Adalbert II of Magdeburg

Local Feuds
The Lüneburg Succession War
The Thuringian Succession War - Introduction
The Star Wars


England

Kings of England

King Henry IV
King Henry's Lithuanian Crusade

Normans, Britons, Angevins

Great Fiefs - The Honour of Richmond
The Dukes of Brittany and the Honour of Richmond
The Earldom of Richmond and the Duchy of Brittany

Contested Borders

Northumbria
King Stephen's Troubles with King David of Scots


Scotland

Kings of Scots

House Dunkeld
Malcolm III and Northumbria
Struggle for the Throne: Malcolm III to David I
King David and the Civil War, Part 1
King David and the Civil War, Part 2

Houses Bruce and Stewart
Robert the Bruce and Stirling Castle
The Early Stewart Kings

Scottish Nobles and their Quarrels

Clan Feuds
MacLeans and MacDonalds
A Scottish Wedding


Wales

Welsh Princes

The Princes of Gwynedd
The Rise of House Aberffraw

Rebels

A History of Rebellion
From Llywellyn ap Gruffudd to Owain Glyn Dŵr


Denmark

Kings of Denmark

House of Knýtlinga
Harald Bluetooth's Flight to Pomerania

Danish Rule in the Baltic Sea

The Duchy of Estonia
Danish Kings and German Sword Brothers


Norway

Kings of Norway

Foreign Relations
King Eirik's Scottish Marriages
King Håkon V's Swedish Politics
Beginnings of the Kalmar Union

A Time of Feuds

Famous Nobles and their Feuds
Alv Erlingsson of Tønsberg


Sweden

Troubles and Alliances

Scandinavian Unity
Beginnings of the Kalmar Union


Livonia
(Latvia and Estonia)

Towns of the Hanseatic League

Riga
The History of Mediaeval Riga

Tallinn
The History of Mediaeval Tallinn


Lithuania

The Northern Crusades

The Wars in Lithuania
The Siege of Vilnius 1390

Lithuanian Princes

The Geminid Dynasty
Troublesome Cousins - Jogaila and Vytautas


Poland

The Northern Crusades

The Conquest of Pomerania / Prussia
The Conquest of Danzig

Royal Dynasties

The Jagiełłonian Kings
Władysław Jagiełło and the Polish-Lithuanian Union


Bohemia
(Including Silesia and Moravia)

The Bohemian Kings of House Luxembourg
(to come)


Other Times

Prehistoric Times

Germany

Development of Civilisation
European Bread Museum, Ebergötzen
Open Air Museum Oerlinghausen

Orkney

Neolithic Orkney
The Neolithic Landscape of Orkney
Ring of Brodgar
Skara Brae
Life in Skara Brae

Scandinavia

Gotland
The Ship Setting of Gnisvärd


Post-Mediaeval History

Explorers and Discoveries

Explorers
Fram Expedition to the North Pole
Fram Expedition to the South Pole

Discoveries
Otto von Guericke and the Magdeburg Hemispheres
Raising a Wreck, Now and Then (Vasa Museum in Stockholm)

Biographies

European Nobility
Prince Wilhelm Malte of Putbus


Miscellanea

History in Literature and Music

History in Literature

Biographies of German Poets and Writers
Theodor Fontane

Historical Ballads by Theodor Fontane
(Translated by me)
Archibald Douglas
Gorm Grymme
Sir Walter Scott in Abbotsford
The Tragedy of Afghanistan

History in Opera

Belcanto and Historicism
Maria Padilla - Mistress Royal
The Siege of Calais in Donizetti's Opera

Not so Serious History

Romans
Building Hadrian's Wall
Playmobil Romans

Mediaeval Times
Kings Having a Bad Hair Day
The Case of the Vanished Wine Cask

Other
Rules for Writing Scottish Romances
Tourist Kitsch in St.Petersburg


Geology

Geological Landscapes

The Baltic Sea
Geology of the Curonian Spit
Chalk Cliffs on Rugia
Flint Fields on Rugia

The Harz
Bode Valley and Rosstrappe Cliff
The 'Hübichenstein' Rock
Karst Formations in the Southern Harz
The Lonau Falls
The Rhume Springs

Meissner / Kaufunger Wald
Blue Dome near Eschwege
Diabase and Basalt Formations
Karst Formations

Solling-Vogler
Raised Bog Mecklenbruch
Hannover Cliffs

The Shores of Scotland
Staffa

Fossils and Other Odd Rocks

Fossilized Ammonites
The Loket Meteorite


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