...in which I share some of my favorite medieval research resources and methods for the benefit of others interested in also writing about the Middle Ages

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day


Rights of warren: permission granted to a knight or baron to hunt small game in the royal forests, such as hares, conies, pheasants, partridges, etc.


(From the Lady and the Unicorn tapestry series, late 15th Century)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day

Chase: a private forest not under royal forest law, or an area of the royal forest where a knight or baron had been granted permission to hunt big game, such as deer and boar.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day

Blanchet: a very coarse woolen cloth.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day


Prime: the second canonical hour of the Catholic Church, after which nuns might listen to readings from the scriptures or lives of the Saints; in 12th Century England, it could fall between 3:40-6:00 AM.

None: the fifth canonical hour of the Catholic Church, after which nuns might eat dinner while one of their number read to them from the scriptures or lives of the Saints; in 12th Century England, it could fall between 1:40-3:00 PM.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day

Canonical hour: One of seven prayer times observed by the Catholic church during the Middle Ages. During the Equinox, the hours fell as follows:

Matins: 5:00 AM
Prime: 6:00 AM
Terce: 8:30 AM
Sext: 12:30 PM
None: 2:30 PM
Vespers: 5:00 PM
Compline: 7:00-8:00 PM

These times naturally varied throughout the year as the days accordingly grew longer or shorter. To read more about the canonical hours during various times of the year, visit Court Will Begin at Half-way Terce: Keeping Time in High Middle Ages.

Monday, November 5, 2012

InD'Tale Review of "A Candlelight Courting": 4.5 stars and a Crowned Heart!


I was so excited to see this review of my new medieval e-novella, A Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas Romance in InD'Tale Magazine that I just had to share! Here's a portion of what the reviewer, Beth Chamberlain, had to say:

"What  an enlightening and enjoyably tender read! Though short in length (the only downside of this story), it is long in understanding. The morals and morays of the middle ages are brought out in this story regarding the place of women and their choice of the roles they were to live. In the telling of this tale the dialogue is written with a sensitivity and a knowledge of the history of that time period. As one reads, one comes to understand that some of the things that we have taken for granted, were once very precious to those who came before us, and their sacrifices, hopefully, were not in vain.
Beautifully done, Ms. DiPastena!"



A Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas Romance is available for only $1.99 on Kindle and Smashwords.

Medieval Word of the Day


Relics: objects venerated as sacred from their association with a saint or martyr.

Reliquary: a container where relics are stored.

Many reliquaries were elaborately decorated. Here's one example of an early medieval reliquary dated from the 7th Century:



You can see another example that I shared with my readers on my JDP NEWS blog: What Am I Writing Now?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day


Rosary: a Roman Catholic devotion consisting of a series of prayers spoken in a specific order; includes the Ave Maria and the Paternoster. Also a string of beads that helps the person praying keep track of the prayers.


(From the painting Medieval Pomanders with Rosary, 15th Century)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day


Paternoster or Pater Noster: Latin words meaning “Our Father,” the first two words in the Lord’s Prayer, often prayed with the Catholic rosary. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day

Ave or Ave Maria: Latin words meaning "Hail Mary," from a prayer that begins, "Hail Mary, full of grace," often prayed with the Catholic rosary.


(Virgin Mary and Christ Child, ivory statuette, c. 1260-1280)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Medieval Word of the Day

It's time for a new Medieval Word of the Day series! These are all "new" words that I used in my medieval story, A Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas Romance.

Let's begin alphabetically with the Apostles' Creed: a statement of early Christian belief adopted by the Catholic Church, believed to have been dictated by the Twelve Apostles of the New Testament. The date of its origins are unknown, but it was referred to by the Catholic Saint Ambrose as early as 390 AD.

Click here to read the Apostles' Creed.


(The Twelve Apostles with the Virgin Mary receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost. Artwork dated c. 1460-1480)