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Medieval and Early Modern Europe Resource Guide

A dedicated guide for assisting students enrolled in MedRen courses.


Hello! This is a dedicated guide to help students enrolled in any medieval and early modern classes at the W. Sources found here pertain to the time periods from the 5th-16th centuries. Within the collection are links to digitized primary sources, translations, letters, virtual art displays, and interactive mapping software. 

Art that Perseveres Through the Ages

Two Fishermen on a Sea Creature

Created ca.1270

"The description of the "aspidochelone," probably a whale, in this medieval bestiary is a fantastic concoction of nature and legend, all in the service of Christian teaching."

Saint Maurice

A commander of the Roman legion, Maurice was martyred near Agaunum (in present-day Switzerland) in A.D. 280 or 300 for refusing to slaughter Christians. He was from North Africa, and in the thirteenth century in Germany he began to be shown as Black, influenced by the reign of the Emperor Friedrich II (1194–1250). Friedrich's vast territories comprised a diverse community of individuals, and his court in Sicily included Black advisors, soldiers, and musicians. This representation of Maurice is not based on an actual African individual but instead on the life-size reliquary statue of the saint housed in the Neues Stift, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg’s Dominican church in Halle.

Alcazar of Segovia

Dating back to the 12th century, Alcazar of Segovia is among one of the oldest and most distinctive castles in Europe. Disney creators based Cinderella's castle on the picture above. 

Scenes from the Story of the Argonauts

In this and its companion panel, the story of Jason and the Argonauts unfolds in a continuous narrative. At the left, Jason is charged by King Pelias to retrieve the Golden Fleece. Jason then mounts his horse and consults the centaur Chiron on Mount Pelion together with Hercules and Orpheus. In the distance is Jason's ship, the Argo.

Leeds Castle

Constructed in the 13th century and housed in England, the Leeds Castle is situated around an artificial pond and home to a medieval deer park.


A woman waits patiently for her package to arrive. When will it get here? The takeaway here is that art from centuries ago is still being used in modern media to convey different moods or emotions. Here, a woman is depicted as awaiting the arrival of something important. The meme, or captioned joke, informs the audience that she ordered an item from a company and, as we all know, it feels like forever before the parcel arrives.