Fealty rings from the Middle Ages

A fede gimmel ring from the British Museum’s collection from the 16th/17th century. Source: The British Museum

We are all familiar with the tradition of the wedding ring, even if it’s not directly part of our culture. This symbol has permeated society for centuries and has some very interesting origins. Today, I would like to focus on the concept of fealty rings.

You can find wedding rings…

How the refusal to accept religious freedom led to the loss of thousands of innocent lives

“A Expulsão dos Judeus” (The Expulsion of the Jews), by Roque Gameiro (Quadros da História de Portugal, 1917). Source: Wikimedia

In 1492, the Reyes Católicos (Catholic Kings) of Spain, Fernando II of Aragon and Isabel I of Castile — you may know them as the famous parents of Catalina de Aragón y Castilla, or Catherine of Aragon, first wife to King Henry VIII of England — broke away from a…

A small introduction to the first stages of the expansion of Islam

Early 19th-century manuscript showing the Muslim army marching into Mecca and the subsequent smashing of its idols. Public Domain: Wikipedia

In the first centuries since its inception, Islam was able to conquer and dominate a vast amount of territory. Its rapid spread was mainly due to the fact that its main antagonistic forces were weakened by wars amongst themselves, as well as civil unrest while Islam maintained a united front…

The extermination of one of the most prominent Portuguese noble families of the 18th century

The attempted regicide of King Joseph I of Portugal, in 1758. Francisco Vieira de Matos
1759–1760. Source: Museu de Lisboa (Public Domain)

The Távora Affair, known in Portuguese as the Processo dos Távoras is one of the most shocking episodes in the Portuguese history of recent centuries. This 18th-century extermination of one of the most prominent families in the Portuguese Kingdom was a shocking, horrid event, even in today’s point of view.

When John of Gaunt called on twelve Portuguese knights to defend the honour of twelve Lancastrian ladies

Jaime Martins Barata, “Torneio dos Doze de Inglaterra” in the wall of the Palácio de Justiça de Seia (1966), Portugal. Source: www.martinsbarata.org

In one of the most iconic pieces of Portuguese literature, Lusíadas (1572), the poet Luís de Camões mentions in passing an episode that occurred between the English and the Portuguese kingdom. …

Ana Esteves

Passionate reader and writer with a profound interest in history and literature. B.A. in Languages, Literature and Culture; current M.A. Communication student.

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