Welcome to November

According to medieval calendars, November is the time to fatten your swine on acorns.* Just grab a handy stick and thrash the tree soundly until they fall. Your swine will thank you.

Important dates in medieval history include:

  • November 1st, 1179 — Phillip II  crowned king of France.
  • November 4th, 1333 — The River Arno tops its banks and floods Florence, a much more important flood than others, as Giovanni Villani was there to chronicle it for his Nuova Cronica.
  • November 9th, 1282 — Peter III of Aragon excommunicated for invading Sicily.
  • November 11th, 1215 — The Fourth Lateran Council begins. Among their decisions: clergymen may no longer wear red or green, go hunting, or be entertained by mimes.
  • November 13th, 1002 — The St. Brice’s Day Massacre. English king Ethelred orders all Danes in England killed.
  • November 16th, 1384 — Saint Hedwig, daughter of King Louis I of Hungary, is crowned king of Poland. That’s Hedvig Rex, boys, not Hedvig Regina, and don’t you forget it. She later becomes the patron saint of queens.
  • November 18th, 1302 — Pope Boniface VIII issues the bull Unam Sanctam, declaring that the church has “one body and one head, not two heads like a monster.”
  • November 18th, 1307 — William Tell shoots an apple off his son’s head.
  • November 25th, 1120 — The White Ship sinks in the English channel near Barfleur.  William Adelin, the English heir apparent, drowns trying to save his sister, setting the stage for twenty years of civil war when Henry I dies.
  • November 26th, 1476 — Vlad the Impaler takes over southern Romania for the third time.


*There’s probably a metaphor there about the election and ACORN, but this staunchly apolitical blog can’t go there, so you’ll have to make up your own.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • tenthmedieval

    I can’t resist: Hedvig and the angry unction?

  • pilgrimchick

    Interesting facts on dates there. I’ll remember what to do with the swine and the acorns next year.

  • Macaroni

    November 13 is also Augustine of Hippo’s birthday. Not, perhaps, a medieval man, but certainly important for medievalists!

  • Ed Darrell

    Acorns make the meat bitter, I hear. What’s up with that?

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