Thursday, May 23, 2013

Why Pope Celestine V wasn't murdered and why Stephen le Clerk probably wished he had been

Turning to medieval violence, we have two items to share:

Medieval Hermit Pope Not Murdered, as Believed reports that Italian researchers have debunked the theory that Pope Celestine V was killed by a nail to the head. They explain that a half-inch hole that can be seen in the remains of his skull was made long after he died, probably during one of his reburials.

Pope Celestine was a hermit monk who accepted the papacy in 1294 at age 85, but then months later resigned. It was believed that his successor, Pope Boniface VIII, had him murdered.

Tor Vergata of the University of Rome explained, “We can’t establish the real cause of death. A previous research carried test for heavy metal poisoning with negative results.”

The researchers have also reconstruct Celestine’s face in the form of a silver mask. Click here to read the article from

See also The Five Worst Popes of the Middle Ages

Husband Castrates Wife's Lover, Then Sues (Medieval Style!)

Katherine O'Meara, writing in The Prodigal Ex Pat, tells us about a court case from Ireland in the year 1307. She came across the court case while her writing her thesis - it involves John Don (Dunne) of Youghal, Cork, his wife Basilia, and her lover Stephen le Clerk. I won't give it away, for it is a good read, but now I know what 'abciderunt ejus testiculos' means and that I should never trust a taverner!

You can read the post here.