Greetings. This week's link are all about children: toys for children, games
for children, books for children, and articles and books about children in
the middle ages and renaissance. I hope you enjoy this links list. Feel free
to pass them along to anywhere they will find an audience and feel free to
update YOUR links lists if you so choose.



Call for Papers: Medieval Children's Literature

Medieval Costumes paper Dolls (A book)

Medieval Castle and Knights (pirates, dragons, play sets, etc.)

Toy Castles and Accessories (siege engines!)

Medieval Knights (for gaming) made in Novgorod (Shop is in PA)

Medieval Children (a book review)
(Site Excerpt) Nicholas Orme, a professor of history at Exeter University in
Great Britain, has published more than a dozen books about ordinary life in
the Middle Ages. His latest one, Medieval Children, is a delightfully
encyclopedic survey of everything imaginable concerning young people from
birth to adolescence during a time span extending from the Anglo-Saxon era
until the sixteenth century: toys, games, church-going, family life,
education, jobs, even fickle teenage crushes.......Medieval Children
contains one hundred twenty-five illustrations, most in color, most taken
from manuscripts. Many represent adults' loving views of children just
having fun: boys spinning tops, or egging on a cockfight, girls taking in a
puppet show, adolescents wrestling, a toddler manipulating a surprisingly
modern-looking walker. Adults made ingenious toys for youngsters:
hobbyhorses, toy knights, dolls, dollhouse-size plates and candlesticks,
marbles, balls, board games, puppets, chessmen and dice, pint-sized lances
and bows and arrows. A 1559 painting by Pieter Bruegel that adorns the cover
of Orme's book depicts seventy-five different children's games, including
hoop-rolling, swimming, wrestling, and handstands.

The Original Renaissance Teddy Bear Company

Stefan's Florilegium: Period and SCA toys
(Site Excerpt of one message of a great many) There's a 1560 painting by
Pieter Brueghel the Elder which shows all kinds
of recognizable games, and some involve equipment--tops, knuckle bones,
hoops, a couple of different propeller toys (one to pull a string and have
it fly up, one on a stick, like a windmill, so that if the child runs
along it will turn in the wind (like a pinwheel, but only two vanes, and
the stick mounted straight on and held horizontally, rather than
perpendicular as our modern pinwheels). There are stilts, balls, baskets,
a sack of something hanging from a stick (you'd have to see the picture to
appreciate this one). They're playing with brooms (as horses, balancing
them on their fingers), there's a fancy stick horse with reins, dolls
(doll furniture is shown), masks, caps, blindfolds, they're tumbling and
doing handstands, swimming, climbing trees, playing on a pile of dirt
(king of the mountain), they're playing leap frog, buck-buck, they've
dressed one little girl like a queen and are having a processional with
smaller girls throwing petals from a basket out front... There's lots
more. It's worth trying to buy a large print of this painting if you're
intending to pursue this seriously.

Medieval and Renaissance Games
A comprehensive site that lists a great many historical games, their rules,
how to set them up, etc.(Site Excerpt from the Bibliography Section)
Justin's Games Bibliography
This file is an ongoing, and probably ever-growing project. It is simply a
place where I record my notes on books that I am coming across, as I think
of them. It may, in time, get merged together with other bibliographies to
become The Mother Of All Period Game Bibliographies -- but not today. (Note,
after this paragraph there follow 56 items in the bibliography, each with
extensive notes and some with large quoted sections, which very well may be
The Mother Of All Period Games :)

MOAS Atlantia Games, Toys, and Past-times

Toys excavated from a Carmelite friary at Esslingen
(Site Excerpt) Typically for an urban excavation, a large amount of medieval
toys were found, which came from the Carmelites neighbours along the stream,
not from the friary itself. This complex included the characteristic ceramic
puppets, horses and miniature pots, along with several rarities, including a
child's rattle in the form of a bird (cockerel?).

Pastimes of the Viking & Anglo-Saxon Age
Despite the full agricultural year that most people faced, there was always
time for folk to partake in games, challenges, tests of skill and general
larking about. These sorts of things are often festival based, but not
exclusively. Gatherings at cattle markets, large social events such as
weddings, were also an excuse for the competitive and those of the gambling
persuasion to exercise their skills. If there were those who were prepared
to take part, then there were always those who were prepared to bet on the

An article on Hopscotch by Dagonnel the Juggler
(Site Excerpt)  Hopscotch began in ancient Britain during the early Roman
Empire. The original hopscotch courts were over 100 feet long and used for
military training exercises. Roman foot-soldiers ran the course in full
armor and field packs to improve their footwork, much the same way modern
football players run through rows of truck tires today. Roman children drew
their own smaller courts in imitation of the soldiers, added a scoring
system and "Hopscotch" spread throughout Europe. The word "London" is often
written at the top of hopscotch courts to make the court reminiscent of the
Great North Road, a 400 mile Roman road from Glasgow to London frequently
used by the Roman military.

What types of games did the Vikings Play? (Viking Answer Lady)
(Site Excerpt) The Vikings had a great many amusements, from very physical
sports such as footracing, swimming, wrestling and skiing, to horse
fighting, playing a game very like the Scottish sport of curling, and
several board games. The most useful of these for the snow-bound will of
course be the board games, so herewith I shall tell you more about them.
Read on...

Rules for Medieval Games
(Site Excerpt) Tafl (pronounced TAH-bl) dates back to before 400 AD, and was
played throughout Scandinavia, Iceland, Germany, England, Wales and Ireland.
It remained popular until the 17th. century, when it was gradually
supplanted by chess. The word tafl is probably derived from the Latin
tabula, which also referred to a board game. The game was also sometimes
called hnefatafl, meaning 'king's table'.

The Online Guide to Traditional Games
(Site Excerpt) The histories of all the major board games played today from
all over the world.  Including Western board games favourites like Chess
(descended from Shaturanga),  Draughts (descended from Alquerque),  the
ancient Egyptian game of   Nine Mens Morris  and  Backgammon (descended from
Senat) and childrens favourites Snakes and Ladders, and Chinese Checkers (a
modern version of Halma). Just as importantly, games which are even more
popular but less well known in the West  such as Go,  Shogi,  Chinese Chess,
Mancala and  Pachisi (Ludo).  Plus some unusual games like the ancient Norse
game of Tafl, the Madagascan game of Fanorona and some really ancient games
like the Royal games found at Ur.

The Medieval Child: an Unknown Phenomenon
(Site Excerpt) It seems inconceivable that, in a period when the most
popular image was that of the Madonna and Child, there was little or no
understanding of or affection for children in everyday life, yet such is the
popular misconception about medieval childhood.

Herstmonceaux Medieval Castle Image Bank: Medieval Children

Medieval Children's Fun Site

The Children's Crusade
(Site Excerpt) The "Crusade" was preached in France by a peasant boy named
Stephen from a village near Vendome. In Germany, a boy named Nicholas from
Cologne started the movement . The sorry business was summarized by a
chronicler in these terms: In this year occurred an outstanding thing and
one much to be marveled at, for it is unheard of throughout the ages. About
the time of Easter and Pentecost,4 without anyone having preached or called
for it and prompted by I know not what spirit, many thousands of boys,
ranging in age from six years to full maturity, left the plows or carts
which they were driving, the flocks which they were pasturing, and anything
else which they were doing. This they did despite the wishes of their
parents, relatives, and friends who sought to make them draw back. Suddenly
one ran after another to take the cross.

Children's Medieval Historical Fiction ( Book List)
92 books are listed of varying reading levels.

Free Educational project: Build a Medieval Castle
(Site Excerpt) Free educational software.  Build your own medieval castle,
complete with towers, gatehouse and keep. To understand how an army lay
siege to a castle, how a castle was defended, or what it might be like to
live in a castle (though this varied by who you were) -- build a model