Featured category: Medieval history

The Tongan king who was made of wood, the sultan who disappeared into the Atlantic, the all-female autonomous religious communities (that weren’t nunneries!), and the 14th century pope who denounced modern music.

Franz Stuck [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In 1324, Pope John XXII accused newfangled (at the time) polyphonic music of creating “a sensuous and indecent atmosphere.”


For two years the Tu’i Tonga Empire was ruled by a wooden doll.


The Beguines of Medieval Europe formed all-female religious communities much like nunneries, but without taking vows or withdrawing from the world.


Sengalese coast
kumar303 or Kumar McMillan from Chicago, IL [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Malian sultan before Mansa Musa set out with a fleet to find the other end of the Atlantic Ocean. He never returned.

For more marvels, mishaps, and miscellany of Medieval history, begin here:

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