Audiences all over the world can't get enough of medieval stories. Novels, graphic novels, video games, movies, tv shows - we love to imagine ourselves back to a time when everything was epic and anything seemed possible. But no matter what medium you're using, one thing is true:

It's hard to create a medieval story that feels authentic when you're not an expert. 

No one wants to be the person who gets a million tweets about the ahistorical petticoats lifted in their romance novel, or the person who drew gargoyles on Notre Dame de Paris in the wrong century. But how are you supposed to find out what's true and what's not? 

You can spend hours on YouTube, searching for a video that shows you what medieval combat looks like, only to find out that the person who created it doesn't know any more than you do about it. You can order books online and spend hours reading them only to find that they don't contain that small detail you needed - what does it actually look like to cut into medieval food? You need expert information that you can access when you need it.


Introducing Danièle Cybulskie's Medieval Masterclasses


These Medieval Masterclasses are designed for those people who are creating medieval stories in both visual and textual media and who need reliable, visual, expert content.

Meet Your Instructor

Danièle Cybulskie

Writer, professor, TEDx speaker, and podcaster, Danièle has been making the Middle Ages fun, entertaining, and accessible for over a decade. She is the author of Life in Medieval Europe: Fact and Fiction, The Five-Minute Medievalist, and the forthcoming How to Live Like a Monk: Medieval Wisdom for Modern Life. Danièle is also the creator and host of The Medieval Podcast, a weekly show on which she interviews experts on the Middle Ages about a wide variety of topics. Her writing, videos, and podcast have been used as resources in elementary schools, secondary schools, and universities across North America. When she’s not reading, writing, or recording, Danièle can be found drinking tea, doing Krav Maga, or sometimes building a backyard trebuchet.

Helen Castor

Historian and Presenter

"Danièle Cybulskie knows the medieval world like the back of her hand, and she’s the perfect guide - warm, witty, and very, very wise."

Dan Jones

Bestselling author of The Templars

"One of the brightest young historians around."

Charles Spencer

Historian, Author, 9th Earl Spencer

"[B]rilliant, ego-free, and utterly charming".

Candace Robb

Author of the Owen Archer series

"With wit and a keen eye for the telling detail, Danièle cuts through cliches about medieval Europe. She knows her stuff!"

Elizabeth Kingston

Author of Desire Lines

"There's no one I'd rather have as my guide to the medieval world! Danièle has the perfect blend of broad knowledge, deep empathy, and endless enthusiasm to bring the era and its people to vivid life."

Featured Experts

Fencing Master

Ken Mondschein

Ken is a highly qualified authority on classical and historical fencing (holding the credential of Maître d'Armes Historique from the United States Fencing Coaches Association) and modern fencing instructor (Prévôt in foil and épée). He has a quarter-century of experience, and has lectured and published widely, as well as taught at institutions such as the Higgins Armory Museum. His aim is, as Burt S. Hall wrote in his review of Ken's translation of Camillo Agrippa's 1553 Trattato di Scienza d'Arme, "demystifying all Renaissance fencing treatises and enhancing their standing as texts." In addition to his academic work, Ken currently teaches privately as the lead instructor of Massachusetts Historical Swordsmanship.

Neil Buttery

Neil Buttery has been studying and writing about the history of British food for over a decade. His academic career began in the sciences, focussing upon the evolution of social behaviour, eventually segueing into the social history of his favourite thing: food. He is also an experienced chef and restauranteur, recreating historical and traditional foods; a believer that it is our senses of smell and taste that can transport our imaginations to the past most efficiently. This combination of academic study and practical cookery has led to appearances on Channel Four’s Britain’s Most Historic Towns, BBC Two’s Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Guide to Great Britain and Radio Four’s The Food Programme. His research and writing on the subject can be read on his long-running blogs British Food: A History and Neil Cooks Grigson, and heard on the British Food History Podcast. Most recently he completed his first book, A Dark History of Sugar, for publishing house Pen & Sword History.

Blacksmith

Thomas B. Timbrell

While obtaining his history degree at the University of Leicester, Tom decided that office work was not for him and gave blacksmithing a try (naturally). Both during and since his time studying Blacksmithing and Metalworking at Warwick College, Tom has provided demonstrations at Mary Arden's Farm in Stratford-Upon Avon and across the UK, showing the life and craft of blacksmiths from the Early Iron Age to the Victorian Era. In his private blacksmithing business, Tom continues to make both modern and historical knives, as well as other weapons based on the measurements and style of archaeological finds. He also does artistic work and just about anything else - as long as it's not horseshoes.

Textile Archaeologist

Katrin Kania

Dr. Katrin Kania is a textile archaeologist with a strong crafts focus. Upon seeing a historical textile, she instantly wants to figure out how it was made - and consequently she has researched a number of textile techniques and processes, from spinning to gold embroidery. She wrote her PhD about the cut and construction of medieval garments, has designed and run a spinning experiment, and organises the European Textile Forum, a conference designed to connect crafters and researchers. Katrin is also teaching various textile crafts, does reconstruction work for museums and offers hard to find tools and materials for historical textile techniques in her online shop. Together with Dr. Gillian Polack, she has authored "The Middle Ages Unlocked", and has also written an instruction book about gold embroidery.

Bibliographer

Peter Konieczny

Along with being a co-founder and c​ontributor at​ Medievalists.net, Peter is the ​editor of Medieval​ Warfare​ Magazine, and the web admin at De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval Military History. He has been working to spread knowledge about the Middle Ages online for over 15 years. Peter lives near Toronto, Canada, and enjoys all the books publishers send to him. When he is not reading about medieval history, you can find him trying to keep up with his son in Minecraft.

Here's what students are saying...

5 star rating

Binge thinking for medieval history lovers

Michael Long

There is a wealth of ideas that serve to assault your stereotypes and preconceptions of the medieval world in this great course. For would-be authors, it sig...

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There is a wealth of ideas that serve to assault your stereotypes and preconceptions of the medieval world in this great course. For would-be authors, it signposts avenues that you never thought you'd go down and stimulates the mind into thinking, 'how can I use this in my book?' Thoroughly recommended

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5 star rating

Very helpful!

Kate Craig

This was a lot of fun. I'm working on a graphic novel that takes place in a medieval setting and, while manuscript collections have been visually helpful...

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This was a lot of fun. I'm working on a graphic novel that takes place in a medieval setting and, while manuscript collections have been visually helpful, there's a lot they can be misleading about (who sows a wheat field in a fur gown?) or can't show, like the sounds, smells and routines of everyday people living at the time. The classes provided me with some great threads to start pulling, and went in depth on things like clothes and dyeing, blacksmithing, everyday objects, and what not to do in a combat scenario. Danièle's enthusiasm is very contagious.

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5 star rating

Brilliant!

Alet Jacobs

This course was a great way to expand my knowledge as well as challenge some of my preexisting ideas about the Medieval Period. The sessions were very infor...

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This course was a great way to expand my knowledge as well as challenge some of my preexisting ideas about the Medieval Period. The sessions were very informative and eye opening. I feel inspired to get back to my writing after completing this course!

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5 star rating

Really helpful for adding believable details to my novel!

Bridget Greenwood

This class was so helpful in getting a sense of everyday life for the period I'm writing about; not only the physical objects used by contemporaries but also...

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This class was so helpful in getting a sense of everyday life for the period I'm writing about; not only the physical objects used by contemporaries but also sounds and smells! I've added little details in my novel to hopefully immerse the reader in my story. The course resources are extensive and really useful.

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5 star rating

Wealth of information

Stefanos Intzes

I thoroughly enjoyed the perspectives given in the class about different aspects of life in the Western Medieval world. The class provides a variety of food...

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I thoroughly enjoyed the perspectives given in the class about different aspects of life in the Western Medieval world. The class provides a variety of food for thought.

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5 star rating

High expectations exceeded

Paula Weston

The Medieval Masterclass for Creators was everything I'd hoped for, and more. The sessions were practical and spot-on for what I wanted/needed to learn more ...

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The Medieval Masterclass for Creators was everything I'd hoped for, and more. The sessions were practical and spot-on for what I wanted/needed to learn more about. This better understanding means I'm adding greater texture and authenticity to my current work in progress. The course content has also prompted me to rethink several key scenes - and they're already working better. Thank you!

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4 star rating

Inspiration and a wealth of resources to kickstart the im...

Anne Elliott

The Medieval Masterclass got me excited for my next project. Daniele's enthusiasm for all things Medieval was really infectious. She is a mine of knowledge...

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The Medieval Masterclass got me excited for my next project. Daniele's enthusiasm for all things Medieval was really infectious. She is a mine of knowledge and willing to go out of her way to find answers to every question raised. The range of experts meant there was something to interest everyone, and the resources and references are excellent. What a great way to escape the monotony of the pandemic's stay-at-home order!

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FAQ

  • How are these different from a normal history course?

    In a regular history course, you're taught about political facts and historical figures. This is very useful! But you can find this information almost anywhere. These Medieval Masterclasses show you the details that are hard to research: the look and movement of textiles, or the colour and texture of food, for example. You're also given a bibliography curated by experts. All of this will save you time and effort in researching your medieval project.

  • I'm an armchair historian, not a creator. Would I still enjoy these classes?

    Yes! Although these classes are aimed at creators, if you're into the serious minute details of the medieval world, you will still enjoy them.

Contact

For more information, please email medievalmasterclass@gmail.com.