In the Right Hand: Horses of Medieval Europe
Much of medieval European society was built upon the steady shoulders of a noble horse. This creature played an important part in many aspects of life for all classes of people, from farmers to soldiers to royalty, shouldering tasks as diverse as carrying ladies, pulling ploughs, and charging into battle.
Of course, the same type of horse could hardly be used for everything, so horses were bred – then as now – for specific purposes. In that time, horses were not yet classified as breeds, but referred to as types, and each type had different uses.
Many obscure terms were used for the types of horses, sometimes interchangeably and frequently in contradiction with one another, in medieval texts. However, historians have uncovered three basic types of horse; namely, chargers, palfreys, and sumpters.1
Galloping Toward the English Bible:
God’s Providence Traced to a Fateful Equestrian Accident
God’s providence has many details: would you have guessed that a horse played an important role in the providential “domino chain” events that led to the English translation of the Holy Bible?
Truth is often stranger than fiction, and the quest for an authorized English Bible includes an equestrian episode that is both unexpected andunforgettable. This multi-generational example of God’s providence is a series of events, collectively improbable.
The equestrian part of this epic adventure starts in the late AD800s, during the Viking Age. It was a fateful gallop over 1100 years ago, that causally catalyzed a chain of providential events, in Europe, that led to the most-published, most-studied, and best-loved English translation of the Holy Bible that the world has ever known.
So, saddle up for an adventure!