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African History

The Medieval Black Market for Christian Relics



Relics were very hot items during the Middle Ages, so much so that they spawned a very profitable (and highly questionable) trade that spanned from England to the Holy Lands… and that’s what we’ll explore in this episode of SideQuest.


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Further Reading:

“Furta Sacra” by Patrick Geary –
“The Medieval Pilgrimage Business” by Adrian Bell and Richard Dale –
“The Unmaking of a Saint: Thomas Becket and the English Reformation” by Robert E. Scully –


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  1. @svihl666

    May 14, 2023 at 1:36 pm

  2. @issou1257

    May 14, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    4:48 a more recent study actually say that its dated to 2000 years ago therefore the other study was wrong

  3. @khalidgagnon8753

    May 15, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    Love your stuff.
    However as a Protestant i will say this (so somone who is, thats cool at best and meh at worst)
    The section tested on the shroud of Turin had been priorly confirmed as a repear done to the shroud around that time Not entirely accurate to test a repair section damaged by fire. In addition the fire might have minor consequences on dating (not a ton, but worth noting)
    A test on an "older" section hasnt been done as of yet. So suspected to be 1300…. In theory….. Possibly…..

  4. @illegaldoorknob1432

    May 17, 2023 at 3:04 pm

    This video is a bit inaccurate near the end. The shroud of Turin was not proven to be from the 13th century, as the study that concluded that was testing a small replaced piece of cloth. The shroud proper contains pollen and soil samples from 1st century Jerusalem, along with an image that is impossible to recreate. The shroud did rest on Our Lord, although it is true that there were plenty of fake relics in history.

  5. @SewolHoONCE

    May 23, 2023 at 7:42 pm

    Interesting to see, “Made in Taiwan,” and not that other, “Made in,” label!

  6. @Lightscribe225

    May 23, 2023 at 10:08 pm

    I believe the Venetians got in on this by trading with the muslims but placated the Church by "smuggling" relics with all the spice and glass they bought from the muslim world; and then telling the muslims they were "smuggling" their goods to Europe by hiding them with reclaimed Christain relics. Duped both sides for double the profit.

  7. @PsDnK

    June 2, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Did anyone else notice that Mr. SideQuest had his hat off when he was inside the church?

  8. @bogdanstamenic2836

    June 16, 2023 at 10:00 am

    1:09 I love mulim Spaon just being labelled as infidels xD

  9. @Nope_handlesaretrash

    June 19, 2023 at 11:19 pm


  10. @x144x

    June 22, 2023 at 3:03 am

    The very first line sets the precedent for the rest of the video. Just pure ignorance.

  11. @jordonhancock05

    June 22, 2023 at 6:02 am

    At least it looks cool I guess. 😎

  12. @speisman3731

    June 26, 2023 at 8:09 pm

    That religious map isnt accurate at all…

  13. @TheKulu42

    July 11, 2023 at 11:38 am

    A good medieval mystery that uses the relic's craze is "A Morbid Taste for Bones" by Ellis Peters. It's part of the Brother Cadfael series.

  14. @noahspencer857

    July 19, 2023 at 10:30 pm

    Your bit about the shroud is outdated, the whole "13th century forgery" hypothesis has become heavily scrutinized with recent data

  15. @criticato8916

    July 28, 2023 at 4:52 pm

    If all relics were real, you could rebuild all twelve apostles and the true cross five times over

  16. @Chungustav

    August 11, 2023 at 8:08 pm

    The shroud was NOT proven a fake, the carbon dating was actually taken from a known later repair. Seconds, relics DO come with a certificate of authentication by Rome though thats a recent thing i believe. Also, it is forbidden by the church to buy or sell relics. Clearly this video was not well researched and has considerable anti- Catholic motives.

  17. @BloodBoughtMinistries

    August 12, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Roman Catholicism is not Christianity.

  18. @skyguyflyinghigh

    August 20, 2023 at 5:07 am

    to be fair… jesus supposedly came back from the dead, so he's clearly got some wolverine/deadpool shit going on, it makes sense for there to be hundreds of his foreskin out there, man is dedicated to his faith.

  19. @KougaJ7

    August 26, 2023 at 6:51 am

    A little reminder. In a world of 8 billion people, today there are 2.18 billion Christians (1.3 billion Catholics and the remainder being Protestant/Orthodox). Christianity wasn't just a big thing in medieval times.

  20. @user-gi8pk9uc7q

    September 22, 2023 at 3:26 am

    Relics were a racket before the word was even coined!

  21. @crispratfrommoneyball553

    September 26, 2023 at 8:50 pm

    NCIS reference spotted, taking my own life with great haste

  22. @jminkvihubyb

    September 29, 2023 at 1:31 am

    There's a fictional book series named kingsbridge that tells a very interesting story thats based on the stuff in this video …kinda weird because I thought the book was just all fake stuff lol I never thought ppl were that dumb

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