‘A little bird told me’: spies and espionage in the early medieval world

Historian article

By Jenny Benham, published 29th November 2023

Spies were a common feature of political, diplomatic and courtly life in the period of early medieval Europe. In this article, Jenny Benham explores some interesting contemporary representations of spies, in both literature and art. These stories and images reveal key features of the culture and practices surrounding these so-called ‘little birds’ who listened to and passed on important secret information. 

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