My Medieval Fact Page
One of my interests is medieval ages. Here are some interesting facts I have come across in my studies of the era.
- Moslems, Greeks and non-Christian Europeans were used as slaves for Western Europeans, Africans, and Asians.
- The common jobs for a slave were farm work, servanthood, eunuchs, concubines, and prostitution.
- Pope Gregory I approved laws that slaves cannot marry Christians or become priests.
- The Roman Catholic Church held slaves on their land until the 11th century.
- There was once a law that anything the slaves had when they died would go to the church.
- St. Thomas saw slavery as a neccesary means to keep others free.
- It was illegal to keep a Christian slave; any slaves that converted was set free.
- Slavery died out with the coming of the serf.
- Military rank depended on degree of nobility.
- The lowest kind of troops, varlets, were undisciplined and was not lead by an officer.
- All but the varlets rode into battle on horseback.
- Most knights gave their sword a specific name.
- Contrary to popular belief, sieges were not that common; they were too expensive to do all of the time.
- Knights preferred to die on the battlefield than die in their ownbed.
- Knights rarely died in the field.
- The church feared the people's music because of its connection tofreedom from the church.
- Travelling minstrels talked anout women and wine in their songs,and made parodies of the church's rituals.
- Love song were the most popular among the people.
- Some songs were actually written in a seductive manner.
- War songs brought groups of people together.
- A minstrel's performance was a part of any formal occaision.
- Most poetry written before the 13th century was written to be sung.
- Some instruments were made from metal or ivory as well as wood.
- One church organ had keys so big, the organist had to hit the keyswith their fists, wearing padded gloves.
- Peasants were wed so the wife could help take care of the farm; nobles were wed to secure deals or to get more money.
- Until late into the Middle Ages, peasants were never wed by a priest; if people had enough people to witness them say their vows, that was a legal marriage.
- Peasants were likewise never married at church; people were wed under a tree, in a garden, on the King's highway, or in a kitchen. The stranger places included a tavern, in a blacksmith's shop, or in bed.
- Sometimes the family and friends watched the newlyweds get into bed together.
- Some kings did, in, fact demand Prima Notra; the right to have first night with the bride. It was mainly put into play if the bride's parents couldn't pay a dowry.
- The wedding ring was put on the middle finger; it was believed that on that finger, there was a vein that lead to the heart.
- A couple could divorce if it was proven that one of them were impotent. The way they determined whether or not the guy was impotent was strange (not to mention seeming of a sexual nature).
- If there were was a woman who loved as was loved by another guy, but was going to be wed to a different guy against her will, the guy would abduct the girl and get married elsewhere. (Yes, this happened more than you'd think.)
- The average age that women would marry was 14 to 16, while the guys would be in their mid- to late-thirties. (Twentysomethings like myself probably used the previous fact to our advantage.)
Come back soon for more info!
Back to my Home Page