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11 facts about medieval people that will make you glad to be alive now.

11 facts about medieval people that will make you glad to be alive now.


Ah, the Middle Ages: can't exist without it, can't go back to it!

There are a lot of thoeries about what humanity did and didn't do from the 5th to 15th century (depending on your sources). But hear me out: maybe it's better to be alive right now? Even though the world is kind of literally burning?

I know, that sounds insane! But you can make up your own mind after reading these facts about the medieval period:

1. People actually got super old. writes:

It has long been stated the life-expectancy for a medieval person was about 30 years old. This does not mean that a person was considered old or about to die when they turned 30.

Well I guess they weren't women in Hollywood, then.

If a medieval person survived to adulthood, he would likely live into his 60s or 70s, and they would not be considered to be old until at least the age of 50. Life-expectancy rates were lower in the Middle Ages because there was a much greater chance that an infant or child would die because of illness or disease than in modern times.

2. They believed animals could be evil. Like, evil evil.

Not only could animals could be tried and convicted for crimes, they would be punished with the death penalty if found guilty. In fact, they have records of at least 85 animal trials that occured during the Middle Age.

In Savigny, France, 1457, a sow was charged with murder, found guilty and hanged.

3. Medieval Times owes me a refund.

Medieval people actually DID use cutlery! Those liars...

Medieval people did not have to eat everything with their hands. Knives and spoons were common throughout the Middle Ages, and the fork was introduced to the Byzantine Empire by the 6th century, and into Italy by the 11th century.

4. They put hedgehogs on a weird pedestal.

5. Marriage isn't exactly ancient...

The marriage ceremony as we know it today was very different. For a start there wasn't a formal ceremony until much later and couples didn't need permission to marry. They could do it in a matter of moments by uttering consent, which led to marriages in the street, down the pub or even in bed. This meant it became rather hard to prove people were actually married, so in the 12th century it was declared a holy sacrament that must be observed by God.

6. ...or private.

It wasn't just the marriage that had to be observed. The consummation, especially among upper-class newlyweds, was far from private. It wasn't unusual for the bride to be carried to the bed by her family. The act of 'bedding' was not regarded as an intimate moment, but rather an act of investment in the union, and one that warranted being observed by witnesses. - Frances White

7. People thought salamanders were magic fire lizards.

u/Geek_Nan writes:

Medieval myths surrounding salamanders being resistant to fire were due to salamanders habit of hibernating in logs… putting another log in the fire = salamander scurrying from the fire … leading people to believe they were “born of fire”.

8. They had stupid shoes. The stupider, the better.

The longer the shoes were, the greater the wealth of the wearer and hence the social rank. Some of the shoes were so long they had to be reinforced with whalebone. - Frances White

9. Primae Noctis is just a thing that happened in Braveheart.

According to experts, sexual assault by lords over their subjects was certainly a thing that occurred in Medieval times, but wasn't ecouraged by any law.

In 19th century France, it became a popular belief that lords had several long-standing ‘rights’ over their peasants, including the right to sleep with any bride the ‘first night’ after her wedding. There are no recorded instances of this happening in the Middle Ages.

10. ​​​​​​This tweet is also false, which is devastating.

11. The scariest fact of all... they were actually smarter than a lot of people are right now now.

Medieval people were not flat-earthers.

Virtually every medieval scholar believed the world was round. However, in the 19th century it was widely reported that people in the Middle Ages thought the earth was flat, because it made for a good example of how backward the period was believed to be.

Sources: Reddit,Medievalists,History Hit,Live Science,Twitter
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