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4
votes
3answers
272 views

Was there a semi-professional soldiering class in Early Middle Ages Europe?

We're all familiar with the basic setup of feudal society: a large class of peasants supporting a small martial-administrative class of knights. In the event of a big war, peasants get handed some ...
5
votes
2answers
289 views

How were large monetary transactions conducted in medieval Europe?

Recently, I have read in the news about a large hoard of Norman coins in England being found. Apparently, all of these coins were silver pennies. And then it occurred to me that small silver coins ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

What should I call bands of armed men in the Middle Ages?

I am writing a fiction short story roughly based off medieval times in Europe. In it I have a group of men who live in a castle and fight for the castle's lord. (They mainly protect the surrounding ...
2
votes
2answers
438 views

Did every medieval village in Europe have a manor, castle, or other type of lord's residence?

I know that some villages were the sole and only property of certain minor lords or knights. Such villages surely had a manor (or even a castle) where the lord lives. On the other hand, many lords ...
19
votes
5answers
6k views

What's the correct term for a waitress in the Middle Ages?

How was a waitress called in the Middle Ages? Handmaid, waitress, maid, ...? And is there a different name for the ones who did this kind of job inside a castle, in contrast to the women doing this ...
5
votes
2answers
282 views

What was the place of a catapult in a formation

My question is where would you usually keep a catapult on a battlefield. It feels as if you shouldn't keep it in the rear back of the army since it won't reach the target, and also you want to have as ...
-2
votes
1answer
311 views

How did women give birth in middle ages? [closed]

I don't really know where to ask this question, and how to name it properly in short. But here: As I read through historical literature about middle ages it seemed like the dark times: constant wars,...
1
vote
1answer
186 views

Why were the doors of ghettos locked at night?

I've heard that some hundreds of years ago, in many places, the Jews were forced to live in ghettos and that the doors to the ghetto were locked at night. (See, for example, https://widerimage....
4
votes
5answers
470 views

What's the point of fortified castles inside fortified cities?

In middle ages people built highly fortified castles for royalty inside cities that were already fortified by walls. What was the reasoning behind that? Were they made to protect royal families from ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the meaning of a knight fighting a snail in medieval book illustrations?

Someone sent me this really weird picture of a medieval illustration. It depicted a knight fighting a snail, and was basically a viral snarky commentary about how weird medieval ideas were. I tried ...
2
votes
0answers
116 views

At what age could you hold custody of another in 12th century England?

My question is as stated in the title. My reason for asking is that I know girls could marry at twelve, and boys at fourteen. I am wondering at what age could each have legal custody of another? I ...
1
vote
0answers
215 views

How accepted were public displays of affection in medieval France?

Were a man and a woman allowed to kiss/hug/hold hands in public? Did it differ depending on whether they were married or not? What about if they were engaged? If it was forbidden, what punishment did ...
24
votes
4answers
4k views

Has there ever been an archbishop or bishop younger than the 16-year-old James of Nicosia?

In 1456, King John II of Cyprus appointed his illegitimate son James as Latin Archbishop of Nicosia. James was just 16 at the time. James soon lost his position, being forced to flee the following ...
1
vote
6answers
460 views

Did Europe experience forest deficits prior to 19th century?

I would like to understand if there were issues with forests in Europe prior to 19th century and, if so, what were the reasons behind them? Two versions that I have are overusing forests as the ...
4
votes
2answers
367 views

Eastern Europe during middle ages, a world view [closed]

I am a Belgian man conversant in Dutch, French, English, German (so English is not my first language), therefore you read many mistakes. My question is this: in our class and country it seems that ...
11
votes
2answers
479 views

What did European people of the 5th century AD eat during spring and what was the availability?

It is commonly believed that winter during that age was a period of starvation, with very limited means of procuring food. If the above is true, what did the commoners (peasants, serfs, etc) had to ...
2
votes
1answer
280 views

Turko-Mongol horse tactics and Western European response

Did not seem that Western European armies stood up to Turco-Mongol military tactics such as the horse archer. Did these European armies ever learn to counter those tactics? The Slavs (Polish) had a ...
5
votes
1answer
312 views

When did medieval monarchs start being depicted with ermine fur garments?

Probably all medieval monarchs wore fur garments when the weather was cold enough. But what seems to be the normal medieval picture of monarch in civilian dress was to wear a long robe with a cloak ...
0
votes
5answers
680 views

Where were there growing economies in dark age Europe, excluding Iberia and Constantinople?

Question: Were there major places where the economy grew, inversely to wider situation, in the late Roman Empire and dark age Europe, c. 350-950? The examples that I can think of are Venice and the ...
2
votes
0answers
94 views

Primary sources on Medieval Christian depictions of non-Christians (in English)

I'm a history student and I'm looking for primary sources in English (not Latin) that could help me with my research. I'm trying to find primary sources preferably written by Christian monks about the ...
13
votes
2answers
732 views

During feudalism in Europe, was one's allegiance to the lord more or less important than the allegiance to the king?

So, let's say your feudal overlord is rebelling against the king. Who do you owe your allegiance to, the lord, or the king? It's best to fight for the one who's going to win, obviously, but what would ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Which king of Burgundy sheltered two Robertians?

I am having trouble retrieving this information. A duke or king of Burgundy took custody of, I'm pretty sure, Odo and Robert, sons of Robert the Strong. It's possible that it was some later Robertians,...
5
votes
1answer
243 views

What was the military makeup of the Baltic tribes/Lithuania from 1200 to 1500?

There is quite a lot written on the Teutonic order and it's military, but I'm having a harder time finding any good English sources on the military of one of it's chief foes, Lithuania and the other ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

What periods and locations in early European history had evidence based criminal trials?

What periods and locations in European history had evidence based criminal trials? I'm interested in creating a medieval role playing setting and some fictional narratives involving crime ...
3
votes
1answer
182 views

What was the conflict in Milan from 1041-1044?

I was researching the Pataria movement in Milan that began around 1045. I found mention of a compromise of Milan in 1044. This got me interested in these earlier events. The only information that I ...
6
votes
0answers
244 views

Percentage of helmet owners in 15th century Europe

There already is a similar question, but it has been closed as unclear. I will attempt to post a clear question instead. Time : 15th century Country: medieval Europe excluding Eastern Roman Empire, ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What did medieval European knights do if they were defeated in battle?

I know that in medieval Japan, if samurai were defeated in battle or dishonored in any way they had to commit seppuku (killed themselves). I just wanted to know if medieval Europe had a similar rule.
11
votes
2answers
1k views

How were political borders marked during the Middle Ages?

I have a very specific question regarding borderlands: between 500-1500, how were the political borders identified? Was it a mere furrow on the ground? Did we have any signs? In other words, were such ...
8
votes
1answer
463 views

Who was the oldest woman to give birth in the Middle Ages in Europe that we know of?

In 1166, Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of Henry II of England, gave birth to the future King John when she was at least 42 years old (it is more likely she was 43 or 44). Eleanor of Castile, wife of ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Who was the Holy Roman Emperor that was a travelling adventurer?

I recall reading about a medieval Holy Roman Emperor, or heir apparent, that didn't get to rule over the kingdom. He was the last in line from a major dynasty, and held a high amount of prestige. He ...
0
votes
0answers
120 views

What was this major foreign policy reversal by the Vatican in the Middle Ages?

I made a note about something, but now I can't find it. It was a major shift in the political situation of Europe in the late Middle Ages. Initially one country was the hegemon and the pope organized ...
5
votes
2answers
582 views

How likely would it have been for a rural Bohemian to encounter someone with darker skin?

Recently a new video game was released called Kingdom Come: Deliverance, claiming to be a somewhat authentic representation of life in medieval Bohemia. However at the same time the game has courted ...
11
votes
1answer
492 views

Were groups (or 'companies') of dogs used to attack enemy armies in medieval battles?

In Dogs in warfare and The Dogs of War, a number of examples are given where dogs were used in battle in ancient times. Polyaenus, in ‘Stratagems’, also gives a clear example (late 7th century BC): ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

What was the life expectancy of a Medieval European monarch?

Inspired by Who is the longest lived European monarch of the middle ages?. What was the life expectancy of monarchs during the middle ages in Europe? Preliminary research showed According to ...
21
votes
7answers
8k views

Who was the longest lived European monarch of the middle ages?

After a lot of googling, I'm still not sure about this. Finding the longest reigning monarchs is easy enough, but I'm less sure about the one who lived the longest. A good candidate would appear to ...
34
votes
2answers
9k views

Did the Pope's crossbow and archery bans have any effect?

One of the more famous and certainly curious decisions at the Second Council of the Lateran in 1139 was a ban on using missile troops against Christians. Specifically, Canon 29 states that: We ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Was rape common in Europe during the Middle Ages?

I recently read an article (in Norwegian), claiming that rape was much less common in the Middle Ages than what is commonly believed, and more specifically that it was much less common than what is ...
3
votes
2answers
372 views

Typology and the cause of difference between European medieval kingship?

Western Medieval Catholic kings and nobility in Britain, France, Spain and Portugal, Italy, Germany and Austria share certain distinctive common features that can be summed under the term of vassalage ...
4
votes
2answers
325 views

How was financial profit viewed in Medieval Europe?

What was the attitude of people in Medieval Europe towards earning money, making a profit etc. I know that in some places Jews were well established as merchants because, from the point of the view of ...
7
votes
1answer
445 views

Why did Stephen II of Blois (father of King Stephen of England) abandon the First Crusade in 1098 knowing how much he would lose by doing so?

Having taken the crusader’s vow and raised an army of thousands, why did Stephen II of Blois forsake the enormous prestige associated with crusading and risk shame and accusations of cowardice by ...
6
votes
1answer
560 views

What was Pope Innocent III's response to the Children's crusade led by Stephan of Cloyes?

In 1212, two groups involving children embarked on crusades to the Holy Land. They are generally lumped together and known as the Children's Cruade. They were not true crusades in the sense that the ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Did monasteries hold land and collect rent in medieval Europe?

In Ken Follett's series of books about the fictional town of Kingsbridge, the monastery essentially acts as lord over the surrounding area. They collect rent on lands they own, hear cases between the ...
25
votes
2answers
3k views

Did Muslim states hire Western European knights as mercenaries before the Crusades?

In the book Hattin by John France the following claim is made: The fighting qualities of western knights were widely recognized in the Mediterranean lands, and they were often employed even by ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How common was it for monasteries to attack other monasteries in the early medieval period in western Europe?

Recently, I saw this passage in M & H. Whittock, ‘The Viking Blitzkrieg’ (referring to Ireland) of the 113 attacks on monasteries between 795 and 820, only twenty-six were carried out by ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Should the Great Schism of 1054 be taken to be 1204 (or 1182) instead?

It seems that 1054 wasn't such a big deal: forty years later Pope Urban and Emperor Alexios were on such good terms that a crusade was initiated to save Constantinople and the Holy Lands; even in 1136 ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

In medieval Europe, were children born in an annulled marriage automatically illegitimate?

I know that under modern laws (even within the Catholic Church), children born in a marriage that is later annulled are still considered legitimate, because they were born of a putative marriage. Was ...
7
votes
3answers
503 views

Under European feudalism, were the distribution of armies (vassals and fiefdoms) based on a coherent idea?

The context is High Medieval, (c. 1001—1300). The concept of feudalism is as understood in Europe. I'm not looking for an answer to cover all European empires or dynasties during this period -- which ...
20
votes
9answers
6k views

Were there ever any libraries in medieval villages?

I know that in towns and cities there might be libraries built, but is it possible or likely that peasants can have access to it as well? I've heard that every village has an least a monastery or ...
6
votes
3answers
317 views

Early counterparts of scholarly journals

If I'm not mistaken, universities in Europe originated in the middle ages. Today, the way of making new discoveries known to the learned community is publication in scholarly journals, or more ...
6
votes
2answers
504 views

Are there equivalents of the Domesday Book for other (French or German) duchies?

Is the Domesday Book a one-off census in the wake of the Norman conquest? One can imagine that William wanted an accurate feudal picture of his new kingdom but was it the norm? Did other dukes and ...