Questions tagged [middle-ages]

The Middle Ages is a periodisation of European history, encompassing the period from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century to the Renaissance in the 15th century.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
0answers
42 views

What historic documents do we have supporting women wearing veils as historically continuous since Assyrian law?

The documentation of Assyrian law is given in the answer to this question. What is the earliest history of Middle Eastern women wearing veils for modesty while in public? What historic documents do we ...
4
votes
2answers
378 views
+50

How common was cannibalism in Christian Europe until the 17th century?

When hearing about cannibalism, a Robinson-Crusoean narrative usually comes to my mind, where primitive tribes would engage in limited warfare and probably ritualistically consume their prisoners. ...
35
votes
1answer
6k views

How common were marital duels in medieval Europe?

On social media, I came across a post claiming that in medieval Germany spouses could settle a divorce outside of court, civic or religious, through trial by combat! Naturally, I was shocked (the ...
5
votes
2answers
504 views

What is the reasoning behind these huge numbers for participants in the Battle of Grunwald 1410?

I was reading about the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg) in 1410 during the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War and I found this strange excerpt from current Wikispeedia, (which is based on an old Wikipedia ...
2
votes
1answer
239 views

How were Cumans physically?

I usually find pictures of Cumans or Kipchaks (I know they are not exactly the same, but they were strongly related) wearing full armor and full helmets with a face mask on it. I'm curious about two ...
1
vote
0answers
87 views

Did medieval libraries loan books to other libraries?

I'd like to know this: Did medieval libraries loan books to other libraries -- as opposed to something like having them transcribed and sending the copy? What do we know about the process? (e.g., ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

What does Tuchman mean by transition to a “money economy” in the Middle Ages?

In A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, Chapter 4, Barbara W. Tuchman writes: The governing fact was that medieval organization by this time [i.e., the 14th century] had passed to a ...
-2
votes
2answers
116 views

Marc Bloch's “Feudal Society”; Why do nobles have this vocation? [duplicate]

In volume two of "Feudal Society", Marc Bloch writes in the chapter about nobility, under the section named "THE PROFESSION OF ARMS", that: "the possession of manors was the ...
3
votes
2answers
361 views

Did medieval armies cultivate resources during their campaigns?

Reading on the siege of Constantinople of 717, the following is mentioned: The Arab army was well-provisioned, with Arab accounts reporting high mounds of supplies piled up in their camp, and had ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Did medieval kingdoms issue health related guidelines?

Today national health protection agencies around the world such as CDC in United States often issue health and personal hygiene guidelines during pandemics or epidemic or where a large population of ...
0
votes
0answers
96 views

Is there any evidence of the miracles of Tulsidas?

Several miracles are attributed to the great medieval poet and philosopher Tulsidas, among them reviving the dead, and one of the ones that most caught my attention was his arrest by Emperor Akbar. ...
3
votes
3answers
539 views

How did medieval cities get rid of waste?

What I am trying to get to is that many video games have a sewers level. To my understanding, these aren't as realistic as we'd like to think (too big or sewerage wouldn't exist yet in the settings ...
19
votes
2answers
6k views

Why was the knitting needle or the distaff a symbol to show contempt in the Middle Ages?

From Charles MacKay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions, the chapter on the Crusades has the following section: In most cases, the laugh was turned against them, for when it became known that a man was ...
2
votes
0answers
151 views

How long did it take to make a woolen sweater?

In premodern times, in temperate or colder climates, clothing was orders of magnitude more expensive than today and textile production made up a large percentage of total economic activity. I'm ...
3
votes
0answers
217 views

What became of the Richard III infidelity surprise?

Back when Richard III of England's grave was discovered, a paper published in Nature Communications reported that while his identity was confirmed through a direct-female descendent of his sister, Y-...
-1
votes
1answer
73 views

Was there and if so what was a northern silk road route from Khazaria to China?

From the reading I had done in various sources through the years, I understood that possible silk road routes from Khazaria to China were: Northern: Atil - Tashkent - Dunhuang - Chang'an Central: ...
1
vote
2answers
237 views

Is the depiction of the Stirling Castle Knight historically accurate?

For some reason BBC depicted him with a shaved head. I was wondering if it is historically accurate for a 700 year old English nobleman to have a shaved head?
32
votes
4answers
5k views

How much would 300 pounds (money value) weigh in Medieval England?

I remember reading a Robin Hood story as a child where the Sheriff of Nottingham rode though Sherwood forest, as I remember foolishly going alone, and Robin Hood robbed him of 300 pounds. And I ...
13
votes
2answers
182 views

Did Thomas Aquinas's correspondent James of Tonengo become bishop of Vercelli?

Thomas Aquinas wrote the long letter/short treatise De Sortibus at the request of his friend James / Jacobus / Giacomo of Tonengo. James was a candidate to be bishop of Vercelli (Northwest Italy) but ...
2
votes
0answers
176 views

How did medieval peasants decide where to build their houses?

When a person moved out of their parents' house, they needed a house. How was it decided where this house would be located? For example, did they just pick the next available spot on a path? Were ...
25
votes
1answer
4k views

Did Saladin speak any European languages?

As the leader of a large coalition force I'm aware he was multilingual, speaking at least Kurdish and Arabic (one site added Turkish) but a European language seems like a longshot. If he did speak one,...
-1
votes
2answers
307 views

How many people lived in a medium sized European villiage around the year 800?

My question is, how many people lived in a medium sized European village (like Germany) in the year 800. And how many people would have walked on the streets in a daily routine?
4
votes
0answers
174 views

How was reconnaissance performed in medieval warfare?

During the middle ages reconnaissance played at least a minor part in a tactician's plans. As evidenced by this question Irish Hobelars would be used to scout ahead in terrain that was too difficult ...
0
votes
1answer
170 views

When did “killing” become wrong in society? [closed]

It occurred to me that in many medieval settings, people getting killed is just a part of life. If you angered a feudal lord or noble, they could cut off your hands or kill you and no one bats an eye. ...
0
votes
1answer
145 views

Were titles in the British Peerage ever connected to land grants, and if so, when did they stop being connected to land?

I have been trying to understand the peerage systems of Britain as of late, and I have a number of questions. Let's assume we're in the middle ages. A baron-in-chief, Thomas Smith, holds a number of ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Have any palimpsests been found in medieval Icelandic (saga) literature?

Old Norse mythology and history are mostly known through Icelandic medieval parchements. Have those been found to include palimpsests, like medieval parchement in Europe has?
1
vote
2answers
234 views

How is the term “medieval” used to describe non-European civilizations and cultures?

I have done a quick Bing search, and the term refers to the Middle Ages, a time period in Western European history. It has the alternative meaning of "very old-fashioned or primitive". Yet, ...
6
votes
1answer
369 views

Is the use of flamethrower style naval weapons depicted in this game accurate?

In the popular strategy game Age of Empires 2, one key naval unit is the so-called Fire Ship. Fire ships in the game use a siphon to launch a continuous stream of fire projectiles on the enemy. ...
0
votes
2answers
197 views

In a medieval city how large a market was needed relative to population? [closed]

In a large medieval city fed by the agricultural product of the area, plus imports such as grains, spices, fish, etc. and also serving as a regional hub for the exchange of trade goods, what ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

Is there art or written evidence of crescent shaped arrows being used for bird-hunting in Medieval Europe?

I have heard it said that crescent arrows were used for hunting birds in medieval Europe. I could not find any art or literary evidence for it, though. The art I found for bird hunting generally ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

How did plague affect military management in 17th century North Africa?

I’m doing some research on Morocco’s history during the early 17th century, and more specifically the chaos leading to the fall of the Saadians Dynasty. One of the main causes, if not the main, is the ...
36
votes
2answers
5k views

How were drawbridges and portcullises used tactically?

How were drawbridges and portcullises used tactically? I was recently asked why medieval castles would have both a drawbridge and a portcullis. After giving an explanation, I realized that it was just ...
5
votes
1answer
273 views

Is there any estimate for expected life of 'ordinary' or 'poor' people in middle ages after surviving infancy?

I tried to do my own research on this and according to paper I found: Life expectancy at birth was a brief 25 years during the Roman Empire, it reached 33 years by the Middle Ages and raised up to 55 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Did medieval people wear collars with a castellated hem?

Many drawings of peasants in the Middle Ages show the men with an oversized collar or short cape with a distinctive castellated margin. Did this really exist, and if so, was the shape dictated by a ...
6
votes
1answer
239 views

Under primogenture in 12th century France, if the eldest son predeceases his father, did the grandson or an younger son inherit?

Okay so I'm not sure how to word this eloquently, I'm sorry, but please bear with me. Let's say that a lord, eg. a Duke had two sons. The older one got married, had a male heir, and then died while ...
12
votes
1answer
293 views

How likely was an enlisted man to have fought at both Falkirk and Bannockburn?

A heroic Scottish song begins, "Scots who have with Wallace bled, Scots whom Bruce has often led..." William Wallace's most famous battle was Falkirk (1298). Robert Bruce's was Bannockburn (...
-1
votes
1answer
367 views

Why was Jesus depicted so differently in medieval Madonnas?

We can expect a portrait of Jesus, from either the Roman or the medieval eras, to look something approximating this: (6th century Byzantine depiction sourced from Wikimedia Commons) However, in ...
0
votes
1answer
246 views

How did 15th century royals identify themselves in England/Spain?

I'm studying the customs of medieval Europe to gather information for a novel I'm writing and a question has arisen about how the nobles, especially the royal family, identified themselves. Did they ...
-1
votes
1answer
122 views

Were medieval city states like Venice and Milan feudal? [closed]

I know they had lots of powerful factions and families, but Venice, for instance, was a republic, no? And Rome was a theocracy. If they were feudal, how did their respective governments work in a ...
4
votes
2answers
323 views

When were weapons banned at the Thing assemblies in Norway?

First the attendants of the assemblies used the clashing of their swords and shields as an expression of their agreement, but later on weapons at the Thing assemblies were banned and the meaning of &...
4
votes
0answers
158 views

Where can I find a historic recipe for red cherry-onion jam?

A while back, I had duck with red cherry-onion jam at a medieval restaurant. Allegedly, it was a historic recipe, originally prepared in 1445 for the wedding of one of René d’Anjou’s daughters. As for ...
3
votes
0answers
104 views

What is known about the Tings in 10th century Norway?

There is quite a lot known about the Icelandic assemblies, but what about the Norwegian ones? Were Gulating, Borgarting, Eidsivating and Frostating also held in summer? Can we assume, that the ...
6
votes
0answers
121 views

Are there any sources supporting the claim that Jews were less affected by epidemics?

There is a common thread that Jews historically suffered less from epidemics because of Jewish ritual requirements of cleanliness. E.g., Wikipedia - Perceived Jewish immunity has 3 weakly supporting ...
1
vote
0answers
195 views

What was the purpose of rounded sills in Medieval castles?

At the Saranta Kolones Castle, or Forty Columns Castle, in Paphos, Cyprus, there are several door (gate?) sills which are rounded in the direction of travel, i.e. the edges of the sill that are ...
4
votes
1answer
231 views

How was Enguerrand VII de Coucy able to keep his allegiance to both king of England and France during the Hundrend Years War?

I was trying to do some research on the subject of feudal contracts. I found some example contracts here. This contains two contracts and one oath of fealty which as I understand it is part of the ...
6
votes
2answers
364 views

How did smaller feudal vassal realms survive a war or raid?

Say you're a knight or baron or just generally a landowner who swears fealty to a much more higher title than you. One day a war breaks out between a rival realm or raiders from a more tribal-like one ...
4
votes
0answers
1k views

Do the edges of the CK3 map reflect real discontinuities in the medieval world?

Crusader Kings III was released a week or so ago, mostly to critical acclaim. I, too, have played the new release, and enjoyed it thoroughly. However, the while the new map is significantly better ...
1
vote
0answers
106 views

Have there been any significant developments in the “Norman Controversy” on the origin of the Kievan Rus? [closed]

I've been reading Riasanovsky's "A History of Russia" (2nd edition, so fairly out of date), and it comes out strongly against the Norman theory. Today though, most sources seem to lean ...
25
votes
3answers
1k views

Was frequent bathing for personal hygiene in medieval Europe common or not?

The usual narrative: No bathing There is a frequently debunked claim that medieval Europeans did not bathe. Occasionally, the claim is connected to pandemics of the era and extended to the idea that ...
0
votes
1answer
246 views

In the Middle Ages - 18th century, how long would it take for a blacksmith forge a regular farming scythe to a war scythe?

Whenever I look up how long it took for a blacksmith to certain tools or weapons, I just get information on forging swords. Let's say a peasant is trying to make his scythe efficient for self-defense ...

1
2 3 4 5
16