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6

Other answers are mostly about England. The Middle Ages were very long with several different stages. Europe is also huge. While in the Early Middle Ages the Carolingian renaissance already flourished in one part of Europe, among Slavs virtually no-one could read or write, except for a handful of mainly Iro-scot missionaries. Mind you, this is not just "...


5

There is an interesting publication, "Literacy and Education in England 1640-1900" by Lawrence Stone in 1969. (If SciHub suits you, you can search there for that internet address.) It focuses on England, but also glances elsewhere in Western Europe. It does not stray back into the medieval period, which may be the main focus of the question, but it ...


8

The Light Ages by Seb Falk writes, “Literacy was not as rare in medieval England as is often assumed — around half the population had a basic level, sufficient to read a familiar prayer” (pg. 30). (This is a book written for a popular audience, but written by a proper historian.) I will also register a different opinion from Moishe as to the correlation of ...


27

Here are some semi-random quotes. I do not have time to chase the references, but they are coming from a modern professional historian, not from a You-tube personality, so I'd take his numbers seriously. Robert A. Houston, "The Growth of Literacy in Western Europe from 1500 to 1800". Houston is a professor of History at St.Andrews and wrote a book ...


18

Although illustrations in medieval manuscripts often take a creative approach to reality, they can give a good interpretation of how ladders were used during an escalade. There are depictions of ladders being held against the walls in various ways, such as with armored hooks at the top or by bracing it at the bottom, and never seem to depict ladders being ...


2

how did they prevent the defenders from simply pushing down the ladder as they were climbing it the ladder does not necessarily reach all the way to the top of the rampart, so, to reach it, defenders would have to get out from the protection of the rampart and become vulnerable to the attackers' missiles. the Wikipedia article you refer to has a picture of ...


2

Upstream the boats were usually towed by men or animals on the river bank. In Russia, people in this trade were (later?) known as Burlaks, but similar jobs existed in other countries too, notably on the rivers in Germany. Punting was quite common on short river sections where towing was not possible.


4

River transport was used very much already in the Neolithic and Ancient times. Fast, cheap, quite reliable. It was used both for goods and travelers. What developed in late Middle Ages was a trans-european waterway transport service economy. This is only true for northern Europe. Southern Europe does not have many navigable rivers, plus, its navigation ...


1

As James's answer said, there were innovations during the Middle Age as during other periods, even if the Middle Ages, considering their length, are not the period at which Europe showed its fatest innovation. The political fragmentation as well as natural diseases and foreign invasions did not help to theoretical innovation: people only accepted innovations ...


9

In general, modern historians emphasize continuity in history. They know that the tripartite division (Ancient, Middle, Modern) is artificial and biased since it was coined: it is somehow implied that the "Classical World" was better than Medieval, but we know this is not true. Modern historias are very wary of this "backward medieval view&...


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