sillimarilli: (Default)
Newman, Paul. Daily Life in the Middle Ages. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2001, pp. 12-13

Certainly the limitations of not being able to ship fresh fruits and vegetables in from distant lands that enjoyed frost-free weather or other variations in climate that produced different growing seasons meant that most Europeans had no access to these nutritious foods except when they were ripe within the immediate vicinity. Thus, from the late fall through early spring, many people during the Middle Ages endured monotonous diets, largely devoid of fruits and vegetables, and likely suffered some form of malnutrition, such as scurvy from lack of vitamin C. … the sudden reintroduction of such food can actually make them more ill, to the point of causing death, as their digestive systems struggle to break down and assimilate the sudden flood of nutrients.
sillimarilli: (Default)
Gies, Frances and Joseph Gies. Life in a Medieval Village. New York: Harper & Row, 1990, p. 172-3.

Twice or more each year the villagers gathered for the hallmote: hall, meaning manor house, and mote, meeting. … The hallmote was the lord's manorial court, presided over by his steward, and transacting primarily the lord's business… Yet the principle actors in the hallmote were villagers, who in effect served as prosecutor, legal authority, witnesses, and judge. Much of the court's business had nothing to do with the lord, but was concerned with interaction among the villagers. Finally, the hallmote's proceedings were ruled not by the lord's will but by the ancient and powerful body of tradition known as the custom of the manor… The hallmote, furthermore, was legislative as well as a judicial body, promulgating the bylaws that governed field, meadow, pasture, and woods…
sillimarilli: (Default)
Newman, Paul. Daily Life in the Middle Ages. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2001, p. 183.

On dancing:

Simple dances performed as a group appear to have been the most popular, if not sole, form of dancing enjoyed by all classes up to mid-15th century. Then, starting in northern Italy, a more stylized form of dancing appeared. In these dances, couples paired off but still functioned as part of a coordinated group and the dancing was still either slow and gliding (bassadanza) or somewhat faster (ballo)…

Regardless of the pace and form, dancing was, as it always has been, part of the courtship process. Ring dances and the later more stylized dances gave members of the opposite sex a chance to see each other, show off, and flirt, in the same way that square dancing and other communal dances continued to do centuries later. Further, even with the generally communal nature of the dancing, there are still many descriptions from throughout medieval Europe of dances in which couples often broke off from the main group or otherwise contrived to achieve more intimacy during group dances.

Video example of English Country Dancing behind the cut )
sillimarilli: (Default)
Newman, Paul. Daily Life in the Middle Ages. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, p 30.

On the use of rushes as insulation on the floor

Finally, beneath it all, the floor of the hall was covered in rushes, but these were not simply loose rushes strewn about the floor. Illuminations, such as those done for the Duke of Berry in the 15th century, show that the rushes were often woven into large mats that completely covered the floor of the hall, providing an absorbent and resilient, yet disposable, carpeting.
sillimarilli: (Default)
Newman, Paul. Daily Life in the Middle Ages. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, p 237.

On the wearability of armor:

In the winter, metal armor has the same insulating value as an overcoat made of aluminum foil or that heatsink material used in computers to conduct heat away from the chips. (Remember the last time you were outdoors when the temperature was near or below freezing and touched any metal object that had been left out in the cold?) While the quilted clothing under the armor does help some, the heat-conducting property of the metal armor continually transfers all the wearer's vital warmth out of him and into the air as rapidly as possible. This chilling outer surface combined with the moisture trapped in the layers of padded clothing seems to be guaranteed to cause exposure. Though there are no records of this happening, it's also easy to imagine knights getting their lips or other parts frozen to the armor in the same way as that legendary gullible child fooled into sticking his tongue to a flagpole or pump-handle in January.
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 08:04 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios