Part I: Medieval Time Daily Values and Practices (#medieval #KingArthur #knights)
As a child, I was fascinated with the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. King Arthur had gone through different stages as a warlord of the forgotten period to warrior-king status. Then later, he played as a passive ruler while his knights swore into the fellowship of the Round Table. The knights overcame monsters and enemies in his name. Their stories inspired people to think of the Age of Chivalry, where the tall, impenetrable castle overlooked the field of combats. People romanticize armored knights who embarked on a dangerous journey to prove their prowess and worth.
My current work is a fantasy novel of the adventures of three siblings that set in the Medieval Time of Umatia (a made up place that resembled England in its Middle Age). The story is inspired by the values and virtues of the King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
The medieval era stretched from the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 to the start of the Renaissance nearly 1,000 years later. Many common practices or beliefs in the Medial Time seem to be oddities in our modern time. Here are ten examples from the daily practice during that time:
- Medieval farm animals were smaller than they are today. Bulls were a little larger than a modern-day calf and sheep were about its one third size today. Pigs were the main source of meat because they were plentiful and cheap.
- King Edward II banned an early version of football played with a pig’s bladder in 1314 because it deemed to be too violent and destructive.
- To prove ones innocence, people of accused were often subject to trial by ordeal. Trial Trial ordeal, such as being burnt by a hot iron was common. This type of practice was often used until it was forbidden by the Catholic Church later on.
- People in the middle Ages had no forks. They used spoons and knives.
- To keep their teeth clean, people brushed their teeth by putting burnt rosemary on a cloth and scrubbed their teeth with it. Tooth extraction was extremely painful during that period of time when there was no anesthetic at all.
- It was high fashion to shave off one’s eyebrows in Florence during the Renaissance. This is can be seen by many famous paintings during that period of time, such as Michelangelo’s Mona Lisa, she has no eyebrows.
- Another mark of beauty was to have one’s veins show through on their face. It was a sign of translucent skin.
- Many women put a false “beauty mark” on their face. This mark was made of a circular patch of black fabric. When one applied it to the corner of one’s eye it indicated passion, if it was above the lip, it indicated a quality of flirtation; and on the forehead indicated magnificence.
- A peasant’s diet mostly consisted of pottage and dark breads. They seldom ate meat.
- Water was an unreliable and often cause spreading of diseases, so ale was the common beverage.
To read more about King Arthur and his Round Table Knights: