Middle Ages: 5 myths in the history of Europe
The Middle Ages is a mysterious and gloomy time in the history of mankind, associated with terrible torture, omnipresent mud and fetid smells, terrible epidemics and crusades. The Middle Ages period dates back to the V century, and ends only in the XV. The Middle Ages are times of raging wars and great discoveries. In the article we collected for you 5 interesting myths about the Middle Ages and their exposure.
Myth 1. The lack of science in the Middle Ages
Reasons for the approval of this myth really existed. In the era of the Middle Ages, which was also called the Dark Ages, the most monastic people were scholars.
As a result, all discoveries and laws that did not fall within the norms of the Holy Scriptures, called themselves heresy, and no one believed in their existence. The brightest example is the experiments and discoveries of researchers in the field of astronomy, which are known to almost everyone.
Nevertheless, science has expanded and actively developed.For example, the knights from the crusades brought from the east such instruments as a compass and an astrolabe. And Italian traders brought Arabic numerals from North Africa.
Medicine, too, did not stand still, despite its underdevelopment. Large libraries and institutes were created precisely in the Middle Ages, thanks to the hard work of the monks.
Myth 2. Dirty Middle Ages
People who know about the Middle Ages only by hearsay or from films will surely think: in this era dirt and unsanitary conditions reigned around, and people of that time did not wash more than a few times a year. We are in a hurry to refute this theory. Indeed, in the era of the Middle Ages there were baths.
This legacy has remained to mankind since the time of the Roman Empire. The Europeans of that time washed a little less than the modern man. And by the XIII century, almost the industrial production of soap was adjusted.
Everything changed by the end of the XIV century, when the bloated myth of the perniciousness of carnal purity reached frightening proportions. Due to the low literacy of the majority of the population, people believed in this horror story and stopped monitoring their hygiene. That is why we often hear from contemporaries that medieval Europeans were dirty all the time.
Myth 3. Noble Knights of Europe
Many people still consider knights as the epitome of true valor and honor. Unfortunately, it is not so. In most cases, the knights - this is the estate of feudal lords, which was in the army of professional soldiers.
In the intervals between the incessant internecine wars, the knights, in order to somehow appease their violent temper, raped the village girls and humiliated the local peasants. And when the break ended, they did almost the same thing, only on enemy territory, if they were lucky to win the battle.
In the already troubled Europe, by the 11th century, the situation had become so hot that Pope Urban II sent a crowd of raging warriors to conquer the East. Naturally, this event occurred and for a number of other reasons, nevertheless, the threat of the growing power of the feudal class became a stumbling block in this story.
But you should not go so categorically to extremes. Among the knights were many wise and worthy people, with their own code of honor and noble intentions. But the overwhelming majority still did not follow any rules.
Myth 4. Poor attitudes towards women
This myth is only half true. The fact is that only 200 years ago, Europe ceased to be agrarian.Without modern technology, she could not feed herself.
Naturally, a woman took an active part in agricultural activities, and she also looked after children, cleaned the house and cooked food. But ... if we look closely at the modern life of people, then we will not find such strongly pronounced differences.
Yes, in the Middle Ages, women had significantly less rights and freedoms, and she always obeyed her husband, but the permanent overwhelming factor of the beautiful half of humanity was not observed either. So, we can safely consider this myth unmasked.
Myth 5. Life in the Middle Ages
Many modern history lovers say that life in the Middle Ages can be described briefly: wars, death, hunger, plague. In many ways, they will be right, but not in all. For example, the average human life expectancy in the dark ages was much lower than the modern one and was only about 35 years.
But do not forget that at that time there was a very large number of infant deaths, which were also taken into account in the statistical data. But the average length of adult men, for example, was 55 years, which is not so bad for that era.
The plague really knocked down half the population of Europe, but if we proceed from the theory of the most dangerous disease, it is the Spanish flu, which our planet experienced only in the XVIII century. With regard to wars, one can say the same thing - the most large-scale wars did not take place at all in the era of the Middle Ages.
Naturally, in the Middle Ages it was difficult to live, especially in the role of an ordinary peasant, taxed and labor service, but in general life was not so terrible, as often used to portray it in many stories and films.
If you want to look at life in the Middle Ages in media format, then we recommend the following video: