Medieval Life - Food
The picture above shows a Norman lord dining in the great hall of his castle or manor house.
His table is set at one end of the great hall and he sits in a high-backed chair. His guests, the priest, two noblemen and his wife, sit on his table while less important people eat sitting on stools or benches at trestle tables lower down the hall.
A knight stands at either end of the table ready to protect his lord from attack. A serving boy offers the lord first choice of the plate of meat. The lord's guests will be served next and the less important people will get whatever meat remains.
Above the lord's head, part of the shields bearing his coat of arms can be seen, while at the bottom right corner a flying knife and ball offer evidence that the lord is being entertained by a juggler. The plates used by the Normans were made out of wood. Sometimes they used large slices of day-old bread as plates for the meat and sometimes they ate out of bowls.
Although they had knives and spoons, there were no forks, so people used their fingers a great deal. The lord always ate well, even during winter. Unlike most of the people who lived on his manor, he could afford to buy salt to preserve his meat all the year round. He could also afford pepper to spice tasteless food or food which was beginning to go bad.
The peasants’ main food was a dark bread made out of rye grain.
They ate a kind of stew called pottage made from the peas, beans and onions that they grew in their gardens.
Their only sweet food was the berries, nuts and honey that they collected from the woods.
Peasants did not eat much meat. Many kept a pig or two but could not often afford to kill one.
They could hunt rabbits or hares but might be punished for this by their lord.
Spying became an integral part of the Cold War. Both sides went out of their way to acquire as much knowledge as they could about each other. While Hollywood has romanticized the whole image of espionage, the real thing is far from romantic. It is a dangerous cat and mouse game that typically results in torture, prison, or execution if caught by the opposing team.
During the Cold War, spies had to prepare... Read More
The seafaring Vikings were a group of people that came from the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. They made an enduring name for themselves through the 8th and 11th century for being tactical warriors, smart traders, and daring explorers. In fact, they arrived in America way before Columbus ever did, and archeologists have found some of their remnants scattered as far East as Russia.
... Read More
The Middle Ages is full of historical myths. Many historians blame this on the rise of Humanism and the Renaissance movement that appeared in the early Modern Period. Both of these cultural shifts encouraged society to look back at Medieval times in disgust. Gothic architecture from the Middle Ages was abandoned in the beginning of the Modern era, and replaced by classic Greek and Roman architecture. In other... Read More
1. The First Thanksgiving
What they told you: Escaping religious prosecution, the pilgrims left England on sailboats and landed on Plymouth Rock, barely surviving their first winter. With the graceful help of a nearby Indian tribe, who taught the settlers how to fish and hunt the land, the early colonists succeeded in establishing a foothold in the vast North American Wilderness. Thus, the pilgrims held their... Read More
How World War II Began
World War II was one of the most destructive conflicts in all of human history. More than forty-six million civilians and soldiers died, many in cruel and horrifying circumstances that lasted for years. The majority of them were unknown faces, lost in time and history, and only recognized by the people who loved them. Their lives, culture, and livelihood were swept away from one day to... Read More