Medieval Life

Articles on everyday life for royalty, tradesmen, and peasants in the Middle Ages (500-1500 AD)

Articles on everyday life for royalty, tradesmen, and peasants in the Middle Ages (500-1500 AD)


high middle ages

The High Middle Ages

The High Middle Ages were a period of incredible technological innovation, architectural design, and artistic production. Nevertheless, myths about the period's backwardness and ignorance remain. Below is an excerpt from a book by medieval and Renaissance scholar Anthony Esolen on myth and fact about the High Middle Ages. We all…

the middle ages

The Middle Ages: A Comprehensive Overview of Europe, 500-1500

The Middle Ages were a thousand-year period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance in which the foundations of modern European culture were laid. Many consider them a "dark age" of ignorance, but the educational, legal, religious, and social institutions that still influence much of Western culture…

Guest Post: Unravelling the Mystery of Middle Eastern Medieval Mummies

The following is a guest post from Ancient Origins. To view the original post, please click here.  When archaeologists found a cache of medieval mummies in a Lebanese cave, the amazing discovery took their breath away. The remarkably well-preserved bodies of eight people who were buried in Qadisha Valley opened the…

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Crazy Potions and Nasty Nostrums: Six Bizarre Medieval Medicines

If you think, as some do today, that many drugs used as medicines are potentially deadly, consider what people living in medieval times were prescribed as curative agents—from ground up corpses to toxic mercury to crocodile dung. The annals of medieval medical history are full of substances that make us…

Who Was the First King of England?

The answer to this question depends on how you define "King of England." After the Roman Empire's decline, several Saxon clansmen and "kings," as well as Scandinavian invaders ruled different regions of England and Britain. The kings who eventually evolved into the kings of the whole of England, were the…

What Was the First Crusade?

The first crusade was a response to a very inspiring speech by Pope Urban II on November 27, 1095. At the start of the 11th century, Christians were often persecuted in Jerusalem under Islamic rule. Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos was also threatened by the Islamic Seljuq Turks and called…

What Were the Crusades?

The Crusades that were known as "Holy wars," were military campaigns of the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. Pope Urban II was the first pope who inspired people to the take part of the first crusade of 1095. The Pope's speech was so motivational; thousands of people took…

What Was the Black Plague?

The Black Death, also often called the "bubonic plague" was an epidemic of disastrous proportions that is said to have killed up to 50% of the European population in the 1300's and around 12 million people in China in the 1800s.. According to historians, the Black Death came from the…

What Was the 100 Years War?

The 100 years war was a long series of conflicts that took place between England and France from 1337 to 1453. A lot of it revolved around property in France which belonged to the English Kings, but for which they refused to pay homage to France, causing the king of…

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Five Absurd Myths about the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages is full of historical myths. Many historians blame this on the rise of humanism and the Renaissance movement. 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…

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