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Quão próximos eram os padrões de vida da Índia em comparação com os da Inglaterra durante o período medieval?

Quão próximos eram os padrões de vida da Índia em comparação com os da Inglaterra durante o período medieval?


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Índia, China e o continente africano estão hoje principalmente associados à pobreza na Europa, nos Estados Unidos e assim por diante. Olhando especificamente para a Índia, durante a era medieval compartilhava um padrão de vida semelhante ao da Inglaterra (na mesma época) e, em caso afirmativo, quando eles começaram a divergir?


Isso é parcialmente abordado no artigo "Índia e a grande divergência: uma comparação anglo-indiana do PIB per capita, 1600-1871" por Stephen Broadberry e Bishnupriya Gupta.

O artigo está disponível aqui: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/pdf/Broadberry/IndianGDPpre1970v7.pdf. (Observe que artigos em andamento como este tendem a desaparecer da web com o tempo). O resumo do artigo é:

Este documento fornece estimativas do PIB indiano construídas do lado da produção para o período anterior a 1871 e as combina com estimativas populacionais para rastrear mudanças nos padrões de vida. O PIB per capita indiano diminuiu continuamente durante os séculos XVII e XVIII, antes de se estabilizar durante o século XIX. À medida que os padrões de vida britânicos aumentaram a partir de meados do século XVII, a Índia ficou cada vez mais para trás. Enquanto em 1600 o PIB per capita indiano era superior a 60% do nível britânico, em 1871 ele havia caído para menos de 15%. Além de situar as origens da Grande Divergência no início do período moderno, as estimativas sugerem uma Índia relativamente próspera no auge do Império Mughal, com padrões de vida bem acima da simples subsistência.

O artigo talvez não vá tão longe quanto você deseja, mas a seção de literatura contém várias referências a outros estudos sobre padrões de vida na Índia e na Grã-Bretanha. Também sugiro que você dê uma olhada na página inicial de Broadberry (um historiador econômico muito respeitado) para obter mais informações sobre tópicos relacionados: http://www.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/whosWho/profiles/sbroadberry.aspx

Entre eles está um artigo dos mesmos autores de 2006: "A grande divergência do início da modernidade: salários, preços e desenvolvimento econômico na Europa e na Ásia, 1500-1800", Economic History Review, 59 (2006), 2-31. Resumo:

Ao contrário das afirmações de Pomeranz, Parthasarathi e outros 'historiadores mundiais', as partes prósperas da Ásia entre 1500 e 1800 parecem semelhantes às partes estagnadas do sul, centro e leste da Europa, em vez das partes noroeste em desenvolvimento. Nas partes avançadas da Índia e da China, os salários dos grãos eram comparáveis ​​aos do noroeste da Europa, mas os salários da prata, que conferiam poder de compra sobre os bens e serviços comercializáveis, eram substancialmente mais baixos. Os altos salários da prata no noroeste da Europa não eram simplesmente um fenômeno monetário, mas refletiam a alta produtividade no setor comercializável. A 'grande divergência' entre a Europa e a Ásia já estava bem encaminhada antes de 1800.


"Padrões de vida" requer certomedidasou padrões. Portanto, é muito difícil chegar a conclusões empíricas. Com base em que julgamos os padrões de vida?

No entanto, se considerarmosProduto Interno BrutoeProduto interno bruto per capita, assim comoremuneraçõesem termos absolutos, isso está tomando algum ano específico como base (100), então alguns estudos mostram que, embora o PIB per capita do Reino Unido tenha aumentado constantemente de 1000 DC, o da Índia não aumentou tanto. Por volta de 1500 d.C., a Índia já estava ficando para trás. Este estudo é devido a Angus Maddison. Veja isso.

Outro artigo que fornece vários outros indicadores, também estuda o período de 1600 d.C. descobre um declínio constante no PIB per capita, enquanto o PIB per capita do Reino Unido aumenta continuamente no mesmo período. Consulte a página 22, tabelas 12 e 13. Para salários, consulte a página 16, tabela 3. Este documento também menciona várias outras fontes de material como referência.

Outra fonte que estuda a história econômica é "World Economic Historical Statistics", de Carlos Sabillon. Este livro detalha / mapeia as mudanças no PIB e as contribuições setoriais (manufatura, agricultura) do século 16 à década de 1990 para todas as regiões do mundo.


Veja isso :

REFERÊNCIA:

Lista de regiões por PIB anterior (PPP)


O PIB per capita é um indicador dos padrões de vida.

Uma comparação sólida da participação do PIB pode ser encontrada neste link

Desde 01AD até hoje o mundo mudou bastante. Mas até 1700 DC o equilíbrio da riqueza não tinha. Nos últimos dois séculos, a parcela do PIB mundial foi transferida do oeste para a Europa por meio do imperialismo e da inovação tecnológica. Com a ascensão da China que está mudando novamente, este infográfico explora a história do equilíbrio e do desequilíbrio na economia mundial, cortesia dos dados do Projeto Maddison (http://www.ggdc.net/maddison/maddison-project/home.htm )

Referências:

https://infogr.am/Share-of-world-GDP-throughout-history

Dados do PIB retirados de http://www.ggdc.net/maddison/maddison-project/data/mpd_2013-01.xlsx


Questão muito ampla e também ignora o fato de que as sociedades feudais e baseadas no elenco redistribuíam a riqueza de maneira diferente das sociedades democráticas atuais.

No entanto, deixe-me dar um ângulo que pode ser útil (sem dados, desculpe): A enorme diferença econômica entre a Índia e o Reino Unido vem da industrialização significativamente anterior do Reino Unido. No entanto, na era pré-industrial, o PIB vinha predominantemente da agricultura e de outras fontes primárias (silvicultura, mineração, pesca, etc.). Isso foi verdade por milhares de anos e a tecnologia agrícola mais ou menos definiu o nível do PIB em uma determinada área.

A Europa fica muito ao norte da Índia, então a produção agrícola é muito mais pobre. embora as corporações sejam diferentes, em nível técnico semelhante você pode cultivar 2 a 3 vezes o trigo ou outros grãos na Índia do que na Europa, especialmente em lugares como o Reino Unido. Em outras palavras, a Europa era significativamente mais pobre do que a Índia ou a China na época, e somente a exploração + industrialização mudou isso.


Quando as pessoas não estão felizes, elas se revoltam contra os governantes, a revolução francesa segue uma fome. Portanto, se você pesquisar o número de revoluções e levantes populares ao longo dos séculos e listá-los, poderá ter uma indicação dos padrões de vida por área. Deve ser uma das maneiras mais simples de responder à sua pergunta. É uma medida direta do descontentamento popular. O mesmo ocorre com o conflito, também conhecido como pilhagem em massa, o interesse dos países vizinhos em capturar riqueza de algum lugar e as estruturas feudais versus império. As sociedades feudais são mais duras. O mesmo ocorre com a ilegalidade e o banditismo. Sociedades infelizes têm muitos crimes e fortificações pesadas para qualquer lugar, com até bois para roubar. A Europa estava sem lei e todas as casas notáveis ​​foram fortificadas até o fim do sistema feudal.

Os padrões de vida são normalmente medidos por muitos indicadores:

Direito de possuir um animal, frequência de fome, quantidade de ouro e prata para pessoas normais, número de doenças (a condição das pessoas nos túmulos mostra o quanto trabalharam e de que morreram), longevidade, existência de cascas camponesas que deram a maioria das pessoas não tem direito a armas e nem direito a metalurgia, nutrição e assim por diante ...

Você deve ser capaz de contabilizar tudo para responder à pergunta ...

É pouco mensurável, no entanto, você pode tentar encontrar informações de cada um desses indicadores de padrão de vida, e talvez nos contar seus resultados!

Você pode imaginar a riqueza de um país pela quantidade de comércio que eles faziam e transportavam, que lazer eles praticavam, quantas pessoas emigravam de um lugar para outro, quanto se reproduziam, quanto trabalho sua agricultura exigia para alimentar seu povo e quantos pessoas por quantidade de recursos ... Rajasthan-punjab é relativamente abundante e Karnataka, na Índia central, é estéril.

A qualidade de vida era geralmente dividida por elenco, com escravos, camponeses, classe média, soldados e aristocracia, todos desfrutando de estilos de vida diferentes, e em diferentes países as distribuições de classes eram diferentes, por isso é uma questão muito ampla, perguntar quais padrões as "pessoas" tinham. Pessoas em áreas com bom tempo, abundância de peixes, aves e colheitas fáceis, basicamente tinham bons padrões de vida, então é muito errático.

Quantidade de ouro e prata não é uma indicação muito boa de posse material das pessoas na época, porque ouro e prata variam geograficamente. Principalmente o comércio consistia em animais, potes e panelas, trabalhos em madeira, roupas, etc. Naquela época, países como a Índia eram a única fonte mundial de diamantes. Algumas áreas comercializavam ouro e algumas comercializavam cobre, âmbar, jade, ametista, gemas, especiarias, linho, pérolas eram uma forma de moeda, rubis de rios e assim por diante.


Esta é realmente uma questão ampla que provavelmente deveria ser encerrada, mas vou tentar abordá-la.

Em primeiro lugar, é difícil comparar a Índia com a Inglaterra porque a Índia é um lugar muito maior. Comparar a Índia com a Europa pode ser uma comparação melhor.

Muitas partes da Índia provavelmente estavam em melhor situação do que a Inglaterra entre 400 d.C. e 1.000 d.C. depois disso, as invasões moghul fizeram a Índia entrar em declínio e, enquanto isso, as coisas estavam melhorando gradualmente na Inglaterra.

Então, para escolher uma data, isso seria cerca de 1000 d.C. esse foi o ponto de viragem.


A idade média

Em termos de doença, a Idade Média pode ser considerada como começando com a peste de 542 e terminando com a Peste Negra (peste bubônica) de 1348. Doenças em proporções epidêmicas incluíram lepra, peste bubônica, varíola, tuberculose, sarna, erisipela, antraz , tracoma, sudorese e mania da dança (Vejo infecção). O isolamento de pessoas com doenças transmissíveis surgiu primeiro em resposta à disseminação da hanseníase. Esta doença tornou-se um problema sério na Idade Média e particularmente nos séculos XIII e XIV.

A peste negra, um surto de peste, atingiu os portos mediterrâneos do sul da Europa em 1347 e, em três anos, varreu a Europa. O principal método de combate à peste era isolar os casos conhecidos ou suspeitos, bem como as pessoas que haviam entrado em contato com eles. O período de isolamento no início era de cerca de 14 dias e gradualmente foi aumentado para 40 dias. Agitados pela Peste Negra, os funcionários públicos criaram um sistema de controle sanitário para combater as doenças contagiosas, utilizando postos de observação, hospitais de isolamento e procedimentos de desinfecção. Os principais esforços para melhorar o saneamento incluíram o desenvolvimento de suprimentos de água pura, coleta de lixo e esgoto e inspeção de alimentos. Esses esforços foram especialmente importantes nas cidades, onde as pessoas viviam em condições de superlotação de maneira rural, com muitos animais ao redor de suas casas.

Durante a Idade Média, uma série de primeiros passos na saúde pública foram dados: tentativas de lidar com as condições insalubres das cidades e, por meio da quarentena, para limitar a propagação de doenças o estabelecimento de hospitais e a prestação de cuidados médicos e assistência social .


Atividade 1. Padres e Monges

Revise os tipos de pessoas medievais estudadas nas Atividades 1 e 2. Em seguida, pergunte aos alunos se eles conseguem pensar em um grupo de pessoas que viveram durante a Idade Média e que ainda não foram mencionadas. (Como uma dica, mencione que durante a Idade Média a maioria das pessoas na Europa eram membros da Igreja Católica Romana.) Suas respostas devem incluir padres, monges, frades e freiras. Explique que nesta atividade eles aprenderão sobre os sacerdotes e monges.

Comece a pesquisa em grupo deste tópico lendo juntos o texto encontrado em Religião, disponível em Learner.Org. Pergunte que papel especial a igreja local desempenhou na vida dos moradores.

Agora leia sobre monges medievais em Monges e Freiras disponíveis na Idade Média de Learner.Org. Explique que os oito serviços diários (ou momentos de oração) observados pelos monges eram os mesmos mencionados no Livro de Horas. Grupos de monges viviam juntos em um mosteiro, também conhecido como abadia. Leia sobre as abadias acessando os seguintes sites:

    disponível através do recurso revisado pelo EDSITEment Biblioteca pública da Internet disponível através do Labyrinth disponível através do Labyrinth

Lembre aos alunos as imagens iluminadas que eles viram nas Atividades 1 e 2. Explique que os primeiros manuscritos iluminados foram feitos pelos monges. Eram cópias da Bíblia e outros escritos religiosos. Eles foram cuidadosamente escritos e ilustrados em pergaminho ou pergaminho (pele de bezerro ou ovelha) em uma sala especial da abadia conhecida como scriptorium. Vá para os Manuscritos disponíveis no Labirinto. No topo da página está a foto de um monge trabalhando em um manuscrito em sua mesa no scriptorium. Observe o formato de sua mesa, as ferramentas que está usando e os exemplos de livros lindamente encadernados ao seu redor. As capas dos manuscritos muitas vezes eram feitas de madeira e couro, e as melhores eram incrustadas com joias e peças esculpidas de marfim. Um bom exemplo de uma página de uma Bíblia feita em um mosteiro pode ser visto em Corte de uma Bíblia disponível no Labirinto. Explique que a primeira letra de uma nova seção costumava ser ampliada e decorada de maneira elaborada, como é o caso neste caso.

Os vários serviços de oração ocorreram na igreja da abadia, embora os monges que estavam nos campos simplesmente se ajoelharam e oraram onde estavam. As palavras das orações eram freqüentemente entoadas. Para ouvir um exemplo de canto gregoriano, acesse Cantos Gregorianos disponíveis no Labirinto e clique em "cantos" no segundo parágrafo.

Discuta com os alunos o que aprenderam sobre os monges. Conclua esta atividade instruindo cada aluno a escrever um parágrafo ou dois na primeira pessoa sobre um dia típico na vida de um monge. Eles devem selecionar nomes para si próprios, de preferência aqueles da Bíblia (ou seja, irmão Mateus, Marcos, Lucas, João, etc.) e decidir quais tarefas especiais ele pode ter recebido (ou seja, tocar os sinos para o serviço, criar abelhas, liderar / conduzindo os cantos, engarrafando e servindo o vinho, escrevendo ou ilustrando manuscritos, trabalhando no campo, e assim por diante.). As meninas têm a opção de fingir ser monge ou freira. (A vida das freiras era muito parecida com a dos irmãos.) Use o formulário disponível em formato .pdf.


Os primeiros castelos

Um programa intensivo de construção de fortalezas controlou as terras recém-conquistadas.

Os primeiros castelos dos normandos eram fossos e cercados de terraplenagem (o pátio), defendidos por paliçadas de madeira e muitas vezes incluindo um monte (ou motte), um ponto forte com sua própria vala e paliçada. Motte de terraplanagem e castelos de muralha foram construídos de forma rápida e fácil - o trabalho forçado local ajudou. Bem mais de 500 foram criados nos 20 anos após 1066.

Em castelos como Eynsford, Kent, as paliçadas de madeira do pátio foram logo substituídas por paredes de "cortina" de pedra. Aqueles do motte foram substituídos por "guarda-conchas" com paredes de pedra circulares.


O que a Europa medieval fez com seus adolescentes

Hoje, muitas vezes existe a percepção de que as crianças asiáticas sofrem com os pais. Mas, há algumas centenas de anos, o norte da Europa adotou uma linha particularmente dura, mandando crianças embora para viver e trabalhar na casa de outra pessoa. Não é de surpreender que as crianças nem sempre gostassem.

Por volta do ano 1500, um assistente do embaixador veneziano na Inglaterra ficou impressionado com a estranha atitude em relação aos pais que encontrara em suas viagens.

Ele escreveu a seus mestres em Veneza que os ingleses mantinham seus filhos em casa & quottill com a idade de sete ou nove anos no máximo & quot, mas então & quot os expulsou, tanto homens quanto mulheres, para serviço duro na casa de outras pessoas, obrigando-os geralmente por outros sete ou nove anos & quot. As crianças infelizes foram mandadas embora, independentemente de sua classe, "pois todos, por mais ricos que sejam, mandam seus filhos embora para a casa de outros, enquanto ele, em troca, recebe os de estranhos em sua própria casa".

Era para o próprio bem das crianças, disseram a ele - mas ele suspeitava que os ingleses preferiam ter filhos de outras pessoas na casa porque eles podiam alimentá-los menos e trabalhar mais duro.

Suas observações iluminam um sistema de educação infantil que funcionou no norte da Europa no período medieval e no início da modernidade. Muitos pais de todas as classes mandaram seus filhos para longe de casa para trabalhar como servos ou aprendizes - apenas uma pequena minoria foi para a igreja ou para a universidade. Eles não eram tão jovens como sugere o autor veneziano. De acordo com Barbara Hanawalt, da Ohio State University, a aristocracia ocasionalmente despachava seus filhos aos sete anos, mas a maioria dos pais acenava para eles por volta dos 14.

Cartas modelo e diários em livros escolares medievais indicam que sair de casa foi traumático. & quotPor tudo o que foi para mim um prazer quando eu era criança, de três anos a 10 ... enquanto eu estava sob os cuidados de meu pai e minha mãe & # x27s, agora estou voltado para tormentos e dor & quot, reclama um menino em uma carta dada a alunos para traduzir para o latim. Os empregados analfabetos não tinham como se comunicar com os pais e as dificuldades da viagem significavam que, mesmo que as crianças fossem mandadas a apenas 32 km de distância, elas poderiam se sentir completamente isoladas.

Então, por que esse sistema aparentemente cruel evoluiu? Para os pobres, havia um incentivo financeiro óbvio para livrar a família de uma boca para alimentar. Mas os pais acreditavam que estavam ajudando os filhos mandando-os embora, e os que estavam em melhor situação economizariam para comprar um aprendizado. Isso normalmente durava sete anos, mas poderia durar uma década. Quanto mais longo o prazo, mais barato era - um sinal de que o visitante veneziano estava correto ao concluir que os adolescentes eram uma fonte útil de mão de obra barata para seus mestres. Em 1350, a Peste Negra havia reduzido a população da Europa em cerca de metade, de modo que a mão-de-obra contratada era cara. A queda na população, por outro lado, significava que a comida era barata - portanto, a mão-de-obra doméstica fazia sentido.

“Havia uma sensação de que seus pais podem lhe ensinar certas coisas, mas você pode aprender outras coisas e coisas diferentes e mais coisas se obtiver a experiência de ser treinado por outra pessoa”, diz Jeremy Goldberg, da Universidade de York.

Talvez fosse também uma forma de os pais se livrarem de adolescentes indisciplinados. De acordo com a historiadora social Shulamith Shahar, era considerado mais fácil para estranhos criar filhos - uma crença que teve alguma aceitação mesmo em partes da Itália. O comerciante florentino do século XIV Paolo de Certaldo aconselhou: & quotSe você tem um filho que não faz nada de bom ... entregue-o imediatamente nas mãos de um comerciante que o enviará para outro país. Ou mande-o você mesmo para um de seus amigos mais próximos. Nada mais pode ser feito. Enquanto ele permanecer com você, ele não se corrigirá. & Quot

Muitos adolescentes foram contratualmente obrigados a se comportar. Em 1396, um contrato entre um jovem aprendiz chamado Thomas e um braseiro de Northampton chamado John Hyndlee foi testemunhado pelo prefeito. Hyndlee assumiu o papel formal de guardião e prometeu dar comida a Thomas, ensiná-lo a sua arte e não puni-lo muito severamente por seus erros. Por sua vez, Thomas prometeu não sair sem permissão, roubar, jogar, visitar prostitutas ou se casar. Se ele quebrasse o contrato, o prazo de seu aprendizado seria dobrado para 14 anos.

Uma década de celibato foi demais para muitos rapazes, e os aprendizes ganharam a reputação de freqüentar tabernas e se entregar a comportamentos licenciosos. Perkyn, o protagonista de Chaucer & # x27s Cook & # x27s Tale, é um aprendiz expulso após roubar de seu mestre - ele vai morar com seu amigo e uma prostituta. Em 1517, a guilda Mercers & # x27 queixou-se de que muitos de seus aprendizes & quot se estragaram muito & quot, gastando o dinheiro de seus mestres & # x27 em & quotharlotes ... dyce, cardes e outros jogos mesquinhos & quot.

Em partes da Alemanha, Suíça e Escandinávia, um nível de contato sexual entre homens e mulheres no final da adolescência e início dos vinte anos foi sancionado. Embora essas tradições - conhecidas como & quotbundling & quot e & quotnight courting & quot - tenham sido descritas apenas no século 19, os historiadores acreditam que elas datam da Idade Média. “A garota fica em casa e um homem da idade dela vem e a conhece”, diz Colin Heywood, da Universidade de Nottingham. & quotEle & # x27s tem permissão para passar a noite com ela. Ele pode até ir para a cama com ela. Mas nenhum deles tem permissão para tirar a roupa - eles não têm permissão para fazer muito além de acariciar. foi colocado no centro da cama para separar os jovens. Não era de se esperar que isso levasse necessariamente ao noivado ou casamento.

Até certo ponto, os jovens policiam sua própria sexualidade. “Se uma garota ganha a reputação de ser muito fácil, ela encontrará algo desagradável deixado do lado de fora de sua casa para que toda a vila saiba que ela tem uma má reputação”, diz Heywood. Os jovens também expressaram sua opinião sobre a conduta moral dos idosos, nas tradições conhecidas como charivari ou & quotrough music & quot. Se eles desaprovassem um casamento - talvez porque o marido batia na esposa ou fosse bicado, ou porque havia uma grande disparidade de idades - o casal ficaria publicamente envergonhado. Uma gangue desfilaria carregando efígies de suas vítimas, batendo potes e panelas, soprando trombetas e possivelmente puxando o pelo de gatos para fazê-los gritar (a palavra alemã é Katzenmusik).

Na França, Alemanha e Suíça, os jovens se uniram em abbayes de jeunesse - & quotabbeys of misrule & quot - elegendo um & quotRing of Youth & quot a cada ano. “Eles vieram à tona em uma época como o carnaval, quando o mundo inteiro estava de cabeça para baixo”, diz Heywood. Sem surpresa, às vezes as coisas saíam do controle. Philippe Aries descreve como em Avignon os jovens literalmente seguraram a cidade como resgate no dia do carnaval, uma vez que "tinham o privilégio de espancar judeus e prostitutas, a menos que o resgate fosse pago".

Em Londres, as diferentes guildas se dividiram em tribos e se envolveram em violentas disputas. Em 1339, os peixeiros se envolveram em uma série de grandes batalhas de rua com os ourives. Mas, ironicamente, os aprendizes com a pior reputação de violência pertenciam à profissão jurídica. Esses meninos da Bancada tinham meios independentes e não viviam sob a vigilância de seus mestres. Nos séculos 15 e 16, distúrbios de aprendizes em Londres tornaram-se mais comuns, com a multidão visando estrangeiros, incluindo flamengos e lombardos. No dia 1º de maio de 1517, o chamado para a rebelião foi gritado - "Prênios e clubes!" E uma noite de saques e violência se seguiu que chocou Tudor na Inglaterra.

Nessa época, a cidade estava cheia de aprendizes, e a população adulta estava achando mais difícil de controlar, diz Barbara Hanawalt. À medida que a morte precoce por doenças infecciosas se tornou mais rara, os aprendizes enfrentaram uma longa espera para substituir seus mestres. “Você” tem um grande número de jovens em estágio de aprendizagem que não têm esperança de conseguir uma oficina e um negócio próprio ”, diz Jeremy Goldberg. & quotVocê & # x27você tem um número de rapazes um tanto desiludidos e marginalizados, que podem estar predispostos a desafiar a autoridade, porque nada investiram nisso. & quot

Quão diferentes eram os rapazes e moças da Idade Média dos adolescentes de hoje? É difícil julgar pelas informações disponíveis, diz Goldberg.

Mas muitos pais de adolescentes do século 21 acenam com a cabeça em reconhecimento aos jovens do século XXI de St Bede & # x27s, que eram & quot e magros (embora comam com gosto), pés rápidos, ousados, irritáveis ​​e ativos & quot. Eles também podem derramar uma lágrima sobre uma rara coleção de cartas do século 16, escrita por membros da família Behaim de Nuremberg e documentada por Stephen Ozment. Michael Behaim foi aprendiz de um comerciante em Milão com a idade de 12 anos. Na década de 1520, ele escreveu para sua mãe reclamando que não estava aprendendo nada sobre comércio ou mercados, mas estava sendo obrigado a varrer o chão. Talvez mais preocupante para seus pais, ele também escreveu sobre seu medo de pegar a peste.

Outro menino Behaim no final do século 16 escreveu para seus pais da escola. Friedrich, de quatorze anos, resmungou sobre a comida, pediu que enviassem mercadorias para manter as aparências com seus colegas e se perguntou quem lavaria sua roupa. Sua mãe mandou três camisas em um saco, com o aviso de que & quotthey ainda pode estar um pouco úmido, então você deve pendurá-las em uma janela por um tempo & quot. Cheia de bons conselhos, como as mães de hoje, ela acrescentou: & quotUse o saco para a sua roupa suja. & Quot


Hospitais medievais da Inglaterra

Durante a Idade Média, escreve Courtney Dainton, os hospitais ingleses continuaram a florescer até o início do século XV.

Mais de setecentos hospitais foram fundados na Inglaterra entre a conquista normanda e meados do século XVI. Esse número é surpreendentemente grande, pois em nenhum momento a população do país ultrapassou os quatro milhões. Claro, muitos deles não eram realmente hospitais como os conhecemos hoje. Seu nome indicava que sua função principal era derivado da palavra latina hospitalis, significando estar preocupado com hospites, ou convidados, e convidados eram quaisquer pessoas que precisassem de abrigo.

Alguns dos hospitais foram, portanto, erguidos para o uso de peregrinos e outros viajantes, outros eram realmente casas de caridade, destinadas principalmente aos pobres e idosos. No entanto, um número considerável deles fornecia acomodação onde os enfermos pudessem receber cuidados e até mesmo alguma forma primitiva de tratamento para suas enfermidades.

Muitos dos primeiros hospitais foram erguidos para quem sofre de lepra, o flagelo comum da Idade Média. Algum tempo antes de 1089, o arcebispo Lanfranc construiu um hospital para leprosos em Harbledown, perto de Canterbury, onde havia espaço para cem presidiários. No século seguinte, outro hospital Kentish, também usado principalmente por leprosos, foi erguido pelos monges em Buckland em Dover.

Como os leprosos raramente eram curados, geralmente se tornavam presos permanentes, e tornar-se um paciente em um hospital para leprosos era quase como entrar em um mosteiro. Em Buckland, havia regras estritas quanto ao tipo de leproso admitido, e a admissão real era acompanhada por uma cerimônia religiosa.

Nenhum leproso poderia ser admitido a menos que os outros pacientes dessem seu consentimento; provavelmente, pensava-se que essa medida ajudaria a manter a paz entre os internos de longa data. O novo paciente também teve de dar cem xelins para os fundos do hospital naquela época, que era uma soma considerável, para que apenas um leproso razoavelmente rico pudesse ser internado.

Ao ser admitido, o leproso era obrigado a fazer o seguinte juramento:

'EU. prometo a Deus e a São Bartolomeu e a todos os santos que, da melhor maneira possível, serei fiel e útil ao hospital, obediente ao meu superior e terei amor aos meus irmãos e irmãs. Serei sóbrio e casto de corpo e uma parte dos bens dos quais morrerei possuído pertencerão à casa. Rezarei pela paz da igreja e do reino da Inglaterra, pelo rei e pela rainha, pelo prior e convento de St. Martin, pelos burgueses de Dover no mar e na terra e, especialmente, por todos os nossos benfeitores, vivos e mortos. '

Depois de fazer esse voto, o leproso foi aspergido com água benta e então escoltado ao altar. Lá ele se ajoelhou para receber a bênção do diretor. Isso completou sua admissão formal ao hospital, mas todos os dias que ele permaneceu lá ele teve que dizer duzentos Paternosters e Aves durante o dia, e todas as noites a campainha do dormitório o despertava para que pudesse sentar-se ereto na cama e dizer mais duzentos.

Um dos maiores hospitais do país era o St. Leonard's em York. Foi construído durante o reinado de Estêvão para substituir um estabelecimento saxão que havia sido destruído por um incêndio. Ela acomodava mais de duzentos doentes e pobres e, além disso, havia 23 meninos, pois também servia como um lar para crianças. A equipe incluía padeiros, cervejeiros, carroceiros, cozinheiros, ferreiros, barqueiros, uma balsa e dezesseis criados e servos.

Parece ter havido uma mulher responsável correspondente à matrona moderna, pois um antigo documento relativo ao hospital refere-se a Matilda la hus-wyf, e em 1416 uma quantia em dinheiro foi legada aos funcionários e presidiários com instruções de que deveria ser distribuído por Alice materfamilias.

Henrique III determinou que o hospital deveria ter permissão para 'pegar o que eles precisam na floresta de Yorkshire para construir e queimar, e também de forragem e pasto para rebanhos e qualquer coisa necessária para sua comodidade.' O hospital também coletou um imposto conhecido como thraves of St. Leonard a thrave provavelmente consistia em vinte e quatro feixes de milho. Esse imposto era cobrado com relação a cada arado usado no arcebispado de York, uma área que cobre os condados modernos de Cumbria, Lancashire e North, South e West Yorkshire.

Quando os tempos eram prósperos, a renda do hospital proveniente dos thraves era considerável: em 1369-70 era de £ 1.369, enquanto as despesas eram de apenas £ 938. Em tempos difíceis, quando havia guerra, peste ou fome, o hospital sofria naturalmente em 1409, a renda caiu para £ 546. Em outro ano a situação piorou tanto que o mestre recorreu a penhorar os cálices e ornamentos do hospital, mas os pacientes desaprovaram veementemente essa ação e enviaram uma petição ao rei sobre o assunto.

Na maioria dos hospitais, o mestre era nomeado pelo patrono, mas em alguns deles era eleito pela equipe. Um desses hospitais foi o St. John's em Oxford, fundado em 1213 por Henrique III "para que enfermos e estranhos recebessem remédio para sua saúde e necessidade". O mestre de St. John's foi escolhido entre os três capelães agostinianos, que , com seis irmãos leigos e seis irmãs, formaram o quadro de funcionários, embora vários artesãos e trabalhadores rurais também estivessem empregados.

Um alto padrão de conduta era esperado de um chefe de hospital. Em Wells, em Somerset, ele tinha que ser "circunspecto e especialista em coisas espirituais e temporais, e livre de todos os vícios infames". Em Heytesbury, em Wiltshire, ele foi proibido de visitar a cervejaria, ir caçar ou jogar cartas ou handebol. Ele não tinha permissão para se ausentar do hospital à noite se ele se ausentasse durante o dia, sua ausência deve ser apenas de curta duração e, além de ser responsável pelo hospital, ele também tinha que ser o mestre da escola da aldeia.

Normalmente, apenas alguns dos 'irmãos' e 'irmãs' eram responsáveis ​​por cuidar dos doentes. Os outros foram atribuídos a várias funções não relacionadas com a enfermagem. Freqüentemente, um dos irmãos era chamado de inspetor, era seu dever coletar esmolas.

Os hospitais dependiam muito de instituições de caridade, mas alguns recebiam pagamentos regulares de seus clientes e alguns possuíam terrenos ou casas pelas quais coletavam aluguéis. A number of hospitals raised money by holding annual fairs under a charter granted by the sovereign. The largest of these fairs was that at Sturbridge near Cambridge it was authorised in 1211 by a charter which King John granted to the lepers of the hospital of St. Mary Magdalene.

Other hospitals had the right to levy tolls on local produce. At Carlisle the lepers received a pot of ale from each brewhouse every Sunday, and a farthing loaf from every baker. At Shrewsbury they took handfuls of corn or flour from the sacks in the market. In a few places the tolls were in cash the lepers at Southampton received a penny for each tun of wine that entered the port.

The rules governing the conduct of both patients and staff were usually very strict, and often the master or warden was required to hold a weekly meeting for the purpose of dealing with infringements and punishing offenders. Punishment might be by means of fines, or by flogging or fasting. At the hospital at Reading a patient guilty of any misbehaviour had to sit in the centre of the dining hall during mealtimes and eat only bread and water, while his share of the food and ale was distributed to the other patients.

The food was usually plain but plentiful. At Sherburn in County Durham each patient received a loaf and a gallon of beer daily there was meat three times a week, and on the meatless days there were eggs, vegetables and cheese.

The beds in the earliest hospitals consisted of pallets of straw, but before the end of the twelfth century there were probably wooden bedsteads. These were usually large and had to accommodate two or more patients. How frequently the bedding was washed is not known that it was washed from time to time is clear from the records of St. Thomas’ Hospital at Canterbury, where the warden and his wife were paid 46s. 8d. annually for ‘wasshyng of the bedds for poure people.’

It also appears that each new patient received clean sheets there was an inquiry at London’s Savoy Hospital in 1535 and one of the matters investigated was ‘whether any poore man do he in any shetes unwasshed that any other lay in bifore.’

One of the most famous hospitals in the country was founded in the twelfth century. It is now the oldest hospital still in use and still standing on its original site. About 1123 a man named Rahere, who is described as ‘a courtier though a cleric’, went on a pilgrimage to Rome. There he was taken seriously ill, and he vowed to build a hospital if he recovered.

When he was restored to health he returned to England and asked the Bishop of London to help him to carry out his vow. The bishop persuaded Henry I to provide some land at Smithfield, and there the hospital was erected. It was dedicated to St. Bartholomew because Rahere had seen this saint in a vision during his illness.

It appears that Rahere assisted in the treatment of the patients, although the methods he used were hardly those of a man with medical knowledge. We are told that when a woman with a badly swollen tongue was brought to him, he dipped his relics of the Cross in water, wished the woman’s tongue was better, and painted the sign of the cross on it. Less than an hour later the swelling had disappeared, and the woman returned home ‘gladde and hole’.

The hospital’s records contain no particulars of the patients or their treatment in those early days, except in cases where it appeared that a cure had been effected miraculously. For example, there was a beggar named Wolmer who was very badly deformed. He had sat begging in St. Paul’s Cathedral every day for thirty years, and so he was well known in the city.

His friends took him to the new hospital, where he was placed before the altar in the church. This appears to have been sufficient to effect a cure, without any other form of treatment, for ‘by and by euery crokidness of his body a litill and litill losid’ and eventually ‘all his membris yn naturale ordir was disposid’.

A better idea of the medical treatment at St. Bartholomew’s is obtained from the Breviarium Bartholomei, written by John Mirfield and published in 1387. For instance, when a patient suffered from rheumatism, the pharmacist placed some olive oil in a clean vessel and then made the sign of the cross and said two prayers. The vessel was then put over a fire and had to remain there while part of a psalm, the Gloria and two prayers were recited seven times.

The heated olive oil was then applied to the affected limbs. It will be seen that religion appears to have played a large part in the treatment it has been suggested, however, that in those days, when there were no watches and very few clocks, the recitation of psalms and prayers was a means of timing the heating of the olive oil.

When Rahere founded St. Bartholomew’s he directed that it should have a master, eight brethren and four sisters. The master was to have ‘a servant fit for his place, who is to stay continuously in the infirmary and wait upon the sick with diligence and care in all gentleness.’ This servant was also to prepare the patients’ food, ‘show their water to the physician, and take a careful note of how they ought to diet themselves.’

The master was usually a priest, and three of the eight brethren were chaplains. The four sisters were nuns and devoted their whole lives to the service of the hospital. They wore grey tunics the hospital’s rules said that these must not reach below their ankles. They shared their daily rations of seven loaves, a dish of cooked food and half a flagon of ale, and they all slept in a dormitory.

Another famous London hospital, St. Thomas’s, was also in existence in the twelfth century, although the exact date of its foundation is not known. It formed part of a priory at Southwark, but after being destroyed by fire it was rebuilt on a new site in Borough High Street in 1215. The new hospital appears to have had forty beds, but each of these was shared by two or three patients.

The hospital derived a large part of its income from the rents received from land it owned. There were also many bequests and gifts. These sources of income were greatly reduced during the time of the Black Death, which also increased the number of patients. In 1357, in an attempt to win new benefactors, the brethren appealed to the Pope to grant an indulgence of two years and eighty days to everybody who assisted the hospital, but the maximum indulgence which he would allow was only half this length.

A new ward for unmarried mothers was added to the hospital with money provided by Dick Whittington when he was Lord Mayor of London. This gift to ‘Thomas Spetylle’, as the hospital was called, is described in a survey made by a later Lord Mayor:

‘And at that same place ys an ospytalyte for pore men and wymen, and that noble marchaunt, Rycharde Whytyngdon, made a newe chambyr with viii beddys for yong wymen that had done a-mysse in trust of good mendement. And he commaunded that alle the thyngys that ben don in that chambyr shulde be kepte secrete with owte forthe, yn payne of lesyng of hyr levynge for he wolde not shame no yonge women in noo wyse, for hit myght be cause of hyr lettyng (i.e. hindrance) of hyr maryage.’

There were complaints about the behaviour of the staff at St. Thomas’s during the early part of the fourteenth century. In 1323 the Bishop of Winchester reprimanded the master because the brethren and the sisters were leading irregular lives. The master was also told that he must have his meals with the other members of the staff.

Allegations such as those made against the staff of St. Thomas’s appear to have been only too common during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. They were one of the reasons for the gradual decline of the hospitals. Another was the fact that the spirit of public service and religious zeal that had led to the founding of so many of them was waning. There was also considerable abuse by the patrons, who often expected the hospitals to provide free lodging for themselves and retinues of their retainers.

Some of the patrons sent their aged servants to the hospitals, with orders that they should be allowed to stay there for the remainder of their lives. Edward II appeared to consider that this was the prime function of hospitals he declared that they had all been established ‘for the admission of poor and weak persons, and especially of those in the King’s service who are unable to work.’

Probably the chief factor contributing to the decline of the hospitals was mismanagement by the wardens the records contain numerous instances of this. In 1348 it was stated that the warden of St. Leonard’s Hospital at Derby ‘neglects the duties of the wardenship and has dissipated and consumed the goods and alienated the lands to the great decay of the hospital’. Wardenships were often given by patrons to their relatives or their personal friends.

Often these wardens did not live at the hospitals some did not even bother to visit the establishments supposed to be under their supervision others were masters of several different hospitals. A Bishop of Winchester appointed his eighteen-year-old nephew as warden of two hospitals, one at Portsmouth and the other at Winchester in addition, this young man had an archdeaconry and two canonries.

People who should have received care inside the hospitals often died neglected outside them. The description contained in a poem, The hye-way to the Spytell house, written by Robert Copland about 1536, was true of many hospitals:

‘For I haue sene at sondry hospytalles That many haue lyen dead without the walles And for lacke of socour haue dyed wretchedly Unto your foundacyon I thynke contrary. Moche people resorte here and haue lodgyng, But yet I maruell greatly of one thyng That in the night so many lodge without.’

In 1414 Parliament decided that it would have to take action to halt the deterioration, and a statute for the reformation of hospitals was passed. The preamble to the statute summed up the situation, stating that many hospitals ‘be now for the most part decayed, and the goods and profits of the same, by divers persons, spiritual and temporal, withdrawn and spent to the use of others, whereby many men and women have died in great misery for default of aid, livelihood and succour.’

The statute had little effect. It was not until the Wars of the Roses had ended and the Tudor era brought prosperity accompanied by a spirit of civic responsibility that new hospitals were founded to replace those which had been established as acts of religious charity. The foundation of these hospitals was but a small step towards the realisation of the Utopian dream of that great Tudor statesman Sir Thomas More:

‘But first and chiefly of all, in respect of the sycke that be cured in the hospitalles. For in the circuit of the citie a little without the walls they have four hospitalles so big, so wide, so ample and so large that they may seem four little towns which were devised of that bigness, partly to the intent the sycke, be they never so many in number, should not lie in throng or straight, and therefore uneasily or incommodiously and partly that they which were taken and holden with contagious diseases such as would by infection to crape from one to another might be laid apart from the company of the residue.

These hospitalles be so well appointed and with all things necessary to health so furnished and moreover so diligent attendance through the continual presence of cunning physicians is given, that though no man be sent thither against his will, yet notwithstanding there is no sick person in all the citie that had not rather lie there than in his own house.’

More was looking far beyond his own times. Henry VIII’s statutes for the suppression of religious houses brought about the disappearance of many hospitals, for most of them were closely associated with monasteries or churches, and a desperate situation was created, particularly in London. Some of the leading citizens persuaded the Lord Mayor to submit a petition to the King for the refoundation of St. Bartholomew’s and St. Thomas’s Hospitals, which were among those that had ceased to function.

Henry authorised the refoundation of St. Bartholomew’s, and Edward VI instructed the citizens to repair St. Thomas’s. The young King also authorised the foundation of Christ’s Hospital for orphans and Bridewell for the correction of idle vagabonds. Thus in the capital a spirit of civic responsibility helped towards the establishment of new hospitals, but in the provinces little progress was made until the eighteenth century.


Architecture and Social Classes in the Victorian Era

Comparing Norman and Victorian Architecture and Social Classes
Localização Main Street at Leadenhall Market
Photo taken by Dakota Payette

England history is very rich, spanning back to the Roman Empire and Hadrian's Wall. England has changed dramatically over its plus 2,000 year history, and those changes can be seen in everyday life. The Victoria Era saw great change in England with the installment of the longest ruling monarch yet, Queen Victorian. Her reign over England was from 1837 until her death in 1901. Her coronation brought change throughout the Empire, and especially in the city of London. The Industrial Revolution was starting to take full swing towards the end of the era which provided to be a huge swing in momentum for England. Social classes in London were changing along with the architecture of the buildings. With the new technology that was being implemented, new jobs could be created in areas that were't ever seen before. Steel and iron workers dominated the new job growth along with factory workers and builders. The Victorian Era was an exciting era to be alive with many different changes taking place.


Famine wasn't just something you could pretend wasn't happening to other humans

In the modern West, hunger doesn't have anything to do with the availability of food — it's a symptom of poverty, not the weather. When we have crop failure in here, we get food from other places if we can afford it. Famine as we understand it is something that happens in the developing world, where we can mostly just ignore it and complain about our first world problems instead, like how hard it is to get good cell phone service in rural America. In the Middle Ages, most people did not have the luxury of just getting food from somewhere else. And also, there was no cell phone service anywhere, so hard times.

According to Historic U.K., when famine struck it was epic and deadly. From the summer of 1314 through most of 1316, England was plagued by uncharacteristically huge quantities of rain. And if you've ever been to the U.K., you know that "uncharacteristically huge quantities of rain" is just seriously a ton of rain because typical rainfall is already pretty heavy by most standards. Anyway, it rained and rained, and crops rotted in the fields, farm animals drowned in floods, all the stored food got eaten and then people started to starve. By the end of the famine, roughly 5% of England's population was dead, which isn't Black Plague terrible, but it's nowhere near Whole-Foods-just-ran-out-of-kale terrible, either.


Castle Life Living in a Medieval Castle

Medieval life in a castle was harsh by modern standards, but much better than life for the majority of people at the time - in French the expression "La vie du chateau" denotes a life of luxury.

The civilisation of the ancient pagan world had disappeared. Along with theatres, libraries, schools and hippodromes went luxuries such as running water, central heating, public baths, public lavatories, and sophisticated lighting. Christians did not need baths and they used dark corners for lavatories as God intended. Castles had basic lavatories called garderobes. Light was provided by candles or oil lamps, rarely by the sort of effective torches depicted in Hollywood films.

In early medieval times fires were still placed in the centre of the the Great Halll, often with a sort of lantern tower above to let the smoke out. Later castles featured fires against the wall with a flue to carry the smoke away.

Other rooms in a medieval castle, at least in later times, included solars ,a sort of early drawing room, and private cabinets (for men) and Boudoirs (for women). As in modern Royal castles today, large medieval castles were generally divided into apartments so that each noble individual (including children) would have their own suite of rooms and their own household staff.

Life during the Middle Ages began at sunrise, when a guard trumpeted the day's start. Servants would have already risen, ensuring that fires were lit in the kitchen and great hall and preparing a small breakfast for the lower orders. The fist of the two main meals of the day for the nobles was not served until between 10am and noon.

Medieval Food & Cooking was generally healthy, what we now describe as "organic". Food was prepared in large Kitchens, often in a separate building in order to reduce the fire risk. Food include cereals, vegetables, fish and other seafood , and plenty of meat and bread. Off the kitchens were specialist areas for storing and preserving food, including pantries, larders & butteries. There were also storerooms, undercrofts & cellars.

Herbs and Spices were used extensively. Dairy products were popular, but fruit less so (fruits were often smaller, tougher and less sweet than modern varieties). Puddings (Sweets and Desserts) on the other hand were always popular.

Meals was regulated by some basic rules of etiquette, recognisable as the precursor of modern rules of etiquette. Diet was also regulated by Church teaching which prohibited the eating of various foods at different times of year, prescribing an annual round of fasts and feasts.

Each morning floors had to be swept, cleared of any debris, and basins washed out. Once the lord and his lady were up and dressed, chambermaids entered their bed chambers, swept the floor and emptied chamber pots and wash basins. Laundresses began the day's wash.

If devout, the lord and his family entered the castle's private chapel for morning mass. Once mass was complete, the lord started the day's business. He was the castle's chief administrator when he was in residence, and sovereign in his own domain, exercising absolute authority over his castle, his estates, and his subjects.

Under the feudal system, the lord would need to carry out administrative functions, managing desmenes, accepting homage, carrying out ceremonies of commendation and collecting rents, fees and Medieval Taxes. A lord might be granted possession of more than one manor, barony or earldom so he had to divide his time among all of his properties. His powers were political, judicial, fiscal, and included the policing and defence of his territory. Like his king, he administered justice, inflicted punishment, collected dues from his subjects, and in some cases minted his own coins.

A great lord would need a vast array of officers & servants to run a medieval castle When the lord had obligations that took him away from the castle his main representative was the steward. The steward had substantial power of his own, because he had to know virtually everything that went on at the castle and in the surrounding estates. He had to be skilled at accounting and legal matters, as well as personnel management. Other key members of the household staff included the chamberlain (in charge of the great chamber/hall), the chaplain, the keeper of the wardrobe, the butler (also known as the bottler, he ensured there was enough drink stored in the buttery, where the butts of drink were stored), the cook, the chandler (who made candles), and the marshal (who was in charge of the stables), and a chief-gardener to take care of the castle's Medieval Gardens. Each of these individuals had their own, often large, staff to manage.

Food production would need to be managed: forests for hunting, farms for meat, vegetable and fruit, ice houses for year-round ice, dovecotes for young pigeons and pigeon eggs. Rivers & fishponds provided fish. Mills were originally water Mills and later windmills

The lady of the castle was served by ladies-in-waiting and chambermaids. She spent much of the day overseeing their work, as well as supervising the activities in the kitchen staff. The lady also kept an eye on her large group of spinners, weavers, and embroiderers who continually produced a range of more or less fashionable medieval clothing.

Ladies and sometimes clerics were responsible for educating young pages who, at the age of 7, came to the castle to learn religion, music, dance, hunting, reading, and writing before moving into knight's service as squires. People enjoyed a range of medieval games & pastimes.

At 14, young boys became squires, and the lord placed them under the guidance of a knight who would teach them about chivalry, how to wield a sword, how to ride a horse into battle, and so on. A squire's goal was knighthood, which could be attained at the age of 21 when boys officially became men. Many knights became highly skilled warriors and spent peacetime ravelling to tournaments to pitch themselves into individual combat with other aspiring knights. Training for medieval warfare was important. Jousts and melées in full armour provided invaluable experience. Tournaments especially were good training grounds for real warfare, and could be enormously profitable.

Soldiers were needed to provide a castle garrison. They were stationed in gatehouses and guardrooms. Individual members included the knights, squires, a porter (to tend the main door), guards, watchmen, and men-at-arms. They might need to defend their lord and his household in an instant. Each soldier had his own place in an attack and his own skill to rely upon. Some were crossbowmen, archers, lancers or swordsmen.

Livestock roamed inside the stables, blacksmiths banged out ironwork in castle forges, soldiers practised their skills, and children played when lessons were completed. Various craftsmen worked in the inner ward, including cobblers, armourers, coopers (who made casks), hoopers (who helped the coopers build the barrels), billers (making axes), and spencers (accountants who dispensed money).

Interior walls were used to support timber structures, like the workshops and the stables. Sometimes, stone buildings also leaned against the walls. Servants were constantly bustling, taking care of the needs of the household. Fires burned, and needed regular mending. Wells and cisterns offered water. At mid-morning, dinner was served. This was the main meal of the day, and often featured three or four courses, as well as entertainment. After dinner, the day's activities would resume, or the lord might lead his guests on a hunt through the grounds of his deer park.

The evening meal, supper, was generally eaten late in the day, sometimes just before bedtime. While not as large as dinner, this meal ensured residents would never be hungry when they settled down to sleep off the day's labours.

Holidays - literally Holy Days - were times for letting loose of inhibitions and forgetting the stresses of life. The peasants as well as the castle's household found time for pleasure, and made up for their struggles as best they could.

The castle always had to be ready for an attack. If the lord of the castle found out there was going to be a battle, he brought more food to the castle in case of a siege.

If the battle started and the lord was not at home, the lady organised the army. A siege was an army strategy the attacking army surrounded the castle to stop supplies from coming to the castle. Usually a siege only lasted a few weeks, but could last months or even years. In 143 BC the city of Carthage withstood a siege for 3 years.

Undercroft,
Gravensteen Castle (1180), Ghent (Belgium):

An abbey cellarer testing his wine. Illumination from a copy of Li livres dou santé by Aldobrandino of Siena. British Library, Sloane 2435, f. 44v.

Modern falconers often use owls (They were not used in hawking in Medieval times)

Holofernes, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne, U 964, fol. 179v

SENHORA. Bodl. 264, Romance of Alexander, f 065r - Sports and Pastimes

Plantagenet Head coverings (1154-1399)
(Hair may be shown, but not ears)

The Luttrell Psalter,folio 61r
Blood letting by a barber-surgeon.
The staff has become the familiar pole seen outside barbers shops, wound with red and white bandages.
In the past the brass bowl hung from the pole, but it has contracted into a brass knob on the end of the pole.

Ramón Berenguer IV receives the homage of his vassal the Señor de Perelada (1132)


Peasant houses in Midland England

It used to be thought that only high-class houses had survived from the Medieval period. Radiocarbon and tree-ring dating has now revealed that thousands of ordinary Medieval homes are still standing in the English Midlands, many incorporated into des res village houses. Chris Catling reports on how some peasants lived very well in the Middle Ages.

The term ‘peasant’ suggests poverty, ignorance, missing teeth, and poor personal hygiene: Baldrick stuff, all threadbare rags, hunched shoulders, and a life shared with pigs in a squalid hovel barely adequate to keep out the bitter winter wind. In fact, all that ‘peasant’ really means is that you live mainly off the produce of your own labour. Many a modern allotment-holder leads a semi-peasant lifestyle, and there are plenty of contemporary peasants all over southern and eastern Europe – not to mention those living in hippy communes in west Wales. For peasant, read ‘largely self-sufficient’.

Who are you calling a peasant?
Chris Dyer, author of Making a Living in the Middle Ages, points out that some historians are reluctant to use the term because they think it too imprecise (yet they happily use equally broad terms such as ‘merchant’ and ‘artisan’). Professor Dyer thinks that ‘peasant’ is a very useful word, and that nobody has yet devised an adequate substitute to denote people in the lower ranks of society, living in the countryside and gaining their main living from the resources available to them as a result of their own labours. Typically this is based on agricultural production on a piece of land held by customary tenure (common land) or copyhold tenure (in return for which the tenant had to render certain services to the lord of the manor).

Fifteen acres of arable land and pasture is just about enough to keep a family fed, and few peasant smallholdings exceeded 30 acres in extent up to the mid-14th century. One of the economic impacts of the Black Death and climate deterioration from the 1340s was to make more land available population decline meant that those who survived were in demand as agricultural labourers, able to sell their services for hard cash, rather than land or kind. Peasant landholdings doubled in size in the period 1380 to 1540, enabling peasants to produce a surplus for sale in local markets. Many peasants were also able to supplement their income from pursuing such occupations as mining or fishing, or working as artisans or traders. Initially weak and vulnerable, surviving on a subsistence diet of very basic foods, peasants were increasingly able to afford better clothing, tools, utensils, and foodstuffs after the difficult decades of the mid-14th century.

The ‘Great Rebuilding’
In the same way, peasant housing underwent gradual improvement. Once it was believed that Medieval peasant houses were so miserable and insubstantial that no housing from this stratum of society could possibly have survived the 500 years or so that separate us from the Middle Ages. Built of poor-quality materials scavenged from the immediate locality ‘fallen timber, mud, and furze’ with animals and humans living in the same structure, they would have needed frequent replacement, and would have turned to dark earth within a few years of abandonment.

The standard view was that no ordinary Medieval house could have lasted more than a generation, and this constant need to replace rotting structures was one reason why villages were not static, but moved about in the landscape until the so-called ‘Great Rebuilding’. This began around 1570 and continued into the early 18th century, and marks the era when more solid houses were constructed with chimneys, staircases, glazed windows, and private chambers in place of an open hall.

The ‘vernacular threshold’

The homes of higher-income social groups were the first to be rebuilt. Vernacular homes lagged by a few decades. Another phrase in common use among architectural historians is the ‘vernacular threshold’, used to describe the date after which the houses of ordinary people began to be rebuilt in a sufficiently robust form to have survived to the present day. Until recently, that threshold was set somewhere in the later 17th century, partly in the belief that the more substantial timber buildings that had survived from the 16th century or earlier must be the houses of superior types with larger landholdings and higher incomes, such as prosperous farmers and yeomen.

This kind of circular argument, whereby if it survived it could not be a peasant house because peasant houses did not survive, has now been comprehensively undermined by a study initiated by the late Bob Laxton and continued by Nat Alcock, Robert Howard, Dan Miles, and Cliff Litton. Their Leverhulme-Trust-funded project set out to investigate cruck houses, and to provide more accurate dates for this type of early building.

Crucks of the matter
Cruck buildings, referred to in Medieval documents by the Latin word furcae (fork) are built around pairs of timbers (cruck blades) that extend from the ground all the way to the apex of the roof in a single sweep, forming an arch-like truss. Typically these are houses of three bays, with a truss at each end and two internal trusses. The central bay forms an open hall, without upper floor or chimney, recognisable today by the fact that the surviving roof timbers are covered in soot and tar deposits from smoke rising from a central hearth on the floor below. One of the side bays was used as a service space, while the other, the only one with an upper floor, reached by a ladder, provided rooms for sleeping.

Crucks are not the only structural form found in the Midlands. There are also aisled buildings, base crucks (in which the cruck blades only rise as far as a tie beam), and box-framed structures, but these are all minor components among the older timber buildings of the region. With 3,086 documented examples, crucks are by far the most common type to have survived. Plotted on a distribution map, cruck houses are mainly found in western Britain, and are completely absent from large parts of eastern Britain. This sharp boundary was recognised a long time ago, but has never been explained.

Centuries older than expected
For this study, some 120 houses were examined in great detail in the counties of Buckinghamshire, Leicestershire, Oxford, and Warwick, with a few also in Gloucester and Nottinghamshire. Of these, 83 were found to have primary timbers suitable for carbon dating and dendrochronology. The results, to everyone’s surprise, showed that nearly all the cruck buildings sampled were built during the 300-year period from the 1260s to the 1550s: in other words, a long time before that 17th-century vernacular threshold.

But can we really claim that these buildings are vernacular, and do they justify the term ‘peasant house’? The authors of the study answer this by turning the old argument on its head: in place of the doctrine that all early houses must be high status, they say that so many of these houses have survived that they cannot possibly all be of manorial status or the houses of the wealthiest members of the community. ‘When

a village has 10 or even 20 such houses, it is a safe deduction that they were the homes of ordinary people including the whole hierarchy of rural society, from substantial and middling peasants down to a few smallholders’, they conclude. In other words, these may not be the houses of the very poorest peasants, but they are of peasant status, nonetheless.

How they were built
The absence of the roof decoration and timber ornamentation seen in so many higher-status houses, their small floor area (881 sq ft on average), and the modest upper chambers, with low eaves and little headroom, all support this basic premise, as does the efficient use of fast-grown and immature timber that makes cruck construction such an economical form of house building. Only the eight cruck blades are constructed from tall, mature trees of at least 24 inches in diameter.

Early crucks used an entire tree of the right size and shape for each blade, trimming off all but one of the main branches, and using the surplus timber for making windbraces and arch braces, the components of the frame that make it rigid and stop the house falling over. This was soon superseded by the more economical alternative of sawing such a tree in two, creating a symmetrical pair of blades that together form an arch. A further 19 tall, straight, medium-sized trees are needed for the tie beams, wall plates, purlins, and ridges, and a further 60 trees of about 4 to 6 inches in diameter are needed for studs, rafters and internal walls, screens, and floorboards.

In all, 111 trees were consumed to build one of the houses studied at Mapledurham: 75 of which came from immature trees of 6in diameter or less, grown in woodland that produced tall, straight trees, 30 of which came from medium-sized woodland trees, and six of which came from large branching trees. By comparison, 332 trees went into the building of a similarly sized box-framed house constructed in Suffolk in 1500. And if 111 trees sounds a large number, Oliver Rackham, the expert on ancient woodland use, estimates that the Mapledurham house would have used the growth of 1.25 acres of woodland, and the oldest trees would have been about 50 years in age, the smallest about 10.

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Timber sources
Arguably, that is a modest amount of woodland resource, though Rackham also points out that some box frames were even more efficient: a smaller number of very large trees sawn into multiple components could reduce the number of trees required to less than 40, though such large and potentially valuable timber was no doubt much harder to acquire than gleanings from local coppiced woodland. In fact, the scarcity of timber could add substantially to the cost. No livro dele Everyday Life in Medieval England, Christopher Dyer says that some peasants enjoyed the rights of ‘housbote’, entitling them to take some building timber from the lord’s wood, but the right was supervised by the lord’s officials, and the quantities of timber taken were rarely enough to build a complete house.

It therefore seems likely that peasants had to obtain timber on the open market. Some Midland towns, such as Lutterworth, Stratford-upon- Avon, and Woodstock, served as outlets for timber originating in the Forest of Arden, and guild records from these towns show that small oak trees cost 3d each in AD 1500, while ‘great oaks’ cost 8d each the timber for one cruck-built house therefore cost around 10s 0d, though the cost of labour for felling, preparation, and cartage probably doubled the price. The actual costs of finished buildings, where these are known from documentary sources, range from £2 to £11, with £4 as the median figure.

Peasants could make their own contribution to the building work, by digging foundations, and using their own cart, if they possessed one, to transport the materials, but records of the period show that even such relatively unskilled jobs as mixing daub were undertaken by specialists. It is perhaps not surprising, then, to learn from poll-tax lists of 1379 and 1381 that there were large numbers of carpenters in England: some 8,000 just in the five main counties in this study. Again, ordinary rural-dwellers – peasants – must have been among their clients, because middle- and upper-class customers alone could not have provided work for so many house-builders.

Prosperity amid crisis
What is especially surprising about these findings is that the main phase of new building in this sample of Midland buildings peaked during a period of severe economic recession, the evidence for which is visible to archaeologists in the form of abandoned or shrunken Medieval settlements all over the country. Until now we have thought of the period from 1380 to 1510 as one of crisis. Estimates of the size of the Medieval rural population in England put the number at 500,000 in 1100, rising to one million in 1300, falling back to half a million by 1400, and then remaining static until the 1540s.

As populations fell back, half of the housing stock was made redundant: half a million houses were abandoned and fell into ruin between the 1350s and 1500. In manorial records we find that peasants are fined in increasing numbers for not keeping their houses in a good state of repair, or for demolishing buildings and taking the timber for use as firewood. There is also a marked increase over this period of properties that were once described as cottages or messuages – essentially a dwelling together with its outbuildings and land – being called tofts (meaning the grown-over site of a burnt or decayed house).

The fact that houses of some stature and no little cost were being built at a time of recession, climate change, economic uncertainty, population decline, and the abandonment of settlements seems contradictory. It shows how difficult it is to characterise any one period in history as if everyone’s experience of living at the time was identical. Manorial records, such as those from Haselor in Warwickshire, reflect these contradictory tendencies. Over a period of 150 years, the manorial accounts tell a story of falling crop yields, reductions in the amount of land under arable cultivation, diminishing rental income, difficulty in collecting rents, tenants in arrears for large amounts (in 1464, the amount owed by tenants was £70 17s 10¾d, equivalent to more than one year’s total revenue). Fines were frequently imposed on defaulters, and persistent non-payers were eventually forced to surrender their holdings.

Incentives to build
But new tenants were not easy to find: it was not in the landlords’ interest to let land and buildings decay, so increasingly they offered incentives to attract or retain the right sort of tenant. This is one reason why some peasants could afford the costs involved in constructing a new three-bay house at this time, or to repair an existing structure, or to add barns and other buildings. One common incentive was to share the cost, by giving tenants free materials, such as timber and straw, leaving the peasant to pay for the construction work. Landlords also agreed to rent-free periods of a year or two, or they cancelled rental arrears if their tenants invested in better buildings (and records show that a number of peasants were fined for taking advantage of this and then not erecting the promised new building within the specified time).

This still begs the question of how the peasant could afford the specialist services of building craftsmen, but Professor Dyer points out that there was also an active credit market in many Medieval towns and villages: peasants could borrow money in the expectation that their investment in, say, a better plough would pay for itself in increased crop yields. The same argument applies to investment in buildings: livestock and grain kept indoors in good condition would fetch a better price. The better the buildings, the more able peasants were to pursue additional profitable activities, such as brewing and baking, or making butter and cheese to sell in local markets, or (as seems to be the case in the Midlands) to join the growing number of peasants who engaged in domestic textile production.

Opposite forces
Decay and growth clearly co-existed in Medieval society. According to Christopher Dyer, ‘for every symptom of decline, some related and opposite trend can be identified.’ Villages decayed and were deserted and rents declined, but that made land cheap for entrepreneurial peasants able to expand their holdings. Abandoned arable fields were increasingly used for grazing animals whose meat, wool, hides, or horn and bone gave higher returns than grain, not least because of a growing demand from town-dwellers for more meat in their diets.

For the survivors of the later Middle Ages ‘the wealthier peasants with relatively benign landlords, low costs, and good health’ this was a period of opportunity amid general decline, and our past focus as archaeologists and historians on settlement shrinkage and decay has served to hide a more complex story in which renewal, entrepreneurship, investment, and craftsmanship serve as a powerful counterpart to the Baldrick view of the Middle Ages.

Some of the cruck houses built at the time proved to be a better investment than their original builders could ever have dreamed: still standing 500 years later, many have since been extended and are now very des res. The so-called ‘cruck villages’ of Long Crendon (Buckinghamshire), East Hendred, Harwell, and Steventon (Oxfordshire), Rothley (Leicestershire), and Stoneleigh (Warwickshire) owe their picturesque qualities to such houses, which now sell for well in excess of three times the average national house price: not bad for a Medieval peasant’s hovel.

This article was featured in issue 279 of Arqueologia Atual revista.

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