It’s time to forget about them.
When we talk about the middle Ages, involuntarily draw in the imagination a certain picture, which is likely not true. And all because there are many common myths about this time.
We figured out what stories about the Middle ages should be approached with skepticism.
12. People believed that the Earth was flat
To be precise, the idea of a flat Earth existed in pre-Christian Scandinavia (IX–XII centuries) and disappeared with the advent of Christianity in this region. In the rest of Europe and the Mediterranean in the Middle ages people (at least educated) knew that the Earth is round. This follows from the many extant maps of those times and of exposures in the various texts of the time.
11. Columbus wanted to prove that the Earth is round
As is clear from the previous paragraph, to the time of Columbus, people were aware that the planet is spherical, and prove that it was not necessary. His journey, Columbus only proved that the Earth is much larger than previously thought: the Navigator thought that he would be able to reach the rich markets of Eastern Asia, poplin to the West, thus opening a new trade route. Instead, Columbus found the Bahamas.
10. The Vikings wore horned helmets
In fact, such helmets would be very impractical and uncomfortable for battles. Only in the XIX century Scandinavian artists began to add this detail to their images of the Vikings.
9. Husbands put on their wives chastity belt
We all know the terrible “fact,” like medieval nobles, going camping, put on their wives terrible iron design that covers the lower part of the body, just a myth. This is nothing more than erotic fiction and allegory in the art.
8. In the Middle ages people did not live to be 30 years
Indicators life expectancy at that time was so low because of the extremely high child mortality from disease. But if one lived to adulthood and don’t have epidemic diseases, this meant that it with high probability will be able to live up to 60-70 years.
7. People did not wash their bodies gave off a terrible stench
Of course, they were less clean than we are, in the era of hot tap water, but representatives of all sectors of society washed daily, valued hygiene and avoided people from which smelt bad. It was at this time widely distributed soap, and soap makers even had their own guilds in large cities.
6. Women were disenfranchised
Of course, the lives of medieval women were less free than now: most of them had 2 life: marriage or the cloister. However, women helped their fathers and husbands in various professions and crafts, could inherit, purchase a property or manage a family business. In addition, there were many influential women such as mothers superior of monasteries and of course the Queen.
5. The Medieval people did not use Cutlery
In fact at that time already widely used Cutlery. For example, a fork appeared in the Byzantine Empire in the VI century, and in Italy — to the XI.
4. The Church hindered the development of science and burnt scientists at the stake
Most Medieval scientists were clerics. Many of them are not only not oppressed for their activities, but were awarded for knowledge and wisdom. In addition, there is no evidence of the burning Church, anyone, for his scientific activities. The story of Galileo happened much later and was associated with more Counter-reformation than with the attitude of the Church towards science.
3. Millions of women were declared witches and burned at the stake
The phenomenon of “witch hunt” was not a phenomenon of the Middle ages, and appeared later (peak it had in the XVI–XVII centuries). The medieval Church not only did not pay attention to witches, but deny their existence until the fourteenth century. Later the so-called witches, most of persecuting the clergy, how many completely secular people. And by the way, men are the victims of these persecutions were also a considerable percentage.
2. The feudal lords could use the “right of first night” with the bride of a vassal
In fact, evidence of the existence of such a rule is nowhere to be found, and most historians agree that is fiction, or the wrong interpretation of historical texts.
1. The knights certainly were noble and courteous
Alas, it is not so. Of course, everyone is different, and among the knights certainly have met people decent behavior, but often the reality was that when the knights were not busy the next battle, they began to kick up a row and to terrorize the population, often raping women.
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