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HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe *

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Post by Paul Sat 25 May 2024, 9:07 am

Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe




HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe * Scree356HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe * Scree357HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe * Scree358HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe * Scree359




Arguably no period in European history is as misunderstood as the Middle Ages, which stretched from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century CE to the rise of the Renaissance roughly 1,000 years later. The myths surrounding this fascinating period of kingdoms and peasants are so prevalent that they led medieval historian Winston Black to write, “The first thing to understand about the Middle Ages… is that they do not actually exist.” The popular perception of life in feudal Europe (exacerbated by Hollywood depictions) is that it was prudish, brutish, and excessively foul, but society was far more advanced than these stereotypes would have us believe. Here, we shine a light on five of the most persistent myths surrounding Europe’s so-called “Dark Ages.”
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HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe * 1med_HF
Photo credit: Bettmann / Contributor via Getty Images

Myth: Medieval People Thought the World Was Flat

One of the most common myths about medieval society is that people widely believed the Earth was flat, but there’s no evidence that supports this. On the contrary, by the fifth or sixth century BCE, ancient Greeks ([url=http://www.geo.hunter.cuny.edu/~jochen/gtech201/lectures/lec6concepts/Datums/Determining the earths shape.htm]specifically Pythagoras[/url]) had already begun investigating the planet’s true spherical nature, and by 240 BCE, Greek mathematician Eratosthenes even measured the globe’s circumference (and was pretty dead-on). In fact, the popularity of the flat Earth myth is a considerably more modern development: The myth was perpetuated in 1828 when Washington Irving, who’s known for his inventive short stories, penned The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, which told a tale of the Italian explorer’s mission to prove that the Earth has curves.

HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe * 2med_HF
Photo credit: ND / Contributor via Getty Images

Myth: Society in the Middle Ages Was Very Chaste


The attitudes around romance during the Middle Ages can be difficult to discern, in part because so many historical sources from the era come from the Catholic Church, the predominant religion in Europe at the time. While the church deemed physical intimacy as only acceptable for procreation, medical texts described having too much but also too little intimacy as a potential health hazard that could “upset the humors,” a reference to the prevalent [url=https://www.folger.edu/blogs/shakespeare-and-beyond/the-four-humors-eating-in-the-renaissance/#:~:text=Humoral theory%2C based on the,%2C phlegm%2C and black bile.]medical theory of the day[/url]. King Louis VIII of France, for example, insisted on remaining celibate while fighting in a crusade, and the public opinion was that his death in 1226 was due to this abstinence. Women were also more liberated than many myths suggest; indeed, some historians now believe that items such as the chastity belt — an iron padlock supposedly designed to protect a woman’s “virtue” — never actually existed.

Related:5 Facts About England’s Elizabethan Era
HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe * 3med_HF
Photo credit: [url=https://www.gettyimages.com/search/photographer?photographer=Culture Club]Culture Club[/url] / Contributor via Getty Images

Myth: Knights Were Always Chivalrous


The chivalrous knight — gallant, polite, and virtuous — is one of the most enduring symbols of medieval Europe.  It’s also one of the most erroneous. Being the core military warriors in feudal Europe, knights in early medieval times were often disruptive, brutish, and prone to violence, so much so that some church councils prayed to be delivered from their constant barbarism. In an attempt to tame this martial beast, an informal code of chivalry focused around the virtues of honesty, loyalty, respect, and valor, began to take shape in the 10th century CE in France. Many of the modern embellishments about knighthood arrived centuries later during England’s Victorian era, when the romantic [url=https://heritagesquarephx.org/news/victorian-medievalism/#:~:text=What is now termed %E2%80%9CVictorian,time%2C both spiritually and aesthetically.]literary movement idealized[/url] (and often exaggerated) the purity — both culturally and spiritually — of the medieval period.



HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe * 4med_HF
Photo credit: [url=https://www.gettyimages.com/search/photographer?photographer=Kean Collection]Kean Collection[/url] / Staff via Getty Images

Myth: Medieval Women Had No Rights


While medieval Europe is far from a shining example of egalitarianism, women in some ways had more rights than they did centuries later. Although the medieval map was a patchwork of kingdoms and duchies, examples of women owning, inheriting, and sharing ownership of properties with their husbands can be found all over Europe, and many dowries imbued women with considerable power. London letter-books also contain many examples of women working as barbers, apothecaries, armorers, shipwrights, and many other professions up until the early 16th century. The destructive Black Death that swept the continent in the 14th century even opened up opportunities for women to own and run many businesses. Women were influential rulers (Eleanor of Aquitaine), warriors (Joan of Arc), and scholars (Christine de Pisan). Today, some historians suggest that the real trouble for women came with the cultural changes of the Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. For all its intellectual and artistic promise, the era created a wealthy middle class eager to mimic the royal way of life, which often busied itself about how to arrange politically motivated marriage among unmarried aristocratic women. In other words, they began treating women as financial or political assets. 

Related:5 Facts About England’s Elizabethan Era
HISTORY FACTS * Debunked: 5 Myths About Medieval Europe * 5med_HF
Photo credit: [url=https://www.gettyimages.com/search/photographer?photographer=Heritage Images]Heritage Images[/url] / Contributor via Getty Images

Myth: Humans Were Uneducated


For years, scholars used the derogatory term “Dark Ages” to describe the supposed intellectual black hole between the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Renaissance era. Of course, the truth is never so simple. During the Middle Ages, Europe actually experienced not one but three smaller cultural revivals — the Carolingian Renaissance of the eighth and ninth centuries, which saw increase in literature and architecture during the rule of Charlemagne; the Ottonian Renaissance in Central Europe during the 10th century, which saw a revival of art and luxury coinciding with reform in the church; and a third renaissance in the 12th century that saw, among other advancements, the early beginnings of Gothic art and architecture ([url=https://www.friendsofnotredamedeparis.org/notre-dame-cathedral/#:~:text=What year was the Cathedral,made over the following centuries.]see: Notre-Dame[/url]). Some of the first European universities were founded during medieval times (including Oxford in the 12th century), and the very foundations of experimental science took shape thanks to the work of natural philosophers such as Roger Bacon (who lived in the 13th century). In their veneration of the later Renaissance and Enlightenment eras, historians in the 18th and 19th centuries unfairly cast the Middle Ages as a period bereft of any intellectual contribution, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 
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Fri 21 Jun 2024, 6:18 am by Paul

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Tue 30 Apr 2024, 8:16 am by Paul

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Sun 31 Dec 2023, 9:49 am by Paul

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Fri 26 Apr 2024, 8:30 pm by Paul

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Fri 15 Mar 2024, 3:38 pm by Paul

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YES,........BUT

Sat 15 Oct 2022, 1:44 am by Paul

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BEFORE & AFTER

Sat 16 Sep 2023, 7:25 pm by Paul

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LOOKING FOR A PIECE

Tue 27 Jun 2023, 12:38 pm by Paul



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HAPPIFY.....

Tue 21 Nov 2023, 5:24 pm by Paul

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CREEPY PICS & PEOPLE..4

Sat 05 Aug 2023, 11:49 am by Paul

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WALMART PEOPLE...4

Thu 28 Sep 2023, 10:02 pm by Paul

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Fri 15 Dec 2023, 8:18 am by Paul



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