Daily Life in Medieval Europe

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - History - 268 pages
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Explore the Middle Ages, a complex and often misunderstood period in European history, through this vivid examination. Details of everyday living recreate the time period for modern readers, conveying the foreignness of the medieval world while bringing it into focus. The volume provides a two-pronged approach to history beginning with a broad sketch of the general dynamics that shaped the medieval experience while at the same time creating a detailed and clear portrait of what life would have been like for real individuals living in specific settings at the time.

The reader is introduced to medieval society in the first three chapters, which include information on the life cycle, material culture, and the economy. These chapters provide an understanding of what people ate, what their social lives were like, what they wore, what kinds of jobs they had, and much more. Following are portraits of life in four specific medieval settings, offering in each case a particular example of the type: the village (Cuxham in Oxfordshire), the castle (Dover), the monastery (Cluny) and the town (Paris). Extensive use of documentary sources from each place sketch the broad contours of the social setting and provide details of the everyday experiences of real individuals. The volume concludes with an exploration of how ordinary people perceived the world in which they lived. Original games, recipes, and music are also provided to round out this rich introduction to life in medieval Europe.

 

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Contents

Medieval Society
1
The Lift Cycle
17
Material Culture
33
Village Life
65
Castle Life
105
Monastic Life
139
Town Life
171
The Medieval World
213
Glossary
227
Games
231
Recipes
241
Music
247
Selected Bibliography
251
Index
261
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Page xii - Secondly, however, we may say, these Historical Novels have taught all men this truth, which looks like a truism, and yet was as good as unknown to writers of history and others, till so taught: that the bygone ages of the world were actually filled by living men, not by protocols, statepapers, controversies and abstractions of men.

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About the author (1999)

JEFFREY L. SINGMAN is the author of several works on medieval and early modern Europe, including Daily Life in Chaucer's England (Greenwood, 1995), Daily Life in Elizabethan England (Greenwood, 1995), and Robin Hood: The Shaping of the Legend (Greenwood, 1998). Dr. Singman has worked at various living history sites, including Greenfield Village and Plimoth Plantation, and is now the Paul S. Morgan Curator at the Higgins Armory Museum and Adjunct Professor of Humanities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts.

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