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Life & Culture in Medieval Times

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For many students of the medieval era, social history is the most fascinating area of study. Understanding what people wore and ate, what their dwellings were like, how they made a living or entertained themselves, the artwork they produced and the literature they wrote, their technological development and what they believed in all bring the scholar closer to the Middle Ages.
  1. Arts, Architecture, Poetry, Drama, Literature and Music
  2. Castles
  3. Daily Life and Social History
  4. Knighthood & Chivalry
  1. Religion, Theology and Philosophy
  2. Science, Technology, Mathematics and Medicine
  3. Warfare

Arts, Architecture, Poetry, Drama, Literature and Music

The arts that survive from the Middle Ages offer an intriguing window into medieval life and times.

Castles

The Castle was the ultimate status symbol for medieval lords. It was a home, a fortress, an outpost, and a safe place for everyone to take refuge in times of danger. It was an integral part of a knight's life and one of the most enduring symbols of medieval culture.

Daily Life and Social History

Details about how people lived at various times and places in the Middle Ages can vary greatly and are not always available for a given society and time frame. These resources will help you find available information.

Knighthood & Chivalry

Mention the "Middle Ages" and the first thing most people think of is a knight in shining armor. The romantic view is one of chivalrous gentlemen striving for their fair ladies' favors at the joust. The fantasy may be highly colored, but knights were real flesh-and-blood warriors who fought and died for crown and cross.

Religion, Theology and Philosophy

Religion was an integral part of medieval society. The Catholic Church had a strong influence on both politics and daily life in Christendom, and the interaction among Christians, Jews and Muslims would shape European history through the Middle Ages. Christian theology would play a significant role in medieval philosophy.

Science, Technology, Mathematics and Medicine

Although no era can compare to the last century in terms of scientific advancement, the Middle Ages were not completely devoid of scientific inquiry, experimentation and evolution.

Warfare

The medieval era was plagued with wars great and petty. Most folks in most centuries were able to live their lives in peace, but there was always work for the soldier, and the nobleman's role in society was to serve the king by fighting and risking his life. How medieval people conducted wars and the weapons they used are among the most defining characteristics of the Middle Ages.

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