By Cam, Logan, Erik, Ella, Leo and Alexander


Medieval Life
Medieval daily life was usually very harsh. Crimes happened often and punishments were severe. Yet again, there were other upsides to medieval daily life. The food was unique, ranging from wild boar and duck to parsnips and carrots. Family was very important because everything had to be passed down from generation to generation. There was a fair number of jobs, including blacksmiths, farmers, bakers, merchants, craftsmen and more. Medieval daily life was a big part of society and it evolved throughout the ages.


Peasant Life
The life of a peasant man during the Middle Ages was hard. Men had to care for their land, feed their families and be the head of the house. It was required for them to build their own houses, repair their houses, and also plow the fields. In later middle ages there were more trades available and it was fairly common to find an apprentice living with a family and learning the man’s trade.


Women did not have a lot of privileges in medieval times but they were expected to do many chores around the house. Some examples were taking care of the crops, the gardens and the farm animals. Taking care of their children was also one of the women's top priorities. For the middle class women (noblewomen, queens, princesses etc), more privileges were available to them than to other lower class women. Men in the middle ages usually directed the women on what to do and the women had no choice but to obey. If they did not listen, punishment could be severe.


A child's life in the medieval ages was quite different than that of a child today. All peasant children were raised by their parents unless they were apprenticed to a local tradesman. Girls would learn how to look after the children and the house and boys would work with their fathers usually in the fields. Peasant children would not receive any education, only the rich would be given an education by local clergymen or a tutor at home. All children were taught to be timid and to respect the elders' authority. They did not have much choice in what they did in life and their parents made all the important decisions for them.



Knights

Knights were the third most important people in the community. They would start the day at dawn, pray and then every one of the soldiers would go to a fairly big breakfast. The knights would practice with weapons for a long amount of time during the day. They would also practice some war strategy when needed in a war. These brave knights were expected to know a lot about the rules of the kingdom also. If the knights were not experienced in horsemanship, they would definitely have to work on that. After working hard, they would go to the Hall of the Castle or the manor house to eat dinner. They would have some entertainment during dinner. The entertainment would include, acrobats, jugglers, singing and dancing. If the king or a lord is not pleased with the performance, they would have them killed. After their {small} feast, they would pray and go to bed. Knights would also pray four times a day.


Knight.jpg
Sabobai And Benaiah



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Konrad_Witz_Sabobai_And_Benaiah_(1435)_fragment.jpg

Lords

Lords were very well treated. They were the second highest place of honor. Their day was not hard at all. The lords woke up when the sun rose and prayed, like everyone else. They got dressed in their royal robes and went down to breakfast. The lords would attend business with the other nobles and discuss things about their land. Then, the talk would normally go to politics. After talking for some time, the lords would go to their arts. The arts would include poetry and music. Then the spoiled lords would have to practice with weapons in case of emergency. After weapons the lords would go hunting for fun with the other nobles. The lords would go to the Hall of the Castle or the manor house they would eat dinner with the knights and some other nobles. The entertainment would start in the middle of their eating. Then, everyone would pray just like the knights and peasants every night and go to sleep.



No matter if you are a male or female, being peasant was tough. Being poor and all with no one to rely on but yourself. Especially if you were a serf. The serfs were the poorest of the poor peasants. They were slaves to the lord of the manor. f it is And being a self you have to do every thing you are told. No mater if you are told to milk the cow or make new cloths for your master.



The little peasant girls jobs were to help their mother around the house and the animal. They were also appointed to collecting berries and herbs for their family.The mother always had to eat her dinner after her husband and children have eaten. The peasants food was mostly just porridge. The men and boys had to work out in the fields all day plowing. hay making and reaping.








Medieval Jobs


Some jobs in the middle ages were definitely not fun but someone had to do them to keep everyone alive and happy. Then again some were pretty cool. Usually jobs were passed down to the next generation, for example if a peasant's father was a farmer, then his sons would all follow in his footsteps.
picture found in flickr.com
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A very popular job in the Middle Ages was being a farmer because they grew food and then once it was harvested they had two choices. One was to sell it for some money. Two they could bring it home and have a nice meal. Food was probably one most important things back then so they could get a lot of money for selling it.

Bakers got great pay for a long time because they ripped people off. They could sell 5 pieces for $30 or even higher! The people were outraged. They complained to the king and finally he gave in. He passed a law against bakers stating that they were to lower their price. In fact the common term "A Baker's Dozen" (meaning 13 instead of 12) came from this time period. Any baker caught selling less than an even dozen was strictly and harshly punished.

Jesters and minstrels worked for the king. Their only job was to entertain the king. Sounds easy right? Well it really wasn’t. Sometimes if the king didn’t like the show performed by the jester and minstrel he would have them killed. The minstrel would play music while the jester danced or sang. The minstrel could play many things. They could play the mandolin, fife, flute, dulcimer, drums, violin, harpsichord or more. Also the jester was usually mentally ill. This was the case because to the King it was funny to watch someone screw up in front of his whole kingdom.


One job that was very interesting was the ratcatcher. Rodents were a huge problem in the cities so they hired one of the peasants to catch all of them. If you lived back then you would probably see a new guy every week running around chasing a couple of rats. They did not last very long because they got the plague quicker than others. For more about the plague click here.

The messengers job was simple. All he had to do is remember the message. Also they had to be very brave. Not only could they be killed on the way to deliver a message but sometimes the “receiver” got the wrong idea and killed the messenger so being a messenger was very dangerous.

Anyone who could afford the structure and property could embrace the free enterprise of having an Inn, however he or she had to pay heavy taxes and levies by the local lords of the area. Owning an Inn carried a lot of responsibility. Besides, the bedrooms in the Inn also had other features such as a dining rooms and often a tavern or alehouse. Not only that but they had to also have to pay for all the food that was served and all of the decorations. That’s why it wasn’t a very popular job.

These were only a couple out of the many jobs of a medieval person. Some were good but some were really bad. I would hate to be a rat catcher. That would be pretty gross! Luckily we have moved on and came up with much better jobs.


The women were forced to take care of the house and every thing in it. Dusting, cleaning, weaving, sweeping, framing they did it all.One of the woman's tasks throughout the day was being a weaver. Weaving was done with a frame loom and cotton, flax or wool. After hours of work the material of choice is woven into clothing for the husband and or child to where. Soon after they would start again to make new cloths for when the men ripped them and were no more a filthy ripped rag. Another job was farming. The women would feed the animals, milk the cow and collect eggs from the chickens. Then they would go inside and wash the eggs and store the milk.







Picture from Flickr.com

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Medieval Food By Paul Morris



Medieval Food
Food in the Middle Ages was very unique compared to the kind of food we have today. Nowadays, we have things like rice that people didn't have in the medieval times.


Meat was quite popular in the Middle Ages. Only the noblemen could hunt and they hunted their own food. They would never hunt for the serfs. The punishment for poaching was severe. The noblemen hunted all sorts of animals. They hunted deer (for venison), veal, goat, lamb and even swans. Meat was considered a rich people's food and veggies were considered a poor people's food.
The kind of food eaten depended on class. For example, poorer people ate things like onions and homegrown things. On the other hand, the rich could afford all kinds of food.

Vegetables were usually grown in the serfs' gardens. There were many kinds of veggies but a few were onions, parsnips, carrots, garlic, fennel and lettuce. Serfs not only ate a lot of vegetables, they also ate things like dark bread which is a bread made from rye. Serfs also ate oatmeal, and low-quality meats like pork.

As you can see, food in the Middle Ages was quite different. So be happy you don't have to hunt for your own food or rely on your own vegetables.

The peasants most common house-hold food would be porridge.





Medieval Crime and Punishment


Medieval crime and punishment was extremely brutal and harsh. There were horrible tortures done to people.
(discretion is advised)


First of all, there is a big difference between punishment and torture. Torture is used to extract confessions and information and most likely used in war. Punishment is the consequence of committing crimes. People in the middle ages committed crimes weekly if not daily. Some of the crimes consisted of manslaughter, stealing, rape, kidnapping, being an unfaithful wife and being a witch. Now, with crimes comes punishments. Each crime had a certain punishment to go with it. Here is a chart of the crimes and their specific punishments.

Kidnapping---heavily tortured, put to death
Murder--------put to death
Stealing-------Limbs cut off, hands and arms
manslaughter---hung in a cage, quartered
entering same sex marriage---publicly humiliated, imprisoned
unfaithful wife---------stocks, imprisoned

During the middle ages there was a court in each city or town. However most were extremely biased and the judgment was often unfair. Sometimes, the trial was over before the story was even heard. In the court, the poorer people were discriminated against. There was also a Kings Court that was equally if not more unfair than the town courts. There were different ‘tests’ that the King did to prove if the accuser was guilty or not. These were called ordeals. There were many, but here are a few ordeals.

Ordeal By Water.
The accused would have their hands and feet bound and thrown into water. If the person floated, they would be guilty. If they sank, they were innocent.

Ordeal By Fire.
The accused was forced to walk 3-4 paces holding a red, hot metal bar. The hands were bandaged and the accused awaited a few days and then was taken back to court. In front of the king, a helper would unwrap the bandages. If the wounds were starting to heal, he would be pronounced Innocent. If the wounds did not start to heal, he would be pronounced guilty.

Ordeal By Combat.
In this case, Noblemen would fight the accuser in hand to hand combat. This fight was most likely to the death. The winner of the fight was considered right.

In other words, ordeals were just ways of making a tough decision less complicated and using less brain power to make unfair decisions.


TORTURE

There were many kinds of torture in the middle ages. Some were extremely painful and quite gruesome. I have chosen three of the less horrific ones for the courtesy of our younger audiences.

The Judas Chair
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The Judas Chair by Sandeep Thukral

The Judas Chair was a standard chair that had 1in long spikes sticking out on the seat, backrest, armrests, and even a footrest. The victim would be strapped into the chair naked for a certain period of time. What made the process so painful was this: During the time when one was sitting on the chair, the spikes would dig inside the skin and the skin would heal around the spikes to reduce blood loss. However, it was EXCRUCIATING. The spikes punctuated no vital organs which as a plus.


The Rack
The Rack was the most common use of torture and most likely the most painful. The rack was made of a wooden frame with a piece of rope running from one end to the other underneath the place where the victim would lie. The victim would be strapped in with his or her hands bound at either end by rope. The torturer would crank a wheel that tightened the rope which stretched the victim's body. In this process, limbs would sometimes be torn off, mostly the arms and hands and the feet and legs. However most of the time, the previously-named limbs were only dislocated, not yanked off.

Picture from flickcc.com

The Pillroy
The pillory torture was basically being put in stocks (A wooden piece that looked like a T with two arm holes for the arms to go through and a neck hole for the head), placed onto a stage, and publicly humiliated. The crowd that attended the torturing were allowed to throw things like rotten vegetables. However if the criminal did something very bad like kidnapping, the crowd could throw things like rocks and other heavy things. Not only did the crowd do this but they also went onto the stage and ripped out clumps of hair, they sometimes poked him with a hot metal rod. Sometimes, they even mutilated some facial body parts. Even CHILDREN were allowed to watch this. The torture went on for about 3 days.

Torture is still used today but not nearly as gruesome and messy as the medieval times.

A little something extra from the Daily Life Trio






http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/daily-life-in-the-middle-ages.htm