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Many medieval people lived in filthy huts, and as a group they were too stupid to work out how to deal with sewage. Even in the halls of rich lords the smoke had to find its way out through the tops of windows, and the smell would make you sick if you could travel back from our time.
Medieval people worked out how to make clocks. They produced manuscripts of such complicated designs, using materials that lasted, in some cases over 1000 years, that nowadays we marvel at them. They did have a version of the flush toilet.
Medieval rulers had horrendous ways of killing people they didn't like. They also seem to have had no regard for anyone's or anything's life.
Medieval people produced poetry and music using such complicated rules that people nowadays mostly can't understand them.


Medieval people, like most groups of people, are difficult to lump together. In some ways I find them even more difficult than other bits of history, I think.
Canterbury Cathedral Medieval people built this, it's Canterbury Cathedral. There was international rivalry to see who could build the highest and most complicated churches. Even now, architects and engineers are seriously impressed by the techniques used, and the sheer bravery of the designers and builders.
This was most definitely not built by primitive halfwits.
Medieval people also did this. The picture here is deliberately very small, just to give you the idea. If you really want to see it, click on the picture. If you don't, I don't blame you! link to picture

And then there are the stories they told:

GERALD OF WALES, or Giraldus Cambrensis, as he liked it in latin, wrote a book about his own journey round Wales in the year 1188. He went with Archbishop Baldwin, largely to encourage men to join the crusades, or The Pilgrimages, as they should be called.
The best thing is to read the book, if you can wade through it! It's available, translated, in Penguin editions.
Gerald was a highly educated man. He spoke several languages, was no fool, and was very experienced and widely travelled - several times to Paris, to Rome, and many other places. In his book he is not afraid of writing criticism of Kings and even Archbishops; he also tells many stories, and shows no signs of disbelieving them.
For example:
The staff of Saint Curig may be seen in the church of Saint Germanus in Gwrthynion. It has miraculaous powers, but is especially good for curing swellings. All those suffering in this way may pay one penny to the crosier, and the sweeling will go. One man paid half a penny, in faith, and half his swelling went. When he could, he paid the rest, and the rest of his swelling went.
Another man promised he would pay the penny later. His swelling went down, but came back when he did not pay up on time. Full of sadness and guilt the man paid up, in fact he paid three times over. Then his swelling went down.
Then there was the boy who tried to steal doves from the church. As he began to climb up, his hand stuck to the stonework. He was held there for a number of days. God was preventing him from his planned crime.

There's more coming later here, but it's a start, to think about!
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