Ah, the Medieval Ages....birds sang, women had long flowing hair and rode naked on horseback, and Robin Hood gave money to the poor.
Right. So we all know that that's probably not the way it was.
But for all of those who say that the world is in worse shape than it ever has been before, consider these facts:
By the thirteenth century, England had cut down ALL ITS TREES to forge iron and was burning coal and importing timber from Scandinavia. By the fourteenth century, London lay under fogs, and "sea coal"-- the dirtiest kind-- was illegal.
Water was so dirty because of the whole excrement problem that everyone drank wine or ale.
And then there are the sumptuary laws. Ah, how I love the sumptuary laws.
No matter how much money you have, you could only wear expensive clothes if you were highclass enough. Needless to say, this didn't work, as sumptuary laws got passed all the time, ever since the nobles lost their strangehold over the peasants after 1348 (the Black Death).
Other fun laws? Remember Crecy, where the English longbow carried the day against the sun-blinded French? The English fell so in love with bows that they forbade anyone, anywhere to play any kind of game, such as kicking a ball around, except archery. Only sport allowed, by decree of the King.
That one didn't work either.
But here's a bone:
Europe shifted from subsistence to capitalism during these centuries, and the change was more...difficult then you might imagine. People were really, actually worried that MAKING A PROFIT was immoral. Not robbing the other person blind. Just making a profit. Some people, like Aquinas I think, came up with some kind of percentage, like it's okay to make x amount of profit, but y amount is just being a greedy pig.
Ah, those were the days. Them polluted, boozy days.
Delivering a wedding present.
2 months ago