10 true facts about life in medieval England, which are not written in textbooks

Scarborough fair.Romantics who dream to travel back in time and live in medieval England, it would be worthwhile to bring at least ear plugs for the nose. The fact that the everyday life of the citizens of medieval London was far from the requirements of sanitation. Modern films and textbooks tend to ignore some aspects of life at the time and for obvious reasons.

1. Garbage and feces

People dumped garbage and feces in front of their homes.When an ordinary British family is full of chamber pots and garbage cans, and it was time to get rid of their content, the people had the law in some way to collect waste his life and take over the city. But in fact nobody was going to spend time on it – all the garbage dumped right outside the front door.Therefore, before the houses were piled up the whole stinking mountain of rotting waste and by-products of human activity. The contents of chamber pots were often spilled from the Windows on the heads of passers-by. No one even tried to forbid people to throw garbage on the street to the XIV century. When king Edward II for the first time in England introduced a law prohibiting throwing wastes on the road. But even then, his expectations were not fulfilled.»All the dirt that had accumulated in front of houses, must be removed during the week — read the law. and pigs are forbidden to release to the streets». But all this has not had much effect. Debris continued to accumulate on the streets, and people in fact defecated in front of the door. Rich people wore impregnated with perfume handkerchiefs from his nose when they went outside. This continued until, until the king began to hire special workers to clean the city from dirt.

2. Problems drain

During the rains the sewage poured into the streets.Despite the fact that during the middle Ages the road and smelled awful, but it was much worse after a rain. The streets of medieval England in fact consisted of dirt and rocks, and their sides were ditches, which was supposed to drain rainwater. It would be a great design if people would not throw their garbage anywhere. The people of medieval England threw everything in the ditch with rain water. Those are so clogged that the rain was completely useless. Clogged gutters overflow and then all the contents flooded the streets. When the sky brightened, the road was covered with wet garbage, and feces was slowly dried in the sun, «smelling» of the entire city.

3. Healing, urine

Doctors urinated on the wounds of patients.If a medieval soldier wounded in battle, he should expect a very strange method of sterilization of wound doctors. Even if someone just cut myself, the doctor, following the recommendations of the personal surgeon of the king, urinate on the wound. Moreover, the fresh urine was used to treat ulcers, burns, bites etc. It was very frustrating, but really worked. The ammonia in urine can help prevent infection, and in situations involving life or death, it was worth a lot. Interestingly, not only British doctors was peeing on open wounds. One of the craziest stories comes from the Italian physician Leonardo Fioravanti, who used his urine to save the life of a soldier after his nose had been severed in battle. Fioravanti quickly picked up a severed human nose from the ground, shook off the sand, urinated on him and sewed his nose back.

4. Bathing and plague

People thought I would get sick if they swim.Throughout the greater part of the medieval era people actually quite often bathed. They regularly went to the public baths and looked after him. However, all this changed after the Black plague. In the chaos, when two-thirds of the world died from the terrible disease, the surviving population of Europe began to panic. People frantically tried to find any cause of disease, and accused him… bathing. Some physicians said that the plague is spreading, because people are too often washed. They claimed that the water weakens the bodies of people and expands their pores, resulting in the fact that people become more susceptible to plagues and diseases. Therefore, people were encouraged to stop washing at all.

5. Fly

«Convex» fashion.Around the XIV century, the British appeared a new very strange hobby. «The rage» in 1300 years was the codpiece — a pouch of fabric sewn at the groin. Men wore at that time more tight and thin leggings to make the bulge between his legs as visible as possible. Over time, fashion has become even more strange. Instead of just demonstrate what their nature has endowed men started to wear hair clips on the codpieces, so they look as much as possible. Knights in the XVI century even wore them during battle. Their armor is often equipped with massive, exaggerated metal tip between her legs, which had not the slightest practical purpose.

6. Dirty floors

The family slept on dirty floors.If a person was rich, that he wasn’t in the house floor. Most houses in medieval England underfoot was nothing like rammed earth, covered with rushes and herbs. The earth and plants helped to maintain heat in the house, but it had its price. The grass under his feet were pieces of food, where it remained alluring in house rats and insects. And people rarely cleaned it all, high swept. The bottom layer of turf, where the accumulated debris remained untouched, often for decades. One traveler from Holland once complained that British homes are on the floor «can be found from sputum expectoration, vomit, urine of dogs and men, waste from the production of ale, fish bones and other abominations, which are not subject to references». This in itself is pretty disgusting, but there’s still something worse. In such houses there were no beds, so people were sleeping on the floor, ie each day was put on several ten years of vomit, dung and rotten food.

7. Droppings of an eagle

The doctors were smeared with droppings of the eagle childbirth.Childbirth was never an enjoyable process, but it was much worse. In the middle ages, the doctors really had few ideas on how to make a woman to give birth died. The only thing they were able to do quite well, is to rely on divine intervention. The monks and the midwife was sitting next to a pregnant woman and she prayed, asking the child to be born «alive and killing the mother.» In other cases, they relied on magic. Sometimes they fed women the vinegar and sugar, and then smeared them with dung of an eagle. After that, they just prayed for a miracle. At the Abbey in Yorkshire is constantly kept «sacred girdle,» which «allowed a woman to survive childbirth». Even when the wife of Henry III, became pregnant, the king ordered the monks to bring him this sacred zone. But none of this, it seems, was not reliable. An estimated one in three children died before five years, and about 20 percent of all mothers died during childbirth.

8. Medieval contraceptive

Abortion used as a contraceptive.In medieval England there was a rather weird contraceptives. Women in need of contraceptives or abortion, visited traditional healers, who did magical amulets against pregnancy. Inside this amulet was two testicles caress, a child’s tooth and a severed finger of a miscarriage. They also sold love potions, which was about the same. Their love potion contained extracts from «the most pure and untainted entity» — abortion.

9. Lice

Everyone was infected with lice.Perhaps not surprisingly, after all that, it turned out that people during the middle Ages was a big problem — lice. Pretty well known that everything in medieval England with lice and fleas fought everything from the rich to the poor. It was the ordinary pastime is to get together with their friends and family to collect lice from the body of each other. This was especially true for people who traveled a lot. Have the letters of some of the crusaders, who praised women-laundresses, traveling with them, claiming that they not only washed clothes, but also very clever catching of fleas. The problem only worsened, and she was not confined to England. English-the pilgrim by the name of Margery Kempe in disgust, wrote home that poor people in Germany spend their evening, undressing naked, sitting in a circle and picking each other’s lice.

10. The Rotting Thames

The river Thames was full of rotting meat.In the Middle ages it was a common practice among butchers: gather all your unused, rotten meat, gather it, pull on the bridge and dumping into the river. Throwing of rotten animal parts in the river was so common that one bridge has earned the nickname «Butcher bridge» and it was the most disgusting place in the entire country. The bridge was famous for the fact that was covered with dried blood and pieces of dead animals that fall from the carts of butchers. Only in 1369, a law was passed prohibiting it, but he did not bring real benefits. Even after you throw the meat in the Thames has become a crime, people complained of severe pollution of the river. It took almost 500 years to the nineteenth century, people no longer throw waste into the Thames.Materials listverse.comAnd in the middle Ages was the tradition of»bride in a bag» — a strange medieval ritual XVII, which allowed to preserve the chastity until marriage .

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