In the medieval, purely patriarchal society, the man was the head of the family, with the roles of women determined by their relationship to him – daughter, sister, wife, mother or widow. Girls had a short childhood, according to municipal documents reaching the age of majority between 12 and 15 years of age. Boys, in terms of territorial law, became grown-ups at 15. Men spent most of their time at their craft, trading or swordsmanship, depending on their station in life, while women attended to housework and family. Only a widow could obtain permission to conduct trade or a craft activity, with the help of journeymen, of course.
Village women did not leave their homes very much or wander the vicinity needlessly. Some rules about venturing out were dictated by social class. While townswomen and noblewomen could venture beyond the home only when accompanied by their spouse or servants, the wives of artisans, merchants and peasants could walk about unaccompanied.
The domestic activities of well-to-do women included embroidery, cleaning, childcare, shopping and playing musical instruments. Village women spent their time working in the fields or pastures, bee-keeping, weaving, spinning, preparing food, knitting and sewing.
During the high Middle Ages the ideal of beauty was a thin, pale woman with long blonde hair, small rounded breasts, relatively narrow hips and a narrow waist. The most important thing was, of course, health and fertility. A woman in the Middle Ages would from the beginning of sexual maturity be pregnant virtually every year – it was not unusual for one to be a mother three or four times over by the age of twenty. Births were complicated and after-care inadequate, so the risk of death in childbirth was great.
Girls were afforded less attention than boys, but when it came to honour, the contrary applied. Old maids, seduced daughters and unmarried mothers brought the family shame. While boys inherited the livelihood, the parents of girls had to accumulate a dowry with which to 'compensate' the bridegroom.
There were shortages of clean drinking water (due to pollution of watercourses by human activities around rural settlements) and fruit juices were available only in season. Hence everyone, including children, drank beer. The beer brewed at home was weaker and heavier than today, contained 1-5% alcohol, and served instead of soup. It had no head of foam, was brewed from wheat - so called 'white beer', or from barley - 'old beer'. Only in the 15th century did hops come to be added for better beer quality, bringing out a bitter flavour.
Wine was drunk primarily at Court and in the monasteries. It differed from today's by its spicy, very sweet taste. It would be condensed into a thick syrup and diluted with water.
Spirits were altogether rare. Distillation took place in small volumes. Fruit and cereal distillates were again weaker than today's (about 15-20%). The most popular drink was mead, made from fermented honey dissolved in water.
Ale and Beer
Under the Romans, the real beer, was made with barley; but, at a later period, all sorts of grain was indiscriminately used; Another sort of beer was known during the Middle Ages, which was called godale. This name was derived from the two German words god and ael, which mean "good beer" and was of a stronger description than the ordinary beer. When, on the return from the Crusades, the use of spice had become the fashion, beverages as well as the food were loaded with spice, including beer. Allspice, juniper, resin, apples, bread-crumbs, sage, lavender, gentian, cinnamon, and laurel were each thrown into it. The object of these various mixtures was naturally to obtain high-flavoured beers. Other beers, called 'Small Beer' were sweetened simply with honey, or scented with ambergris or raspberries.
Cider (in Latin sicera) and perry can also both claim a very ancient origin. Cider is a drink made of apples sometimes this was made by pouring water on apples, and steeping them, so as to extract a sort of half-sour, half-sweet drink.
The English experimented with mixing resin with their wines to preserve them and prevent them from turning sour, as the temperature of their country was not warm enough thoroughly to ripen the grape. It was not very successful and most wines were imported. Malmsey wine was made with water, honey, clary juice, beer grounds, and brandy. At first the same name was used for the natural wine, mulled and spiced, which was produced in the island of Madeira from the grapes which the Portuguese brought.
Many wines were made with infusions of wormwood, myrtle, hyssop, rosemary which were mixed with sweetened wine and flavoured with honey. The most celebrated of these beverages bore the pretentious name of "nectar;" those composed of spices, Asiatic aromatics, and honey, were generally called "white wine".
The name of wine was also given to drinks composed of the juices of certain fruits, and in which grapes were in no way used. These were the cherry, the currant, the raspberry, and the pomegranate wines; also the moré, made with the mulberry. There were also sour wines, which were made by pouring water on the refuse grapes after the wine had been extracted; also the drinks made from filberts, milk of almonds, the syrups of apricots and strawberries, and cherry and raspberry waters, all of which were refreshing, and were principally used in summer.
Honey was used to make a sweet alcoholic drink called mead which was drunk by all classes. Wine was generally imported although some fruit wines were produced in England. A form of cider referred to as 'Apple-wine' was also produced. Ales were brewed with malt and water, while beer contained hops that held a bitter flavor. Other flavors were added to ales and beers such as bayberries, orris, or long pepper. Consumption of weak, low-alcohol drinks at this time has been estimated at around one gallon per person per day.
Medieval kitchens differed in the countryside, the city and at court. In earlier times, everything was cooked outdoors, while later (at the time of our narrative), stove hearths were built, which served for heating the home as well as cooking. Some kitchens had an open fireplace indoors, with the smoke drawn off by small windows and fume hoods. When we speak of the so-called ‘smoke-kitchen’ or 'black kitchen', this was largely a feature of taverns, mills, presbyteries and manors, which go its name from the smoke-blackened walls around it.
The methods of Cooking food during the Middle Ages depended on the place where you lived. The majority of the lower classes lived in villages in poor, small huts. If you were wealthy or of the Upper classes your home would be in a castle or great house. The castles had great kitchens serviced by many serfs or servants. The poor had to cook in their small hut over an open fire.
The Ground Floor of the castle was the place where the kitchen and storerooms were located. Castle Kitchens were included cooking ovens for baking and huge fireplaces for smoking and roasting food. They also had a water supply complete with a sink and drainage. The kitchens were built against the curtain wall of the castle , in the inner bailey and connected to rooms called the Buttery, the Bottlery, the pantry and the storerooms. The Buttery was originally intended for storing and dispensing beverages, especially ale. The person who presided over the buttery was called the Butler. Next to the buttery another room was added later called the Bottlery. The Bottlery was intended for storing and dispensing wines and other expensive provisions. It was usually located between the Great Hall and the Kitchen, the Pantry was intended for the storage of perishable food products, and the Storerooms in castles were often located over the buttery and pantry and were used to store non-perishable kitchen items and products.
The majority of cooking food during the Middle Ages was conducted over an open fire. Useful cooking utensils for this method of cooking were pots, pans, kettles, skillets and cauldrons. To prepare the food a range of knives, ladles, meat forks and scissors were used. The mortar and pestle were essential cooking utensils for cooks who used nuts spices in their recipes.
Tournaments were held by the nobility to celebrate the culmination of important political deals or special events, such as a coronation, royal wedding or betrothal, oaths of loyalty, peace negotiations etc. The aim was to prove agility and combat technique, to show off to others and, often, to win a sizeable prize. Tournaments ranged from classic jousting, with knights faced off against each other on horseback or on foot, or massed combat, with rival teams battling it out in the tournament arena. In both cases, the aim was the same – to knock the opponent to the ground, but not to kill or injure him. Even so, injuries and deaths were not uncommon.
Initially, the Church strongly condemned tournaments – only in the 14th century did the Church lift the general ban on participation in tournaments and allowed them to be mounted without sanction. However, this obviously didn't stop the nobility from doing tournaments in which many men (and sometimes even women!) participated.
Tournaments also attract large numbers of side-events, including puppet shows, mummer performances and so on. Vast quantities of food and drink are consumed at a tournament, and blacksmiths can find plenty of work repairing damaged armour or buying the armour and weapons of defeated knights.
While tournaments are non-lethal and some safety precautions are taken, accidental deaths or injuries at a tournament are not unusual.
A tournament may consist of one or more of the following events (there's more than this, use this as a general guideline):
The jousting lists: mounted knights charge one another with lances, with the aim of dismounting one another. The knight who remains mounted the longest is the winner.
The melee: a number of men engage in combat using swords, maces and axes. Opponents have to be knocked over and made to yield.
Archery: archers compete with one another to show who has the greatest accuracy and consistency.
Axe-throwing: similar to the archery contest, but with axes.
Horse-racing: Unarmored riders compete in a simple horse race around a track.
Through the Middle Ages, homosexuality did not exist as a social concept, just the same as "heterosexuality" didn't. Today, many people think that homosexual persons were harshly punished but recent studies show that that wasn't the case. Medieval people did not have concepts which would describe different types of sexuality (heterosexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality and so on) but they rather viewed it as a behaviour that's a kind of act that people could commit, like adultery. The other common mistake people make that there were harsh laws forbidding homosexuality in general. That wasn't the case, while the laws didn't exist and the homosexuality (in general) wasn't banned. However, that doesn't mean it was widely accepted.
However, some countries did make punishments for people who have committed an act that's against the "Natural Order" and "Natural Law". Some of such punishments involved castration, dismemberment and finally murder. Such punishments were usually done and enforced by the Church and were more common in regions that had a strong influence of the Church.
In medieval times, sex was focused around a masculine figure and a man with a penis which was needed for sexual acts and by such lesbianism was also considered to be against "Natural Order" and "Natural Law". The first text found that speaks against the lesbianism and lesbian women was from St. Paul to the Romans: "women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another…and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error." While he didn't specifically mention "sex between women" and "lesbianism" as a concept he says that such unnatural acts will be punished at the end, presumably by God.
In the medieval ages, sexuality as a concept was divided into three other areas: Sex, Gender and Orientation. Sex: male / female. Gender: masculine / feminine. Orientation: men / women / both. People didn't believe that sexuality was a choice, but rather that it was inherited from someone's gender. A man was automatically assumed to be masculine and like women, while women were presumed to like men and be feminine. They had no concept of a "cis-gendered homosexual male", a homosexual male who behaved very masculinely. This is not to say that they would be "offended" by such a man, but rather that they would find it conceptually difficult to understand. If a knight was highly skilled at masculine behaviours such as warfare and martial prowess, many would dismiss the suggestion that he privately enjoyed having sex with men – following the familiar stereotype that "he is too butch to be interested in other men", etc. Figures throughout the kingdom that show that they are good in combat and show other common and accepted things that are considered to be "masculine" would never be suspected of being homosexual in private because of the things said above.
Similarly, people back then only perceived "male" and "female" as genders. If a male man acted femininely and didn't adhere to normal norms for masculine figures he would still be called "male" and wouldn't be registered as another gender, but rather a defective kind of 'male'. Also, a man couldn't have masculine behaviour nor be a true 'man' without a functional penis. Men that were castrated or dismembered were thought to automatically inherit feminine features and behaviour which was often seen in eunuchs.
In the text above, we see that homosexuality was often portrayed against "Natural Laws" and "Natural Order" but that many laws didn't specifically forbid it. People didn't have social concepts such as 'transgender' nor did they define sexuality other than being interested in males and females. People were thought to automatically inherit their characteristics based on their gender and as such people who didn't follow such characteristics were seen as different. However, that doesn't mean they were social outcasts but generally distrusted. During the 13th century, the Church actively started punishing homosexuality and it was often done in three levels. First was castration, then comes dismemberment and finally death.
Several historical figures are, today, thought that they had sex with both men and women and in ancient Rome, it was thought that having sex with another man gave oneself strength and power over others.
In the modern world, it as a common knowledge how do women give birth. Each student in the school knows everything about the prenatal & the period after giving birth of a woman's life. However, in the medieval times this was not the common knowledge. Even the doctors were not present during a woman giving birth - it was considered a woman's job to help another deliver her baby to the world. This lead to series of complications, dangers and potential risks for women from all social classes. No matter from what social class the woman came from there was a dangerous possibility of a woman dying in the process. The problem did not end there, as many women died afterwards from various complications such as diseases, wounds and so on. The studies show that, in medieval times, one of three women died after or before giving birth. For example, the Queen of England, Matilda of Scotland (c. 1080 – 1 May 1118), had four children out of which only two reached adulthood, the other two died during their childhood. Queen of England, Jane Seymour, died two weeks after giving birth (postnatal complications) to King Edward the Sixth.
It was not a common knowledge of how one delivers her baby or how one knows that she is pregnant. Women often learned that they are pregnant only in their fifth month of pregnancy and that only because they would finally feel their child inside of them. This was known as the "quickening". Even educated doctors found it hard to determine if the woman is pregnant. Some of such tests involved checking and examining the woman's urine or experimenting how would wine react in the contact with it. There was no possibility of checking the health of the baby and babies that were deformed in some way were often killed or left to die. Dwarves were looked down upon, and many did not survive long to see their second day of life as they would be immediately killed or left somewhere.
Delivering a baby to the world was a job dominantly done by other women. It was a rare occurrence for a physician or a doctor to attend childbirth. However, in extreme cases it could be done. Princesses, Queens and similar high born ladies were helped by experienced doctors, physicians and midwives. A term midwife refers to a woman that has a lot of experience when it comes to childbirth and as such is welcome to attend it and help as much as she possibly can. Obviously, only rich women could have afforded midwives.
Commonly, it was not a public knowledge that a woman is pregnant. However, in case the Queen is pregnant that was a message that was delivered through the kingdom as she is possibly having the future heir to the throne.
The medieval texts about childbirth were dominantly written by men who were clergy and members of the church. It was commonly believed that women had a penis turned inwards. Thus, it was believed that 'woman' was a non developed version of men as their sexual organs did not develop properly. It was believed that only job a woman had is to deliver a baby and get pregnant. Other than that, it was unremarkably thought that women had the power of deciding the sex of the baby (whether through their personal choice, or the type of food, drinks and medicine they used) There were a lot of possible complications for women after childbirth, but that does not mean that a little of a number of women had children. In fact, families back then were quite big and many women had a lot of children who were perfectly healthy.
After the arrival of Christianity within the city of Flintwhenia and the rest of the entire nation, it was then the annual feast and as well honoring, celebrating local patron saints, anointed or put into a status of a saint was being celebrated by both locals and international community in the 11th century as an old tradition for which a Christian would do to offer a patronage to their saints. It was the influence of the sailors who embarked from a great journey to spread the word and gospel of God and its tradition to the entire population, through celebrating, Christians unwaveringly gathers on a hall or filling up the streets with immense abundant of people that transform into a crowd, chanting the name of the Lord or a saint, praising their names and feast upon each-other-from house to house to enjoy the bountiful gifts and to pray by liturgy to their Saint who they devotedly fond of. Christians are fully required to attend such holy feast and lament to the Death of Christ or through a celebration of patron saints by giving liturgy and dire offerings of peace and serenity.
The list of the annual feast and patron(s) with their designated commemorative date(s)
Feast of the Annunciation
The Annunciation on March 25th marks the visit by the angel Gabriel's to Mary, who is told that she will be the mother of Jesus Christ. According to the BBC: “More importantly, since it occurs 9 months before the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day, the Annunciation marks the actual incarnation of Jesus Christ - the moment that Jesus was conceived and that the Son of God became the son of the Virgin. The festival has been celebrated since the 5th century AD. The festival celebrates two things: 1) God's action in entering the human world as Jesus in order to save humanity; and 2)Humanity'swillingacceptance of God's action in Mary's freely given acceptance of the task of being the Mother of God.
The story of the Annunciation is told in Luke's Gospel :1:26-38. "In the Sixth Month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said " Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you (Complete Source at Luke 1-26-38]
The feast is at the date near Chrismas day.
Corpus Christi (Translated as the 'Body of Christ is one of Christian liturgical solemnity and celebration to the real presence of the Body and blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God in the elements of the Eucharist known as transubstantiation. Corpus Christi is celebrated at the month of June 15th and frequent time that goes by the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, or also known "where the solemnity of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ" is not a holy obligation hence, it is being assigned by the Pope to Sunday after the Most Holy Trinity as its proper day.
After the end of the Holy Mass, folks on a community began often a procession of the Blessed Sacraments generally displayed in a monstrance afterward, it is followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Easter Period or also notably known as the Easter Sunday is a grand celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of God from the dead as described in the New Testament as having occurred truly on the third day of his burial after crucifixion by the Roman's at Cavalry (30 AD). It is a precedent preparation by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. Christians refer to this celebration as part of the 'Holy Week" and contain the days of the Easter Triduum, Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Maundy & Last Suffer.
Lent is a holy solemn observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins firstly on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later before Easter Sunday. The lent is believed to be a preparation for Penance, fasting and mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self-denial. Lent is historically last for forty-days in commemorating of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. According to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, before beginning his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. Depending on the Christian denomination and local custom, Lent ends on the evening of Holy Thursday with Easter Vigil at sundown on Holy Saturday, on the morning of Easter Sunday, or at the midnight between them.
Holy Week amongst the Christian Calenders is the week of immediate penance, fasting, and prayer of the last days of Jesus Christ, Son of God after his crucifixion. Holy week begins with Palm Sunday as which may also be known as Passion Sunday in some denominations. Traditionally, according to the New Testament, it commemorates the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem described in all four canonical gospels. Jesus's entry into Jerusalem was noted by crowds present who chanted and yell his name and waved by Palm branches. After the Palm Sunday proceeds with Holy Monday, as the third week before Easter followed by Holy Tuesday and Spy Wednesday or Holy Wednesday then Maundy Thursday, Holy Friday & Black Saturday Harrowing of Hell) & Easter Sunday.
Pentecost, which is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31). In the Christian tradition, this event represents the birth of the early Church.
It is a celebration of the Holy Spirit have descended to heaven as a proceeded canonical part of the Whitsun or White Sunday. It is observed by most Christians as a day of Prayers, vigils, fasting, novenas, procession, spiritual retreat, and Holy Communion litany.
Christmas Day is an annual festival commemorating the Birth of Jesus Christ as celebrated by at the date of December 25th according to the New Testament. It is celebrated by almost millions of the nation as a joyful day celebration as religious and cultural day. The feast is a central liturgy of the Christian Liturgical year as it is preceded by the Season of Advent or the Nativity Fast that initiate the season of Christmastide 'yuletide season'.
Traditionally, it is celebrated by most people in Flintwhenia in observance of exchanging gifts, committing liturgy and prayers, vigil and novena to all of the entire church population as a holiday feast for most non-christian and Christian religion. Followed by Christmas Eve before Christmas Day, December 24th.
Epiphany or the Three King's day is an annual Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. In Western Christianity, the feast commemorates principally but not solely the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles.