What was childhood like in the Middle Ages?
I will argue that the study of Viking-Age children, though historically stagnant, could be expanded through implementation of theoretical frameworks focused on the influence of both actors and their material culture.
The High Middle Ages was an important period of transition in the care of France’s “miserable persons,” that is, the poor, sick, widows, orphans, aged, and infirm.
This paper examines the relation between three concepts: a child’s will, children’s agency and child labour. This paper shows how these concepts were developed in Byzantine society in order to advance a religious agenda.
In our latest issue: Celebrating Mother’s Day. Mothers Who Weren’t: Wet Nurses in the Late Medieval Mediterranean
Motherly advice from the ninth century, Sex in the Roman Empire: In Bed with the Romans! Feast, Famine, and Food in Medieval Russia, Books: A trip through Welsh past in Mysterious Wales and much, much more!
In this post, author Conor Byrne discusses the rule of two medieval queens: Anne of Bohemia and Philippa of Hainault.
A thousand years ago, for reasons we will never know, the residents of a tiny farmstead on the coast of central Norway filled an old well with dirt.
We’ve just released our latest issue of the Medieval Magazine in celebration of International Women’s Day!
In the painting Kinderspiel (“Children’s Games”), the 1560 painting by Peter Bruegel the Elder chronicles about 80 different games that were played at that time.
A survey of these episodes, then, suggests that maternal space in the sagas reasserts itself generally—and particularly reasserts itself onto the northern landscape—during instances of child exposure, where this mode of attempted infanticide takes on a variant meaning in Northern societies than it would from more Southern ones.
The final talk in Sesson #1041, Engaging the Public with the Medieval World, looked at what English children are being taught in school. How much medieval history is in the new programme that was released in September 2014? Megan Gooch, Curator at the Historic Royal Palaces breaks down the English system for us in her paper, ‘Imprisonment, Execution, and Escape: Medieval History and the National Curriculum’.
How does the use of unscripted, adaptive, historical interpretation boost the tourist experience? Right on the heels of our look at the Tower of London’s visitor engagement, we heard a paper from Lauren Johnson, Research Manager for Past Pleasures, the oldest historical interpretation company in the UK who educate and entertain the public at historical sites, museums, on stage and and on TV.
This session (#508) was one of several at Leeds devoted to exploring childhood in the Middle Ages. Our presenters talked about the stereotypes of adolescence, and what the coroner’s rolls revealed about the deaths (and lives) of medieval children.
I’ve had ones that have done really well, while others have failed to get even a small audience. Here are examples of what has worked, and what did not work.
Where did trolls come from? What did medieval and early modern people think of trolls? How did the concept of the modern day troll evolve?
It seems that every parent at one time or another teaches their children the sounds that animals make. They did it in the Middle Ages too.
Thirteenth century Icelanders did not sentimentalize childhood, but rather viewed it as a learning stage, a crucial period for the acquisition of culture.
During the middle ages, one of the most popular and most frequently illustrated Miracles of the Virgin Mary was the Miracle of the Jew of Bourges. According to the text of the miracle, the Virgin saves a young Jewish boy after his father throws him into a fiery oven upon learning he attended a Christian mass.
When life is tough, it’s always most difficult for the children. The advances that allowed people to settle in with farms and cattle increased the nutrition and stability, but there were still plenty of things to worry about in Medieval times. Check your knowledge of childhood during this era!
For 20 or more years early Anglo-Saxon archaeologists have believed children are under-represented in the cemetery evidence.
There are medieval European varieties of guardianship that is closely connected to feudal forms of power relations. In English feudal society, where inheritance practice was largely dominated by the principles of primogeniture, the oldest male heir of a deceased father would become the ward of the feudal guardian.
During the Byzantine Empire, child sexual abuse was more prevalent and less stigmatized than it is today.
‘Catalogues of miracles’ show the number of children which was injured or killed. Parents or relatives turned to the saints with pleas for curing or bringing their child back to life. I discuss the categories of the accidents, the age of injured, the types of pleas, parent’s feelings and vows.
This paper examines the changes that were made in the literary telling and retelling of the story of the Pied Piper during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, comparing the folktale “Die Kinder zu Hameln” (1816) by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the poem “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”(1842) by Robert Browning, and the book What Happened in Hamelin (1979), by Gloria Skurzynski.
Today, there’s often a perception that Asian children are given a hard time by their parents. But a few hundred years ago northern Europe took a particularly harsh line, sending children away to live and work in someone else’s home. Not surprisingly, the children didn’t always like it.