Author Toni Mount is back again, but this time with an in-depth look at daily life in Medieval England. Her book, A Year in the Life of Medieval England, explores war, medicine, marriage, disputes, work, and cooking. A fascinating almanac of bits and bobs about Medieval England from the most most mundane, to the most important events in its history.
My review of SD Sykes follow up to “Plague Land”, her latest book, “The Butcher Bird”.
Prostitution was a vice that was was considered a necessary evil because of “men’s lust”. Ecclesiastics felt that if brothels weren’t available to men in cities, they would find other inappropriate outlets for their entertainment. In an effort to curb potential problems, civic officials permitted prostitution to function within the city walls so long as it was regulated and turned a profit.
A peasant is a peasant, is a peasant…or is s/he? Was the life of a peasant who lived in the coastal regions of England the same as that of the peasant who made his livelihood toiling on the land for his local lord?
One of the consequences of the decline of Roman imperial might was the shortage of slaves at state-run mines. Consequently, criminals were often sentenced to damnatio ad metallum. The need for gold especially soared when the gold solidus was introduced at the beginning of the fourth century.
This thesis examines the role of women in the Parisian economy in the late thirteenth century.
This paper offers a first investigation of long-term trends in Japanese living standards from the mid-14th to the mid-19th century using urban daily wages and price data for a number of basic commodities.
My review of SD Sykes brilliant medieval thriller, Plague Land.
For decades medieval historians have placed population at the centre of they concerns, but it is only in recent years that their studies have begun to constitute a respectable branch of historical demography.
Dike construction apparently uses simple technology, with slow and gradual change; not the kind of technology that reshaped the material conditions of living, comparable to the spread of electricity or sanitation in the 19th century ‘networked’ city (and linked to the disciplining of society and the rise of domesticity and the modern self-reflexive individual) (often inspired by Latour and Foucault).
This thesis examines the significance of the Virgin Mary in England between the late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century. The primary sources selected indicate the variety of ideas circulating about her during this period. Strictly religious texts such as the Bible and early Christian writings ground Late Medieval beliefs about Mary in their historical context.
My paper focuses these “merchant princes” from Genoa before the “industrial revolution”. The rise and fall of Genoa provides indeed a striking case about the success and failure of what, in the same vein than Bagehot, Joseph Schumpeter called the “creative destruction”, and the role financial markets in that process.
The Handspinners of Paris, France: In 1270, a royal judge, Etienne Boileau, compiled “Le Livre de Metiers” (The Book of Trades) which contained the ordinances of 100 Parisian craft guilds. By consulting the surviving tax rolls of 1292, 1300, and 1313, it is possible to determine the extent to which these crafts were practiced.
Historians of women and gender, as we might expect, have had a different point of view. In her pioneering 1919 study of women’s working lives in seventeenth-century England, Alice Clark depicted a Golden Age in the medieval period, during which women enjoyed access to skilled and profitable work.
Specifically, the thesis compares and analyzes the changing roles that women could employ economically, politically, socially, and religiously.
This paper was also featured in SESSION III: The Medieval Experience of Siege at the Haskins conference. It explained the importance and contributions of Angevin engineers during the twelfth century.
The first question, not yet raised in labour historiography, is about the impact of wage labour relations on gender equality.
The second question is related to the first one: what role did women play as protagonists of wage labour relations.
In England, the role played on the continent by the castellanies would appear to have been performed by the county castle and the sheriff, a post that remained firmly under the king’s control in all but a few counties. Instead, a more subtle link between the castle community and political power will have to be found. It will be searched for in the appointment of constables to royal castles, and in grants of ownership of castles, royal or forfeited. It may be found in the building activity that was so common in this period, or in the marriage alliances that created many of the great castle owning estates.
The differences in the imposition of serfdom led to different economic and political effects for the peasantry in Europe. In Western Europe, wages rose, grain prices fell, and the consumption of meat, dairy products, and beer increased. More and more peasants moved into a widening “middle class” that could afford to buy manufactured goods.
Traditionally the European marriage pattern(EMP) is considered as one of the key elements in the demographic history of Early Modern Europe, preparing Europe for the transition towards the Industrial Era. But recently, mediaevalists have also tried to claim its origins…