Monday, September 25, 2023

I Look at the Middle Ages with Chestertonic Eyes ...

I Look at the Middle Ages with Chestertonic Eyes ... · And "MedievalMadness" can't persuade me otherwise

This guy [see next instalment] is a very dishnonest Marxist (or Capitalist) blacking the Middle Ages OR duped by people of that description.

Why You Wouldn't Last 24 Hours in The Dark Ages....
MedievalMadness, 22 Sept. 2023

Here is my answer to first third:

1:15 It would take perhaps a day to pick out some of the main differences, and perhaps a week to get into conversation mode, albeit a somewhat reduced one.

The plight of the timetraveller is purely hypothetic, does not apply to those who studied Middle English, and also is no bad thing the people back then endured. They had been speaking Middle English since they were toddlers, no big deal for them. OR Ancient French of the Anglo-Norman version.

2:14 By contrast, women gave birth in a sitting position, and this meant a swifter and less painful delivery (usually).

So, another thing to "pity" the "poor" Medievals for is apparently they didn't set up for an aging society where they would be dependant on old age pensions that no one would be able to pay the taxes for.

2:33 In 14th C. Florence, one in five women died during labour ... according to what statistics?

I'd love to look at the source material.

[I don't mean peruse the original paperwork from clerks back then, but getting a view on what kind of clerks they were, for how long and how they would have known or estimated.]

[...] ur all over the timed comments [...]

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Here is the deal.

I time stamp the comments so the one reading them knows what in the video they relate to.

3:04 "one third of children died before that age in Medieval England"

Again, I'd love to look on the source material.

Unlike modern registers of people by the government, the Medieval ones just paid attention to the number of households (and perhaps the number of people in that household).

Church books also didn't exist yet.

Medieval England is arguably a much bigger area or period than you could possibly have the luck to have statistic material on. Unless it were restricted to a specific class, like the aristocrats being more well known and well documented, but I would say 1/3 dying is not what I find in them either.

If the statistic is archaeologic rather than historic, like looking in Church yards and dating skeleta, an adult's bones taking up more space are more likely to be dug up and replaced in a bone house, many of which can have disappeared for fires or for the Reformation (sorry, I misspelled R for D) or some other peripety making their bones rarer than original proportion.

U a teacher or something lol

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I actually was, "@imcrazyimcrazyimcrazy", back in 1996 ... more importantly, I spent several times that time span at university studying subjects some of which are relevant for the Middle Ages.

3:15 Huge quantities of ale or wine during their pregnancy?

Larger than the zero glass policy, possibly, but hardly enough to give one alcohol fetal syndrome in any dangerous extent.

However, speaking of dangers starting in the womb, what about the abortion danger being much higher now than back then?

For 2021, the abortion rate in the UK was 343.8 abortions per 1000 live births, after Russia, but worse than Sweden or France.

3:45 As you mention diseases, those would be more of an issue in cities than on the country-side, which has less contacts right?

So, if lots more are cured now from measles, but on the other hand lots more get it, the ones who die from measles would still be fairly low in both Medieval and Modern England.

3:52 The statistics for Medieval Japan are hardly a matter for concern in Medieval Europe.

In reference to Japanophile readers and listeners, I'd wonder once again where the stats are from.

4:08 "85 % of the population were serfs"

1) That basically ceased after the plague;
2) in some cases people wanted to prove before court they were or how much they were serfs, as it meant their lord would be paying taxes and not they;
3) and as "how much" in previous illustrates, it was a gradual thing, not an exclusive thing.

For the latter two points, see Modern History TV, a very good youtube channel.

In France, while serfs became rarer, they never ceased up to the Revolution, but they were better off in the Middle Ages than after the XVIIth C. Labour for the lord of the manor started at 1 day a week, got to three days in a month, then one day in a month, back in the Middle Ages. The rest of the work was done for oneself.

Stella croía
I’ve learned a lot about history mostly on my own, but one thing that stuck with me from school, is that with more technological advancement, industrial advancement, and other forms of such things to further the “work smarter not harder” mentality we as the human society prefer to live by, around the renaissance to the Industrial Revolution, THATS what finally gave birth to the “middle class” as well as a new thing many families and people knew not of, and that was leisure time/ activities, and this actually resulted in longer lifespans, AND even MORE technological advancement. Instead of it just being super rich and powerful or super poor and powerless, there was now a middle ground, a spectrum of ways of life. The more people had invented, the easier it was to get big things done to keep society going without so much manpower, and now what do we do with all this new found free time?? Well we entertain ourselves of course !! Previously only the wealthy and powerful had access to entertainment/ things to do just for funsies/ the time to indulge in such things. And after more and more people started to be able to actually ENJOY life more, the longer we lived, the less overworked we where, and that in turn allowed many the free time to invent even MORE things to allow for MORE free/fun time, as well as people having been more relaxed more often allowed all of our blood pressures to not cause us to drop dead at 50, so longer lifespans too.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
I'm sorry, @Stellarstellegirl .

You were pretty misinformed in school.

After the plague, 1348+, things got better for serfs for a century or two, simply because they were in demand. From the Renaissance to beyond the Industrial Revolution, it became worse and worse for farmers.

The Renaissance also didn't invent all that much compared to late Middle Ages or Baroque. But serfs in the Middle Ages were probably as well off as the middle class in some of these days. Free farmers (and they existed) certainly were. 100 + days per year were free, and lots of the rest was fairly relaxing work (outside sowing and farvesting cereals), like picking fruit or doing preparations during winter.

4:20 "not only for yourself and your family, but for the lord too"

85 % grow food for 100 % of the population?
100 : 85 = 1.176

You grew food for 1.176 times your own family.

4:27 "or even get married" - you forgot to mention "without his permission" ... serfs certainly did marry, but when they married between two lords of different manors, they were supposed to equalise, a bride going the other way too
"you might as well have been a slave" - technically you kind of were, but in practise you were far less exploited and not remotely as mistreated compared to black slaves in the South States prior to 1865.

The latter were obviousy not growing cotton for just 1.17 times their own consumption within the places they exported cotton to.

4:34 "failure of crops"

You know there was a kind of security measure, growing wheat and rye together, meaning the weather would favour the one or the other - right?

5:24 "with no central heating, lighting or running water"

People were outdoors in the day, and went to the well with a bucket to get water.

Sounds like healthy exercise.

"no wonder lives were so short"

Except you have given no credible statistics for them having been so.


Hans Georg Lundahl said...

On to:
And "MedievalMadness" can't persuade me otherwise

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Labour for the lord of the manor started at 1 day a week, got to three days in a month, then one day in a month, back in the Middle Ages. The rest of the work was done for oneself.

This refers only to "la corvée," there being also "le guet" — here is the paragraph before this distinction:

Dans le principe, le manant est corvéable à merci ; à partir de l'époque où les rois exercent régulièrement sur le peuple leurs droits de taille, gabelle et autres, ils sentent la nécessité de mettre un terme à l'arbitraire des châtelains ; les corvées peuvent se convertir en argent ; bientôt on ne peut plus exercer qu'une seule corvée par semaine, puis trois par mois, puis bientôt une seule par mois, et le vilain est appelé homme de la lune.

pp. 16-17 of La Vie en France au Moyen-Âge, collection La Nouvelle histoire, publisher Minerva and text by Suzanne Comte. 19 juillet 1982, Geneva.