The Voice of the Middle Ages;Personal letters 1100-1500.

Anything with a vague historical bent

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Marcus Woodhouse
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The Voice of the Middle Ages;Personal letters 1100-1500.

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Edited by Catherine Moriarty. Lennard Books Ltd 1989. ISBN 1852910518. Covering almost every aspect of personal and socio-political life as well as religion (which crops up under every guise as you might well imagine) I found this a fascinating read. It is worth recognising that some of the letters also offer an insight into the way literate men and women thought, for instance in writing a letter to promote the Crusades St. Bernard goes a long way to explaining the Churches then veiwpoint on warfare. Some of the letters are very chatty and while supposedly about one subject might end up discussing the price of pepper and such like. The letters that cover death are also a reminder that while historians seem to gloss over things like infant mortality and thus make it appear as if our ancesters were callous and unemotional the death of a loved one (or even witnessing death) left them as broken up as we would be.
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lidimy
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Post by lidimy »

just a quick question -

is there any difference at all between the 'middle ages' and the 'medieval times'?

or are they one and the same?

lidi :)
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Marcus Woodhouse
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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Well as you might expect no-one at the time used such a term, later historians refered to the Middle Ages to distinguish between the "Dark Ages" following the fall of Rome in the West and the "Rennaisance" but that wasn't until the 18th century. Later in the 19th century historians Latinised the term to give it mor credability and the two have been inter changable ever since. Now historians talk about "Early Medeival" (ad500-ad1100) Transitional Medeival (ad1100-1250ad) "High Medeival" (1250-1400ad) and "Late Medieval" (1400-1520ad). although not every historian agrees on either the terms or the dates I have given.
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lidimy
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Post by lidimy »

oh, ok! silly me, i was under the impression that medieval started with the nomran conquest, and the bit after Rome was a kinda non-period where everything fell apart.

clears that up then - thanks

lidi :D
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Post by gregory23b »

Also depends on which country you are talking about and how you judge things like the 'renaissance', ie England was still medieval in the mid 16thc when compared with Italy and France at the same time, there was no sudden shift in things.
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Post by lidimy »

yep, England behind...as usual! I always thought before that the Renaissance 'came' to Europe everywhere at the same time, until I found out that Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain didn't want to send Kat over here because England was so behind. That kind of provoked me to find out a little more about it all :)

lidi :)
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Alan E
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Post by Alan E »

Behind? Nonsense! Why should "this noble and most mighty nation of Englishmen, of their good natures, are always most loving, very credulous, & ready to cherish & protect strangers, yet that through their good natures they never more by strangers or false teachers may be deceived" encourage and encompass this New Renaissance teaching which is after all, nothing more than "great errors, inconveniences, & false resolutions they have brought them into" brought to us by "Italian teachers of defence, or strangers whatsoever". Would to God that none of it had been taken up here and that we had never "forsaken our forefathers virtues with their weapons, and have lusted like men sick of a strange ague, after the strange vices and devices of Italian, French, and Spanish". (Hardly out of context at all :P ).
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Post by marloes »

The Renaissance wasnt a step forward, look at their fashion :lol:

Seriously though, after the 16th century a lot of things went downwards, hygiene, daily life for the commoner, rights of civilians, women, etc.
The medieval times got a bad rep that they dont deserve.
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Post by Maerwynn »

Thanks for highlighting this - it sounds wonderful. What a great source for starting a persona! So much for my New Year's Resolution not to spend money I don't have to; January is turning out just as expensive as the rest of the year...

Maewynn
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