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Soldier in ME England

Nice new web site.

Soldiers in Late ME England

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Women and the crusades

Although women did not take part in physical battle they did support the crusades by giving money.

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16 th Century Printing

Not exactly medieval but an interesting fact comes from Owen Gingerich’s book, The Book Nobody Read.

The rule of thumb for a 16the century printer was that they could print both sides of a ream of paper a day. A ream being 480 sheets. Copernicus’s De revolutionibus was just over 400 pages with four pages per sheet. A well operated high-speed press could have printed 480 copies in 100 days, about four months. There were also 142 woodblock diagrams to be cut.

After consulting with printers Owen decided that with a four man print operation 250 sheets could be printed per hour. In a twelve hour day 1,500 double sided sheets could be output.

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Major Medieval Players

These are presented  in Thomas Cahill’s book on Medieval mysteries.

Constantine The Great   c. 280 – 337

Augustine of Hippo           345 – 430

Benedict of Nursa         c. 480 – 547

Justinian I                         483 – 565

Theodora I                       500 – 548

Gregory I The Great     c. 540 – 604

Charlemagne                     742 – 814

Alfred the Great                 849 – 899

Peter Abelard                   1079 – 1144

Bernard of Clairvaux         1090 – 1153

Hildegard of Bingen           1098 – 1179

Heloise                              1101 – 1164

Eleanor of Aquitaine      c.  1122 – 1204

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Dating the Middle Ages

These definitions are from Thomas Cahill’s book the Mysteries of the Middle Ages.

The Early Middle Ages (Dark Ages)

  • Fourth through Eleventh Century
      • From 312 when Constantine became Roman Emperor to the gradual increase throughout Europe of scholarship, commerce and the size of cities toward the end of the eleventh century

The High Middle Ages

  • Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries and the first half of the fourteenth century
      • From the beginning of the the twelfth-century renaissance to the coming of the Blask Death in 1347.

The Late Middle Ages

  • Second half of the Fourteenth Century and Fifteenth Century
      • From the Black Death to the 1492 voyage of Columbus
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Life Expectancy

I am reading Thomas Cahill’s Mysteries fo teh Moiddle Ages and on page 20 some life expectancy figures are quoted:
  • Average life span of 25 years
  • 4% of men lived to age 50 (Women were far less)

Death was so prevalent that the need to have children often and early was key.


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