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Quotes About Medieval Life

Quotes tagged as "medieval-life" (showing 1-8 of 8)
Ian Mortimer
“Justice is a relative concept in all ages. The fourteenth century is no exception.”
Ian Mortimer, The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

Ian Mortimer
“As you travel around medieval England you will come across a sport described by some contemporaries as 'abominable ... more common, undignified and worthless than any other game, rarely ending but with some loss, accident or disadvantage to the players themselves'. This is football.”
Ian Mortimer, The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

Tod Wodicka
“In medieval times, contrary to popular belief, most knights were bandits, mercenaries, lawless brigands, skinners, highwaymen, and thieves. The supposed chivalry of Charlemagne and Roland had as much to do with the majority of medieval knights as the historical Jesus with the temporal riches and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, or any church for that matter. Generally accompanied by their immoral entourage or servants, priests, and whores, they went from tourney to tourney like a touring rock and roll band, sports team, or gang of South Sea pirates. Court to court, skirmish to skirmish, rape to rape. Fighting as the noble's substitution for work.”
Tod Wodicka, All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well

“Such is the lot of the knight that even though my patrimony were ample and adequate for my support, nevertheless here are the disturbances which give me no quiet. We live in fields, forests, and fortresses. Those by whose labors we exist are poverty-stricken peasants, to whom we lease our fields, vineyards, pastures, and woods. The return is exceedingly sparse in proportion to the labor expended. Nevertheless the utmost effort is put forth that it may be bountiful and plentiful, for we must be diligent stewards. I must attach myself to some prince in the hope of protection. Otherwise every one will look upon me as fair plunder. But even if I do make such an attachment hope is beclouded by danger and daily anxiety. If I go away from home I am in peril lest I fall in with those who are at war or feud with my overlord, no matter who he is, and for that reason fall upon me and carry me away. If fortune is adverse, the half of my estates will be forfeit as ransom. Where I looked for protection I was ensnared. We cannot go unarmed beyond to yokes of land. On that account, we must have a large equipage of horses, arms, and followers, and all at great expense. We cannot visit a neighboring village or go hunting or fishing save in iron.

Then there are frequently quarrels between our retainers and others, and scarcely a day passes but some squabble is referred to us which we must compose as discreetly as possible, for if I push my claim to uncompromisingly war arises, but if I am too yielding I am immediately the subject of extortion. One concession unlooses a clamor of demands. And among whom does all this take place? Not among strangers, my friend, but among neighbors, relatives, and those of the same household, even brothers.

These are our rural delights, our peace and tranquility. The castle, whether on plain or mountain, must be not fair but firm, surrounded by moat and wall, narrow within, crowded with stalls for the cattle, and arsenals for guns, pitch, and powder. Then there are dogs and their dung, a sweet savor I assure you. The horsemen come and go, among them robbers, thieves, and bandits. Our doors are open to practically all comers, either because we do not know who they are or do not make too diligent inquiry. One hears the bleating of sheep, the lowing of cattle, the barking of dogs, the shouts of men working in the fields, the squeaks or barrows and wagons, yes, and even the howling of wolves from nearby woods.

The day is full of thought for the morrow, constant disturbance, continual storms. The fields must be ploughed and spaded, the vines tended, trees planted, meadows irrigated. There is harrowing, sowing, fertilizing, reaping, threshing: harvest and vintage. If the harvest fails in any year, then follow dire poverty, unrest, and turbulence.”
Ulrich von Hutten, Ulrich von Hutten and the German Reformation

Diana Norman
“A small brazier glowed near the monk's left hand. On a lecturn before him lay pots of paints, brushes, a quill, a pen, a knife, a sizeable handbell, the tooth of some animal--and a piece of parchment.
It was the parchment that commanded the room. Until he saw it Len didn't realize how starved he had been of colour. Villagers dressed in various shades of brown and beige, like their furniture and fields and now, here, was an irruption of the rainbow, as if a charm of goldfinches had landed on the manuscript and been transfixed.”
Diana Norman, Fitzempress' Law

Ian Mortimer
“You might find it alarming to think that your doctor will not actually need to see you in person but might make a diagnosis based on the position of the stars, the colour and smell of your urine, and the taste of your blood.”
Ian Mortimer, The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

Ian Mortimer
“It is commonly said that a good horse should have fifteen properties and conditions, namely: three of a man, three of a woman, three of a fox, three of a hare and three of an ass: like a man, he should be bold, proud and hardy; like a woman, he should be fair breasted, fair of hair and easy to lie upon; like a fox, he should have a fair tail, short ears and go with a good trot; like a hare, he should have a great eye, a dry head and run well; and like an ass, he should have a big chin, a flat leg and a good hoof.”
Ian Mortimer, The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

Mary Jo Putney
“There was deep truth in the fact that men spoke of Holy Mother Church, for the Church was the force of civilization and compassion among nations, just as women brought mercy and gentleness to men.”
Mary Jo Putney

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