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Life During the Middle Ages October 10, 2005. A Little History The Dark Ages or Medieval Times The Dark Ages or Medieval Times Covered almost 1,000 years.

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Presentation on theme: "Life During the Middle Ages October 10, 2005. A Little History The Dark Ages or Medieval Times The Dark Ages or Medieval Times Covered almost 1,000 years."— Presentation transcript:

1 Life During the Middle Ages October 10, 2005

2 A Little History The Dark Ages or Medieval Times The Dark Ages or Medieval Times Covered almost 1,000 years of Western Europe Covered almost 1,000 years of Western Europe History clouded by myth & legends History clouded by myth & legends Ruled by hundreds of Feudal Lords & Kings Ruled by hundreds of Feudal Lords & Kings

3 A Little History A Little History Cities were surrounded by walls and homes were often castles Cities were surrounded by walls and homes were often castles There were many wars, battles & fights among people, cities, etc. There were many wars, battles & fights among people, cities, etc. Weapons included swords, axes, longbows, crossbows, stones and daggers Weapons included swords, axes, longbows, crossbows, stones and daggers Cities & castles were often looted after battle Cities & castles were often looted after battle

4 A Little History People from this era -- knights, soldiers, peasants & pilgrims People from this era -- knights, soldiers, peasants & pilgrims Goods gathered during battle were often traded and sold Goods gathered during battle were often traded and sold Merchants brought silks, cotton, spices from around the world but also brought Black Death Merchants brought silks, cotton, spices from around the world but also brought Black Death

5 Lifestyle People spent time working the land to grow food for survival People spent time working the land to grow food for survival Social activities were important – fairs, merchants selling goods, games in the local tavern, tournaments, weddings Social activities were important – fairs, merchants selling goods, games in the local tavern, tournaments, weddings People were superstitious but merchants brought back medical & human body knowledge People were superstitious but merchants brought back medical & human body knowledge

6 Medieval Business & Commerce Cities were paved with stone roads, & were filled with buildings, churches & marketplaces Cities were paved with stone roads, & were filled with buildings, churches & marketplaces Little room for orchards, fields, and grazing Little room for orchards, fields, and grazing Animal traffic made roads unsanitary Animal traffic made roads unsanitary Water supplies limited Water supplies limited

7 Medieval Business & Commerce Market was held 1 x a week in the town square Market was held 1 x a week in the town square Merchants trade also included protection treaties Merchants trade also included protection treaties Fairs would attract foreign merchants – last several days Fairs would attract foreign merchants – last several days

8 Holidays & Celebrations Celebrations revolved around feast days or planting & harvesting of crops Celebrations revolved around feast days or planting & harvesting of crops November -- blood month -- feed was scarce; meat was smoked, salted & cured for winter November -- blood month -- feed was scarce; meat was smoked, salted & cured for winter From Christmas to 12 th day of January – vacation, feasts From Christmas to 12 th day of January – vacation, feasts Plow Monday -- races Plow Monday -- races

9 Medieval Food – Manor House Fowl – geese, chicken, larks, capons, beef, bacon, lamb Fowl – geese, chicken, larks, capons, beef, bacon, lamb Near water – salmon, herring, eels and fresh water fish – salted, smoked or fresh Near water – salmon, herring, eels and fresh water fish – salted, smoked or fresh Milled flour & meals from grain Milled flour & meals from grain Dairy products – cheese & milk Dairy products – cheese & milk

10 Medieval Food – Manor House Lacked fruits and vegetables Lacked fruits and vegetables Since a variety of foods were not available year-round, Since a variety of foods were not available year-round, Diet lacked nutrients – A, B, C, D, and E vitamins and some minerals Diet lacked nutrients – A, B, C, D, and E vitamins and some minerals

11 Medieval Food -- Peasants Barley & rye breads wheat went to the market Barley & rye breads wheat went to the market Drank ale made from barley & water – flavored with honey Drank ale made from barley & water – flavored with honey Cabbage, onions, garlic, nuts, berries, leeks, spinach, parsley were used to make soup Cabbage, onions, garlic, nuts, berries, leeks, spinach, parsley were used to make soup Raw vegetables were thought to be unhealthy Raw vegetables were thought to be unhealthy Little protein – maybe peas & beans Little protein – maybe peas & beans

12 Medieval Foods -- Peasants Lacked protein, B vitamins, vitamins A, C, and D and not high in calories Lacked protein, B vitamins, vitamins A, C, and D and not high in calories Ale often made up the calorie difference Ale often made up the calorie difference Diets were also low in fat & high in fiber Diets were also low in fat & high in fiber Hunger was constant Hunger was constant

13 Medieval Diseases Rough wool next to skin caused skin diseases Rough wool next to skin caused skin diseases Lack of fruits, vegetables & protein – scurvy, intestinal tract disorders Lack of fruits, vegetables & protein – scurvy, intestinal tract disorders Winter – pneumonia Winter – pneumonia Improper sanitation – typhoid fever Improper sanitation – typhoid fever

14 Medieval Diseases Mental illness – injuries during birth Mental illness – injuries during birth Leprosy – most feared until the Black Death – leper colonies were everywhere Leprosy – most feared until the Black Death – leper colonies were everywhere In France – 11 th – 13 th centuries over 2,000 leprosy colonies In France – 11 th – 13 th centuries over 2,000 leprosy colonies

15 Medieval -- Famines Lack of food was a constant fear Lack of food was a constant fear Never had enough surplus to develop storage systems Never had enough surplus to develop storage systems By 1300s adequate supplies grown under best conditions By 1300s adequate supplies grown under best conditions Climate grew cooler and wetter & earlier storms Climate grew cooler and wetter & earlier storms decimated crops decimated crops

16 Medieval Famines Hoarding preceded famines Hoarding preceded famines Black markets for food sold well Black markets for food sold well Elderly stopped eating so younger one could survive Elderly stopped eating so younger one could survive Grimm’s Fairy Tale – Hansel and Gretel – may have been born out of the reality of these famines Grimm’s Fairy Tale – Hansel and Gretel – may have been born out of the reality of these famines

17 Medieval -- Famines People killed their animals and ate seed grain for food People killed their animals and ate seed grain for food Dogs & cats disappeared Dogs & cats disappeared Rumors of cannibalism Rumors of cannibalism Black Death eliminated more people Black Death eliminated more people Created enough food for survivors Created enough food for survivors

18 Medieval – Black Death total nightmare – a time of horror total nightmare – a time of horror Every 4 th person would die in three years or ¼ of the people would die Every 4 th person would die in three years or ¼ of the people would die Black Death brought to Western Europe along trading routes – exact location unknown Black Death brought to Western Europe along trading routes – exact location unknown Cities were worse – narrow streets, close homes – transmitted diseases Cities were worse – narrow streets, close homes – transmitted diseases

19 Medieval – Black Death Transmitted by rats and fleas Transmitted by rats and fleas In larger cities, half the people died; some up to 90% died In larger cities, half the people died; some up to 90% died Disease attacked lymph, respiratory and circulatory systems – fatal pneumonia Disease attacked lymph, respiratory and circulatory systems – fatal pneumonia Almost 100% of infected people died Almost 100% of infected people died

20 Medieval – Black Death Rhyme: Ring around the rosie, A pocketful of posie, Ashes, Ashes, All fall down.

21 Medieval – Black Death Trying to avoid disease included: Drinking fine wine Drinking fine wine Eating the best of meats Eating the best of meats Filling the mind with thought other than death Filling the mind with thought other than death Medical treatment – valerian root, moonwort, arsenic, brimstone Medical treatment – valerian root, moonwort, arsenic, brimstone Opium given as anesthetic Opium given as anesthetic Blood-letting Blood-letting

22 Medieval vs. Today Protein – poultry, seafood, beef, pork Protein – poultry, seafood, beef, pork Poor ate beans but not combined with grains Poor ate beans but not combined with grains Protein – seafood, poultry, beef, pork, milk, dairy products, soy, combined grains & beans. Manufactured proteins Protein – seafood, poultry, beef, pork, milk, dairy products, soy, combined grains & beans. Manufactured proteins

23 Medieval vs. Today Starchy Foods Wheat, barley, rye, oats, bread, porridge Wheat, barley, rye, oats, bread, porridge Starchy Foods Wheat, barley, rye, oats, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, cakes, cookies, pastries Wheat, barley, rye, oats, bread, cereal, rice, pasta, cakes, cookies, pastries

24 Medieval vs. Today Fruits/Vegetables Low availability Low availability Low food intake Low food intakeFruits/Vegetables Available but often not purchased Available but often not purchased Low food intake Low food intake

25 Medieval vs. Today Fats Peasants -- very low – animal sources, some dairy Peasants -- very low – animal sources, some dairy Lords/Kings – very high, meat, cheese intake Lords/Kings – very high, meat, cheese intake Fats High – animal fat, oil, fried foods, dairy, cheese, trans fatty acids, processed foods High – animal fat, oil, fried foods, dairy, cheese, trans fatty acids, processed foods

26 Medieval vs. Today Fluid Mead Mead Beer/Ale Beer/Ale Wine Wine Water w/ honey - poor sanitation Water w/ honey - poor sanitation Fluid Milk Milk Coffee/Tea Coffee/Tea Sodas Sodas Juice Juice Water Water Sports drinks Sports drinks Alcohol Alcohol

27 Medieval vs. Today Results Poor nutritional status Poor nutritional status Faced communicable diseases Faced communicable diseases Low chronic disease Low chronic disease This combination resulted in deaths This combination resulted in deathsResults Poor nutritional status Poor nutritional status Very few communicable diseases but bird flu a threat Very few communicable diseases but bird flu a threat High chronic disease High chronic disease This combination is projected to result in deaths This combination is projected to result in deaths

28 Middle Ages vs. Today We love our habits more than our income, often more than our life. ~ Bertrand Russell

29 A joint project of Food Services Branch and Health & Human Services Branch. A message from the California Department of Health and Human Services. Funding provided by USDA's Food Stamp Program. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer, helping limited income Californians buy more nutritious foods for a healthier diet. For more information about Food stamps, please call (323)


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