4 Unusual Facts about The Middle Ages

Public executions

Medieval life was poor spectacle, so to go look at the execution was quite a pleasant pastime, comparable to the modern campaign in the cinema for “horror.” True, a rare modern man could withstand such a spectacle and not faint. People were not only hanged, quartered or burned alive. Before that, they were also tortured and publicly tortured. For example, Henry VII promised one of the organizers of the uprising against him that if he voluntarily surrendered, then no member will be separated from his body until he dies. And he kept his word. The unhappy man was suspended on chains to the church spire and for many days he was slowly dying of thirst, hunger, cold, and at the end of this torture and from the wounds inflicted by crows. At the same time, hands and feet, as the king promised, remained with him till the end.

Bizarre medical practices

The most popular method of treatment in the Middle Ages was bloodletting. But, if you think about it, it was still a very safe practice in comparison with what medieval healers could still find. For example, a small hole in the skull was considered a good remedy for painful headaches, as well as for epilepsy and mental disorders. It was drilled so as to expose the cerebral membrane.

“God’s judgment”

One of the most popular judicial practices in the Middle Ages was – “God’s court.” Accused of any misdemeanor or crime should have received a burn with a hot iron or put their hand in a cauldron with boiling water. The injured wound was bandaged, and after a while looked, as it heals. If the wound looked good, then. God confirmed the innocence of the subject. Otherwise, the person is guilty and liable to punishment.


The idea that the water should be cleaned and boiled, in order to avoid infection, no one came to mind. However, people could trace the connection between gastric diseases and dirty water. That’s why commoners drank mostly weak beer, and richer people – wine. The medieval man spent most of his life under the influence of drunkenness.

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