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41 Answered Questions for the topic Middle Ages


Did ancient/medieval armies have music/chants to march to?

During battles or marching into battles did armies (like the Spartan or Eastern European armies) have music/chants to march to?


What was this major foreign policy reversal by the Vatican in the Middle Ages?

I made a note about something, but now I can't find it. It was a major shift in the political situation of Europe in the late Middle Ages. Initially one country was the hegemon and the pope... more


What did medieval European knights do if they were defeated in battle?

I know that in medieval Japan, if samurai were defeated in battle or dishonored in any way they had to commit seppuku (killed themselves). I just wanted to know if medieval Europe had a similar rule.


How did people categorize each other in the middle ages, how did racism work?

I'm interested in the european high middle ages, about the 12th-13th century. I'm trying to understand how people sorted each other. Nowadays, some overlapping categories people use would be: *... more


First-hand sources for medieval urban life in central Europe?

I am a teacher and I would like to do an exercise with my students concerning the urban life in the Middle Ages. I am looking for original, first-hand sources who describe urban life from the 11th... more


Is there any evidence of improved sanitation in the years following the Black Death?

I've been reading up on the Black Death and surprisingly have not found any evidence of improved sanitation in the years immediately following the event. Was there any improvement? Were people... more


Did the Moors and Arabs, "Muslims," who invaded Europe, ie "Spain," help the evolution of civilizations of Europe?

Were the Muslims viewed as barbarians similar to the Mongols, and as a people who only specialized in war? Or, were Muslims advanced enough to teach Europe scientific advancements? Did they invent... more


How widespread was literacy in classical Greek in Europe during the medieval period?

How widespread was literacy in classic Greek in Europe during the medieval period? I assume "every" (?) educated person, such as clerks, monks, nobility, judges, doctors and similar knew Latin at... more


How "religious" was the average person in the Middle Ages?

During Europe in the Middle Ages, how religious was the "average Joe"? Looking at the large scale politics of the time it seems religion was a major part of the elites' lives, with treaties with... more


Was any Medieval state ever "partially" Roman Catholic?

It is my understanding that in most of (if not all) the states in western medieval Europe the Roman Catholic church was the only recognized religious body. I'm looking for an example of a state... more


Did Ancient or Medieval People Know About Underground Rivers/Lakes?

If they did, did they utilize them for farming? If so, how would they?


Why are most late medieval fencing manuals German?

Not only is the German school dominating modern European martial arts, but almost everyone who talks about late medieval fencing refers to German fencing manuals as the primary source. Why are... more


What, if any, celebrations or commemorations were done in 1000 AD?

By the 9th century, the Anno Domini system was the most widespread year numbering in medieval Europe. Humans like patterns. Surely people must have thought it significant when "999 AD" became... more


How were political borders marked during the Middle Ages?

I have a very specific question regarding borderlands: between 500-1500, how were the political borders identified? Was it a mere furrow on the ground? Did we have any signs? In other words, were... more


Has Catholic excommunication ever caused the dethronement of any king?

Wikipedia has a list of people excommunicated by the Catholic Church, with a little explanation of the causes for each case, but (understandably) none of the effects. I'm curious if this measure... more


Light cavalry in medieval western Europe?

What sorts of light cavalry were there in high (1300s) medieval western Europe (England and France)? I mean more like non ranged troops. I know that all soldiers likely owned a horse for transport,... more


What was it like for a coastal village to experience a Viking raid in around the tenth century?

Were fishing villages really completely at the mercy of these Vikings, or could they defend them selves? Did villagers have their own weapons? Could they expect any support from a Lord or Land... more


Were there ever any libraries in medieval villages?

I know that in towns and cities there might be libraries built, but is it possible or likely that peasants can have access to it as well? I've heard that every village has an least a monastery or... more


If the heir to a Kingdom is called Crown Prince, what is the heir to a Duchy called?

Just like the title said. What a heir to a hereditary Duchy is called? (as opposed to someone appointed by a King). I mean a Duchy where the Duke inherited his title to his son/daughter. Since... more


Early medieval urban development?

Does anybody know of research papers or academic resources that study the full development and growth of medieval cities? I mean, from village stage to city stage. Or maybe cities did not develop... more


Are there any ideas as to what the English landscape was like before the arrival of the Angles?

I am not sure if this question is within the guidelines (it may be), but I am curious as to this: In North America, for instance, it is often said it was heavily forested and that a squirrel could... more


Were any fortified castles self-sufficient in food?

I read here and there about sieges of fortified castles which lasted extended lengths of time (two years for instance). Was there any castle in Medieval Europe that was self-sustaining? By... more


Where does the name of the country "Belarus" come from?

I've read the German and English Wikipedia on this topic as well as the translated Belarussian version and some sites I googled. They all seem to argue that the 'Rus' part stems from the Region... more


What was the cultural background of Burgundians?

In the Middle Ages there was a big country in Europe between France and German kingdoms, Burgundy. What language did they speak there? Were they more German or French in origin?


What were the acceptance criteria in universities of medieval Europe?

Did they have entrance tests? Were certain groups officially banned from entering? How much did one have to pay? Did they have scholarships for talented studends? How these criteria differed... more

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