Crisis of the Late Middle Ages



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Crisis of the Late Middle Ages

  • Daniel W. Blackmon
  • AP European History
  • Coral Gables Sr. High

Document Exercises

  • Read each document, and ask yourself the following questions:
  • “Who is the author?”
  • “Who is the audience?”
  • “What is the purpose of the document?”

Document Exercises

  • “What is the point of view (POV) of the author?”
  • “What does the document say?”
  • “What inferences may be drawn by the document?”

Wages and Earnings in 13th Century England

  • [There are 12 pennies (d.) To a shilling (s.) And twenty shillings to a pound (£) Wages for a skilled laborer after the Black Death increased 40 to 50%]
  • Estimated Earnings
  • Occupation Per Day Per Year
  • Agricultural laborer
  • Boy ½ d.
  • Female 1 d. £1.7s.3d.
  • Male 2 d. £2.14s.6d.

Wages and Earnings in 13th Century England

  • Carpenter 3 d. - 3 ½ d. £4
  • Mason 5 d. - 6 d. £4.8s.d.
  • Peasant family with 20 acres £4
  • Royal huntsman 7 ½ d.
  • Rural Priest £5 - £15
  • Sawyer 3 ½ d. - 4 d. £5

Wages and Earnings in 13th Century England

  • Stonecutter 4 d. £5.8s.
  • Thatcher’s assistant (female) 1 d. £1.7s.3d.
  • Town priest £75 - 100
  • Unskilled labor 2 d. £2.14s.6d.

Prices in 13th Century England

  • The prices listed below are averages only. In reality, the medieval family had to contend with wild price fluctuations according to the harvests.
  • Product Average Price
  • Ale (per gallon) ¼ d. - ¾ d.
  • Bread (per loaf, weight varied) ¼ d. - ½ d.
  • Candle wax (per pound) 4 d. - 5 d.
  • Capons (each, fully fattened) 2 d. - 3 d.

Prices in 13th Century England

  • The prices listed below are averages only. In reality, the medieval family had to contend with wild price fluctuations according to the harvests.
  • Product Average Price
  • Eggs (per 100) 4 d.
  • Hens (per 1) ½ d.
  • Pears (per 100) 3 ½ d.
  • Pepper (per pound) 2 s.10 d.
  • Pike (per 1) 6 s. 8 d.

Prices in 13th Century England

  • The prices listed below are averages only. In reality, the medieval family had to contend with wild price fluctuations according to the harvests.
  • Product Average Price
  • Salt herring (per 10) 1 d.
  • Second quality malt–2 quarters
  • (1 year supply of ale for 4) 7 s. 7 d.
  • Sugar (per pound) 1 s.2 d.

Prices in 13th Century England

  • The prices listed below are averages only. In reality, the medieval family had to contend with wild price fluctuations according to the harvests.
  • Product Average Price
  • Wine (per quart) £1. 3 s. 6 p.
  • Wheat – 4 quarters (sufficient
  • for a family of 4 for 1 year) 1 s.
  • (Hause 286) [There appeared to be two typographical errors in the text for pepper and wheat]

Relative Weight of Cattle

  • This table gives the deadweight of male cattle slaughtered in the Montaldeo district of Italy in the seventeenth century and compares it with weights in the same district in modern times.
  • Weight in Pounds
  • Age of Animal 17th Century 20th Century
  • 5 months 72 245
  • 1 year 130 540

Relative Weight of Cattle

  • Age of Animal 17th Century 20th Century
  • 2 years 240 880
  • 3 years 320 1,100
  • 4 years 480 1,310
  • 5 yers 560 1,550
  • (Hause 287)

Words of Student Wisdom

  • “Martin Guerre, a French pesent, did not even seem to care if his wife produced a hare.”

Life Expectancy in the Middle Ages

  • The figures below represent the estimated life expectancy of male landholders in medieval England.
  • Age 1200-76 1276-1301 1301-26 1326-48 1348-76 1376-1401 1401-25 1425-50
  • 0 35.3 31.3 29.8 27.2 17.3 20.5 23.8 32.8
  • 10 36.3 32.2 31.0 28.1 25.1 24.5 29.7 34.5

Life Expectancy in the Middle Ages

  • Age 1200-76 1276-1301 1301-26 1326-48 1348-76 1376-1401 1401-25 1425-50
  • 20 28.7 25.2 23.8 22.1 23.9 21.4 29.4 27.7
  • 30 22.8 21.8 20.0 21.1 22.0 22.3 25.0 24.1
  • 40 17.8 16.6 15.7 17.7 18.1 19.2 19.3 20.4

Life Expectancy in the Middle Ages

  • Age 1200-76 1276-1301 1301-26 1326-48 1348-76 1376-1401 1401-25 1425-50
  • 60 9.4 8.3 9.3 10.8 10.9 10.0 10.5 13.7
  • 80 5.2 3.8 4.5 6 4.7 3.1 4.8 7.9
  • (Hause 290)

Life Expectancy in the Middle Ages

  • The figures below represent the estimated life expectancy of male landholders in medieval England.
  • Age 1200-76 1276-1301 1301-26 1326-48 1348-76 1376-1401 1401-25 1425-50
  • 0 35.3 31.3 29.8 27.2 17.3 20.5 23.8 32.8
  • 10 36.3 32.2 31.0 28.1 25.1 24.5 29.7 34.5
  • 20 28.7 25.2 23.8 22.1 23.9 21.4 29.4 27.7
  • 30 22.8 21.8 20.0 21.1 22.0 22.3 25.0 24.1
  • 40 17.8 16.6 15.7 17.7 18.1 19.2 19.3 20.4
  • 60 9.4 8.3 9.3 10.8 10.9 10.0 10.5 13.7
  • 80 5.2 3.8 4.5 6 4.7 3.1 4.8 7.9
  • (Hause 290)

Average Age of Women at First Marriage

  • These statistics are taken from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and are thought to be a reasonable approximation of the late Middle Ages.
  • Place Time Age
  • Amiens (France) 1674-78 25
  • Amsterdam 1626-27 25
  • 1676-77 27

Average Age of Women at First Marriage

  • Place Time Age
  • Elversele (Flanders) 1608-49 25
  • 1650-59 27
  • England 1575-1624 21
  • Titled nobility 1625-75 22
  • Village of Colyton 1560-1646 27
  • 1647-1719 30

Average Age of Women at First Marriage

  • Place Time Age
  • Florence 1351-1400 18
  • 1401-50 17
  • 1451-75 19
  • (Hause 303)

The Medieval Village

  • Before plunging any farther into political, religious, or economic events of the Late Middle Ages, I want to provide you some insight into what everyday life was life for the vast majority of all Europeans.

The Medieval Village

  • An important theme in APEH is social history.
  • This section provides a baseline against which changes can be measured.

The Medieval Village

The Medieval Village

  • The overwhelming majority (upwards of 80%) of all Europeans lived in villages.
  • Their experience forms a base line for social and economic change

The Medieval Village

  • Villages were largely autonomous.
  • The open field system required a “concert of the community at every point of the agricultural cycle: plowing, planting, growing, and harvesting.” (Gies 49(

The Medieval Village

  • The lord was represented by the steward, the bailiff, and the reeve, who were drawn from the village.
  • In England, every village also had an ale taster (who was a woman, since women were the brewers.)

The Medieval Village

  • In the village of Elton, England, the service requirement of a villein (serf) was 117 days per year.

The Medieval Village

  • Cutting, stacking, threshing, carting, and storing the harvest required the efforts of every able bodied person in the village.

The Medieval Village

  • Staple crops were barley, wheat, oats, peas, beans, and rye.
  • Crop yields were 1/3 to 1 /2 modern figures
    • 4:1 for barley and wheat, for example.

The Medieval Village

The Medieval Village: The Villagers

  • Names were based on parental names, occupations, or places:
    • Johnson, Jameson, Williamson
    • Smith, Miller, Webster, Baxter, Cooper
    • Brooks, Bridges, Atwell, Gates

The Medieval Village: Villagers

  • Social Pyramid
    • Lowest: landless peasants
    • Middle: 12-32 acres
    • Wealthy: 40-100 acres

The Medieval Village: Villagers

  • 10 acres was probably the minimum necessary to sustain a family.
  • In England, 46 % of all holdings were 10 acres or less.

The Medieval Village: Villagers

  • The villeins performed labor services, which increasingly were given a monetary value.

The Medieval Village: Villagers

  • “Strangers”—”day laborers, itinerant craftsmen, vagabonds”—were viewed with suspicion. (Gies 80)

The Medieval Village: Villagers

  • Offices within the village were chosen by the villagers themselves, and were typically dominated by the wealthiest families.
    • In Elton, 3.5 % of the families held 50 % of all offices

The Medieval Village

  • Houses were made up of a single, high-ceilinged room.
  • Light came from shuttered windows and doors.
  • Floors were beaten earth covered with straw

The Medieval Village

  • A fire was in the center with smoke vented through a hole in the roof.
  • The family eats on stools or benches at a trestle table.
  • Clothing was stored in chests
  • Hams and such were hung from rafters.

The Medieval Village

  • The family slept on straw pallets on the floor or in a loft.

The Medieval Village

  • The staple food was bread, baked into 4 pound loaves, usually a mixture of grains (wheat and rye or barley)
  • Vegetables included cabbages, leeks, spinach, and parsley.
  • Anything not poisonous was eaten.

The Medieval Village

  • Weak ale was drunk at all meals.

The Medieval Village

  • The medieval diet was low in protein, lipids, calcium, vitamins A, C, and D, and often low in calories.

The Medieval Village: Recreation

  • Church holidays were extremely important, and frequent:
    • Christmas Eve to Epiphany (Jan. 6)
    • Candlemas (Feb. 2)
    • Shrove Tuesday
    • Easter

The Medieval Village: Recreation

  • May Day
  • Rogation Days (Summer)
  • Whitsunday
  • St. John’s Day (England)
  • Lammas (Aug. 1)

The Medieval Village: Recreation

  • Games included:
    • Blind man’s buff,
    • Bowling
    • Checkers
    • Chess
    • Backgammon

The Medieval Village: Recreation

  • Games included:
    • Dice
    • Football
    • Wrestling
    • Swimming
    • Fishing

The Medieval Village: Recreation

  • Games included:
    • Archery (in England)
    • Bullbaiting
    • Cockfighting
    • (the most popular recreation) Drinking

The Medieval Village: The Family

  • Families were most commonly nuclear (father, mother, children)
  • Size was 5 or fewer (Gies 106)

The Medieval Village : The Family

The Medieval Village: The Family

  • Widow’s rights were quite definite.
  • Common law provided that a widow receive one third to one half the estate.
  • Frequently, widows were granted co-tenancy rights for life

The Medieval Village : The Family

  • Primogeniture meant that older sons had to delay marriage until their fathers were dead or retired.
  • Younger sons would have to leave the family to make their way in the world.

The Medieval Village

  • “Peasant women inherited, held, bought, sold and leased land.” (Gies 111)

The Medieval Village

  • Marriages were arranged by the family.
  • The Church required a public wedding, and a dowry, but did not require witnesses or clergy.

The Medieval Village

  • Most couples made their vows before the church door.
  • However, many couples made vows in other places. These “secret marriages” were a rich source of litigation.
  • Secret marriage was not banned until the Council of Trent

The Medieval Village

  • Premarital sex and illegitimate children were punishable by fines.
  • In the village, pregnancy at marriage was apparently common, perhaps to ensure the woman’s fertility (Gies 116)

The Medieval Village

  • Divorce was very rare.
  • A common cause was bigamy, a second non-consummation

The Medieval Village

  • Childbirth was fraught with risk for mother and child
  • Infants were prepared for baptism immediately, lest they should die in original sin.

The Medieval Village

  • Peasant women, unlike noblewomen, nursed their own children.
  • Infants were often left alone in the house while the parents worked in the fields.
  • Older children might be left with a sitter

The Medieval Village

  • Children began chores when they were old enough.

The Medieval Village

  • Life expectancy was short.
  • An adult who survived until adulthood (20) was unlikely to live beyond 45.

The Medieval Village

  • Wakes often turned into drunken parties, but by contrast, funerals were very simple.

The Medieval Village

  • Work was constant.
  • Animals would be harnessed by sunup.
  • The three field system would divide each field into a section (a furrow long), the furlong, and then into strips.

The Medieval Village

  • Families would have land in each field, so that they have cultivable land regardless of which field was left fallow.

The Medieval Village

  • In the three field system, one field would be planted in wheat, one field would be planted in barley, beans, oats and peas, and the third would lie fallow.
  • One third of the land was therefore not in use at any given time.

The Medieval Village

  • Harvesting methods left a lot of stubble, and the right to glean the harvested field was quite important.
  • Gleaning was restricted to the old, infirm, or very young.
  • Every able bodied villager assisted with the reaping.

The Medieval Village

  • “The open field system was thus not one of free enterprise. Its practitioners were strictly governed in their actions and made to conform to a rigid pattern agreed on by the community, acting collectively.”

The Medieval Village

  • “Neither was it socialism. The strips of plowed land were held individually and unequally.” (Gies 133)

The Medieval Village

  • While women did help with every necessary task, most of the time their work was “inside” work.

The Medieval Village

  • This included:
    • Spinning
    • Weaving,
    • Cooking
    • Sewing
    • Cheese-making

The Medieval Village

    • Foraging
    • Weeding
    • Gardening
    • Haymaking
    • Animal tending
    • Brewing

The Medieval Village

  • Sheep provided a cash crop
  • Medieval fleeces ranged from a pound to 2.5 pounds (the modern average is 4.5 pounds) (Gies 147)

The Medieval Village

  • Pigs were allowed to run free, since they could take care of themselves.
  • Cows produced much less milk today, 120-150 gallons per year, but that is still an important addition to the family income

The Medieval Village

  • Churches were central to village life.
  • Services were said in Latin. Communion was administered usually only at Easter.
  • Congregations participated very little in the services (Gies 164-5)

The Medieval Village

  • There was no police force. Raising the hue and cry obligated everyone to assist in apprehending a criminal.
  • Punishments for offenses were usually by fine.

Outline of the Lesson

  • Topics will be approached using the mnemonic device, PERSIA

Outline of the Lesson

  • P=Political
  • E=Economic
  • R=Religious
  • S=Social
  • I=Intellectual
  • A=Aesthetic

Political: Western Europe

  • The Hundred Years’ War
    • Plantagenet vs. Valois
    • The English longbow
    • Crécy 1346
    • Poitiers 1356
    • Agincourt 1415

Political: Hundred Years’ War

  • Joan of Arc
  • Siege of Orléans 1429
  • Fabian tactics

Political: Hundred Years’ War

  • Consequences
    • House of Commons (knights and burgesses) acquired right to approve all taxes

Political: Europe’s Eastern Borders

Political: The Ottoman Turks

  • Fall of Constantinople 1453

Economic: Feudalism

  • Feudalism
  • Slow growth of cities and trade
  • Poor harvests and famine 1315-1322

Religion

  • The Babylonian Captivity 1309-1377
  • King vs. Pope
  • Unam Sanctum

Religion

  • Abuses
    • Simony
    • Pluralism
    • absenteeism

Religion: Great Schism

  • Urban VI
  • Clement VII

Religion: Conciliar Movement

  • Marsiglio of Padua, Defensor Pacis
  • John Wyclif
    • Sola Scriptura
    • Translated Bible
    • Lollards

Religion

  • “When Adam delved and Eve span
  • Where then was the gentleman?”

Religion: The Hussites

  • Jan Hus of Bohemia
  • Anticlericalism
  • Jan Zizka

Religion: Three Councils

  • Council of Pisa 1409—elects a new pope, we now have three
  • Council of Constance 1414-1418—elected Martin V pope and ended schism; burned Jan Hus as a heretic
  • Council of Basel 1431-1449—allows Hussites control of their own church

Words of Student Wisdom

  • John Huss refused to decant his ideas about the church and was therefore burned as a steak.”

Words of Student Wisdom

  • “Kings resented Popal authority. This caused the so-called Divestiture Controversy and led to the Bolivian Captivity of the Church. The French king moved the Popes to Arizona where he could keep an eye on them.”

Social: Marriage and Family

  • Women married 16-18 years of age
  • Marriage within the village
  • Economics, not romance, governs marriage
  • Nuclear households
  • Families 4 to 6 people

Social: Parish Life

  • Land is worked collectively
  • Guilds controlled production, quality and prices
  • Blood sports are common
  • Considerable drunkenness
  • Aristocratic brigandage

Social: Peasant Revolts

  • The Jacquerie 1358
  • Peasants’ Revolt (Wat Tyler) 1381
  • Statute of Laborers
  • Ciompi in Florence

Social: Role of Women

  • Focus on marriage and family
  • Ran family estates and businesses when men were absent
  • Aquinas relegated men to active roles and women to passive
  • Some women reached high church office
  • Guilds excluded women

Treatment of Disease

  • [These are excerpts from a standard medical textbook by John of Gaddesden (1280-1361)]
  • “For smallpox: [I]n the case of the noble son of the English king, when he was infected with this disease, . . . .I made everything around the bed to be red.”

Treatment of Disease

  • “For toothache: Again, write these words on the jaw of the patient: In the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen. + Rex +Pax +Nax +in Christo Filio, and the pain will cease at once as I have often seen . . . . Again, some say that the beak of a magpie hung from the neck cures pain in the teeth and the uvula and the quinsy.”

The Famine of 1315 in England

  • This account is by the English chronicler Johannes de Trokelowe.
  • “Meat and eggs began to run out, capons and fowl could hardly be found, animals died of pest, swine could not be fed because of the excessive price of fodder.

The Famine of 1315 in England

  • “A quarter of wheat or beans or peas sold for twenty shillings, barley for a mark, oats or ten shillings. A quarter of salt was commonly sold for thirty-five shillings, which in former times was quite unheard of. . . .

The Famine of 1315 in England

  • “The dearth began in the month of May and lasted until the nativity of the Virgin [September 8]. The summer rains were so heavy that grain could not ripen. It could hardly be gathered and used to make bread down to the said feast day unless it was first put in vessels to dry. . . . .

The Famine of 1315 in England

  • “. . . .Four pennies worth of coarse bread was not enough to feed a common man for one day. The usual kinds of meat, suitable for eating, were too scarce; horse meat was precious; plump dogs were stolen. And according to many reports, men and women in many places secretly ate their own children.”

Description of the Black Death

  • Marchione di Coppo Stefani, The Florentine Chronicle
  • Marchione di Coppo Stefani was born in Florence in 1336. He wrote his Florentine Chronicle in the late 1370s and early 1380s.
  • http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/osheim/marchione.html

Description of the Black Death

  • “In the year of the Lord 1348 there was a very great pestilence in the city and district of Florence. It was of such a fury and so tempestuous that in houses in which it took hold previously healthy servants who took care of the ill died of the same illness.

Description of the Black Death

  • Almost none of the ill survived past the fourth day. Neither physicians nor medicines were effective. Whether because these illnesses were previously unknown or because physicians had not previously studied them, there seemed to be no cure. There was such a fear that no one seemed to know what to do.

Description of the Black Death

  • “When it took hold in a house it often happened that no one remained who had not died. And it was not just that men and women died, but even sentient animals died. Dogs, cats, chickens, oxen, donkeys sheep showed the same symptoms and died of the same disease.

Description of the Black Death

  • “And almost none, or very few, who showed these symptoms, were cured. The symptoms were the following: a bubo in the groin, where the thigh meets the trunk; or a small swelling under the armpit; sudden fever; spitting blood and saliva (and no one who spit blood survived it).

Description of the Black Death

  • “It was such a frightful thing that when it got into a house, as was said, no one remained. Frightened people abandoned the house and fled to another.

Description of the Black Death

  • “Those in town fled to villages. Physicians could not be found because they had died like the others. And those who could be found wanted vast sums in hand before they entered the house. And when they did enter, they checked the pulse with face turned away.

Description of the Black Death

  • “They inspected the urine from a distance and with something odoriferous under their nose. Child abandoned the father, husband the wife, wife the husband, one brother the other, one sister the other. In all the city there was nothing to do but to carry the dead to a burial.

Description of the Black Death

  • “And those who died had neither confessor nor other sacraments. And many died with no one looking after them. . . . No one, or few, wished to enter a house where anyone was sick, nor did they even want to deal with those healthy people who came out of a sick person's house.

Description of the Black Death

  • “And they said to them: "He is stupefied, do not speak to him!" saying further: "He has it because there is a bubo in his house." They call the swelling a bubo. Many died unseen. So they remained in their beds until they stank. And the neighbors, if there were any, having smelled the stench, placed them in a shroud and sent them for burial.

Description of the Black Death

  • “The house remained open and yet there was no one daring enough to touch anything because it seemed that things remained poisoned and that whoever used them picked up the illness.

Description of the Black Death

  • “The beccamorti [literally vultures] who provided their service, were paid such a high price that many were enriched by it. Many died from [carrying away the dead] , some rich, some after earning just a little, but high prices continued.

Description of the Black Death

  • “Servants, or those who took care of the ill, charged from one to three florins per day and the cost of things grew. . . . . Capons and other poultry were very expensive and eggs cost between twelve and twenty_four pence each; and he was blessed who could find three per day even if he searched the entire city.

Description of the Black Death

  • “Concerning that [the government] issued ordinances discouraging the sounding of bells, sale of burial benches, and limiting expenses. . . . . Some fled to villas, others to villages in order to get a change of air. Where there had been no [pestilence], there they carried it; if it was already there, they caused it to increase.

Description of the Black Death

  • “None of the guilds in Florence was working. All the shops were shut, taverns closed; only the apothecaries and the churches remained open. . . . This mortality enriched apothecaries, doctors, poultry vendors, beccamorti, and greengrocers who sold of poultices of mallow, nettles, mercury and other herbs necessary to draw off the infirmity.

Description of the Black Death

  • “And it was those who made these poultices who made a lot of money. Wool workers and vendors of remnants of cloth who found themselves in possession of cloths [after the death of the entrepreneur for whom they were working] sold it to whoever asked for it.

Description of the Black Death

  • “Wool workers and vendors of remnants of cloth who found themselves in possession of cloths [after the death of the entrepreneur for whom they were working] sold it to whoever asked for it. When the mortality ended, those who found themselves with cloth of any kind or with raw materials for making cloth was enriched.

Description of the Black Death

  • “This pestilence began in March, as was said, and ended in September 1348. And people began to return to look after their houses and possessions. And there were so many houses full of goods without a master that it was stupefying.

Description of the Black Death

  • “Then those who would inherit these goods began to appear. And such it was that those who had nothing found themselves rich with what did not seem to be theirs and they were unseemly because of it. Women and men began to dress ostentatiously.”

Words of Student Wisdom

  • “The bubonic plague is a social disease in the sense that it can be transmitted by intercourse and other etceteras.”
  • Victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks.”

The Statute of Laborers (1351)

  • The Avalon Project at Yale Law School
  • ("Statutes of the Realm," vol. i. p. 307.)
  • Issued by Edward III of England in 1351, this is a typical example of legislation designed to restrict the increase in labor costs created by the Black Death.

The Statute of Laborers

  • “Edward by the grace of God etc. . . . greeting. Because a great part of the people and especially of the, workmen and servants has now died in that pestilence, some, seeing the straights of the masters and the scarcity of servants, are not willing to serve unless they receive excessive wages,

The Statute of Laborers

  • “and others, rather than through labour to gain their living, prefer to beg in idleness: We, considering the grave inconveniences which might come from the lack especially of ploughmen and such labourers, . . . have seen fit to ordain: that every man and woman of our kingdom of England, of whatever condition, whether bond or free,

The Statute of Laborers

  • “,who is able bodied and below the age of sixty years, not living from trade nor carrying on a fixed craft, nor having of his own the means of living, or land of his own with regard to the cultivation of which he might occupy himself, and not serving another,

The Statute of Laborers

  • “if he, considering his station, be sought after to serve in a suitable service, he shall be bound to serve him who has seen fit so to seek after him; and he shall take only the wages liveries, meed or salary which, in the places where he sought to serve, were accustomed to be paid in the twentieth year of our reign of England,[ that is, 1347]

The Statute of Laborers

  • “And if a reaper or mower, or other workman or servant, of whatever standing or condition he be, who is retained in the service of any one, do depart from the said service before the end of the term agreed, without permission or reasonable cause, he shall undergo the penalty of imprisonment,

The Statute of Laborers

  • “Likewise saddlers, skinners, white_tawers, cordwainers, tailors, smiths, carpenters, masons, tilers, shipwrights, carters and all other artisans and labourers shall not take for their labour and handiwork more than what, in the places where they happen to labour, was customarily paid to such persons in [1347].

The Statute of Laborers

  • “Likewise let butchers, fishmongers, hostlers, brewers, bakers, pullers and all other vendors of any victuals, be bound to sell such victuals for a reasonable price, having regard for the price at which such victuals are sold in the adjoining places: so that such vendors may have moderate gains, not excessive . . . ; and if any one sell such victuals in another manner, and be convicted of it in the aforesaid way, he shall pay the double of that which he received to the party injured.”

The Statute of Laborers

  • “and if any one sell such victuals in another manner, and be convicted of it in the aforesaid way, he shall pay the double of that which he received to the party injured.”

The Black Death

  • Pasteurella pestis
  • Bubonic plague
  • Septicaemic plague
  • Pneumonic plague

The Black Death

  • Killed 33 % of Europe and China
  • Killed even higher numbers in urban settings
  • Returned cyclically until 1721

The Black Death: Consequences

  • Severe losses to clergy
  • Severe labor shortages
  • Flagellants
  • Massacre of Jews
  • Danse Macabre

Intellectual

  • Scholasticism
  • Abelard
  • Universities
    • Oxford
    • Cambridge
    • Paris
    • Bologna

Intellectual

Intellectual

  • Liberal Arts curriculum
    • Quadrivium
      • Geometry
      • Arithmetic
      • Astronomy
      • Music

Intellectual

  • St. Thomas Aquinas
  • John Duns Scotus

Aesthetic

  • Tres riches heures du Duc du Berry
  • Danse macabre
  • William Langland, Piers Plowman

From Piers Plowman

  • And as I went by the way, weeping for sorrow
  • I saw a poor man o'er the plow bending
  • His coat was of a cloth that cary was called
  • His hood was full of holes and his hair seen through it.

From Piers Plowman

  • With his shoes so worn and patched very thick
  • His toes pushed through as the fields he trod.
  • His hose overhung his gaiters all about
  • And he dragged in the mud as the plow he followed.

From Piers Plowman

  • Two mittens had he, skimpy, made of rags,
  • The fingers uncovered and coated with mud.
  • This poor creature, beslimed in the mud almost to the ankle,

From Piers Plowman

  • Four oxen before him, that feeble had become,
  • One might count the ribs, so pitiful they were.
  • Beside him his wife, with a long goad.

From Piers Plowman

  • In a cutted skirt, cutted full hig;
  • Wrapped in a winnowing sheet, to guard her from weather,
  • Barefoot on bare ice, so that the blood flowed

From Piers Plowman

  • And at the field's end lay a little basket
  • And therein a little child, covered in rags,
  • And twins of two years old upon another side.

From Piers Plowman

  • And they all sang a song that was sorrow to hear,
  • They all cried a cry, a note full of woe--
  • The poor man sighed sore, and said "Children be still!"

Vernacular Literature

  • Dante Alighieri 1265-1321
    • The Divine Comedy
      • The Inferno
      • The Purgatorio
      • The Paradiso

Vernacular Literature

  • Geoffrey Chaucer
    • The Canterbury Tales

Vernacular Literature

  • François Villon
    • The Grand Testament

Vernacular Literature

Essay Question

  • Analyze the factors which led to a decline in the authority of the Church in the late Middle Ages.

Essay Question

  • Thomas Hobbes wrote that, for most Europeans, life was “nasty, brutish, and short.” Assess the validity of his statement.

Essay Question

  • Analyze the consequences of the Black Death in Europe.


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