When the world gets super crazy and it seems like everything is too technological, too fast-paced, and too complicated, it’s easy to think that we would all be better off living in a simpler time. But the thing is, those simpler times came with their own myriad issues – many of which seem pretty insane (and 100% disgusting) to the modern person.
Don’t believe me? I’ve got 10 solid examples coming your way.
10. Young knights trained by riding pigs
They had to graduate to horses. It sounds to me like someone was screwing with them.
9. Archery was compulsory
In 1363, King Edward III decided he had had enough of football because he thought it distracted people from learning and practicing archery. So he banned football and mandated that everyone practice archery for two hours a day.
Which sounds kind of awful (and nerdy) until you remember that medieval football had no rules and regularly resulted in the deaths of healthy, able-bodied men of fighting age, and that archery was the combat tool of the day.
8. Jousting knights rode at combined speeds of up to 60 mph
Deadly car accidents happen at around 40 mph so yeah, hope that armor was damn good.
7. People were so poor, they couldn’t afford poop
Manure was required to grow wheat, and it was also pricey. People ended up with rye and barley bread instead of wheat because they couldn’t afford shit.
6. Also, rye bread could potentially make you really, really sick
Rye can be infested with ergot, a fungus that can cause hallucinations and even death. Good times!
5. Public baths were banned because of prostitutes.
Cleanliness might be next to godliness, but apparently that wasn’t as important as not having sex for money.
4. If you were accused of a crime, you were pretty much dead
In the tradition of throwing “witches” into the water to see if they floated, accused criminals in the Middle Ages had to walk holding a red-hot poker, do trial by combat, and undergo a similar water trial. If you failed at any point, you were executed.
Call me crazy, but you can just kill me at the beginning. No red-hot poker needed.
3. People robbed the dead even when they had the plague
Fun Fact: The combination of clove, lemon, rosemary, cinnamon, and eucalyptus they used (unsuccessfully) to protect against germs is now used by essential oil companies as a blend to ward off and cure illness (unsuccessfully).
2. College bar fights were deadly
Think you want to go back to an age where literally everyone was armed? Well, it turns out that putting weapons in the hands of drunkards and college men is a recipe for trouble: a fight broke out in 1355 between Oxford students and local townsmen that resulted in at least 90 deaths.
1. Using a dildo was punishable by 5 years of penance
That seems excessive.