What Was Normal in Medieval Times, but Would Be Weird Today? Here’s What People Said.

I consider myself a pretty big history buff, BUT I have to admit that I know next to nothing about the Medieval period.

I think the era is really fascinating, I just don’t know a whole lot about it…but that’s about to change right now!

Because a whole bunch of people talked about what would have been normal during Medieval times but would definitely be weird these days.

Let’s check out some history lessons from folks on AskReddit.

1. Gonna get ugly.

“Duels over a bride at a wedding.”

2. Get them!

“The hue and cry.

Literally shouting that someone stole something and having the whole village chase after them.”

3. That would be weird.

“Having rules about what colors and what type of clothing and hats you could wear, based on your occupation or social level.”

4. How do you plead?

“Animal Courts.

By far the most serial offenders were pigs, accused and convicted of chewing off body parts and even eating children. Most were found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging or being burned at the stake.

In 1386, a convicted pig was dressed in a waistcoat, gloves, drawers and a human mask for its execution.”

5. Whoa.

“Outlawry, which stripped a person of all legal rights and allowed anyone to kill them with impunity.”

6. Bring it back!

“Wearing a codpiece.

Ahhhh, when Syphilis inspired fashion.”

7. He’s still there…

“Seeing someone in stocks on a stage in public.”

8. Odd.

“In Rome, once a year Jews were made to run through the streets naked.”

9. Not a lot of privacy.

“Sleeping with your entire family in one bed.

Or if you are a king, sleeping in the same bed with a rival king to cement your friendship and respect for each other, as brothers.

Privacy was just not really a thing in the middle ages!”

10. Executions.

“Gruesome executions that took a while to actually kill someone.

Seriously medieval people WTF is it with sentencing people to be burned at the stake or crucified or drawn-and-quartered?

A swift beheading was the most benevolent way to kill someone in the old days but not widely practiced as it turns out.”

11. You have a nice forehead.

“Women plucking their hairline to make their forehead bigger.

In the 13th century, there was this whole European aesthetic about women’s s*xy, s*xy foreheads. So women would pluck their hair to make the forehead bigger and s*xier.

Whenever I tell my classes about this they go “ew” but they are all manscaping and waxing other body parts.”

12. Weddings.

“For most of history, for the average person, getting married was as simple as agreeing to be married. The ceremony, witnesses, and engagement were only really important for people who were afraid of being deceived.

A wealthy person, with a lot to lose, would typically announce their upcoming wedding to allow time for any issues to be discovered, like a previous marriage, financial ruin, or an affair that could call into question legitimacy of any heirs.

Witnesses were useful because a marriage by agreement is truly and he said/she said set up until the marriage becomes common knowledge. If party A claimed to be married to party B and party B denied it, they would call on witnesses to confirm or deny each senario. The more witnesses or the higher their status, the more reliable the testimony would be.

So, say a local noble denied that he married a lower class girl, and it’s him and his family against her and her family. The girl’s family would likely lose. But if a priest married them, his word would be final. Having people sign a church register was a natural extension that occurred more frequently over time.

Similarly though, they could go to a local public place and tell people together that they were married and the marriage would become common knowledge, which is hard to deny.

Basically all the wedding layers that we enjoy as romance and tradition are just levels of security.”

13. Fight it out.

“Fight instead of divorce

Why waste time on courts and child support? In medieval Germany, if a husband and wife reached a dead end on some important issue, they entered the ring.

The rules, of course, equalized the forces of men and women. In the ring, the man was in a hole, one hand was tied behind his back, so that he could strike with only one hand. And the wife was given a bag of coal, with which she struck.

Whoever wins the fight (inflicts serious injury or the defeated one asks for mercy) is, therefore, right in the dispute.”

14. Love potion.

“This was a love potion recipe from the 10th century:

A woman will lay a cloth on the ground and cover it in grain. She will then strip her clothing off and cover her body in honey. After that, she will roll around on the cloth and try to get covered in grain.

Afterwards, she will get up and take the grain stuck to her body over to the mill and ground that into flour. She will then use that flour to bake bread and give it to her husband to eat.

There was also another love potion that involves a wife presenting her naked b*tt to her husband who then rolls bread dough on it that will be turned into bread.”

How about you?

What do you think would be normal during Medieval times but not in the present day?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Thanks!