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Archive for the 'World Civ-Middle Ages' Category

What medieval Europe did with its teenagers

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Today, there’s often a perception that Asian children are given a hard time by their parents. But a few hundred years ago northern Europe took a particularly harsh line, sending children away to live and work in someone else’s home. Not surprisingly, the children didn’t always like it.

 

In the Middle Ages, animals that did bad things were tried in court.

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

In the fall of 1457, villagers in Savigny, France witnessed a sow and six piglets attack and kill a 5-year-old boy. Today, the animals would be summarily killed. But errant 15th-century French pigs went to court. And it wasn’t for a show trial—this was the real deal, equipped with a judge, two prosecutors, eight witnesses, and a defense attorney for the accused swine. Witness testimony proved beyond reasonable doubt that the sow had killed the child. The piglets’ role, however, was ambiguous. Although splattered with blood, they were never seen directly attacking the boy.  The judge sentenced the sow to be hanged by her hind feet from a “gallows tree.” The piglets, by contrast, were exonerated.

Such a case might seem bizarre to modern observers, but animal trials were commonplace public events in medieval and early modern Europe. Pigs, cows, goats, horses, and dogs that allegedly broke the law were routinely subjected to the same legal proceedings as humans. In a court of law, they were treated as persons. These somber affairs, which always adhered to the strictest legal procedures, reveal a bygone mentality according to which some animals possessed moral agency.

German History in Documents and Images

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

German History in Documents and Images (GHDI) is a comprehensive collection of original historical materials documenting German history from the beginning of the early modern period to the present. The project comprises ten sections, each of which addresses a discrete period in Germany’s history.

GDHI is a great resource for German History 1500-Present

The Norman Conquest of the English Language

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

At first the English withstood the Norman attack of 1066. But soonthey succumbed to the invaders, as did their virile language of record. An article by H.R. Loyn. (History Today)

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