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The Middle Ages And Messed Up Things That Happened Then

Because We All Need To Hear About A Time Possibly More Weird Than Now

By Jessica BuggPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Photo Courtesy of Julia Volk via Pexels.com

I thought we would take a brief break from the f*cked up-ness that is the modern day to look at a time period that possibly had more f*cked up things going on . . . the Middle Ages.

The Middle Ages is the time period between 400–1500-ish CE (common era) and people they entertained all sorts of bullshit.

Let’s take a look shall we?

Tears Were Treated Like A Reality Show Contest

There was no shame in crying for either gender back then . . . except it was common to judge the quality of tears.

Such tear judgement categories included:



-quality of tears

Because let’s be more judgey right?

Cemeteries As Social Hubs?

Back then, cemeteries were free of taxes. It wasn’t uncommon to have businesses set up on cemetery grounds in order to avoid paying the tax man.

Events also chose the cemetery as a place to hold plays, performances, elections, and meetings.

I’m sure it had to do with the tax loophole and I’m pretty sure that’s why cemeteries are not tax exempt now. Otherwise the state of California would just declare it’s entire land a cemetery.

Parades of Shame

Ever seen Game of Thrones? Remember when Cersei Lannister was marched through the streets butt-ass naked while the guy went behind her ringing a bell and yelling “shame, shame, shame”? Yeah, George R.R. Martin didn’t come up with that on his own.

Apparently, shaming parades were fairly commonplace in the middle ages. Being paraded through the streets were saved for things such as stealing, selling bad goods, etc.

The crowd didn’t just join in on the chants . . . they also participated. By throwing things at the person of honor in the shaming parade.

Knights Had To Shit . . . A Lot

While we think of knights as gallant and chivalrous heroes . . . the reality of a knight’s life was not so glamorous. Many knights went on campaign for months if not years and coupled with poor hygiene, many knights carried a multitude of parasites and disease including dysentery.

Dysentery basically makes you shit your brains out until you die. So a knight may be on the battle field while also carrying dysentery so they were wielding a sword in one hand while pooping uncontrollably.

Divorce Through Combat

This should be a web series. Combat wasn’t uncommon during the Middle Ages to solve conflict. It got even more epic when deciding upon divorce.

You legit had divorce by combat. It went something like this.

In Germany specifically, couples would fight it out to divorce.

During the proceedings the husband would have his hands tied behind his back and had to stand in a hole. Meanwhile the wife had a box of rocks and could run around him while tossing said rocks at him.

This really, really needs to be a show.

The Superstition of Jesus . . . And Unicorns?

No one liked magical and religious stories/traditions more than people in the Middle Ages. That’s where we get the intersection of Jesus and unicorns. Yeah, I’m not making this up.

The unicorn was incorporated into religious beliefs of that day that historians attribute to a mistranslation of an ox into a unicorn. The Bible likened Jesus to a unicorn and the Middle Age people of the time decided to incorporate the unicorn into artwork and theater.

The Idea Of Soccer

So it wasn’t modern day soccer the way most Americans think of it, but it was a close relative to the modern day sport.

There were no rules. You could win by any means necessary and soccer was super brutal . . . even deadly.

There was no limit on the number of players on the field. You can imagine how down and dirty it could get.

It got so out of hand that in 1314, King Edward II banned the game including making a punishment of imprisonment if you were caught playing soccer.

Animals Could Be Forced Into Legal Trials

Pets, insects, and livestock could be put on trial during the Middle Ages if they were thought to be breaking the law. Historians have record of over 80 animals that were put on trial with pigs being the most egregious offenders of the law.

In 1474, a rooster was put on trial and was subsequently found guilty of the crime against nature of laying an egg.

A donkey even won a legal trial once it was found innocent of “unpure advances towards a female”. The donkey was acquitted once the young lady (plaintiff) decided the donkey was cute.

Cannibal Knights

Back to the knights. So during the Crusades, many times the knights would run out of food and other supplies. Once the food ran out, they decided to eat people.

There are even accounts of seeing enemy bodies on spits and BBQs. I am going to stop there.

Voyeuristic Sex During The Wedding Night

In order to prove that the groom and bride were “truly man and wife” and the marriage was valid. People in the Middle Ages would follow the couple to the bedroom after the wedding ceremony and watch the couple have sex so that there would be witnesses and the validity of the marriage could not be disputed.

Final Thoughts

Well that ends that round up of weird things that went down in times other than now. I think the animals on trial is the most f*cked up but I still have more research to do.

fact or fiction

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    Jessica BuggWritten by Jessica Bugg

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