.. Marriage fell under the jurisdiction of the church. Marriage was delayed until the proposed couple had a place to live beforehand. This is a lot like today, because no mother or father wants to live with their newly married daughter or son.
This a way to get the kids out of the house. This simply meant that most peasants would not get to marry until later in life.Men usually would not marry until their late twenties.
Women would get married usually in their late teens. Marriage in the Middle Ages was fairly an involved process. It begins with an arrangement between the two families involved. They 8would discuss what property was being settled on the prospective spouses.The next step was called a “betrothal”, where for three successive Sundays, the marriage had to be publicly announced in church. This was done to see if anyone who saw that the marriage should not go on they should say so. This is like today when the priest says “if anyone knows why these two should not be joined in marriage, speak now or forever hold your peace”. Someone only says something in the movies though.
The wedding itself is held at the door of the church.The man gives his wife a ring as part of the ceremony, which is followed by a feast. No difference then todays weddings. Sure the ceremony takes place in the church, but there is a ring involved and we have a reception which is the equivalent to the large feast of a medieval wedding. Another way that people got married in the Middle Ages was by having sex.
It was considered to be a legal marriage if a promised marriage was followed by sex.The difference between the Middle Ages and modern times is that back then marriage was pretty much a permanent thing. Once you chose your partner there were not too many choices of getting a divorce. They had divorces, but only if the either partner had been tricked into the marriage or if the man was found to be sexually impotent.
It is not like today when everyone gets at least one divorce in their life time for the most senseless reasons too.(Singman,McLean p53-54) 9 Now that we are all grown up and have a wife to share our life as a simple peasant with, let us take a look at the lovely home in which we get to live in. The peasant home had very few rooms, usually one to three rooms.
In some cases the structure not only held the family, but also held the livestock as well.The frame of the house was made of timber, and the walls were commonly filled with wattle and daub. Wattling was long stakes fixed upright between lateral beams, with flexible sticks woven densely between them. The daub was a clay or loam mixed with straw or some similar fiber for strength. This reminds me much of a beavers damn the way the walls are put together with the sticks. The roof was put together with straw or reeds.
The floors were usually packed dirt. The houses were only one story. In the back there might also be additional buildings for animal storage. There usually was also a garden for herbs, vegetables, and any other household plants. The peasants house was not a very comfortable place to live.
I think they would love to trade places with us and be a peasant in these times where everyone has a home and is comfortable with all the luxuries it provides. Back then they were lucky to have a place to cook with in their homes. As with every other aspect of medieval life, a persons social and economic status determined the food they ate. It turned out that the diet of a peasant was much better than 10that of the aristocracy. The only reason was because the peasants could not afford to indulge themselves in the finer foods of red meats, sugar, and fat.The commoners had to eat more fiber and vegetables. Bread was the staple food for all people as it is for everyone today. Beans and bacon was the well-known food of the peasant.
A prosperous peasant might be able to eat 2-3 pounds of bread, 8 ounces of meat or fish, and 2-3 pints of ale per day. The poorer peasants drank water instead of ale and boiled their grains into puddings or gruel rather than bread.We are commoners and we all have food to eat in healthy portions, so we should be thankful for what we have and pray for those who do not have anything. They would be the poorer peasants, who just have enough to get by. Even though peasants worked almost all the time, they did have time to get away from their drudgery for recreational activities.
They had approximately eight weeks a year for leisure time because of Sundays and holy days. What they did with that time was entirely up to them and varied from family to family. There was an old saying about how the peasants looked upon leisure time.It is said that the peasant lived in memory of the last festival and in anticipation of the next.
Through their games and festivities, they expressed their values and their sense of identity. The games they played express how they saw the 11world. It turned out that many of the games they did play were the same types of games the nobility played only with less fancy equipment or less space. I can compare this to a major league baseball team who gets to play in a large stadium with all the best equipment that the world has to offer.
They of are representing the nobility class. Now, just across the street in an alley, there is a group of youngsters who also want to play baseball. They do not have the luxury of all that fancy equipment and space, so they make the best of what they are given. They find a stick in the dumpster and find a tennis ball nearby and play in that confined alley with just as much enthusiasm and joy as the professional team.(nobility class). Recreation time really did not vary from class to class.Even boys and girls took part in all the same activities. As the girls turned into women, they did not participate in the physical games, but did attend them as spectators.
Women were very active in other games such as table games and dancing. A favorite pastime among the commoners was wrestling and chicken fighting. These activities are the same as today. We do these activities in high schools, colleges, and chicken fight in swimming pools. Other activities that we enjoy today and the medieval people did include foot races, skating in the winter with skates made out of bone, and exhibitions of strength by throwing heavy stones.There many 12forms of ball games that can be comparable to todays forms of baseball, football, soccer, or field hockey.
Most of the games played by the commoners were discouraged because they encouraged rough play and gambling. The only activity that was encouraged was archery. This was because it would help in military purposes. The kids kept themselves busy with games that could be equivalent to todays “Marco Polo” called Hoodmans blind.This is were one child is blindfolded with his hood and the other kids go around hitting him with their sleeves or even sticks and he has to guess who made the last hit. There were also less physical games such as chess or playing dice. These are both things we do today.
We play chess and we also shoot craps at casinos, so everywhere we go we bring a piece of history with us. They also played the simple “heads and tails” game with a coin. There is evidence that the first form of cards were from the Italian deck of swords, coins, cups, and batons.Ive played Italian cards and it is fun once you learn the point system and all the rules of the game.
Everything back then besides the physical activities and chess involved some sort of betting. The people would gamble on all the animal fights, dice games, card games, most all table games.(Reeves 74-80) These games that involved more risk and danger for a humans life, might suggest that the value of life was much 13lower, but it might also contribute to the importance of the game. The games gave meaning to the person who was playing the game. Being a peasant in the Middle Ages really meant that you did not belong to yourself.In reality everything you owned belonged to the lord of the manor. The peasants were required to work for their lord and in return for the work the peasant got to farm his own land. All in all to be a peasant could be a little step above slavery.
At least they were considered to be humans. I still would not want to be a commoner in the Middle Ages because of all the threats of disease and warfare and death around every corner.That does not sound like fun. We say that we have it rough with technology moving to fast.
I would rather have all this technology then have none whatsoever. The only technology they had was all the new farming equipment and methods that the peasants came up with. Sure they might have had fresh air to breath back then and the world was probably the most beautiful thing without us ruining it like we have in modern times, but again I have to say that I would not want to be a peasant for the simple fact that you have to work constantly without a choice of what you want to do or when you want to do it. Oh Yeah, and if you do not like what the lord says then he can simply have you killed. Ill take my chances here.