In the Middle Ages, the wine had the highest social prestige of all beverages and was also regarded as the healthiest choice when it comes to choosing between different drinks. According to Galen’s theory, it should be considered as a “hot and dry” fluid …
(hence the modern use of “dry wines” in describing the taste of wine that is not sweet).
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Beer passed from Egypt to Europe following the Crusades. The knights returned to their countries taking beer with them. From the 7th and 8th centuries, monastic communities began to make and consume beer.
At that time, the monks lived as the villagers but more isolated from the village. The water, unhealthy by the hygienic conditions of the moment, was a permanent transmitter of infections. Boiling it with cereals resulted in a healthier drink. As it was produced and consumed in the day to day, the beer hardly had alcohol, and it is estimated that the average town consumed about 6 liters of beer per person daily.
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Since the tenth century, merchants and craftsmen have become very important. Particularly these as producers of new goods, increasingly needed for urban life and traders as distributors of such goods or merchandise. The flourishing of the great international trade, from the tenth century, both terrestrial and maritime, is a natural consequence of agricultural and livestock expansion.
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Many pagan cultures played a very important role in Christmas celebrations from Medieval Europe until December 25, 2008. Their rituals may have been reworked and glossed to fit our present day interpretation of the holiday, but the fact remains that the Vikings, Romans, Anglo-Saxons and other ancient cultures played a very significant role in the Christian celebration.
Continue reading Medieval Christmas Traditions