35 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Middle Ages

- Sponsored Links -

1Fart in a jar

Fart in a jar

One of the suggested "cures" for the Bubonic Plague during the middle ages was to fart in a jar and smell it.

2. In the 15th century, King James IV conducted an experiment by sending a mute woman and two infants to an empty island to learn what the 'natural human language' would be.

3. The "L" in "could" was added intentionally in the 15th or 16th century solely to match the spellings of "would" and "should."

4. A 7th-century general named Khalid bin al-Waleed swallowed poison in front of his enemies to demonstrate how much of a hard-a*s he was. He instantly shrugged it off because he'd built up resistance since childhood. Seeing this his enemy immediately surrendered.

5. During the 9th century A.D., 2 Vikings graffitied their names in the runes of Hagia Sophia. These carvings have survived since the Byzantium era, and are still viewable in modern-day Istanbul.

Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

6Vampire grave

Vampire grave

In 2014, archeologists in Bulgaria uncovered a grave of a 13th century staked "vampire". At the time of the man's death, vampires were perceived as a real threat in many Eastern European communities.

7. The Black Death killed so many people in the 14th century that the world population did not recover to pre-plague levels until the 17th century.

8. According to legend, a female pope named Pope Joan reigned for a few years during the middle ages, disguised as a man. After she was caught, potential popes has to sit on a chair with a hole on the seat, and a cardinal would reach through it to check to make sure the new pope had testicles.

9. There is a Catholic Saint of Beer named Saint Arnold of Soissons who saved the lives of many by urging them to drink beer rather than water which he believed was spreading the plague. Boiling during the brewing process killed the pathogens.

10. Medieval Pope Gregory IX considered cats to be the 'incarnation of Satan', leading to mass killing of cats, causing the rat population to swell, which thereby quickened the spread of the Black Death.

- Sponsored Links -

11Animal trial

Animal trial

In the medieval times, animals could go to trial. In 1457, a sow and six piglets were charged with killing a 5-year-old boy. The mom was deemed guilty, the piglets’ role, however, was ambiguous. Although splattered with blood, they were never seen directly attacking the boy.

12. In medieval England, children were beaten on the 28th of December (Holy Innocents Day” or “Childermass Day) to remind them of King Herod's cruelty.

13. In medieval Europe, "barber-butchers" were barbers that practiced surgery as well, a profession ranging from amputations to haircuts. The red and white 'barber swirl' in front of most barber shops today signifies blood and bandages which were common in their trade.

14. People in the Middle Ages would brew a batch of ale, have a big party to drink it, and collect donations for the needy. They called it a "help ale" and preceded charity keggers by 1500 years.

15. During the middle ages there was a legal category called "enbrotherment" that allowed two men to share living quarters, pool their resources, and effectively live as a married couple. The couple shared "one bread, one wine, one purse."

- Sponsored Links -



In the 10th century there lived a Syrian poet named Al-Maʿarri who was attacking and rejecting Islamic (or any other religion) claims. He could freely express his opinions in Arabic lands without fear of his life. In 2013, almost a thousand years after his death, a Jihadist group beheaded his statue.

17. Theophrastus Phillipus Auroleus Bombastus von Hohenheim was a physician from the 15th century who said: "All things are poisonous and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not poisonous". He is regarded as the father of toxicology.

18. The original word for "bear" (the animal) has been lost. Superstitious people in medieval times thought that saying the ferocious animal's name would summon it, so they used a euphemism that meant "the brown one" ("bear"). The original word was never recorded, so it remains a mystery.

19. The act of "giving the key to the city" is a continuation of a medieval practice where the cities would be locked at night but someone given the key could come and go as they please as an honor for something great done for the city.

20. Due to lack of sugar in their diet, the average person in the Middle Ages had teeth that were in a very good condition.

21Brethren of Purity

Brethren of Purity

An influential Islamic philosophical movement (Brethren of Purity) in the 8th century Iraq declared the perfect human to be "of Persian derivation, Arabic faith, Hebrew in astuteness, a disciple of Christ in conduct, as pious as a Syrian monk, a Greek in natural sciences, an Indian in the interpretation of mysteries.

22. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongols would catapult the dead bodies of soldiers infected by the bubonic plague over city walls during sieges. This is one of the earliest known accounts of biological warfare.

23. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi was a Medieval Persian scholar, who put forward the basic theory of evolution 600 years before Darwin was born.

24. El Cid was a military leader in the middle ages who was so feared that, after his death, his embalmed body was placed on a horse and sent into battle causing the enemy to flee.

25. In the Middle Ages, men who wanted a boy sometimes had to remove their left testicle because it was believed that the right testicle made "boy" sperm and the left made "girl" sperm.

- Sponsored Links -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here