36 Things You Didn’t Know About Middle Ages – Part 2

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26Nuremberg Plate

In the Middle Ages, interrogators used a torture device known as a Nuremberg Plate to spin prisoners around until they confessed.


27. In the Middle Ages, European dishes were much richer with complex flavors and spices. This only changed when those spices became available to the lower class and the upper class decided that said spices and dishes were no longer “fashionable.”


28. ‘Flyting’ was medieval England's version of a rap battle, in which participants would exchange witty and insulting verses.


29. There are historical accounts from the Middle Ages of people falling through their floors and drowning in the cesspools of feces kept below the floorboards.


30. In Medieval England, villagers mutilated the dead to stop them from rising up. They were so afraid of the dead coming back, that they chopped, smashed, and burned their bodies to make sure they stayed in their graves.


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31One Day Church

In the middle ages in Russia, there was a custom of a community gathering together to build an entire church in a single day in order to ward of plagues and epidemics.


32. During the Middle Ages, small triangular-shaped stones — thought to be the tongues of snakes turned to stone by Saint Paul — were highly sought after as cures for poison and plagues. Centuries later, the “tongue stones” were identified as fossilized shark teeth.


33. In the Middle Ages, many aristocrats held Round Table festivals, based on the legend of King Arthur. Participants wore costumes based on famous knights in the story, and played the parts of their characters. For one Round Table in 1446, an entire castle was built to hold the festival in.


34. Women in the middle ages completely removed their eyelashes and eyebrows to give prominence to their foreheads which were their most important feature at that time. The Catholic church even made it a sin and an offense to God to show hair of any kind in public.


35. In the middle ages in Europe, using a fork instead of hands while eating was seen as unchristian and insulting to God.


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36Here Be Dragons

Medieval mapmakers supposedly inscribed the phrase “Here Be Dragons” on maps showing unknown regions of the world. Unfortunately, however, it appears that, apart from an inscription on a single, 16th-century globe, this claim is unfounded.

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