Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A Post To Share Random Websites Related to the Middle Ages

Basically right now I think about three things (besides friends and God): my niece, Arthur, and my niece. Just kidding. My niece, Arthur, and school, is what I should have written. Particularly Arthur. I don't feel like sharing any of my precious manuscript right now, and I really have nothing else to say that you haven't already heard, so instead I bring you:

Random Things to Help You with Writing Medieval Fiction*

Because literally that is the only useful thing I have to post.

1. Medieval careers. You're writing along, and up comes a random peasant character who you don't want to waste time developing but who needs to have some kind of job. What did they do back then besides farm and fight, anyhow? Well, here's a link with one HUNDRED careers to pick from:
Along the same idea, I recently discovered the Mendel Almshouse Portraits, which were portraits of craftsmen doing their crafts (ex. wire makers, cutlers, butchers, etc.). They were painted in the 15th century, I believe. Starting from the last three pictures on this page, and continuing on the succeeding pages, you can find the portraits here:
I find them pretty fascinating.

2. Medieval Prices. Everybody needs to eat. Your character goes to the store – um, market – and asks the price of that block of cheese. What does the clerk answer? 5 bucks? 3 pounds? This website has a list of English currency and conversions, and a list of the prices of common items (for instance, you could buy 80 pounds of cheese for only 3 shillings, 4 pence).

3. Medieval names. Everyone knows people weren't called Betty or Methuselah back then, but what were they called? You only need the name for a minor character and don't want to spend the time searching. Voila! Here are two lists, one of the top 100 medieval boy names, the other of the top 100 medieval girl names:

4. Medieval weapons. Eventually, you'll likely write a battle scene of some sort. So what did they fight with? Were there pikes in the 1300s or were those used in the 1500s? When did plated armor come about? This list isn't exhaustive, but if you're looking for basic Scottish weaponry, I found it helpful:

5. Medieval titles. What did you call the queen's sister? Did a knight's son have a title? Were barons higher or lower than dukes? These two pages answer those questions:

6. Medieval Heraldry. Ever wondered about the meanings of different colors and symbols on a coat of arms? This website provides that information:
Follow the link, then click "Meaning of Arms" on the left sidebar. From that page, click "List of Heraldic Meanings" on the right sidebar, and it takes you to a large chart with lists of colors, textures, and symbols.

7. Completely random medieval questions. Such as, did they wash? Did they use sheets?
This particular page is about beds in the Middle Ages (note: this website contains information about a variety of other time periods also). Explore the site to see different information about washing clothes, cooking, and other domestic items/habits.

I hope you enjoyed this very useful list and that you find it… useful.

*With some random medieval-ish pictures for you to [hopeful] enjoy.
 photo awdursignature_zps319c67b7.png

1 comment:

  1. Ooo I may need to use all of these, thanks for the links.


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