The Medieval times, commonly known as the Middle Ages, is a period that started around the 5-century A.C, around the same time that the Roman empire fell, and lasted till the onset of the Renaissance. Herein are 5 medieval facts that may surprise you. The medieval period is famous for knights’ fairytales, violent revolts, and revolutions. However, no one has the blueprint of what life was, except for the few artifacts that date back to the 5th century. The literature about the Middle Ages painted a picture of a historic time when poverty was prevalent and people died due to unknown diseases. However, not everything was as dull as scripts have made us believe. This article highlights the weird things that took place during this time. Divorce By Combat This was the most common divorce method before the invention of divorce courts. Bloch et al. (2014) noted that couples in the Middle Ages did not take to arguing to solve issues in their marriages. Instead of having a sit-down and talking about their problems, they would take to the ring and fight using rocks and clubs. The most popular form of combat was the single combat technique. This method involved the man standing in a hole with one hand behind his back while the woman would be allowed to use anything to help her win the combat. This practice has its roots in Medieval Germany and later spread to other nations. One of the nations that adopted this practice was Europe, where it became a legal act that couples who wanted to call off their vows would engage in. Jesters Noblemen employed jesters or court jesters in the Medieval and Renaissance eras to entertain guests. They would use songs, music, and storytelling to tell their tales which were met by keen ears. To set themselves apart from the commoners, jesters would wear brightly colored clothes and hats with bizarre designs. The wealthy in the society would invite them to their tables so that they would laugh while enjoying their meals. Being a jester came with many privileges. They would jest and mock freely and evade punishment because that is what they did for a living. The court had a symbol that specified their status, claiming that they had protection under the law regardless of their actions. Soccer Without Rules Imagine a world where soccer has no rules. Anyone can score goals on either side of the goal post regardless of their team. That was life in the Medieval period. In recent years, we have heard of cases involving sports hooligans. In medieval England, hooliganism in sports, especially football, was a trending act. Matches mostly ended in numerous fatality cases. Soccer matches usually involved two competing villages, and instead of one village competing against the other, the opposing team would receive blows and kicks. Both teams would use any means to score, apart from murder. In 1314, King Edward II, the sitting king, banned soccer and decreed that anyone who would play the game would be eligible for prison time. A Beautiful Death Folks in the Middle Ages were preoccupied with death, which was okay considering how devoutly religious most people were at the time and since many were falling victim to the bubonic plague. This period was known as the black death due to an infection caused by a bacterium that lived in rodents and other animals. As a result of this occurrence, most people started practicing the art of dying a peaceful and beautiful death. The dying person was expected to accept their fate without pride and despair despite how their chosen method of death. It is believed that the practice of beautiful death was common among priests due to the many medieval paintings discovered that depicted monks who accepted their fates with an undeniable state of calmness. Shotgun Weddings According to Landewe (2010), marriage was viewed as the path to social and political stature in medieval times. As in all depictions of ancient life, women had no say in marriage. When boys and girls hit puberty, society judged that they were ready for marriage. Couples who decided to marry did not need any consent from parents or church elders. Also, there was no need for a formal ceremony to celebrate the newlyweds. Vows could be performed anywhere. This phenomenon made it hard to distinguish the married folks in the society, so in the 12 century, the church made marriage a holy sacrament. Also, on the wedding night, the bride’s family stayed behind as the newlyweds shared in intimate acts as a sign that they could bring forth generations that would live on and on. How Was Life for Women in the Medieval Era? Stuard (2012) stated that women in the Middle Ages were accustomed to being subordinate to any male figure. No woman had the right to live freely, except for a few who faced severe punishments. Due to pity from society, widows were allowed control over their lives. However, this also came with limitations as there were things they could not partake in. Peasant women participated in livestock keeping, planting food, and making textile, but different women partook in different activities depending on their societal status. Noblemen’s wives would join the merchant industry, and some became money lenders. They were also responsible for overseeing the household. However, they were not allowed to participate in government or military affairs. The Bottom Line The Medieval Ages date back to when the Roman Emperor lost his power in Europe and led to the Renaissance period or the age of discovery. This time in history spans roughly 1000 years between 1400 and 1450. The middle age was marked by great revolutions like centralized governments, the emergence of militaries, and societal progression. Although the bubonic plague almost crippled the era, this article outlines the fascinating things that people in that era practiced. References Bloch, L., Haase, C. M., & Levenson, R. W. (2014). Emotion regulation predicts marital satisfaction: More than a wives’ tale. Emotion, 14(1), 130. LANDEWÉ, W. (2010). The Image of the Castle: The Castle as a Motif in Medieval Marriage Ideology. Genesis, 2, 22-23.Stuard, S. M. (Ed.). (2012). Women in Medieval Society. University of Pennsylvania Press.