Life During the Middle Ages
Daily life during the Middle Ages is sometimes hard to fathom. Pop culture loves to focus on exciting medieval moments-heroic knights charging into battle; romantic liaisons between royalty and commoner; breakthroughs and discoveries made. But life for your average person during the Dark Ages was very routine, and activities revolved around an agrarian calendar.
Most of the time was spent working the land, and trying to grow enough food to survive another year. Church feasts marked sowing and reaping days, and occasions when peasant and lord could rest from their labors.
Social activities were important, and every citizen in a medieval town would be expected to attend. Fairs with troubadours and acrobats performing in the streets…merchants selling goods in the town square…games of chance held at the local tavern…tournaments featuring knights from near and abroad…these were just some of the ways medieval peasants spent their leisure time. Medieval weddings were cause for the entire town to celebrate.
Medieval superstitions held sway over science, but traveling merchants and returning crusaders told of cultures in Asia, the Middle East and Africa that had advanced learning of the earth and the human body. Middle Age food found new flavor courtesy of rare spices that were imported from the East. Schools and universities were forming across Western Europe that would help medieval society evolve from the Dark Ages on its way to a Renaissance of art and learning.