Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bleeding-Medieval Medicine at its Worst

Bleeding (or bloodletting) was the most common medical treatment of the Middle Ages, it was also 100% worthless! The basic idea of the day was that by removing blood from an ill person the body would produce new blood that was "untainted" by illness and the victim-patient would soon be cured. Needless to say the procedure did little more than to make the person weaker and faint.  Bleeding was so ingrained into medical thinking, it was still being praticed by doctors in the 1860's. 

An interesting side fact is that in the Middle Ages the village barber was also the main man to go to to be bled as the barber had the sharpest knives needed to cut the veins. The now traditional red and white poles outside of barber shops are said to have come from the way the barbers would place their blood stained towels outside to dry after a successful bleeding.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Castles can be really Big

The Ludlow castle town side main gate, as the town was protected by its own walls, this castle entry was smaller than those of many other castles.
Barracks across the bailey.

One of the great halls.

the other side of the bailey with an outer wall tower.
The moat, a daunting defense for attackers to cross.

The view of the main gate from the moat...
its a long way up.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Art from the Lost Roman World

Mosaic of the lady of the house.
Latest 1st century noble hair style.
Aristocrats of the Empire.
Greek goddess Artemis, a popular fertility symbol thoughout the Empire.
Even dogs can be immortalized in marble.
Wonders of a Lost World being enjoyed again as they were meant to be when they were created almost 20 centuries past.
Photos courtesy of Jacob Rudner.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Feudalism-Military Government on the Cheap

Feudalism was the dominant Social/Political system in Europe during the Middle Ages (circa 9th to 16 centuries but still in use in many countries well into the 19th century). In Feudalism the Lords of a kingdom were given property called fiefs (fiefs could be anything from a farm, village, forest etc. to whole towns) from the “King.” In exchange the fiefs the Lords would become vassals to the king and give him military service (eventually cash rents), honor and loyalty. The Lords would in turn divided their properties into smaller fiefs and give them to vassals (tenants) of their own. The process would be continued down to the lowest class of Lords, the knights, who were given enough property to afford their life as the warrior class of the kingdom. The common peasants (villeins or serfs) were required to live on their lord's land and give him homage, labor, and a share of the produce, nominally in exchange for military protection from the "lord." Without the expense of a single coin, through Feudalism the "King" had a ready made army of knights and men-at-arms that would give him military service in return for land.

A Lord by Every Name

Nobles and Lords often have multiple titles. Some signify territories or fiefs as in Duke of York or the Earl of Warwick. Others are earned titles such as a Knight of the Realm. While some may be simple honorary titles. Regardless, all are important to the recipient. Below is a rather extreme case of multiple titles, these belong to Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom:
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich, Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Extra Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Member of the Order of Merit, Companion of the Order of Australia, Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand, Extra Companion of the Queen's Service Order, Royal Chief of the Order of Logohu, Canadian Forces Decoration, Lord of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Privy Councillor of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Personal Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty, Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Guardians of the Han Dynasty

Unlike their full size cousins of the Qin Dynasty, the warrior guardians of the tombs of the rulers of the Han Dynasty are less than 1/8 life size.

Warriors of Shi Huang di

During the reign of the First Emperor of China, Shi Huang di, circa 220 BCE, an army of life size warriors were created to protect the Emperors fantastic tomb.

Since their didiscovery in the 1970's, the Terra Cota Warriors of the Qin (Ch'in) Dynasty have ignited the imagination of historians and layman alike throughout the World.