Questions and answers – Germany in the Middle Ages

Questions and answers - Germany in the Middle Ages

questions and answers

In this area you soon have the opportunity to ask questions about the Middle Ages. Until everything is ready, you’ll find some answers to previous questions here:

Picture 279: Middle Ages. The idea of ​​many people, when asked about the Middle Ages, is that of knights, castles, kings and tournaments. As in this picture after a painting by Adolf Closs. You can see Eberhard of the mildness of Württemberg, to which the Schleglerkönige surrender. Eberhard is posted in front of a knight’s castle and he wears his knight’s armor. The whole scene happened in the late Middle Ages.

Questions about the Middle Ages

How was the landscape in the Middle Ages??

About the medieval landscape you can say roughly: In the early Middle Ages, Germany was covered by jungle and swamps. In the High Middle Ages began fire clearings, with large forest areas were burned. Fields and built cities were won on the vacant areas. In part there were less wooded areas in Germany in the late Middle Ages than today. Cities and villages that were built on cleared places often still have an ending with -rot, -rode and so on. This shows that they are on a former forest area that has been cleared.

What was the character of the medieval people?

The character of the medieval people can not be described concretely, since the Middle Ages comprise about 1,000 years. Imagine, for example, people in 1850; Nobody would come up with the idea of ​​comparing people’s behavior 160 years ago with ours today. We have developed continuously.

And that’s exactly what happened to the character of the medieval people. Sometimes the church had less influence on the people, then it had more influence on them. People were superstitious, then Christian. Sometimes Jews were welcome, then they were persecuted. Sometimes knights were the ideal image and as a robber knight, everyone was afraid of them. There are countless influences that shape people’s character and way of life.

The only thing that can be said with certainty: the medieval people should not be limited to one epoch (eg the epoch of the crusades) or even to a sensational event (for example, the torture of a prisoner). Even in our time (eg war for capital) we experience incredible things (construction of nuclear power plants without knowing what happens to nuclear waste), about which people of later eras will only shake their heads. But even those people are overlooked, that even in their time the incredible is going on – and always in a timely disguise, so that people do not recognize it.

How was the diet in the Middle Ages??

The stature of people in the Middle Ages goes hand in hand with nutrition. Anyone who ate much and protein-containing food as a child became bigger and stronger than other children. Roughly speaking, the people of the early Middle Ages, who were still hunting themselves, were powerfully built. Later, when the city system prevailed and could no longer be hunted, only the rich could afford a lot of meat, which the poorer population was on average smaller and slenderer. This was reinforced by the fact that the status of a person, the so-called state, was inheritable and one could hardly ascend to a higher level.

Furthermore, the diet of medieval people, reinforced in the early Middle Ages, when not so much trade was done, was one-sided, or better said, more indigenous than our diet today. People fed on what was growing and thriving around them. Expensive imported goods from distant countries could only afford the rich.

The food of the poor population was very one-sided, they usually consisted of bread or porridge made from bread, turnips and fallen fruit. The rich had more choice, assuming that the food tasted very salty, as they were preserved by salt. To overpower this salty taste was probably extremely spicy, for example, with pepper.

What are the causes of the investiture dispute??

General: The investiture is the inauguration of clergy. In the investiture dispute of the Middle Ages (from 1076 to 1122), the ecclesiastical power (church) and secular power (king / emperor) disputed who of them may appoint bishops and abbots. The dispute ended in 1122 with the Worms Concordat (also: Staatskirchenvertrag – a contract between state and church). It was decided that the church had the right to ministry of clergy. The contract was concluded between Pope Calixtus II and Emperor Henry V..

Cause: The simony – ie the trade in ecclesiastical property or ecclesiastical offices. Since the 10th century, the German emperors have been ordained by many ministries, who will be elected bishop, who will become abbot, etc. However, the church regarded the secular rulers as lay people in matters of the church, and complained that these “laymen” because of political, social or material advantages any persons in the offices put in place, probably. did not fit into this position – be it due to lack of church education or lack of faith, etc. On the other hand, the church leaned back and it came to the investiture dispute.

What were the crusades??

“Crusades” in the Middle Ages call themselves the travels of very large crowds from Europe to Jerusalem. The travelers wore a cross as a symbol of the Christian faith. Their goal was to liberate the city of Jerusalem from the “unbelieving” Muslims and to bring about the city Christianity (therefore crusades). In order to do this, they took up arms and set out with godly zeal to kill every “unbeliever.”.

One can imagine that the Arabs did not surrender without a fight. When Jerusalem was conquered by the Christians, the Muslims recaptured the city. Therefore, there were several crusades altogether.

Called to the Crusades had for the first time in 1096 the Pope with the words “God wants it”. Thousands of Christian knights and adventurers joined in the first crusade. This was followed by at least 7 other crusades, one of them consisting of children. In the end, the goal of the Crusades to bring the city of Jerusalem in Christian hands was missed. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of people died in the wake of the Crusades and they therefore went down in history as a devil’s act of the church.

How were letters sent in the Middle Ages??

First of all, it must be said that very few people were able to write in the Middle Ages. So only those letters could send who could write or have written. These include the rich, such as princes, kings or merchants and the scholars, such as monks or students (in the late Middle Ages).

Letters were then by messenger sent. But because a private messenger is very expensive, only the rich could afford it. But if you knew someone who was traveling exactly where a letter should end up, you could just give the letter to that person; that was cheaper and thus possible for poorer scholars. Of course, you had to trust the person who took the letter with you, because the material that was written on was just expensive.

How was the world in the Middle Ages??

The Middle Ages knows no internet, television, radio or newspapers. Those who live in the Middle Ages live there – and only there. The world around him was the only real thing. Customers from distant lands sounded like fantastic stories – comparable to stories about aliens telling space travelers.

As a result, the peoples also developed independently of each other. They were among themselves, though they waged wars or traded with other peoples, but the place was where the family was. Travel was limited. The world in the Middle Ages was therefore very large for the people.

As a result, people in different parts of the world also developed at different speeds. While, for example, in the dark of Europe, Charlemagne ruled, Asia was at the height of its power. The Arabs were also scientifically ahead of the Europeans. On the other hand, the Indians were militarily far inferior to the Europeans of the late Middle Ages.

Was there in the Middle Ages still the he >

The Middle Ages spanned 1,000 years from about 500 to about 1500. Christianity spread more and more during this time. So there was still the “religion of the Teutons” – the belief in the “pagan gods” – but he was less and less and was no longer relevant in the 9th century under Charlemagne in Germany.

The pagan gods of the Teutons were even banned and Christianity introduced as a state religion. However, the religion of the ancient Teutons did not disappear completely, some elements of it flowed into Christianity. But one can say that the Germanic gods were wiped out so far in the early Middle Ages that they no longer played any role in public life.

(With) what did children play in the Middle Ages??

Children had less time to play in the Middle Ages than today. They had to help at work very early, depending on their parents‘ situation. Village children usually had to help with the field work as soon as they were able to carry out the work.

Games: In the remaining time they thought out games, such as hiding, catching, various hopping games and the imitation of adults, which is part of learning.

Toys: Medieval children had more or less options for toys depending on the state of play. The poorer ones probably had homemade dolls or marbles, skipping ropes or stilts. Richer could additionally on board games, stilt horses, wheels (for gyroscope) and dragons (kite flying) fall back. The adults could also be imitated in the form of games such as merchant, shopkeeper, knight, etc..

What is the loan??

Very important: the word “Lehn” comes from the word “borrow”. Lending is based on lending land. The advantages of giving land to a landowner were that he no longer had to laboriously cultivate the fields and at the same time was entitled to the fiduciary’s (vassal’s) loyalty.

The lending of land permeated the entire medieval society: the king lent land to princes; the princes lent land to knights; the knights lent land to peasants, and so on. But feud was lost, as some vassals (lessees) “lent” several estates from different landowners. So to whom should they be faithful when these landowners fell into feud with one another??

Who lived in a castle?

It depends on how big the castle was and how many people it offered space. Also, what facilities were there, there were different residents. For example, early castle types could consist of only one moth (mound with tower), where only the lordly family could find a place. The bigger a castle is, the more people could settle there.

The richer the lords of the castle and the larger the castles were added: the servants, chambermaids, cooks, peasants, artisans, mistresses, church dignitaries, advisers, nobles, warriors, servants, guards …

How did cities fare in the Middle Ages? >

The defense of a city was basically the same as defending a castle. Large cities had a city wall with battlements and battlements. The city gates, as well as the castle gates, were closed at night; then nobody came in or out.

If attackers wanted to conquer a city, they usually tried first to besiege them; that is, they cut off the supply of vital goods into this city. If the city people were then starving, the city was sometimes given up voluntarily.

If the city was attacked, the attackers stood in front of the city wall. The city dwellers, especially the guards, who were also recruited from guild members, then defended their city with all means at their disposal: pouring hot water or oil on the invaders, unleashing bad luck or letting stones fall on the attackers , Arrows were also shot, and special defensive devices were also available for special attack devices.

What were the patricians in the Middle Ages??

The patricians were the rich people – the upper classes – of the medieval cities. They were often merchants who had become wealthy or holders of high offices.

As merchants, the patricians joined together in guilds (difference: craftsmen joined together in guilds) and thus gained even more influence. When the craftsmen with their guilds from the 13th century had more and more to say, they wanted to curtail the privileges of the patricians – so deny them, for example, the privilege of certain offices, which they finally achieved.

Why were wise women referred to as witches in the Middle Ages??

Wise women were highly valued by the Teutons. Her healing or clairvoyant abilities were recognized and appreciated by all. The belief in their abilities could also be called superstition. The knowledge of these women has been passed down through the generations.

In the Middle Ages Christianity was enforced in Germany as a state religion. The belief in other gods was forbidden. The same thing happened to the wise women. Her abilities were no longer in the image of medieval society, which was strongly influenced by the church.

In this image women were less valuable, they did not know so much and had little chance of education. In addition, many of the wise women still called the ancient gods of the Germanic tribes, which was a thorn in the side of the church. And they knew how to abort children – a sin for the church. In addition, they were able to relieve a few diseases with their home remedies, which they made the doctors competition.

There were enough reasons for powerful people to want to eliminate these women. They were given little opportunity to gain a foothold in a city, which is why the picture of the seedy witch in her forest house is so much. Alone, these circumstances provide material for mysterious or gruesome tales and the wise women was surrounded by an even more magical aura.

Ultimately, the purpose of an accusation as a witch was to remove the woman in question. Because who was accused of being a witch, was often murdered by the judiciary.

Why were monasteries founded in the Middle Ages??

Monasteries were power bases that the rulers founded to secure their rule (for example, Fulda Monastery on the border with Saxony). The abbots came from the nobility (until the High Middle Ages). As a second-born, there was no prospect of an inheritance, which is why many took up the ecclesiastical career. They were used by the Landesherren i.d.R. from the king. And after the investiture dispute, they were allowed to choose who would become abbot or reach another high ecclesiastical position.

What were the worst diseases in the Middle Ages??

Smallpox and bubonic plague.

What significance did Clovis have for the Middle Ages??

Chlodwig gradually conquered the area around Brussels and Antwerp, then the areas around Paris, Paris itself only ten years later. Then he conquered Alsace, Lorraine and the Palatinate. He obtained other fields by trickery, for example by persuading a prince’s son to slay his father. All the territories he had conquered, he united into a kingdom. And so he ruled at the end of the Pyrenees to the Rhine.

This Franconian empire was the origin of the kingdom. Before Chlodwig there were only small kingdoms and provinces. Chlodwig created a huge empire for the first time and ruled over it. This kingdom took over the descendants. Although parts of it were always lost or gained, but with his conquests Chlodwig laid the foundation for the kingdom and royalty in the Middle Ages.

Another influential act by Clovis was his baptism. Since he had a lot of power and many followers, his baptism caused the implementation of Christianity in Central Europe.

What exactly are guilds?

A guild is the union of several craftsmen of the same profession. For example, there is a bakers ‘guild, a masons’ guild, etc. Through the merger, the craftsmen had some advantages.

They were able to make price arrangements (so that there is no competition between them, no one has to beat the others and thus lower prices and earn less), they were better able to enforce their concerns before the city council, they could forbid artisans from doing their jobs if they were not part of the guild etc.

Why was the market so important in the Middle Ages??

In the Middle Ages, the market was not just a place where goods could be bought and sold. The market had many advantages for a region: for example, the market attracted wealthy traders who settled near the market. These dealers needed helpers for their warehouse or servants for their home. This in turn created jobs.

Some cities even came into existence because of the market. A market brought trade to a region. The traders earned well and spent the money again. That brought money to the region. When new houses had to be built for the traders, there were many occupations for craftsmen.

Some cities even became known only by large markets and thereby enlarged. But one should not imagine the market in the Middle Ages like a market today selling fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese. There were own markets for all sorts of things, such as As fish or wool.

What was the plague in the Middle Ages??

When one speaks of the plague in the Middle Ages, one usually means the great plague epidemic that struck Europe from 1347 to 1353. This particular plague epidemic was later called the “Black Death” to emphasize the dark of this era. During the plague years, about 25 million people lost their lives in Europe – around a third of the population at that time.

When you talk about plague or pestilence in general, it means “epidemic”. So, when talking about earlier plague epidemics, it does not necessarily have to be the same plague as in 1347 (v. Bubonic plague). As the causative agent of the plague of the Middle Ages, ie the Black Death, becomes common Yersinia Pestis accepted. Some researchers want to attribute the black death but other pathogens.

Special questions about the Middle Ages

Economy and interest?

22.06.2010 – 00:32 from?:
Hello, interesting site you have! I have a question, what did the economy look like in the Middle Ages? There was a belief I Golden Medieval and Dark Middle Ages, was there economic differences? What about the interest rate policy??

For an introduction to the economy of the Middle Ages, I recommend: Michael North, German Economic History – A millennium at a glance, Munich, 2000. Under the “Golden Middle Ages” refers to an interest-free period between the 12th and 15th centuries. It worked on the principle of a fee-based money exchange, whereby the money owner twice yearly should submit his money to this procedure. To save these fees, the money could be lent interest-free (only the current owner had the fee), which also benefited the lender, since he was thus forgiven the interest.
Since, due to the fees, it slowly became “annoying” to own money, it came to extensive investment. This led to a big boom in crafts and art. So it came at this time to build many cathedrals and Gothic development. The buildings were often the result of voluntary donations from the citizens, who could afford it, as general “prosperity” prevailed. Most cities were founded during this time. Around 1450, when the interest money was reintroduced, begins the so-called “Dark Ages”.

German Longsword?

19.08.2010 – 17:40 from?:
Since when is there the so-called long sword, which is also called Anderthalbhänder?

An early form of such a sword is already mentioned in a report from 1053 (Battle of Civitate). However, in the pronounced form these swords were only used between the 12th century and the 14th century (see the “Oakeshott classification”) .

Captain Kle >

31.08.2010 – 17:55 from?:
Hello everybody! Your website is just great!
But I have a question that I have not found with you!
I want to portray a captain around 1350 AD and I wanted to ask politely if you could tell me,
What kind of clothing he had looked like at the time and what his duties were.
Thanks in advance!
Keep it up!
Kind regards

A captain was the leader and supreme commander of a force. He could set up this troupe himself, but also be appointed or elected. Of course, he was assigned to tasks such as: organization, administration, food, salaries, accommodation, equipment of soldiers, etc..

Of course, how such a captain looked or how exactly he was dressed depends on the local circumstances, but certainly also on his “original” position. A bailiff could be a captain as well as a prince or a count.
Certainly there was no uniform dress, although certainly different from that of other soldiers. The most important distinguishing feature was certainly the banner.

Market in the Middle Ages?

02.09.2010 – 10:27 from?:
Hi Guys! I have a question: What did the market mean for people in the Middle Ages??

The market was of great importance for medieval urban development.
Partly from market settlements, cities slowly developed.
The city served, among other things, as an envelope and exchange place for goods, and the events took place on the city market.
The special position of the market was also shown by the fact that it was subordinated to a separate “market jurisdiction” and a so-called “court judge”.
In addition, coins were also minted in many markets.
The market, coin and customs rights received the so-called market owner, ie. a secular or spiritual feudal lord.
Topographically, the markets were, almost exclusively, in city centers. The market settlements were mostly located near estates and ecclesiastical centers.
Thus, the market itself became one of the central places of a city, which also served social contacts.

Proud Germans?

02.09.2010 – 21:38 from René:
Hey, I think your site is really good. Just have a quick question. And although I have asked by my history teacher the question, “there was German in the Middle Ages” and she meant “proud people the others said they were” proud to be a German “?
Since there was no real Germany before, but the country was divided into several rich and ruled by kings. Therefore, I hope that it is a legitimate question.

A single German state has existed since 1871. So far, so good. The “German Nation” is already a bit longer. However, the medieval nation does not equate to the nation in our modern sense.
The term is derived from the Latin word “natio” (birth, origin), meaning a group of people of common descent, culture and language. In this sense, one could speak of a collective term for several ethnic groups (for example, Saxony, Ermländer, Thuringia, Bavaria, Dutch, etc.).
One understood, certainly, first and foremost as a Saxon, and only then, if at all, as a German. To see yourself as a German in the Middle Ages, would be about the present identification as eg. a Slav like.

So, to make it short: yes, there were people in the Middle Ages who saw themselves as Germans and possibly were also proud of them, whereby “German”, as well as the term “nation”, are treated in a demarcation to the modern concepts should..

Hi! Your page is great! I am currently working on a story and I have a question:

And how did a captain become a captain? Was the knight captained? Or how did the whole thing work??

not all questions are there

What could farmers become rich in the Middle Ages??

Hello, I have a question: “How did one recognize nobles in the Middle Ages?” Please answer quickly. LG

In the past, much of the nobility was pretty much due to his extraordinary dress style.

They wore mostly colored clothes in red or blue. Farmers were not allowed to have colored clothes, they wore clothes in natural colors.

How did you spread news in the Middle Ages? There were no newspapers. Was there something like that? How was something announced? I want to make a wedding paper that should be medieval. Hoping for an answer soon. LG Irene

to the question: how were news distributed in the Middle Ages??
either one went from house to house or when the market, one stood on the market and shouted it as loud as you could, maybe there was also newspaper

I need an answer to a question so: Does the area surrounding the castle belong directly to the castle??

I really wanted to know what was the advantages and disadvantages of disposing of the garbage

To what extent was the Frankish Empire based on Roman traditions?

What did the traveling men wear in the Middle Ages??

What are the traveling men doing in the Middle Ages??

how many% of people were able to read and write in the Middle Ages .

Who had the power in the Middle Ages? Pope (church) or emperor (nobility)

Hello :) I have a question: what attracted people in the Middle Ages? I ask for a quick answer :).

Please take a look at the chapter “Merovingian Brothers War” again.
There are some things in there that I know quite differently.
(Childebert II, the Treaty of Andelot, etc.)

we checked the page again. The text is correct in content.


The website is really great!
I have one question: did the diseases and epidemics affect the Middle Ages??

No, they killed the one killed

I’ve landed on this page often with questions about the Middle Ages and find them very good and interesting. I have discovered a possible mistake, however. Salted foods were probably not over-seasoned with spices, as the spices were too expensive for that. It would have been cheaper to replace the meat. Now to my questions:
1). Was not work done on market days at home or was it simply impossible to go to the market? (For example, farmers whose work lasted the whole day.)
2). Who made handcuffs and shackles? (other torture instruments)
3). What did farmers, their children, wear for clothes, shoes? (Leather shoes, Bundschuhe, Trippen?), What did they wear at night? (Naked?)
4). There were door locks in farmhouses?
5). Villages were also screened (city wall), or remained open and had just bad luck in a raid?
Thanks and keep it up! :-)

Of course I mean door locks!

We give a historical account of the role of the church in the Middle Ages. We would have a quick question.
How and by what (church services, etc.?) The church was represented in the everyday life of ordinary people, for example, the peasants?
We would be happy about a quick answer.
Many greetings,

I have a question about kings’ possessions: how did the kings get rich and where did their wealth come from? In feudalism, they only received the loyalty of their vassals against their lands – or even very specific taxes? Was e.g. the tithing of the peasants over all “ranks” up to the king “passed”? Or was tithe just a levy to the church? How was it with the taxes in the Middle Ages, who paid them to whom??
Thank you in advance, I’m looking forward to the answer!

Yours How were knights and gunmen clothed and armed during the Staufer era? Which label had e.g. German knights and gunmen during this time in the crusades, if they belonged to no order? Did you also bring your own banner? Best regards Hannes

How did you prove that you hid in the city for 1 year and 1 day??

Why is the formation of a single kingdom during the Middle Ages??

Why were the people in the Middle Ages very religious?
Why were there so many Christians??

I think the internet site is good!

This site is really great. But I have another question: What did the people think of the witch burning?

I have questions about “chemical” weapons. So, how did it look if there were any? For example, bombs. Which types of weapons were there …
So also smoke bombs or the like.
And how sure were they?

I would appreciate an answer.
Thank you

Hi, I’ve got a question. Did women belong to the German Order around 1200 century? It’s hard to find anything on the internet about women at this time.
Thanks in advance

could you tell me how the border was then and why that was so?
Greeting Stefan Kistner

Halo I have a question: were killed in the middle age ďie people who do not obey the king
vile greens Kawsar samadi

Hi, I have a question: who traded with whom? or with whom did the eropeans act and what did they do??

what do you call rich people in the Middle Ages?

If someone has their children baptized, may he invite no more than 20 people from here and abroad? Why.

Hi, I have a question :
What is the everyday life of artisans and merchants ?

First, a little note about your grammar: It would have to be called “war” instead of “is”, if you want to refer to the Middle Ages.

So I’ll try to answer the question I formulated more precisely, “How did the everyday life of artisans and merchants in the Middle Ages?”.

If you try to put yourself in the position of a tradesman or a tradesman with previously acquired knowledge, I would presume the following:

At that time merchants certainly had to make contacts with many different people, as they do today. So they needed manufacturers, suppliers, service providers, employees, etc. Without products, you can finally be a poor businessman. Of course, they often had to travel from place to place. However, I imagine that it was very difficult at that time to deal with others and to do business properly. For one thing, most of the different regions had different currencies, which had to be converted to their own currency. On the other hand, certainly not everyone had money available, so I can well imagine that at that time was also much “swapped”, which is a problem, because how much value would be, for example, a horse? A big basket full of victims or 5 baskets full of apples or more? Accordingly, her daily work was characterized by a lot of mathematics as well as many conversations between the individual contact persons.

Again, I imagine merchants also extremely rich, which is why the marriage of important families certainly played a major role as well as any festivities between merchants and peers with each other. You also had to beware of intrigue and thieves.

In terms of technical equipment, their rooms were certainly not as well furnished as in modern times (compare apartments / houses from the 17th to the 19th century). Surely they were happy if they had sufficient clothes / fabrics available and a good few furniture. I imagine the houses from today’s point of view, even very poor and kind of dirty and constantly in need of repair. So buckets were poured from the windows with cod and urine, because you did not know where to put them.

The way of life of craftsmen I imagine as an intermediate thing between farmers and merchants. Surely they had their small workshop at their disposal where they made their products.

Forge had, for example, their stove and the necessary tools for grinding or bending etc. Carpenters had saws / axes, etc. and certainly had to procure their own material often. The baker had to organize the flour from the miller, while the miller delivered the grain from the farmer. There were certainly barbers and tailoring. You can see that everyday life is dependent on the profession. The term “craftsman” is simply too generalized. But one thing is certain: any artisan job of it was dangerous. More dangerous than today, I would say. Who knows how many of them have cut their fingers or the whole hand and bled to death? The medical care at that time was very sparse. A merchant certainly had it a bit safer. Where you had to take care of robbers.

In no case would I want to trade with the people of those days. Especially not with the women.

I have a question: Everywhere on the Internet is that the marshal or the grooms or the stable master also had the task of moving the horses, not as load animals o. Ä. were in daily use. However, nowhere do I find anything that describes how or where he moves them. Did he just put the horses on the paddock, or did he ride them and when he rode them, where? Was there an extra riding area that belonged to the castle, or was just a limited paddock used?

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