WEMSK11:Daily Life


This WEMSK is out of place, but I will call it WEMSK11 anyway,
since the order does not particularly make any difference. The
reason I am doing this now is that I had a question on the
`interiors' of Medieval Life.  How did they dress? How did they
raise their kids? What kinds of swords did they use? etc. etc.
What I did was just to pull down some of the books dealing with
daily life and here they are.  I own all these except the new
edition of Hoops, so I have put my money where my mouth is.  These
will help you out.

                           Daily Life

1. Rome:

a. Jerome Carcopino, Daily Life in Ancient Rome, ed. with
Bibliography and Notes by Henry T. Rowell; transl. from the French
by E. O. Lorimer (New Haven: Yale UP, 1992). A reprint of an often
reprinted book, available in many different formats. Handy.

b. Samuel Dill, Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius (New
York: Meridian Books, 1958). Reprint of an old, but outstanding,
book.  See also his Roman Society int he Last Century of the
Western Empire and Roman Society in Gaul in the Merovingian Age,
both also available in Meridian paperbacks.

c. Roman Civilization. Sourcebook I: The Republic, ed. with an
introduction and notes by Naphtali Lewis and Meyer Reinhold, rev.
ed. (Columbia: CUP, 1966). Great sourcebook.

d. Roman Civilization. Sourcebook II: The Empire, ed. with an
introduction and notes by Nap;htali Lewis and Meyer Reinhold, rev.
ed. (Columbia: CUP, 1966).  Both of the above are available in
paperback as Harper Torchbooks.

2. Germania.  We have great German translations of the sources:

a. Wilhelm Capelle, Das alte Germanien (Jena: Diederich, 1937). For
us American Analphabeten, it has the fault that it is printed in
Fraktur. The religious sources are accorded the same treatment in:

b. Walter Baetke, Die Religion der Germanen in Quellenzeugnissen,
3d ed. (Frankfurt: Diesterweg, 1944).

c. For anything you may want to know: Johannes Hoops, ed.
Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde. 4 vols. (Berlin: de
Gruyter, 1911-1919). A second edition is appearing, of which I have
only a few fascicles.  It is not so tightly knit as the first ed.;
it began appearing in 1968.  This is an excellent work to consult.
Another reason to learn German. If you have the original edition,
do not throw it away; those were giants.

3. Middle Ages in general. Unfortunately, these have to swing too
wide a loop and are not always as good:

a. Justus Hashagen, Kulturgeschichte des Mittelalteers. Eine
Einfuehrung (Hamburg, 1950).

b. Friedrich Heer, Mittelalter (1961), translated as: Friedrich
Heer, The Medieval World (NY: Mentor, 1963).

c. G. G. Coulton, Life in the Middle Ages. 4 vols. in one (NY:
Macmillan, 1910).  Coulton is good, if occasionally a little
careless. This has been reprinted many times and in various forms,
which often overlap.

d. G. G. Coulton, Life in the Middle Ages. 2 vols. in one.
Paperback in general of the above (Cambridge: CUP, 1967).

e. G. G. Coulton, Medieval Village, Manor, and Monastery (NY:
Harper, 1960; repr. of The Medieval Village, 1925).

f. Joseph & Frances Gies, Life in a Medieval Castle (NY: Crowell,
1964). Also available as Harper Colophon paperback.

g. William Stearns Davis, Life on a Medieval Barony (NY: Harper,
1923).  Good illustrations. Fun.

h. Putnam's Dark and Middle Ages Reader, ed. Harry E. Wedeck (NY:
Capricorn, 1965).  If you are Latin-challenged, this forms an
excellent pony for Harrington.

i. P. Boissonnade, Life and Work in Medieval Europe, transl. Eileen
Powers (NY: Dorsett Press, 1987; repr. of old book).

4. Germany:

a. Alwin Schultz, Das hoefische Leben zur Zeit der Minnesinger, 2d
ed., two vols. (Leipzig: Hirzel, 1889). First port of call for

b. If you want a quick one-volume overview: Hans Naumann, Deutsche
Kultur im Zeitalter des Rittertums, 2d ed. (Halle: Niemeyer, 1938).

c. A recent, good source with bibliographies and translations of
the original sources: Joachim Bumke, Hoefische Kultur, 2 vols.
(Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, 1986.  Cheap and handy.

5. France:

a. Achille Luchaire, La societe francaise au temps de Philippe-
Auguste. 2d ed. (1909). Translated as: Social France at the Time of
Philip Augustus, transl. E. B. Krehbiel (NY: Holt, 1912). Available
as a Harper Torchbook.  Famous old (and good) book.

b. Paul Lacroix, France in the Middle Ages (NY: Ungar, 1963). No
other informaton; obviously a translation from the French.  Ungar
has published a number of Lacroix's works on the Middle Ages, all
excellent, as is this one. Illustrations are good.

c. Urban Tigner Holmes, Jr., Daily Living in the Twelfth Century,
based on the observations of Alexander Neckam in London and Paris
(Madison: U. Wisconsin Press, 1952). Often reprinted; available in

6. Ireland:

a. P. W. Joyce, A Social History of Ancient Ireland. 2d ed., 2
vols. (Dublin: Gill, 1913).  I would look at this one first.  It is
good about giving you the Irish words, etc., often even their
(Modern Irish) pronunciation. It is really just a sort of index to:

b. Eugene O'Curry, On the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish,
ed. with intro., appendixes, etc. by W. K. Sullivan. 3 vols.
(Dublin: Kelly, 1873). One of those good books which never grow
old. You could enjoy just reading through it, but you can find
almost anything. Good on the sources, but most of its bibliography
is to older editions.

c. This may seem to be a TAN, but Sean O Suilleabhain, A Handbook
of Irish Folklore, with intro. by Seamus O Duilearga (London:
Herbert Jenkins, 1963; repr. of 1942), is worth looking into,
though hard to use.

7. England:

a. Medieval England as viewed by contemporaries, ed. W. O. Hassall
(Oxford: Blackwell, 1957, under the title They Saw it Happen),
available as a Harper Torchbook. Thin fare, good illustrations
(from Holkham Bible). Good to just read through.

b. H. S. Bennett, Life on the English Manor (Cambridge: CUP, 1937).
Reprinted many times.

c. G. G. Coulton, Medieval Panorama. The English Scene from
Conquest to Reformation (NY: Meridian, 1955; repr.).

d. George C. Homans, English Villagers of the Thirteenth Century
(Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1941). Reprinted many times. Famous book by
a well-known sociologist/anthropologist.

e. J. J. Jusserand, English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages,
transl. Lucy Toulmin Smith (NY: Barnes & Noble, 1961; repr. of an
1889 book by a well-known authority and believer in Langland's

f. Medieval England, ed. Austin Lane Pool. New, rewritten and
revised. 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1958). Covers just about
everything, but leans toward the intellectual.

g. Added on as lagniappe: Frederick Harrison, Life in a Medieval
College. The Story of the Vicars Choral of York Minster (London:
Murray, 1952).

8. Scandinavia:

a. Mary Wilhelmine Williams, Social Scandinavia in the Viking Age
(NY: Macmillan, 1920).  Small, but handy.

b. Paul B. Du Chaillu, The Viking Age. 2 vols. (NY: Scribner's,
1889). Old and romantic, but stll good.

c. Karl Weinhold, Altnordisches Leben, bearb. und neu herausgegen
von Georg Siefert (Stuttgart: Kroener, 1944).  Good, but in
Fraktur. Good for Old Norse terms. This should be your first port
of call.

d. Of course, your best bet, if you read Scandiwhovian, is to look
at the index (vol. 22) of the Kulturhistoriskt Lexikon foer nordisk
medeltid (Malmoe: Allhem, 1956-78).  Also good for bibliography and
general medieval.  Needs overhauling.  Dag Stroembaeck once told me
they were thinking of bringing out an English version.  People
ought to be willing to learn a language or two for this kind of
value, though I have to admit that I often do not know what
language I am reading.