Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Dispelling Myths about the Middle Ages

I came upon a useful bit of historical explanation recently which I thought worthy of sharing. It is by Hannah Skoda from St John’s College here in Oxford and appeared on the  on History Extra website.

It aims to dispel a number of popular misconceptions about daily life in the medieval period such as life expectancy, height and cleanliness. It can be seen at Medieval misconceptions: 12 myths about life in the Middle Ages – busted

What it says has, of course been well known to anyone with an interest in the era for a very long time indeed, but the struggle to overcome the often widespread ignorance of others, deriving from the nineteenth century belief in unrelenting progress ( “Progress” ) and fuelled far too often these days by film and television, is an ongoing one. One can but hope that this and similar features will help to chip away at the accumulated prejudice!

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