What discussion about marxism and/or medievalism do you want to be featured here?
— ENGELS, Friedrich. In: The Decline of Feudalism and the Rise of the Bourgeoisie (1884 manuscript)
MARX, Karl. German Ideology.
:[Marginal note by Marx:] To begin with it absorbs the branches of labour directly belonging to the State and then all ±[more or less] ideological estates.
— ENGELS, Frederick. History (the role of Religion) in the English middle-class - 1892 English Edition Introduction to Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.
ANDERSON, Perry. The Feudal Dynamic. In: Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism.
It’s interesting to identify how Anderson, differently from others marxists from the 20th century, doesn’t consider technological advancements as determinants in the constitution of a mode of production. If they are, obviously, part of the transition, the real transformation into the feudal mode of production can be found in the changes inside the social relations - new forms of serfdom and urban developement are both good exemples at the period between the 11th century and the crisis of the 14th century.
6 Ridiculous Myths About the Middle Ages Everyone Believes
Now, there are some problems with this article that I’d like to point out. But first, I’d like to say its pourpose is VERY GOOD. Middle Ages are misunderstood since it’s a political struggle over the interpretation of History and how it applies to contemporary perspectives.
Now, let’s see some points:
- In number 6, it seems like the author talks about “barbarians” as if they invaded ruthlessly and destroyed every knowledge of the civilized Roman Empire and Catholic Church protected the Roman books. If there is somehow a little bit of truth in that, we must be careful with some ethnocentrics positions: the so called “barbarians” (I prefer to call them by the area they originated, like “germans”) had their own knowledges, like those in the fields of methalurgy, that can’t be ignored.
- About the number 5 and the cleaning, its variable depending on the space. Cultures from south Europe and mediterranean had more continuity with roman culture (many of these derived from islamic influence!), and public baths continued. Those from North of Europe bathed less, no doubt. We must discuss, too, the threshold of ”nausea” that those people felt, and many of our current hygiene habits are not based on the search for best health of our bodies, but are more into the civilizational process of the West.
- Number 4 about knights… well, it’s quite interesting. Our views on knighthood are based on the romantics of the 19th century (many of them in a critique to the capitalist society). Actually, the most symbolic thing around knights was the use of VIOLENCE. Every signal that is socially related to a knight (armor, shield, horse, sword, spear) is violent. No critiques here to the answer of Cracked.
- About number 3… I think the source about the size of the shoes being related to the size of someone’s penis is not accurate, altho sometimes in medieval iluminated manuscripts it may have this connotation. It’s interesting to say that if the nobilty marriage was, indeed, a political relationship between the upper class struggle for power, in the lower class, however, people were more free to choose who they would marry with (as long as some christians practices standed along). And prostitution was really strong in medieval society.
- In answer number 2: YES! Women were not treated like cattle. There is this portuguese law saying that a man cannot sell any good from his house without consulting his wife. It’s an important matter on how women were not so aparted from society. The center of medieval society, howerver, was the MAN. Women were on the periphery. It doesn’t mean they didn’t have any politic, social or economic power. They acted in the cracks of the system.
- Finnally, number 1: yes, it’s true. People in the Middle Ages didn’t die SO YOUNG as people think, but it depends on dating: some scientific advances on the field of agriculture made life last longer after the 11th century.
Sorry for the English mistakes, people. As I said, it is a blog to train my writting :) I hope this generates discussion!
— MARX, Karl. Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.
— ROSSIAUD, Jacques - Le Citadin. In: L’homme médiéval.
— Marc Bloch - CLASS DISTINCTIONS WITHIN THE NOBILITY, In: The Feudal Society.