117 The Medieval Year

The Medieval YearThe rhythm of the year would have been far more important to most medieval people that the goings on at Westminster and the court of the king. The stream of Christian festivals, the odd old survival from days pagan, the demands of the natural world – these were the things that really mattered.

117 The Medieval Year


7 thoughts on “117 The Medieval Year

  1. Just wondering about the Roggen Festival Day. The word Roggen means Rye, I believe, in German. I wonder if that may have something to do with the name…
    Anglo Saxon or Viking perhaps?
    Love, love, love your podcast by the way!
    Thanks so much!

  2. Hmm, not sure. It’s an attractive thought…I did go to encyclopedia britannica, where they say:
    ‘The Major Rogation originated as a Christian festival to supplant a pagan Roman festival, Robigalia, which consisted of a procession from Rome to a point outside the city, where a dog and a sheep were sacrificed to save the crops from blight (robigo,

  3. I’ve only just caught up with this episode and I must say I really enjoyed it. I have always loved history but I find I am quite familiar with the politics but I’m enjoying social history more and more. You do manage to come up some really interesting little gems.
    Keep up the good work – your podcasts are one of the highlights of my week. I am following them in Cambodia where we are just entering the hot and humid season and they are a real taste of home (Chester UK) for me.

  4. This was my favorite episode in a long time! Having read a bit of history, most of these feasts and events were familiar to me but I had never heard explanations for many of them. Thank you for the wonderful, random information!
    Side note – in the show “Reign”, about Mary Queen of Scots (which I think you have mentioned), they have an episode about “The Queen of the Bean”, which was very similar to the episode you described in the podcast. Mind you, the show plays VERY fast and loose with history and many other things, but I had wondered if there was any basis in history for that event, and it turns out there is!
    I have been listening for several months and am trying to catch up on the old stuff while keeping track of Henry VIII in real time (sort of). Thank you for making my idle hours much more entertaining. Cheers!

  5. FINALLY we have a recognition of that most fundamental English cultural tradition, Morris dancing! Events on the Morris calendar often take place on old festival days – May Day, Whitsun, St George’s day. Quite a lot of it is probably Victorian fauxlore and residual post-hippy pseudopaganism but hey(*); the Bromley Horn Dance for example is (somewhat) attested in a 1226 document (if you’re interested, it’s on Wakes Monday, Sept 10th this year). Wassailing and mumming are common and Morris dancers’ social events are normally called Ales. So if you want to try a taste of the life medieval but you think re-enactment is just not embarrassing enough, find a local side and get your bells on!

    (*) Morris dancing joke. No, it’ not funny, no need to google it.

    1. Right, fair point – must do more on Morris Dancing! Used to be a regular feature at our local pub when young…

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