During the class, I have learned a tremendous amount about the people of the 14th century lived. They lived in a much simpler time compared to today because they could not travel the vast distances that are regularly travelled by people today. The people were not living in fairy tale as is sometimes romanticized in movies nor were they living in the worst conceivable situation. Death was much more common than it is today and people just accepted this more so than we do today. There were many more ways to die back then than there is today. In fact, the average age was in the 40s to low 50s for those that reached adulthood which was 20. This was a feat considering the staggering infant mortality rate of the time which left many dead before they had their first birthday. This would also have been compounded by the physicians of the time not having the faintest idea of modern medicine which generally made the patient’s situation worse than before the person was treated. This paints a bleak picture, but in contrast the people of the time loved to dance, listen to music, or listen to stories. People did not want to dwell on the death that was all around, but instead focus on life. The humor of the 14th century tended towards what would today be seen as practical jokes.
The world in which they lived was filled with dangers which was a reason for not traveling as there were robbers and thieves on the road. This road violence would increase in times of bad harvests because there was not enough food so people would endeavor to obtain some through theft. Violence was a part of everyday society with some being seen as sport such as bullbaiting and cockfighting which was considered a children’s game. There was no real law like the police of modern day and each person had to be able to defend themselves. The law was there, but it was hard to enforce due to the lack of communication over the island. Travel time was a factor given that most people travelled on foot as the primary mode of transportation. Travel on horseback was expensive and one had own a horse in which to ride. Travel by sea was risky because of pirates and rough seas could drive a ship away from the coast or wreck her on the shore. Finding a place to stay was another reason for travelers not to go as inn keepers would not accept people that were not willing to pay for room and board. It was considered preferable to find a private residence in which to stay. This was seen as the more proper way of traveling because one must have some type of relation usually to be allowed to stay in a private residence. Another alternative for travelers is to stay at a monastery or other religious compound or building. Generally, the religious will take anyone in because it is seen as part of their duty to uphold their religious vows. Thus, the people in the 14th century are quite different from the people of today.