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What is the rough time period for the Middle Ages?

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The medieval period lasted approximately from 400-1485, beginning with the fall of the Roman Empire. It’s usually divided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.
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What’s another name for the Middle Ages?

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In the 19th century, the Middle Ages were also referred to as the “Dark Ages” because of the presumed lack of learning available to medieval people. However, modern research suggests that many thinkers of the Middle Ages were more informed than we previously thought.
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A government ruled by a king or queen is also called a:

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When a King or Queen rules the realm, this is called a “monarchy.”
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King William I was also called:

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William I was better known as William the Conqueror, and he ruled England from 1066 to 1087, presiding over some of the nation’s biggest changes and upheavals.
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What was the name of the document King John was forced to sign in 1215, which changed the English monarchy forever?

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King John was one of English history’s most unpopular kings, and in 1215 he was forced to sign the Magna Carta, a document that curtailed the monarch’s powers and revolutionized English law.
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What purpose did medieval gargoyles serve?

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Although some people think medieval gargoyles were used to ward off evil spirits, they actually had a very practical purpose: they helped drain water off the buildings.
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Who was NOT a monarch in medieval England?

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Queen Elizabeth II currently rules the British Empire, so it would be kind of difficult for her to also have been a medieval monarch.
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True or False: In medieval England, animals could be put on trial.

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Animals were often put on trial in the Middle Ages. In one case, locusts were put on trial for eating up valuable crops—although they had to be tried in absentia, because they didn’t even show up for court.
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King Richard I of England was also called:

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Richard I is one of the most famous English kings, and goes by “The Lionheart” today. The nickname is well-earned: Richard was a military genius, and spent much of his life devoted to fighting in the crusades.
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What is a codpiece?

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Medieval fashions were quite different from today’s modern styles. One bizarre fashion was the codpiece, which emphasized a man’s private parts when he wore a short tunic.
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What was the nickname for the bubonic plague that ravaged England in the 1300s?

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The Black Death, or the bubonic plague, was one of the most deadly pestilences to hit the world, and no man, woman, or child was safe from its grasp.
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True or False: Richard the Lionheart spent most of his rule in England.

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Despite King Richard’s popularity today, he actually only spent about six months of his entire reign in dear old England. Maybe fog and rain just wasn’t his kind of weather?
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Who was NOT a queen in medieval England?

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Eleanor of Aquitaine, Margaret of Anjou, and Berengaria of Navarre were all prominent medieval queens. Catherine (or Kate) Middleton is a modern-day royal married to Prince William.
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In addition to being hair cutters, medieval barbers were also:

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As well as cutting locks of hair, medieval barbers frequently cut open veins, and were known as surgeons (and dentists). After all, they did know how to work a razor.
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True or False: people in the Middle Ages didn’t bathe a lot.

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Medieval people actually bathed quite regularly! They felt that “cleanliness was next to Godliness,” and it was only with 16th-century Puritanism that frequent bathing went out the window.
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What was “The Domesday Book”?

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Although it certainly sounds like an alchemical text or some secret, occult codebook, The Domesday Book was really just a census commissioned by William the Conqueror. Still, thanks to the book, we now know a lot about medieval life.
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What species of animal roamed free in the medieval countryside, before becoming extinct?

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Bears used wander around England, but they went extinct in the 11th century. They were brought back in the later Middle Ages, but only so they could be hunted for sport.
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True or False: The 100 Years' War lasted 100 years.

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Maybe medieval scribes didn’t know how to count properly, because the 100 Years' War actually lasted more than 100 years, from 1337-1453.
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Who was Robert Bacon?

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Before Nostradamus, the medieval period had Robert Bacon, a man who made some pretty eerie predictions in his time. For example, Bacon predicted the use of motorized cars, as well as airplanes.
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What sport did King Edward II ban in 1314?

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In the Middle Ages, “mob football” was a violent, noisy sport played with a pig’s bladder and an unlimited number of players. King Edward II wasn’t a fan of the destructive sport, and had it banned.
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True or False: The Medieval Ages were a time of rampant witch-hunts.

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The Middle Ages were not actually that into witches or witch-hunts; the Catholic church in England mostly thought it was a bunch of hocus pocus. Real fear of witches began more in the 16th and 17th centuries.
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What was NOT a common medieval ordeal?

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It wasn’t easy being a medieval subject, and if someone was accused of a crime, they were often asked to perform a trial by fire (where their hands were burned), water (where they were thrown into water), or combat (where they had to fight to the death) in order to determine their guilt or innocence. As far as we know, though, Ordeal by Animal wasn't a thing.
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What is a “pygg jar”?

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The word “pygg” referred to a type of clay used to make pots. Coins were put into “pygg jars,” and thus they later became known as piggy banks.
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What was the name of Richard the Lionheart’s wife?

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Berengaria of Navarre was married to King Richard I. The couple had no children, and like her husband, Berengaria spent little time in England—in fact, she didn’t set foot in the country while Richard was king, though there’s some evidence she traveled there after his death.
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When was the Battle of Hastings?

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The Battle of Hastings is one of the most famous battles in English history, and it took place in 1066. In it, William the Conqueror, well, conquered England. The victory kick-started much of English history as we know it.
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True or False: King John I and Richard the Lionheart were brothers.

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Even though history loves King Richard and despises King John, the two were actually blood brothers; their mother was the fearsome Eleanor of Aquitaine.
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What was the name of the war between the Holy Roman Empire and the Muslims?

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The Crusades were a long string of religious wars fought by the Catholic church (and many European kings) to reclaim what the Church saw as their Holy Land from the Muslims.
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What Scandinavian group invaded Europe, starting in 835?

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The Vikings were nothing if not excellent invaders, and in 835 they started making their way into Europe.
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True or False: William the Conqueror was the first Norman King of England.

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After the aforementioned Battle of Hastings, the victorious William the Conqueror beat the Anglo Saxon English to become the first Norman King of England.
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According to most estimates, the Black Death killed what portion of the European population?

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The Black Death absolutely ravaged Europe. All told, 30-60% of the population succumbed to the bubonic plague, changing the face of the continent (including England) for centuries to come.
About This Quiz
England’s Middle Ages weren’t just an idyllic time of knights, quests, and fair maidens—they also had a hefty dose of war, disease, and dark intrigue. Though those days are long gone, we still have a lot to learn from them—so how much do you really know about medieval England?


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