Monday, June 22, 2009

The Medieval Good Old Days

Today, I welcome Skhye Moncrief to Terry's Place. How about a trip back through time. Careful--there's a quiz. But there's also a chance to win a slew of e-books, so keep reading. (And no, you don't have to pass the quiz to enter. But give it a shot anyway.

First of all, I'd like to thank Terry for having me over. :)

I write about the good ole days with a paranormal twist or two. The madness is kind of an outgrowth of my being certifiably geek. Being formally educated in hard and soft science, geology and archaeology, I just come by it honestly. Since I blog about reference books at SKHYE'S RAMBLINGS , it only seems fitting that I leave you with fun, helpful, and inspiring information.

So you want to know why any sane human would blog about reference books... The venture began as a way to document my personal library since so many hurricanes recently plowed through here—SE Texas. I'd just be sick if I lost that one book... You know, the one that has the info in it... on the top of page 93... right there on the right-hand corner, maybe the second paragraph down. Yes, I remember locations of information, covers too. Alas, I'm sadly all about info, especially quirky stuff like penis gourds and pubic wigs. I kid you not. They are real things and fit into the cultural context of their culture with great significance. So, here's a dose of quirk for you...

Keep Reading...

Just what were the good old days like? Books like Renaissance Magazine's A MEDIEVAL BOOK OF DAYS always enlighten me—sending my thoughts off on an interesting journey to attempt to understand the past. Well, my friend recently posted a little quiz on her blog, and people loved it.

So, please don't throw rotten virtual cabbages at Terry's blog! I'd hate it to be trashed. Simply, match the following medieval terms with their corresponding definition. :) Now, I know you can Google these terms. But control yourself. Try it first with just what you know.

lease for three lives

1. The part of the lord's manorial lands reserved for his own use and not allocated to his serfs of freeholder tenants. Serfs worked the demesne for a specified numbers of days a week. (Those were the days!)

2. A peasant of lower class who owned a cottage, but owned little or no land. (Sounds like most of us.)

3. A holding, or group of holdings, forming a large estate, such as the land held by an Earl. (This is so not what you'd expect.)

4. A payment which a feudal lord could claim from the possessions of a dead serf or other tenant, essentially a death tax. Generally, however, if a tenant died in battle, the heriot was forgiven. (Thank goodness on the last part. The lord would probably add another #3 to the pot setting off another three generations of debt!)

5. A liquour made with honey and water and spiced with a dash of pepper. (Hmmm... This might be tasty!)

6. A tax levied on boroughs and on the tenants living on royal estates, to help liquidate royal debts. (Taxes, taxes, and more taxes...)

7. The sum commonly paid by a serf to his lord when the serf's daughter married a man from another manor. (Can you imagine paying a fine for marrying your child off to someone living on another block?)

8. A term of lease of land usually for the life of its holder, his son or wife, and a grandson. (What a drag!)

9. The heraldic color (tincture) of purple. (Well, I know what a tincture is in alchemy!)

10. The buying or selling of spiritual things, particularly Church offices and benefices. (Oh my goodness!)

We won't quibble over who matched all the definitions to the correct terms. So, were you even remotely thrilled you live in the 21st Century A. D.? With the heat index here in Houston, I'm thankful for air conditioning. And three cheers for pest control. But I'm very intrigued by life in the past.

I'm the kind of person who wonders if characters portrayed in movies smelled bad in the time in which they are portrayed or whether or not anyone had any teeth after their mid-twenties. But I studied bio-archaeology and those fascinating aspects of culture are the reality of reconstructing extinct cultures.

That brings me right back to a great reference source for the curious. If you're into learning more about medieval terminology, subscribe to Renaissance Magazine. It's carried at Barnes & Noble too! Renaissance Magazine has proven a wonderful source for finding new words or ideas to play with in my time-travel tales. You know, I think I could handle tea way waaaay back... I don't know about all that grit in the food though. *ugh* And I'm a big fan of toilet paper. Anyone else?

I'd also like to invite everyone over to enter to win 12 e-books. All you have to do is tell me what you're doing for vacation this summer as a comment at the link provided.

Okay. Okay. Here are the quiz answers...

1. demesne
2. cottager
3. honor
4. heriot
5. swish-wash
6. tallage
7. formarriage
8. formarriage
9. purpure
10. simony

Thanks again for having me over, Terry! ~Skhye

Learn more about Skhye and her stories, He of the Fiery Sword, and The Spell of the Killing Moon at her websites, skhyemoncrief and time guardians, and her blog


Beth Trissel said...

Fascinating! And very witty. I so enjoyed this most informative post.
I'm like you, love my modern day comforts while intrigued with the past.

Skhye said...

Thanks, Beth. I do love toilet paper.

Beth Caudill said...

Okay, I so don't know my medieval terminology. Good thing I got a Medieval Dictionary as suggested on someone's blog...hmmm wonder whose that would have been.

Abigail said...

Number eight should be lease for three lives, yes? Not formarriage? (I'm a nit-picker, what can I say...)
Anyway, I'm always so impressed by the amount of research that goes into period books---and that's what I'm doing this summer, attempting to write my first romance (in between my rehearsals and performances---I'm an actor). We'll see how it goes...

Skhye said...

Beth, LOL. At least, you know that person...

AB, Geesh, I just saw that. Yes, you're right! When I'm working with this stupid Vista system, it sometimes doesn't cut and paste when I tell it to... Everyone buy a Mac!

Debby said...

Very intriguing post. I enjoyed reading it. I do love modern comforts.

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Skhye!

Oh yes, I love my toilet paper. And other modern conveniences---like not having to slave over a hot stove all day or spend the day washing clothes! And modern meds. In fact, just spent the day at the docs office and now am on an antibiotic and decongestant. The world of imagination is where I like to live with regards to the Medieval Ages, or any prior time period or culture.

Egad! Thanks for posting the answers to your quiz. I need to do a bit more reading, fiction or reference, on the time period. I'll have to look at your magazine recommendation.

I love to read all the reference books, but don't always remember the details . . .BUT I do remember where to look if I need to know something.

My sis lives just north of Houston, while I'm in South Louisiana. I can always count on what the weather will be like the next day, because it seems what she has, we have the next day.

Thanks for another interesting and informative post. I'll be heading over to your site in a sec.

Skhye said...

Well, decongestant is a must!!! Thanks for stopping by, Julie.

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing it.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by. I hope you scored better on the quiz than I did.

Skhye said...

You're welcome, Historical Writer/Editor.

And thanks to everyone for playing along. Especially, Terry. She was such a good sport to give me some time on her blog to wave medieval terms at folks!

Liane Gentry Skye said...

What a fun, informative post. Loved every word of it. Which means I'm going to have to check out your books. :)

marye.ulrich said...

Liked your post, your blog and my toilet paper. Interesting stuff.

Skhye said...

Thanks, Liane. LOL, Marye. That toilet paper is a must!