The Most Ridiculous Things People Believed in Medieval Times

The Middle Ages took place between the 5th and 15th centuries, shortly after the Ancient Ages when the Roman Empire fell, but just before the Modern Age, starting with the discovery of America. Many scholars consider it to be a time of widespread ignorance and superstition that was perfectly acceptable back then. Today, we now see the absurdity of these beliefs for what they truly are, but it took a while for us to get to that point. So here are some of the most ridiculous things people believed in medieval times.

1. The Stars Say to Drop That Scalpel

Back in the olden days, people drew up astrological charts regarding just about every aspect of their lives, be it marriage, procreation and even health and wellness. So could you imagine getting turned down for a life-saving operation just because the stars weren’t aligned in your favor? That’s because medieval doctors of the 1400s were legally required to check a patient’s horoscope before going through with their treatment. And it didn’t matter if they or the patient believed in astrology or not. So if your 6th house wasn’t looking too good then you can kiss that surgery goodbye.

2. Shifting Wombs Was the Cause of Hysterics in Women

While it’s true that a womb can in fact be dislocated and even prolapsed, it’s far from being the root cause of mood swings and hysteria. Thanks to advancements in science, we now understand that hormones affect a woman’s overall temperament during her cycle, but medieval people believed that excess emotions in a woman were due to her womb migrating freely throughout her body. The whole thing is just so laughable to us now, but these people were absolutely serious about this back then.

3. Evil Spirits Lived in Brussels Sprouts

No one likes feeling gassy, and it seems that the medieval people were no different. Brussel sprouts are well-known for this particular unpleasant side effect which is why the food lovers of Great Britain deemed them to be cursed with evil spirits. But instead of avoiding Brussel sprouts altogether, they’d simply work around this issue by cutting them in the shape of crosses. It’s safe to assume that their stomachs were still rumbling like crazy.

4. Royalty Could Cure Any Affliction

In the Middle Ages, the royals weren’t just people who ruled over a country. They were also powerful beings of divine origins who were blessed with a healing touch that could cure any ailment with the mere brush of their fingertips. The first to do so was the 11th century King Edward the Confessor who was frequently visited by commoners in order to be relieved of their sicknesses. If only this magical power was somehow available during the Black Plague.

5. Born Numb

Babies are vulnerable and helpless tiny humans who are very reliant on us. They cry at the drop of a hat, be it because they’re hungry, sleepy or in pain. But in medieval times, people believed that babies were unable to feel pain due to their small and underdeveloped stature. This belief was still widespread in the medical community for a really long time and didn’t die down until the 1980s. Can you believe that babies did not receive anesthesia? Scary, isn’t it? And apparently any crying was the result of ill-mannered childishness, instead of external forces.

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