Weird History

15 Facts We Just Learned About The Medieval Era That Made Us Say 'Whoa' 

Garri Chaverst
June 18, 2020 37.5k votes 8.1k voters 571.5k views 15 items

List Rules Vote up the medieval facts you learned when you were "today years old."

There's no shortage of interesting facts about the Middle Ages, and that's perhaps nowhere more evident than in the Today I Learned subreddit, where countless history buffs share the medieval facts they just learned.

While myths about the Middle Ages abound, the truth about the era is far more intriguing. From the weird thing medieval armies used as ammo, to the history behind a "baker's dozen," and so much more, the facts about the medieval era found here are so riveting, it's a wonder we're just now learning about them.

How Quickly Meat Rots When Left Out Indicates How Clean The Air Is

From Redditor u/LilSmore

TIL when the medieval scholar Rhazes was tasked with choosing the location of a new hospital in Baghdad, he hung meat at points around the city, and chose the location where it rotted the slowest.


Learning this for the first time?
Medieval Miners Thought The Element Cobalt Was The Work Of Goblins

From Redditor u/Yorkshire_Bjorn:

TIL that the element Cobalt gets its name from a trickster goblin of German folklore, the kobold, because when medieval miners discovered it and tried to smelt it thinking it was silver, it released toxic gasses they believed to be the goblin playing a trick on them.


Learning this for the first time?
A Moment Is Actually A Set Amount Of Time

From Redditor u/AReallyBadChemist

TIL A moment was a medieval measurement of time and corresponded to 90 seconds.


Learning this for the first time?
The Medieval Era Had Its Own Version Of 'The Purge'

From Redditor u/bort-thrillho:

TIL of the 'Ill Week' - a kind of late medieval version of the Purge. When Elizabeth I died there was a popular belief that the laws of a kingdom were suspended between the death of a sovereign and the proclamation of the successor.


Learning this for the first time?