Here are 20 facts about the Middle Ages that you wrongly thought were true:
20. Medieval archers did not draw their arrows from a quiver on their backs and would often not wear shoes whilst shooting.
19. Knights did not strictly adhere to a code of chivalry, which was in fact introduced to stem the savage violence caused by the mounted warriors in the first place.
18. Medieval armor was not anywhere near as heavy as is popularly believed today, nor that rare.
17. The Iron Maiden was not a real torture device and much of what we believe about Medieval executions and punishments is untrue
16. Maps in the Middle Ages did not commonly display “here are dragons” on unexplored regions, nor did the inhabitants of the day believe in such fantastical creatures
15. People in the Middle Ages did not always eat with their hands, many consumed their meals using cutlery akin to our own.
14. Despite their prevalence in modern popular culture, flails were so infrequently used as weapons that some historians believe they are entirely fictitious as weapons of war.
13. Contrary to popular belief the burning of witches was not a common activity during the Middle Ages, with the notorious witch hunts occurring much later during the Early Modern Period.
12. Although it is widely believed that Islam and Christianity existed in a condition of permanent conflict throughout the Middle Ages, the reality was that the relationship was the same as any other: there was war and there was peace.
11. There is no evidence that substantial proportions of the population of Europe during the Middle Ages expected the world to end in the year 1000 CE.
10. Contrary to their fearsome and savage image, Vikings did not use the skulls of their defeated enemies as drinking receptacles.
9. People during the Middle Ages were not forced to drink wine and beer because of the lack of available clean water.
8. Mounted knights were not anywhere near as crucial to the outcome of battles as portrayed in popular media.
7. Christopher Columbus was not the first European man to “discover” the Americas, beaten to that title by approximately 500 years by the Vikings.
6. Not everybody died young, with many people during the Middle Ages able to live well into old age.
5. Despite their frequent representation as wearing horned helmets, Viking warriors did not wear such armaments at all.
4. Although often depicted as a filthy, unhygienic period of history, people in the Middle Ages were much cleaner than we often give them credit for.
3. Women in the Middle Ages were not forced to wear chastity belts to maintain their virtue, with their invention actually a joke by Middle Age satirists.
2. People in the Middle Ages did not believe the world was flat, having been determined centuries earlier it was, in fact, spherical in nature.
1. Despite common representations in media, Europe was not homogeneously white but was surprisingly ethnically diverse during the Middle Ages.
You can read the details of each here.