Magical Medieval Barrier

Why are the middle-ages completely fuck-upped?

Maybe I am a bit preoccupied with the middle-ages through my hobby as
amateur-historian (reenactment, living-history, or a bit high-flying:
experimental archaeology), but still I think I have a broad overview
on how things in later epoques should look, as well.

The question thus is this: Why do people, particularly people
producing movies, have good judgement about what is historically
correct and what not as long as it doesn’t come to the

There are loads of good movies out there playing in the 19th, 18th,
17th and sometimes even the 16th century, in which the regisseurs
got the whole scenery together perfectly. Everything fits, people
wear the historically correct shoes, have the correct weapons,
the correct things of daily use, and so on. As far as I can tell,
that is. Maybe they’re terribly wrong too, but I really think
with my knowledge I can tell that they’re mostly correct. No really
big mishaps. No Shoes from the 19th century in movies of the 17th.

So why the hell does it happen that all those things appear in
movies which play in the middle ages? It would be understandable
if the 13th and the 15th century get mixed up; it would be even
understandable if the 10th and the 15th century would get mixed
up. But how can people loose obviously everything they know about
history (plus even the ability to do some days research or ask
somebody who knows) when it comes to the middle-ages?

Instead we get a complete made-up fantasy-world, where everything
apart from the date (like 1326) and some well-known facts (england at
war with france) is complete, utter bogus. In contrast to the movies
people didn’t wear riding boots from the 19th century in the middle-ages.
People didn’t risk their houses by using torches indoors. People also
didn’t wear “Jute”-rags. Neither did they wear leather, apart from
aprons. People also had houses which walls were as tightly made as
possible, and not something where you could look through. Knights
did take off their armour when not expecting a battle. And their
gloves when tending the wounded.

And the list goes on and on. Just about every movie with a medieval
setting (and I don’t even mean the a bit more fantasy-ones like those
king arthur-themes) makes itself guilty of historical inaccuracies
in the magnitude of being 500 to 1000 years off. And that might be
well 1000 years into the future if you take the haircuts. Do you
really think william the conqueror had the same haircut as a bank-clerk
in the year 2000? And funny enough, in movies playing in, say 1750, you
don’t see these, of course.

The question is now, where does it come from. Do all the people doing
medieval-themed movies get their picture of the middle-ages from some
other bad medieval-themed movie?

I really don’t know. This is so weird.

Peter Keel,


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