In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

The Middle Ages

I just finished a book called The Middle Ages, by Morris Bishop. Given that it was a 99¢ Kindle book, I wasn’t expecting much but I really enjoyed it. In particular, I like reading new books about topics I’ve previously read about, and learn new things. With that in mind, I present you with the way time worked in the middle ages.

No one … knew surely what time it was. The Angelus ringing in the village church was a sufficient time signal for most people. Night and day were each divided into twelve hours measured between sunrise and sunset. Thus, the length of an hour or minute varied every day and from one latitude to another.

Morris Bishop, The Middle Ages, 2015

So not only did the length of an hour vary between latitudes, but it would vary as the year progressed. That’s so bizarre.


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Thank you for today


  1. Jennifer Alexander

    So, the first hour of the morning happened later and later through winter. Then after the equinox, it came earlier every day as the days lengthened… Ok, my brain hurts now. I get what they were doing, but trying to imagine actually living that way is hard with all of our modern activities.

    • Rick

      And that first hour would get long and longer as it got earlier and earlier. I guess it would work just fine if your only means to tell time were the sun in the sky and the hourly church bells. It still makes my brain hurt too!

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