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The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium   book icon  
by Robert Lacey (1999)

read: 28 September 2003
rating: [+]
category: uncategorized

With all the hubub surrounding the millenium here a few years back, little attention was given to the last millenium. Or rather, some was, but not much. Very few people know much about what life was like a thousand years ago. For one thing, there are few records that exist, for another, the Dark Ages seem to make everything that preceded them also seem doomed to darkeness. Lacey and his co-author Danziger, using a calandar from the year 996 as a starting point, explore the things that were important to people living in what is now England in 996.

And what was important? Well, living through the winter for one. With no refrigeration and much less advanced husbandry and crop-rearing, every year was sort of a crapshoot in terms of whether the harvest would yield enough for the coming winter. Religion also played a large part. Christianity was a much newer religion and was still practiced with many pagan trappings. And of course, war and strife were still present. This book takes on much more of a tone of “a day in the life of...” than a dry historical text, even though the information is presented with much factual research backing it up. It’s a short book and not super-memorable. but it answers a question that many of us doen’t even know we had.... what did the world used to be like; or, where did we come from?

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