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Echetlaeus
09-06-14, 18:43
the people of the middle ages were working less hours, e.g., in France they had 180 days off.

The new technology and all of these fancy and trailblazing innovations, although they have improved our daily lives, they have managed to make us "slaves" of a new status quo, a new novus ordo seclorum.

LeBrok
09-06-14, 19:01
the people of the middle ages were working less hours, e.g., in France they had 180 days off.

The new technology and all of these fancy and trailblazing innovations, although they have improved our daily lives, they have managed to make us "slaves" of a new status quo, a new novus ordo seclorum.
Could you cite the source of this surprising information?

Echetlaeus
09-06-14, 19:12
Could you cite the source of this surprising information?

Here, but it is in Greek.

http://www.mixanitouxronou.gr/ton-ergasiako-meseona-doulevan-ligo/

See also this book: "Discussion of Holidays in the Later Middle Ages"

Angela
09-06-14, 22:22
I find this very dubious. Whatever the case may have been for the merchant class in the cities, the vast majority of people were farmers, and farmers don't get days off...cows still have to be brought back and forth from the fields and milked, the chicken coop and rabbit hutch still have to be cleaned and the animals fed, the hay has to be brought in when the weather permits, and the harvest of the grapes and olives waits for no one.

From what I know from the old people of farm life in Italy until after the second world war, the peasants worked all the hours that God sent, from before first light to darkness, with a few hours out of the sun mid-day because otherwise they would have collapsed from heat stroke. At night they mended tools or made furniture, or, in the case of the women, knitted or spun, or wove or sewed, after the meals were cooked and everything cleaned away, of course.

As for women in general, unless they were of the small percentage that had servants, how much leisure, pray tell, could they have had in an era before mass produced baby food, disposable diapers, or even washing machines for the diapers. These women were pregnant every two or three years at a minimum, caring for broods of children, cooking, cleaning, washing, for all of them, and helping out with the animals and in the fields when necessary as well. Feast days just meant cooking for the whole town instead of just your family. I can get nostalgic about the old days too, but I think we have to be realistic about what it was like to actually live in that era as a common person. Thank-god for modern technology is all I can say. Oh, and birth control as well.

And if that isn't enough, the average work week in many European countries is 35 hours a week, and they have at a minimum 4 weeks of paid vacation a year, plus national holidays, plus sick leave. Their ancestors wouldn't recognize such a world.

LeBrok
10-06-14, 02:14
I'm fully with Angela on this one. Whatever the case was with amount of holidays it had nothing to do with how much people worked. It probably describes official holidays of the Church when people where obligated to go to Mass, and of course leave a donation.
I can't imagine ordinary folks with 6 kids on average having any time off. Most of the time was spent producing food for whole family and feed and feed and feed, and still except rich people, the rest were terribly thin. On top of hard labour of parents kids were working too as soon as they could carry a bucket with water or hold a hoe.

Echetlaeus
10-06-14, 09:28
Bros, maybe the book describes better the idea (it was published in 1940). But in my view it makes some sense, especially given that many days were sacred for religious reasons.

Recall, this is about the Middle Ages and not after the Industrial Revolution.

I think it will be a good topic to study this case, although it seems to be a little bit intriguing and counter-intuitive.

BTW, these days, people spend so much time for religious purposes than today, and I am sure that they were not working in the fields during the winter (I have been raised in agricultural area and I know these stuff). Most of the job was done during fall, and summer, when they had to plow and collect what they had cultivated. Apart from that, the system was feudalistic, hence people did not have property.

Correct me if I am wrong.

Check this: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/worktime/hours_workweek.html

and this: http://www.traditioninaction.org/History/A_021_Festivals.htm

LeBrok
11-06-14, 05:14
[QUOTE]BTW, these days, people spend so much time for religious purposes than today, and I am sure that they were not working in the fields during the winter (I have been raised in agricultural area and I know these stuff). Most of the job was done during fall, and summer, when they had to plow and collect what they had cultivated. Apart from that, the system was feudalistic, hence people did not have property.

Winter or not you need to take care of animals. Winter is an excellent time to fix leaky roof on your house, or help your neighbor to build a new house. Pluck the geese to make new comforter. Fix your woodworking tools or make a new wagon or a table. Make wine and other beverages. Go fight a war against Sparta and come back in spring to seed fields. Go make few bucks building new castle for your king. Erect a stone wall around your town. Go hunt in near forest to supplement family diet with more meet. Get more wood for your cooking and heating the house. Make cheeses. Go to the market sell food that you produced. Etc, etc,... You know, it is all work.

MOESAN
13-06-14, 19:38
winter was a less stressing season in ancient time, what is not saying a no-work time!
but I think even between Antiquity and Industrial Revolution there were big différences (less Evolved technics, less time to maintenance?)