5 HORRIFYING Realities Of Daily Life In Historical Times
- Articles, Blog

5 HORRIFYING Realities Of Daily Life In Historical Times


History has amazing highlights and the civilizations
that helped build the world we know of today have a lot to take credit for. From the monolithic pyramids at Giza to the
brilliant and provocative artworks of the Renaissance, you would think that living in
any of the centuries when mankind was reaching for the stars is something you would want
to witness and participate in, but you may want to think twice about it. While being a badass knight might sound epic
to you or being one of Socrates’ valued students is a high honor, it’s the things
that happen in between the knightly duties or the lessons at school that you should take
heavily into consideration. Daily life in the Medieval Ages or in Ancient
Rome isn’t as glammed up to be, and the things we have read in our school’s history
books have been, pretty much, filtered down to suit the taste of a general, more wholesome
audience. So in today’s video, we are letting you
in on some of the things that may surprise you about daily living in historical times. Here are 5 horrifying realities of daily life
in the early centuries of the world! Number 5: Plumbing Problems
One of the greatest inventions introduced into human civilization is indoor plumbing. It is something we take extremely for granted
on a daily basis. To us, it’s just part of a routine we go
through every morning. We sit, we flush, we wash, and once our business
is down the drain and off to the sewer system, it is not our business anymore. As they say, out of sight, out of mind. Sadly, the same cannot be said for people
living in the days preceding indoor plumbing. Voiding your bowels is an almost non-stop
horror movie that you have to live through every waking day and every waking moment of
your life. Take the Ancient Romans for example. You would think that for a civilization that
has pioneered a revolutionary system for irrigation through the aqueducts, they would have found
a solution to their plumbing problems. At the height of their Empire, the Romans
did have a way of meeting the daily demands of bowel movement through a public toilet
system. However, there really was no sewage management
system in place when it comes to dealing with human excrement. The public toilets were also a horror show
regarding hygiene, and one would already be risking his health by simply sitting on one
of the latrines with pipes that lead directly to a river of poop directly below. Believe it or not, you are even at risk of
catching fire using one of these public facilities because of the large amount of methane build-up
that’s steaming out of each toilet seat. The medieval age was no better. In those days, people tried to be innovative
and creative regarding getting rid of their offal. Some would dig cesspits and bury their waste,
but it would eventually spill over to a neighbor’s yard. One woman named Alice Wade created a sophisticated
wooden pipe system that ran underneath her neighbors’ yards and home and led directly
to the street where her waste would end up. It was a clever contraption up until it clogged
and backed up her neighbors’ sewage and, of course, you can’t fail to notice the
accumulation of poop on the street. If you think this is already horrific, most
people in those days simply went in the streets or wherever it is that they need to do their
business in buildings, public squares, and marketplaces. Number 4: Traveling Can Be Tricky
Another everyday activity that we can freely do these days is traveling. With the convenience of modern transportation,
we can safely move from one place to another no matter the distance. Traveling abroad – or even to a nearby town
– back in the day, is a completely different story. We have all seen the movies where commoners
traveled armed only with a walking stick and a rucksack filled with their personal belongings. They would be lucky if they had a horse to
ride. One of the most challenging parts of traveling
in the ancient world was a safe and clean place to rest. In fact, many travelers had no choice but
to sleep out in the open and be vulnerable to the elements and either freeze to death
or be attacked by wild animals. Travelling in a group may sound like a logical
way to keep safe but you would still run the risk of armed bandits who would not think
twice of slitting your throat before running off with your belongings or, in a sudden,
ironic twist of fate, run the risk of being robbed and murdered by your companions should
conditions become rough. Ignorance of local customs in a foreign land
may also prove to be a problem. Language barriers are the obvious hurdles
but in times where political disputes and territorial skirmishes abound, being misinformed
of the goings on may land you a one-way ticket to prison – if you’re lucky. It also goes without saying that food and
water can be a problem when you did not plan out your supplies correctly. Food poisoning is rampant especially if you
end up foraging and hunting for food that could potentially do more harm to your body
than you think. An inn or a monastery are relatively safe
places to find lodgings and food to eat, granted that is the elements or bandits did not get
to you first. Even the most sophisticated traveling party
can be susceptible to the horrors of traveling abroad. Injury and accidents are as common as the
air they breathe. In one account in 1190, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick I met his untimely death when he drowned crossing the Saleph River during the
Third Crusade. I think it’s safe to say that, back then,
if you really don’t have to go anywhere important, it’s safe to stay at home. Number 3: No Quarter for the Unemployed
In any government in any country and in any kind of economic system, unemployment is a
necessary evil in the cogs of industry and progress. Today, we treat the unemployed humanely and
offer help in the form of welfare, career counseling, and many other programs that can
help anyone get on their feet and start building a life. I wish the same could be said centuries ago
especially in the Medieval Age. For example, being unemployed in 16th Century
England is somewhat considered as a criminal offense. Because the unemployed had to wander and travel
from one town to the next looking for any means of income, they would often be seen
by law enforcement and other locals as vagrants and are swiftly thrown in jail. Well, the lucky ones at least. More often than not, the unemployed are tied
to carts and dragged around town while being flogged and whipped to a bloody pulp. Talk about motivation. However that all changed in 1547 when the
flogging law was changed and, instead, a vagrant could have the option of either being branded
like cattle or be sold into slavery. By the time 1600 rolled in, a new set of laws
were passed that offered rewards to people who would capture and bring in vagrants. It was, as you can assume, a terrible plan
to get the jobless off the streets as most people opted to make this a lucrative form
of living by simply tackling and picking up anyone they find sleeping on the streets or
suspect of vagrancy. The government was not at all evil. In some form, they did provide assistance
to the poor and the jobless. However, as part of the deal, they will be
asked to wear a badge with the letter “P” stitched into it to identify them in a crowd. If an individual refused to wear it, he or
she would be fined an equivalent of two weeks’ wages: wages that they did not have in the
first place and could not have because they don’t have any form of employment to earn
it. Number 2: Being a Woman is Really, Ridiculously
Tough The Ancient World, hands down, is brimming
with misogyny and testosterone that many societies – except for some that also put women in
high regard as their male generals like Sparta – treat the fairer sex as second class citizens
and just a means of producing offspring. A woman’s ordeal in the ancient world begins
at birth. In Athens, it was common practice for a couple
to leave their new born, the female child exposed to the elements to die. Rome is no different. Especially in poor families, parents would
often choose to raise a son than a daughter saying that a female child is far too burdensome
and costs a lot more money to rear. Most families who do have a female infant
would opt to kill the child or leave it exposed to the elements instead. The virtue of also keeping your virginity
if you were a woman back then was a matter of life and death. An Athenian man who finds out that his unmarried
daughter is no longer a virgin will sell her into slavery in the blink of an eye. Another gruesome story happened in Rome when
a priestess of the goddess Vesta lost her virginity before reaching the age of 30. She was promptly buried alive; and in Israel,
a woman who lost her virginity before tying the knot could be dragged into the streets
and be stoned to death. Thinking of a dream wedding? Well, if you were living in the days of the
Ancient Romans and the early centuries of the Chinese and Japanese empires, you better
forget it. Back then, brides were secured by abducting
them through invasion, war, and whatever conquest their empires are enterprising on. In some parts of China, the kidnapping of
brides was not outlawed until the 1940s. Without kidnapped brides, the Roman Empire
would have probably collapsed and crumbled early with accounts of it being told in several
legends such as the kidnapping of the Sabine women. Number 1: Death by Common Cold
It goes without saying that the field of medicine is yet to make a revolutionary step forward
in the days of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and even the Medieval Ages. In fact, most deaths that aren’t attributed
to illnesses are caused by tiny injuries like cuts and scrapes that, left untreated, led
to severe infection that spread to the vital parts of the body. If a person is lucky, he gets to keep his
life but lose an infected limb or two. Among women, childbirth is one of the leading
causes of death because of unsanitary practices and environments. An infant is also at high risk of dying due
to mishandling and various forms of bacteria present in the surroundings. Wealth and status are no guarantee to keep
you in perfect health. However, history has seen more deaths in crowded
urban areas than in far off farmlands. Maybe it is because of the unsanitary conditions
of the cities. For one, no one really knows where to throw
their poop or where to poop. The Black Plague is a result of the lack of
upkeep in the cities that has cost millions of lives across Europe. Suffice to say that, with the combination
of an overcrowded urban landscape and poor medical information, simply catching the common
cold signs you a one-way trip to the grave in a matter of days.

About Bill McCormick

Read All Posts By Bill McCormick

100 thoughts on “5 HORRIFYING Realities Of Daily Life In Historical Times

  1. 12:38: Hah, that picture is from Copenhagen, Denmark! There is One helluva great fish restaurant, behind this couple! 😀👍

  2. Forget the topics he's talking about here, i had difficulty breathing listening to it. Relax man! I'm sure there aren't any prizes for narrating the way you do.

  3. I love to go back in time to learn to be a ninja, samurai, Scottish swordsman,China to learn kerate, kickboxing, Romania to get all kinds of ak47's and Chinese ak47's and Russia tlget even more ak47's.

  4. 6:47 The stoning of Soraya M. was a disturbing movie (freaking savages were brutal to her).

  5. :23 If not MORE TIMES 😐!
    1:27 Other way around on the Picture 😂😅
    Doing your business in the Tong Dynasty the height of Chinese Civilization sounds like it may be a bit better?

  6. In future our toilets will be able to burn our waste to ash and we will just be disposing of ash like taking out the trash

  7. Go to parts of Africa and you can see a lot of this stuff still going on! I went on a business trip to Venezuela in the 80's and visited a small village in the jungle. It was utterly primitive! They looked at us like we were from outer space! One native that spoke some english said we were the only visitors to the village that year! (late August) The stink was horrid.

  8. You cant compare then and now
    Then was then…now is now..
    It was normal then..as is our
    ways now… we drive cars what would they think of that ? We know that an eclipse of the sun is not gods anger… they didnt know about soft toilet tissue.. its the way it was…

  9. I grew up in a rather backward manner. We lived in the woods we used an outhouse. We carried water from a well. Ancient times in any era do not intimidate me as far as everyday survival. Or even traveling. What would scare me would be the crappy systems of government and crime and punishment

  10. The real question: What will humans 1,000 yrs from now (if we still exist) think is archaic about us ?

  11. I hope that wasn't a bath tub in the middle of the toilets. I couldn't imagine taking a bath in a port-a-potty

  12. I would love to see 1700's England, because England is in my top ten list of favorite countries.

  13. Yeah, women were treated really badly but the men were being killed constantly. So spare us with the woman having a bad time garbage. Men always had it worse and still do.

  14. Thanks really for demotivating me enough to give up my dream of time travel.
    By the way, did women also use the communal toilet? And they used to gossip and share recipes while pooing?

  15. I often think about traveling back in time to different historical periods…but then I watch videos like these and it kills my buzz.

  16. In the past the ancients couldn't compare what they had or endured to several hundreds or thousands of years into the future. Those Roman communal toilets had dirty water running through the chutes constantly flushing the waste away. They probably sat around, evacuating, while commenting on how good they had it in comparison to past generations. Taking totally private dumps came about with invention of the modern toilet and indoor plumbing. I can remember two-holed outhouses and some elderly appalled at people defecating inside their homes as being normal … chamber pots being the one exception.

  17. I want to travel back to 1608 North America starting in New York and warn everyone along the coast of the invaders to come tracking my way to the west saying much of the same and forming a true native America through out the tribes in hopes pulling off an even more outstanding hold on this land

  18. Community sponge, nope not gonna happen. Can you imagine sitting at a community toilet like this? “Hey Tom how ya been? Got some bad cheese? That’s a shame! Jerry’s hemorrhoids are acting up again, two holes down from you is Lance, he’s having a bit of a blockage issue”

  19. Why pragnent woman needs a call nurse servant to help deliver the baby? It there a hospital in the history?

  20. I see why white people don’t like bringing up their own history and would rather steal/appropriate everybody else’s 😂

  21. Eyyyy we have roman bathd in Beirut, they're a tourist attraction but I never knew how they used them until today

  22. I'd travel to 8 minutes and 23 seconds ago to prevent myself from watching this video and regretting the sharp cheddar macaroni and cheese dinner with apple cider to drink which was champing at the bit to feel the fresh air once again. I was a trooper, though, stuck out till the end!

  23. Id travel to the 1700's europe! But I would want to be among the wealthy. If still miss bathing regularly and a toilet seat and paper!

  24. the communal sponge was in a cleft stick and 'lived' in a stream of running water under the customers bums. still super gross tho.

  25. gotta say, these are some of the funniest comments I have ever seen in any comment section. The communal sponge had some of the funniest ones.

  26. You've made one serious error. In ancient Israel an unmarried woman was not stoned for losing her virginity. She only was stoned if she presented herself as a virgin to a suitor but then the burden of proof was on the wronged suitor to prove she wasn't one and, this basically being impossible to do, meant that such stoning likely never occurred. Also in Israelite law, for anyone to be stoned for violating a biblical infraction there had to have been two witnesses present at the moment of infraction and they had to have warned the wrongdoer. These witnesses were thoroughly examined for their story and if discovered to be false witnesses would suffer the same penalty they'd intended for the accused. Basically the burden of proof was so high that executions for violating any biblical commands were very rarely and may never have been imposed. Oh and in Israelite law a person about to be executed was given a drug that numbed the senses so no pain was felt.

  27. I would love to travel back in time. I would make sure to do my business at home before departing and to return before my intestine calls me back to the toilette. That sounds like a good compromise :D.

  28. In many countries now, you don't work, you die as there is no government help. In many countries now, female babies are abandoned, India and China for example. In many countries there is no indoor plumbing, much of South East Asia for example, not for the rich but for the majority. Comparing life now in the Western world with the historical world is very biased.

  29. …okay,i'm late to this one i'm sure,but no one says out of mind out of sight,the phrase is out of sight out of mind…

  30. A gay person would do way more for you be your best friend way more than a lying hateful Christian ever would

  31. You don't want to be unemployed back then, either. You had to prove you had needed skills for society otherwise you were worthless. There were no social welfare system to help you out. Survival of the fittest, plus you had to have a strong immune system to fight all these infections and diseases. It was brutal. Just think if there was an EMP attack, we'd go back to living like that in no time.

  32. The images shown with the assumption that they are communal toilets don’t make any sense. I mean, people back then weren’t stupid. So why would they sit on a toilet with a hole in the front? every time you’d use it, “stuff” would be splashing back on you.
    Perhaps the front hole is access for cleaning, but I can’t imagine people being foolish enough to sit on those and do their business.
    Ok? Like, person A sits there. Person B, a servant, comes along and takes a stick with a sponge on it, and reaches through the front hole, and cleans the sitting persons genitals. This could be seen as part of a bath house process, but I don’t see it as a place for elimination.

  33. Seeing Mikey without a bunch of hot oil and food in front of him is kinda weird but this video was cool 😂

  34. Why didn't people just build outhouses with really deep holes underneath? When it fills up, bury it and move the outhouse. You could have them anywhere, including all over the cities. That's what everyone had in parts of North America until only a few generations ago.

  35. I had never thought of ever living in that century… but I'm still glad I found that about now. But if I can invent new sewages and other useful things I don't think it wouldn't be a problem.

  36. One of my high school history teachers use to do something similar to this video. It really takes the romance out of being a
    medieval knight or a cowboy!…lol!

  37. There is always employment for women back then… the oldest job in the books it’s called prostitution. Selling your body. It’s a profession. In Greece a woman was being sentenced to hang she let her breasts free and stated that these are the designs of the gods.. needless to say she avoided the gallows and continued her profession.

  38. Just think what our future descendants will say about us… "They held these germ-ridden phones up to their face to talk?!?" "They flushed their poop into waterways where their water was chemically treated, then DRANK the same stuff?!?" LOL

  39. Hey Mikey! I ran into this channel by accident and didn't know you had other channels. I watch your Simply Dumpling and Mikey Chen channels. Anything else I'm missing?

  40. I live in Mn, and the som ol ians still don't understand tp. There are signs in the restrooms reminding them wiping with their hands is forbidden.

  41. How to Rule Europe:
    1) Be a doctor.
    2) Learn modern agriculture, plumbing, carpentry, concrete production and electrical work.
    3) Time-travel back to medieval Europe.

    You would have everyone in Europe flocking to hear your wisdom and eating out of your hand within two years. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *