A Medieval Manuscript

Student activities

Task no. 1

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The medieval calendar of life

Complete the attached activity sheet.

Task no. 2

Question on the source

In which months do the seasons occur in the northern hemisphere?

  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  1. Do the activities shown in The Book of Hours correspond to the seasons?
  2. What is ‘scything’?
  3. What is a pilgrimage and where would medieval people go to do this?
  4. What are ‘acorns’? For what were they used in medieval times?
  5. At the top of each page the month is given, then the list of days below it. Why is each day named after a saint?
  6. Use books and the Internet to find out why this religious book shows signs of the Zodiac.
  7. Would peasants have followed this calendar? Why or why not?
  8. How useful is a Book of Hours as a source of information about daily life in medieval times? Explain.
  9. How reliable is the information in a Book of Hours about daily life in medieval times? Explain.