The interaction of man and nature in the Middle Ages

Man during the Middle Ages was much closer to nature than we are now. However, it would be wrong to consider that the relationship between man and nature was harmonious. Nature often forced a man to feel his weakness. Reserves in the barn of a peasant or a feudal lord, on which their life depended, were in fact determined by the will of nature. Rains with hail, droughts or floods, hurricanes or frosts were harbingers of disease, suffering, death. Therefore, the dependence of the medieval man on the natural and climatic conditions was extremely large.

In the Middle Ages, the climate in Europe was unstable: it was cold, then warm. It is believed that in the XI century. the climate of the continent was modern. True, sometimes the temperature rose and higher. In the XIII-XIV centuries. a sharp cooling occurred. Therefore in the north of Europe there were often crop failures. Observing the sharp changes in the climate, the medieval chroniclers constantly expressed their apprehension

about the end of the world.

In the early Middle Ages, human well-being was largely determined by the possibility of using forest resources. As the French historian M. Blok said, the forest accompanied the peasant “from the cradle to the grave.” The forest was the main building material, it gave light and warmth, wooden tools, craft and household items were made from wood. However, the forest and everything in it belonged to the lord. The peasants could gather only brushwood, and even fruits and berries. In addition, the hermit monks settled in the forest to turn around and fight temptations. The forests were places of adventure of wandering knights. Sometimes in the forests hiding robbers, attacking travelers and robbing them. Consequently, to some people the forest was a refuge, and there was a deadly danger for someone.

The turn of the VIII-IX centuries. From the Capitularia of Manors by Charlemagne

That the forests and our reserved bowls are well guarded; and if there is a convenient place for clearing, they would clear and cover the fields with trees, they would not give it; and where

there should be forests, do not allow them to cut down and destroy; beasts in our reserved thickets are closely guarded; take care also of falcons and hawks for our cause; but the oborudes proper for this, diligently collect. The governors, as well as the elders and their people, if they drive pigs to graze in our forest, let them first pay the proper tithe, giving us a good example, so that later other people will pay their tithing in full.

In the Middle Ages, man’s influence on nature was spontaneous, but its consequences were significant and unpredictable.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

The interaction of man and nature in the Middle Ages