Well, another month is once again upon us. How can the year be 1/12 over already? Ah, yes, now I remember–the relentless passage of time.
According to medieval calendars, February is the time to trim back the dead bits on your trees and to gather up your firewood, two not unrelated tasks. So hop up from that fire where you’ve been pondering the suggestively shaped sausages for the last month and get to it. It’s hard labor until next January.
Notable medieval dates in February include:
- February 2nd, 962 — The pope crowns Otto I Holy Roman Emperor, officially translatio-ing that imperii from the Franks to the Saxons.
- February 3rd, 1377 — The pope’s armies massacre 2,000 or so Italians in the Cesena Bloodbath, part of the War of the Eight Saints. Popes are fickle. One day, they’re crowning you Holy Roman Emperor. Then, without warning, 415 years and one day later, they’re all massacring your city states’ armies.
- February 10th, 1355 — The St. Scholastica’s Day Riot in Oxford. According to legend, the riot, which left nearly a hundred dead, was set off when a party of drunk students hit a “saucy” wine-merchant on the head with a flagon. For 470 years after, Oxford pays reparations for the students killed.
- February 12th, 1429 — The Battle of the Herrings is fought–disappointingly, no herrings are involved in the actual melee.
- February 14th, 1349 — The Jews are expelled from Strasbourg, Germany, those that aren’t burnt before they get the chance to flee.
- February 23rd, 1455 — The Gutenberg Bible is printed. At long last, movable type. The entire Middle Ages closes up shop and waits for the Renaissance.