Work in the Middle Ages
In our modern times, work is considered a duty and idleness an offense. But in the Middle Ages, things were quite different. Idleness was sacred, esteemed, admired. To do nothing was synonymous with nobility and faith, whereas work was considered vulgar and impious. Work was punishment—that which God inflicted on Adam and Eve after the Original Sin—that which was forced upon slaves. But in the eyes of Christians, work eventually became a way to be closer to God, to distance the body from temptation and sin, and to stifle pride and arrogance. In this fascinating book, Robert Fossier discusses the vast spectrum of Medieval occupations; the way work is represented in art; the role of women in the workforce; and much more.
Robert Fossier : Robert Fossier is a professor of medieval history at the University of Paris. He has written numerous works, including La Société médiévale (A. Colin, 1997) and Le Moyen Âge (A. Colin, 1986).