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Sunday, July 1, 2012

SSS: Medieval Sleeping Arrangements


It wasn't all four-poster beds and brocade curtains in the tenth century. This segment from The Seven Noble Knights of Lara, which comes shortly after last week's, shows that a thousand years ago, people had never heard of "comfort."

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“I don’t think I’ve ever hosted this many people before,” explained Ermenegildo Antolínez.
After a supper of stew with onions, leeks, and carrots, the landholder and the seven brothers moved the table against the wall in order to make more room for two long rows of bodies to sleep side by side. Lambra claimed the spot nearest the fireplace and set Justa’s bedding next to her for insulation from everyone else. Lambra was glad that Justa knew to direct that the sexes be segregated just like they were in Bureba, with women all in Lambra’s row and all the men in the other across a cleared aisle, although Ermenegildo Antolínez’s wife quietly took her place next to her husband, directly across from Lambra. Toward the end of the hall where they’d placed the chamber pot, it was found that there weren’t enough bed pallets, so Little Page and Lambra’s other male servants followed Ermenegildo Antolínez to the barns to get more hay. Once every last person had a straw tick of some sort to lie atop, and all the spiders that ran out of the straw had been stepped on, swatted, burned, or drowned, travelers and hosts could finally rest.


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Thanks so much for stepping into my historical Spanish world for a moment. I appreciate your comments so much! I return the favor in kind. The official Six Sentence Sunday site is here. Can't wait to see all the great snippets next week!