There Was Apparently a Medieval Millennial Culture
Girls reached adulthood faster, boys took a longer road to becoming men: Sound familiar?
Apparently, there were the equivalent of modern-day Millennials a millennia ago.
Even though the life expectancy during medieval times was significantly lower than it is today, there was a youth culture back then that often extended past the teenage years.
As History Today columnist Rachel Moss puts it: “It was easy enough to pinpoint the start of medieval adolescence. As the writer John Trevisa put it, it was a ‘full age to get children’: that is, entering puberty. When it ended, however, was less clear.”
It was not a particularly enlightened age for girls, who were considered women and in their prime during adolescence, as “maidenhood” and virginity were prized. But boys took a longer path to adulthood, historical texts show. “In canon law, boys were considered rational enough to give marital consent after the age of 14, but legal majority for the purposes of inheritance was usually reached at the age of 21,” writes Moss, a lecturer at Oxford University.
It seems a young man’s transition to an adult status in society was more predicated on apprenticeship and attaining the skills for their vocation.
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