History Main / TheDungAges

29th Oct '16 5:50:26 PM nombretomado
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* Mentioned in ''HarkAVagrant'' where some of the costumes in a film depicting medieval times are not completely appropriate for the era, and the director says "Just rub some dirt on them, I guess. No one's gonna care."

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* Mentioned in ''HarkAVagrant'' ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'' where some of the costumes in a film depicting medieval times are not completely appropriate for the era, and the director says "Just rub some dirt on them, I guess. No one's gonna care."
8th Oct '16 4:52:11 AM Saveelich
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* A central humorous theme in the French movie ''Film/LesVisiteurs''. A medieval knight and his squire are sent to the late 20th century by mistake and pretty much everyone notices how smelly they are, Jacquouille (the squire) in particular (and since he ends up in the house of a dentist, the rotten state of his teeth does not go unnoticed). Peasants in the era they come from look like they're taken straight from one of the aforementioned Monty Python movies and Jacquouille's NeatFreak's descendant emphasizes the Dung Ages trope even more by his reactions to it.

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* A central humorous theme in the French movie ''Film/LesVisiteurs''. A medieval knight and his squire are sent to the late 20th century by mistake and pretty much everyone notices how smelly they are, Jacquouille (the squire) in particular (and since he ends up in the house of a dentist, the rotten state of his teeth does not go unnoticed). Peasants in the era they come from look like they're taken straight from one of the aforementioned Monty Python movies and Jacquouille's NeatFreak's descendant emphasizes the Dung Ages trope even more by his reactions to it. Even the 18th century characters of the third movie are disgusted, despite their era not having the 20th century hygiene standards.
24th Sep '16 3:17:21 PM CaptEquinox
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* Creator/MaryRenault didn't dwell on this too much in her books on UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat but did bring out his habit of frequent bathing (meaning that a lot of other people followed his example). Bathing was also important in the Persian court as described in the second book of the Alexander trilogy. In the non-fiction book ''The Nature of Alexander'' where she gives all the background information she found, she mentioned that the Persian courts also had lots of incense to cover up "the almost universal human stink".
14th Sep '16 5:27:01 PM Odacon_Spy
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* ''Film/BlackKnight'' has this as part of the humor. At first, Creator/MartinLawrence's character Jamal thinks he's in a Medieval theme park. Then he needs to go to the bathroom and discovers, to his horror, that Medieval privies are... not exactly hygienic. Earlier, a bum ([[spoiler:actually, the disgraced Sir Knolte]]) offers him some food, which is a nasty-looking critter on a stick. The scene with the royal feast also shows the Medieval table manners (e.g. loud farting, no utensils, letting a dog lick your fingers). After his first attempt at riding a horse, Jamal is comforted by Victoria... and some leaches. Even the idea that Jamal is literate seems incredulous to the locals. Strangely, NoEqualOpportunityTimeTravel is averted (except for Jamal getting tired of people calling him "Moor"), but this can be partly explained by him pretending to be a ducal messenger. His odd mannerisms are attributed to him being perceived as a Norman.

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* ''Film/BlackKnight'' has this as part of the humor. At first, Creator/MartinLawrence's character Jamal thinks he's in a Medieval theme park. Then he needs to go to the bathroom and discovers, to his horror, that Medieval privies are... not exactly hygienic. Earlier, a bum ([[spoiler:actually, the disgraced Sir Knolte]]) offers him some food, which is a nasty-looking critter on a stick. The scene with the royal feast also shows the Medieval table manners (e.g. loud farting, no utensils, letting a dog lick your fingers). After his first attempt at riding a horse, Jamal is comforted by Victoria... and some leaches.leeches. Even the idea that Jamal is literate seems incredulous to the locals. Strangely, NoEqualOpportunityTimeTravel is averted (except for Jamal getting tired of people calling him "Moor"), but this can be partly explained by him pretending to be a ducal messenger. His odd mannerisms are attributed to him being perceived as a Norman.
7th Sep '16 1:48:06 AM moloch
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* Surprisingly subverted in the form of dental hygiene: even in the middle ages, people used rudimentary toothbrushes and mint to clean their teeth; they had to, because the only alternative for dealing with a bad tooth was to ''yank it out''. Also, the relative scarcity of sugar and sugary foods meant that rotting teeth is generally not a problem for most people.

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* Surprisingly subverted in the form of dental hygiene: even in the middle ages, people used rudimentary toothbrushes and mint to clean their teeth; they had to, because the only alternative for dealing with a bad tooth was to ''yank it out''. Also, the relative scarcity of sugar and sugary foods meant that rotting teeth is were generally not a problem for most people.people. In fact, you can actually see a ''sharp'' decline in the state of Europeans' teeth after the introduction of sugar.
19th Aug '16 12:56:02 AM NondescriptLarva
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This trope is more or less becoming an UndeadHorseTrope due to history research. In reality, the Middle Ages were rather cleanly era; the Roman bathing culture survived well to the 15th century and public saunas were commonplace everywhere in Europe. On human excretion, urine was a valuable commodity on tanning and dyeing, and manure was widely used as fertilizer. In the RealLife, the ''actual'' Dung Ages were the Renaissance and the New Age following it: the spread of syphilis and climate change to colder decimating forests effectively killed the sauna culture everywhere in Europe except Scandinavia, mountaineous areas and Russia, and effectively putting end to any hygiene. Europe recovered only with the spread of the modern sanitation in the 19th century.

to:

This trope is more or less becoming an UndeadHorseTrope due to history research. In reality, the Middle Ages were rather cleanly era; the Roman bathing culture survived well to the 15th century and public saunas were commonplace everywhere in Europe. On human excretion, urine was a valuable commodity on tanning and dyeing, and manure was widely used as fertilizer. In the RealLife, the ''actual'' Dung Ages were the Renaissance and the New Age following it: the spread of syphilis and the earliest signs of climate change to colder decimating forests effectively killed the sauna culture everywhere in Europe except Scandinavia, mountaineous areas and Russia, and effectively putting end to any hygiene. Europe recovered only with the spread of the modern sanitation in the 19th century.
18th Aug '16 2:07:25 AM morane
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Added DiffLines:

This trope is more or less becoming an UndeadHorseTrope due to history research. In reality, the Middle Ages were rather cleanly era; the Roman bathing culture survived well to the 15th century and public saunas were commonplace everywhere in Europe. On human excretion, urine was a valuable commodity on tanning and dyeing, and manure was widely used as fertilizer. In the RealLife, the ''actual'' Dung Ages were the Renaissance and the New Age following it: the spread of syphilis and climate change to colder decimating forests effectively killed the sauna culture everywhere in Europe except Scandinavia, mountaineous areas and Russia, and effectively putting end to any hygiene. Europe recovered only with the spread of the modern sanitation in the 19th century.
10th Aug '16 11:29:56 AM gemmabeta2
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* Surprisingly subverted in the form of dental hygiene: even in the middle ages, people used rudimentary toothbrushes and mint to clean their teeth; they had to, because the only alternative for dealing with a bad tooth was to ''yank it out''.

to:

* Surprisingly subverted in the form of dental hygiene: even in the middle ages, people used rudimentary toothbrushes and mint to clean their teeth; they had to, because the only alternative for dealing with a bad tooth was to ''yank it out''. Also, the relative scarcity of sugar and sugary foods meant that rotting teeth is generally not a problem for most people.
10th Aug '16 11:25:50 AM gemmabeta2
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** The brutally hot summer of 1858 was known in London as [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Stink "The Great Stink"]], the Thames became so pestilential that the Parliament at Westminster shut itself down because the stench from the river was unbearable. In some places, it was said that that feces, dead fish, and industrial sludge piled up six feet deep by the shore. Fortunately, this became the final straw that led to the building of massive sewers and water treatment facilities than rehabilitated the Thames.
31st Jul '16 11:39:45 AM CaptEquinox
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*** One reason for this may have been the way the Vikings washed themselves. A bowl of water would be passed along round a circle of men. The first man to wash himself was the one of highest rank. After having washed himself, a practice that also included spitting and blowing one's nose, the now ''dirty'' water was passed along to the next man, who in turn ''washed HIS face in the dirty, spit- and snot-filled water''. This kept going until everybody was done, so you can probably imagine what kind of water the last guy in line had to wash his face with.
*** Muslims had their own issues. One reason it's still considered obscene in many Muslim societies to eat or touch the face with the left hand is because it was the hand traditionally reserved for wiping one's rear. Traditional Middle Eastern cooking often involves giant pots of finger food in the middle of the table that everyone shares, so whichever asshole used his wiping hand was contaminating everyone's food.

to:

*** One reason for this may have been the way the Vikings washed themselves. A bowl of water would be passed along round a circle of men. The first man to wash himself was the one of highest rank. After having washed himself, a practice that also included spitting and blowing one's nose, the now ''dirty'' water was passed along to the next man, who in turn ''washed HIS face in the dirty, spit- and snot-filled water''. This kept going until everybody was done, so you can probably imagine what kind of water the last guy in line had to wash his face with.
with. You can see this in ''Film/TheThirteenthWarrior''.
*** Muslims had their own issues. One reason it's still considered obscene in many Muslim societies to eat or touch the face with the left hand is because it was the hand traditionally reserved for wiping one's rear. (This is also true among India people.) Traditional Middle Eastern cooking often involves giant pots of finger food in the middle of the table that everyone shares, so whichever asshole used his wiping hand was contaminating everyone's food.


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* Patrick Süskind, in ''Perfume'', has this to say about 18th century France:
--> The streets stank of manure, the courtyards of urine, the stairwells stank of moldering wood and rat droppings, the kitchens of spoiled cabbage and mutton fat; the unaired parlors stank of stale dust, the bedrooms of greasy sheets, damp featherbeds, and the pungently sweet aroma of chamber pots. The stench of sulfur rose from the chimneys, the stench of caustic lyes from the tanneries, and from the slaughterhouses came the stench of congealed blood. People stank of sweat and unwashed clothes; from their mouths came the stench of rotting teeth... even the king himself stank, stank like a rank lion, and the queen like an old goat, summer and winter.
** This is quoted in Mark Rosenfelder's ''The Planet Construction Kit'', talking about factors that have to be taken into account in WorldBuilding. He goes on at length about different cultures' attitudes toward hygiene, including recommending that you read ''A Distant Mirror'' by Barbara Tuchman.
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