Inside the medieval mind

To coincide with a new BBC Four season on medieval Britain, series producer Julian Birkett considers whether people of the time thought differently to us

An engraving showing the story of the Three Living and the Three Dead

This article was first published in the April 2008 edition of BBC History Magazine

They certainly lived very different lives to us, but did medieval people think any differently to the way we do now? According to Professor Robert Bartlett, presenter of BBC Four’s forthcoming series Inside the Medieval Mind, the answer isn’t cut and dried. “In many ways these were people very much like us, in terms of family, ambitions for children and the world of emotions. On the other hand, they inhabited a very different world, in which it was believed the dead visited the living, and where somewhere there lived a race of people with the heads of dogs.”

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