By A. Lynn Martin (auth.)
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Extra resources for Alcohol, Sex, and Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe
142 Other types of evidence indicate that people in traditional Europe were not drinking just watered wine and small ale or beer. A catalogue of contemporary complaints of drunken behavior would fill a volume. ’143 This and other complaints from late medieval and early modern England, France, and Italy indicate that people were consuming strong drink. Similarly, two poems, one Italian and one English, point out the gradual increase in drunkenness with each additional drink of alcohol. The Italian poem was written by the Florentine Domenico di Giovanni, called Il Burchiello (1404 – 49).
35 Agricultural laborers including women often received food in lieu of wages. In 1410 the vine growers of St. 37 That amount would not only supplement their diets but could also make them somewhat merry. The evidence indicates that peasant women drank enough to become drunk. In her examination of medieval English coroners’ inquests Barbara A. Hanawalt found that the rate of drunken accidents was higher among peasant women than among peasant men. 38 According to some witnesses, Italian women (and men) seldom became drunk.
L. Jones and D. W. 148 The more important effects of drinking during pregnancy are (1) a significant decrease in the weight of the fetus, leading to increased and significant perinatal mortality, that is, mortality during the last five months of pregnancy and the first month after birth, (2) mental deficiency among the survivors, resulting in an average IQ of 70, and (3) abnormal physical and especially facial features. Early research indicated that only alcoholic women endanger their children, but subsequent research suggests that an average of only two drinks per day can result in a significant decrease in body weight, and a good weight at birth is an important factor in determining an infant’s survival.
Alcohol, Sex, and Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe by A. Lynn Martin (auth.)