Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hug a Medievalist

This is worth knowing.

A bear hunter hugging a bear?
Early 16th c. German "Geese Book"
Sarah Laseke, writer of a medieval blog here, in 2011 decided that if librarians get a "Hug a Librarian" Day, then medievalists should get a "Hug a Medievalist" Day. She started with a Facebook page, from which the idea gained widespread interest.

Folk in the Middle Ages knew about hugging, although it does not seem likely that it was a very public gesture. As one website puts it:
The nobility ... had plenty of space and did not press closely on each other. Gentlemen and ladies allowed a lot of personal space to each other. Hugging and hanging on each other was simply not done in public, especially not by ladies in a broad-spreading double-horned headdress, except with great care. Getting close enough for a kiss required a lady's co-operation... [link]
In the 21st century, however, we do not have the same taboos about personal space—or the clothing that prohibits closeness. Feel free to find and hug a Medievalist today, and we will return to more scholarly (and less self-serving) topics tomorrow.

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