Everyday life in Regensburg

Major historical events related to leading figures in history are often relatively easy to trace and recreate as they usually appear in many different sources. It is much harder to establish what people's everyday lives were like. This makes sources and texts that offer an insight into common, yet in some cases essential, routines and events all the more interesting.

The selected examples illustrate just how difficult it is to learn about daily life through historical sources. Parchment was expensive and so was usually reserved for recording the exceptional, or events or information to which people might need to refer again at a later date. Everyone knew, for example, when and where you could purchase food, clothing, ceramics, fuel, etc. Such information did not need to be recorded. Illness and incidents were mentioned primarily when they affected the general population or were significant to a large number of people.

Pictures and miniatures from manuscripts can offer information about everyday routines. Here we have a miniature from a Hebrew book of fables that shows a husband and wife at the table.

Archaeological finds and surviving archive material give us indications of how people dressed, what jewellery they wore, what they ate, when and where they shopped and what medical care they had. Sources also provide some information on leisure activities in the mediaeval city.