Telling Time in the Middle Ages: 5 Things You Didn’t Know.

Very interesting and useful…I’m very grateful to the author for taking the time to write about this! 😀


As I am typing these words, my clock reads 9:34 p.m.  And anytime I wonder the time, I can check my laptop, cell phone, or God forbid ,one of those archaic orbs on the wall with hour and minute hands.  It wasn’t until I started writing my Medieval fiction series, The Fairytale Keeper, that I actually started to wonder how time was measured throughout history and what inventions have made the measurement of time so precise today.   I narrowed down my fascination with the evolution of time to five facts.  I hope you find them as fascinating as I do.

  1. The minute, as a measurement of time, didn’t exist. 

Portrait of Jost Burgi, inventor of the minute handDuring the Middle Ages, a combination of water clocks, sun dials, and candle clocks were used to tell time though none of those could tell time to the minute.  While the best water clocks could tell time to the quarter…

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