20 Mad Facts About the 1300s That’ll Sound Really Strange


11Edward Balliol

Edward Balliol

In September 1332, Edward Balliol, pretender to the Scottish throne, was attacked in the night by Scots rebels and narrowly escaped by riding bareback, naked from the waist down, all the way from Annan to Carlisle (about 18 miles).

12Pope slapping

Pope slapping

In 1303, a feud between Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip the Fair of France culminated in the arrest of the Pope by the King's troops, during which he was allegedly slapped.

13Peter I of Portugal

Peter I of Portugal

In 1361, King Peter I of Portugal captured assassins who had decapitated his wife (Inês de Castro) and publicly executed them by ripping out their hearts with his own hands, claiming they didn't have one after having pulverized his own heart.



In 1398, Timur the Lame faced an army that had war elephants armored with chain mail and poison on their tusks. Timur loaded his camels with wood and hay, and then when the elephants charged, he lit them on fire and forced them onwards. The elephants panicked and turned around.

15King Edward III

King Edward III

In 1349, football and hockey were banned in England by King Edward III so that more people would practice their archery. Archery was vital to warfare at the time.



During the 14th century, medical experts from Paris declared bathing a health concern because it was claimed warm water opened pores and made people more susceptible to bubonic plague.

17Edward III

Edward III

In 1338, King Edward III pawned his jewels to raise money for his war with France.

18Charles IV

Charles IV

In 1350, Charles IV, the King of Bohemia went missing. People were told he was poisoned. In fact, he was recovering from a disastrous jousting injury. He broke his jaw and injured cervical vertebrae. It would be hard to survive that kind of injury even today, but he did.

19Yi Kaizhan

Yi Kaizhan

In 1372, according to legend Yi Kaizhan was hired to build a fort along the Great Wall of China. He ordered the exact number of bricks he needed. When his judgment was questioned, he added one more brick. That brick was never used.

20Dancing mania

Dancing mania

On June 24, 1374, one of the first documented outbreaks of St John's Dance struck Aachen, Germany. People would dance uncontrollably for no apparent reason, even continuing to writhe around on the ground after collapsing from exhaustion.