Why were indentured servants called indentured servants?
Before the term “indenture” came about, medieval Europeans used legal documents called chirographs. Sometime before the year 1000, legal transactions involving multiple parties were recorded on a sheet of velum. Details of the transaction were recorded twice on the sheet and then the sheet was cut in half with each piece going to the parties involved in the transaction. Sometimes the cut was made along a word making it easier to verify the authenticity of the document. The below document from 1201 is an example of a chirograph cut along a word.
A recent Smithsonian Magazine article explores the decline and disappearance of Viking settlements on Greenland. Previous scholarship argued that the Viking disappearance was caused by a combination of factors including temperature change linked to a volcanic eruption, environmental collapse caused by livestock overgrazing, and cultural inflexibility (Vikings refused to adapt or abandon their Scandinavian farming techniques and diet). However new evidence suggests otherwise.
Cupid, symbolizing lust, kneels before Chastity, affirming the virginity of the newly wed bride. The unicorn drawn chariot is surrounded by maidens. One maiden is carrying a banner of ermine, symbolizing purity, while the others carry yokes, representing marriage and obedience. A faithful dog joins the procession in the foreground.
Around 1494, to celebrate either the engagement or marriage of Matteo di Sebastiano di Bernardino Goazzadini to Ginevra d’Antonio Lupari Goazzadini, artist Maestro delle Storie del Pane painted the portraits of the happy couple. Read more