Social History of the Habsburg Monarchy

Everyday life in early modern Europe: East and West


István György TÓTH
Winter term 2000
Everyday life in early modern Europe: East and West

This seminar tries to find the differences and similarities in everyday life in different parts of Europe, comparing the mentality and e social structure, the clothing, living conditions, eating habits, schooling, and reading materials of nobles, peasants, burghers in East and West. How did Western standards arrive to Central and Eastern Europe, how did Central Europe influence the West, how did people from France and Poland, from England and Russia see the everyday life of other nations in early modern Europe? 

The seminar will prove that inspite of the clear dominance of the West in fashion, furniture, housing, even in sense of time, the influences were mutual, many influences arrived from Central Europe and especially from the Ottoman Empire to the Western European countries.

The proposed subjects are the following: 

1. Aristocrativ way of life
2. Noblemen's living conditions
3. Peasants' world
4. Food and drin
5. Tobacco, coffee, tea, brandy - luxury or everyday item?
6.Dress and fashion
7.Reading and writing
8. Time and space, sense of time, shaping of space
9. Intimacy, body, hygienia

Most important reading: see the reader prepared especially for this course.