The middle ages weren’t known for individuality or diversity of thought, so when they cancelled you, they meant business. You were bullied, shamed and potentially shunned. You might have to move from your home and try your luck elsewhere. Not an easy task circa 1400.
Imagine moving away from everything and everyone you’ve ever known. Perhaps you’d land in a place you’ve never heard of, not knowing a soul, without means to support yourself. Remember, we’re talking about a pre-internet, pre-industrialized world.
The author of the article below makes the very important point that the more powerful the person who did not conform to group norms, the less likely shunning would work. Very similar to what we see today, where wealth can buy you out of trouble.
The point is, we think of many things as modern constructs, such as “cancel culture,” when really, human nature is such that we modernize and name something that has occurred throughout human history.
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