Simulacrum wrote:nDervish wrote:I actually meant more on the lines of how the people thought about what they did and why they did them that way, rather than just what they did.
OK - what do you mean by that, exactly?
You and I hold it self-evident that all men are created equal. We may even hold it self-evident that it should really say "all people are created equal" rather than "all men".
To a medieval person, that's crazy talk. Because of differences between the modern western mindset and the medieval mindset.
So I'm not looking so much for "guild monopolies were common in the medieval era" as "Also the idea of competition being a good thing economically is a very modern idea. Monopolies were standard practice and heavily enforced. It was, for example, fairly common to for hand mills to be made illegal under heavy penalty because that meant somebody was trying to avoid paying the miller. The extent to which people would be forced to use specific services (for which they would need to pay a fee) is astonishing to the modern mindset." (post #76 in the rpg.net thread linked below) In the modern world, there are monopolies because it's good for the monopolist, and even he will tend to pay lip service to competition despite his attempts to undermine it. In the medieval world, there were monopolies because they were good for society and competition was to be avoided. "Competition is good; monopolies are generally bad" is one mindset; "monopolies are good; competition is generally bad" is a different mindset.
As background, I've recently gone through a couple largish threads on rpg.net and rpgsite about medieval times (linked below) and, every so often, someone has posted something along the lines of "XXX is something hard for modern people to grasp about the medieval era". (e.g., "I think in general modern westerners have a really hard time understanding just how important and all pervasive religion and belief were.", "It is really important (in general! you most clearly do!) to remember to avoid the post-Westphalian ideal of nations when looking back at Middle Ages Europe, especially the idea of a nation being a single political entity in anything approaching the modern sense.") That's the kind of thing I'd like to find regarding the differences in mindset, but for bronze age and classical era city-states rather than the middle ages.
rpg.net: https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?76 ... Staff-Pick
rpgsite thread: http://www.therpgsite.com/showthread.ph ... hentic-RPG (particularly post #13)