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Medieval Facts and Myths: "Got a minute?"

"Got a minute?"

That's not a phrase you would have heard in Medieval times. The reason is simple. The minute did not exist.

Time in the Medieval period was measured using sun dials, water clocks and candle clocks. None of these was precise enough to identify what we today call a minute.

The shortest increment of time back then was a moment.

Today, most of us assume a moment is a short but indefinite period of time. But in the Medieval era, a moment was one-fortieth of a solar hour. On average, a moment was about 90 seconds. Why on average? Because the length of a solar hour depended on the length of a day – which varied with the seasons.

Despite a knight and day difference in the way time was kept, the compelling drama of the Medieval era still resonates with us today.

Medieval Facts & Myths is a blog series featuring KING ROBIN, a novel by R. A. Moss releasing February 2021 from Beck and Branch Publishers.

Cinematic rights available.

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