My After Cilmeri series follows a family (two teenagers and a mom) who travel in time back to the Middle Ages. One passage in Prince of Time prompted me think about all those products we buy here. How many–were we to take them back with us to the Middle Ages–would truly prove useful?
Like David in the book, imagine walking into a pharmacy with a backpack and trying to decide with which items to fill it, if that was all you could take back in time. David focuses primarily on medicines like antibiotics, antibiotic cream, and antihistimines. Somewhere I read that we’ve lost more knowledge in the last 2000 years than we’ve gained, and while I don’t think that’s necessarily true, medieval people did have pharmaceuticals. Many herbal remedies can be very effective. Some of what they used even resemble what we have today. Things like toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, hair dye, makeup, etc. We use all of these now, but we have them in infinite variety and made with artificial ingredients. That doesn’t make many of them ‘better’ than what people used 700 years ago.
What else might be useful? tweezers, for example, fingernail clippers, or a good pair of scissors. A gun surely would make a difference, until you ran out of bullets. Binoculars. Arthur Dent would encourage us to bring a towel. My Kindle would only last a week 🙂
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