The Ancient to Modern World

Program Description

A student costumed as a young Medieval Knight will help our presenter explain the fundamental unfairness of the feudal system. Sir George has been raised to be a loyal servant to his King, but he must also be a ruthless master and keep his peasants in line. By examining the equipment, training and tactics of the European Knight students will learn how the elite ‘haves’ managed to maintain control over the much more populous ‘have-nots’ for centuries.

Meanwhile far to the East, Japan is controlled by a Shogun, the leader of a warrior class unlike anything the West has ever seen. Our presenters will enlist the help of a student who will represent a female Samurai Warrior called Hana-ichi. We use a female character here to contrast the overtly masculine Western Knight and to illustrate the stark differences between the two societies in terms of social organisation, gender roles, tactics, and even philosophy.

The Black Death sweeps through Europe, a mysterious sickness that wipes out entire towns, cripples the economy and forever changes the social realities of the feudal system. A student dressed as a Plague Doctor supports our presenters who will discuss the brutal and sometimes bizarre medical and surgical techniques that doctors experimented with in their desperate attempts to combat the spreading pestilence. They will then relate how a rise in religious fervour ensued as fanatical flagellants roamed the countryside encouraging the people’s mistrust of ‘science’ as they desperately sought to find a reason for God’s Wrath.