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Polished metal mirrors of copper or bronze were very inefficient by comparison, reflecting only about 20 percent of the light; and even silver mirrors had to be exceptionally smooth to give any meaningful reflection. These were also prohibitively expensive: most medieval people would only have glimpsed their faces darkly, reflected in a pool of water.
The new individualism also extended to the way people expressed themselves. The letters they wrote to one another were increasingly of a personal nature; previously letter writers had restricted themselves to formalities and orders. There was now a marked trend toward writing about yourself and revealing your personal thoughts and feelings. Examples of such autobiographical writing abound in the fifteenth century: in English there is The Book of Margery Kempe; in Castilian, Las Memorias de Leonora López de Córdoba; and in Italian, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s I Commentarii. Four of the earliest collections of English private letters—the Stonor, Plumpton, Paston, and Cely letters—also date from the fifteenth century. Ordinary people started noting down the times and dates of their births, so they could use astrology to find out more about themselves in terms of their health and fortune. The new self-awareness also led to a greater desire for privacy. In previous centuries, householders and their families had shared a dwelling entirely, often eating and sleeping in the same hall as their servants. Now they began to build private chambers for themselves and their guests, away from the hall. As with so many changes in history, people were largely unaware of the significance of what they were doing.
originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
The men you'd find in 12th century Europe were not mentally the same men you'd find in classical greece.