How to Dress Warmly, 1315

manuscript illustration of man's head in cowl and very tall, phallic hat Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 5128, f. 114v

Dress well, wear good shoes, and when you go outside, wear overshoes so that your feet will be warm. And don’t make a ‘sausage’ hat for yourself as some people do, because they are not good. And when you see the other students wearing their caps, you should too, and a fur cap, if necessary. And at night when you study, you should wear a nightcap over the cap and around your cheeks. And when you go to sleep at night, you should wear a white nightcap on your head and covering your cheeks and another colored one on top, since the head should be kept warmer at night than during the day. And during the rainy season, it’s good to wear another cap or helmet over your cap so that your head doesn’t get wet. Actually, some people wear a helmet over the cap in nice weather, but especially when it’s cold, so that they can remove the helmet in the presence of important people without taking off the cap. And take care of your boots and make sure your feet aren’t filthy.

Letter from a physician in Valencia to his sons studying in Toulouse (trans. Lynn Thorndike)

Revealed: the Past is actually your grandmother. Now go put on your hat.