Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error, Barbara Bray, trans. (New York, 1978), 277, 227.  Page 227 “The consolamentum took place in the kitchen on a Friday evening, at the time when people were usually in their first sleep. Ezclarmonde’s father, snoring in the next room, did not know what was going on. Raymond Belot, following the rule, brought a wax candle with hime, so there was no ned to light the kitchen fire in order to be able to see” But unfortunately there is no indication as to what time this takes place page 277  “So daytime chronology was only partly Christianized. Nights remained an entirely lay matter, except in the case of a bigot like Bélibaste, who got up six times during the night to say his prayers. The people of Montaillou and Ariège in general indicated divisions of the night by means of visual, aural or physiological references such as after sunset, at nightfall, at the hour of first sleep, at the hour half-way through first sleep, at cockcrow or when the cock had crowed three times” P277 However if this is a description of ‘first sleep’ as described by Ekirch it somewhat begs the question as to what ‘at the hour half-way through first sleep’ is actually referring to given that the sleeper would presumably be asleep at that time. Notice also that there is no mention of ‘second sleep’. Notice that there is also no mention of Midnight and that cockcrow means dawn, this means that there seems to be a degree  of ambiguity as to what first sleep means in this passage it would seem that “at the hour of first sleep” means bedtime and “at the hour half-way through first sleep” is in fact the middle of the night and that there is actually only one period of sleep lasting till dawn (“cockcrow”)   BACK
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