I've always said that Americans ought to be forced (forced!) to really study pre-modern European history. And I mean everything. Often, American schools glance at Europe, talk vaguely about Rome and the Caesars, dash over the Magna Carta and the Reformation, and then plunge straight into the American Revolution. It's very bad. If people understood the Reformation -- I mean really understood all its blood, horror, and forced confessions -- you'd understand America, and have a lot calmer dialogue in politics today.

But I digress. Mainly, I'm just annoyed because everyone thinks Robin Hood wore tights. Despite two trailers and a lot of production stills to the contrary, The Hollywood Reporter still felt the need to ask Russell Crowe if he sported a pair in his Robin Hood: "There are no tights in this film. They weren't invented until quite a few hundred years after when the story takes place. We start our story in 1199. Tights don't come into play until the 1600s. I do apologize of those who will be disappointed that there are no tights." He's absolutely right, though I've seen quite a few among the blogosphere sneering at him. (He's been held responsible for all Gladiator inaccuracies, just so you know.)

Hose has been around since roughly the 15th century, long after the period when the Robin Hood legend popularly takes place. But without elastic or nylon, they aren't really the "tights" you would picture. They were certainly fitted, but considering they were made out of wool or linen (velvet, silk, or leather if you were rich and flamboyant), they wouldn't have been very Errol Flynnish. They wouldn't have been skintight pantyhose by any means; in fact I imagine they were probably a bit saggy most of the time. But this is what everyone pictures thanks to a weird belief that they had sheer nylon back then. To be fair, medieval paintings might also suggest that, but everyone should have a basic grasp as to when synthetic materials didn't exist!
categories Movies, Cinematical