The ideas of the Renaissance concerned only the elite of medieval society - the large nobility, the ecclesiastical and scientific world. The overwhelming majority of the population of medieval Europe: peasants, burghers, small-scale nobles continued to live in traditional performances based on the teachings of the church and folk beliefs, rarely read or did not read books at all, did not entertain themselves with studying ancient history and culture, but listening to stray singers, performances artists, drinking songs and festive celebrations. Large trade in medieval Europe was carried out by merchants. Merchants transported goods on horse or bull carts. The animals were harnessed in a train - one after another, since the roads were narrow, and several pairs of animals might be required to transport heavy luggage. Since the European continent is heavily crossed by deep rivers, bridge construction was of great importance. Cities often sprang up near bridges over large rivers, since it was profitable for artisans to engage in trade with merchants passing through these bridges. Many European cities have names that include the word "bridge": in Germany, for example, these are names ending in "... trousers" (Osnabrück), in Great Britain - in "... bridge" (Cambridge). In the coastal regions, trade was actively carried out by sea on ships. Until the Late Middle Ages, the bulk of foreign goods were imported into Europe from the East: through the Byzantine Empire, from North Africa. Spices were of particular value, including black pepper sold in any grocery store today. The food of the Europeans was rough and very bland: bread, vegetables, meat, cheese. The spices brought from the East greatly improved its taste. But they were very expensive, because, before getting to Europe, they were transported from places of cultivation - India, Southeast Asia, across many borders of eastern states, where customs duties had to be paid. Spices fell into the hands of European merchants resold several times. Then, driving through the possessions of different feudal lords, merchants had to pay separate duties to those. If a bag of goods fell from a merchant's carriage passing through the feudal possession, it was forbidden to lift it: according to European feudal law, everything of value that turned out to be directly on the land of the feudal belonged to its owner. From there came the saying: "What has fallen is lost." For merchants, a great danger was represented by robbers, whose gangs in large numbers took refuge in the forests densely covering Europe. Periodically occurring crop failures, wars, epidemics ruined and drove away from their homes a lot of people who wandered along the roads, begging for alms, or ate what could be found in the forest, well, and the strong and healthy of the poor often took up arms and just extorted money and valuables from rich people passing by. Among the robbers there were also former feudal lords, knights, who were deprived of their land by their lords as punishment for any wrongdoing; being professional warriors, such bandits, gathering in groups, dared to attack even the retinues of government officials. Some prudent robbers managed to accumulate a fortune by robberies on the roads and, leaving the criminal business, become rich, even respected people, but most of them ended their lives either on the scaffold, or in a fight with merchants or nobles who showed courage in protecting their property, or in the forest - from hunger, cold and disease.