Medieval european life
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Medieval European Life. 500 – 1050 A.D “Those who prayed, those who fought, and those who worked”. I. Interdependence. Interdependence involves reliance upon others in “mutually” beneficial interactions and exchanges.

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Medieval European Life

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Medieval european life

Medieval European Life

500 – 1050 A.D

“Those who prayed, those who fought, and those who worked”

I interdependence

I. Interdependence

  • Interdependence involves reliance upon others in “mutually” beneficial interactions and exchanges.

  • As demonstrated, each social class performed a function. Each class depended on the other classes. In a way, e.g., it took six people to support one knight.

Ii the development of feudalism in europe

II. The Development of Feudalism in Europe

  • As the western Roman Empire declined, feudalism emerged in Europe. People abandoned cities and flocked to local strongmen in the countryside.

  • Feudalism is a loosely structured political system in which powerful lords or nobles granted their vassals or supporters with large tracts of land called fiefs.

  • In return, a vassal pledged his loyalty and military support. Members of the nobility were often knights who lived and died by the code of chivalry. The code encouraged bravery, loyalty, and virtue. (see clips)

Iii the structure of feudalism

III. The Structure of Feudalism

  • The first graphic represents conflict between the church and state that plays a role in shaping western history

  • In theory what else could a knight provide for peasant (2nd graphic)?

  • Does social mobility exist today (3rd graphic)? Gross historical inaccuracies?

Iv manorialism

IV. Manorialism

  • Manorialism is an economic system structured around a lord’s manor, or estate. Sometimes a lord was responsible for several villages.

V interdependence on the manor

V.Interdependence on the Manor

  • Most peasants were bound to the land as serfs.

  • Serfs were given a portion of a lord’s land and flocked to the local castle or keep in times of crisis.

  • In return, serfs provided their lords with a portion of what they produced and did other work such as repairing roads.

Vi improvements in agriculture

VI. Improvements in Agriculture

  • Eventually European peasants increased agricultural yield by utilizing a 3-field system. “Why leave a field fallow?”

  • The padded horse collar, wind/water mills, and the wheelbarrow gradually increased efficiency. “Who invented the wheelbarrow?” The wheelbarrow was also used in construction.

Vii t he growth of christendom

VII. The growth of Christendom

  • By the High Middle Ages most people in Europe (with the exception of parts of Spain) practiced Christianity.

  • By 1054, as a result of the Great Schism or spilt, Christians were either Catholics or Orthodox Christians.

Viii the role of the medieval church

VIII. The Role of the Medieval Church

  • The Church served both a spiritual and secular or worldly function.

  • The Church promised salvation through the sacraments like baptism.

  • On a local level, the Church legitimized life, marriage, and death on both a spiritual and secular level.

Ix monasteries

IX. Monasteries

  • Some men and women gave up this “life” and lived as monks and nuns.

  • Local monasteries were separate communities were an individual devoted themselves to god through “self-depravation.” Some monks were rarely allowed to speak. (see next slide)

  • Monks and nuns fulfilled many social needs, such as tending to the sick, helping the poor, and educating children.

A monk s day

A Monk's day…

X preservation of knowledge

X. Preservation of Knowledge

  • Many monks copied Greek and Roman manuscripts and thus preserved the Greco-Roman achievement. This knowledge would be used during the time period and beyond.

Xi the secular role of the church

XI. The Secular Role of the Church

  • The Church played an economic role in Europe as the largest landowner on the continent.

  • The tithe or tax required Christians to pay ten percent of their “income” to the Church.

  • The Church played a part in politics. For example, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor of the Romans or “Holy Roman Emperor” in 800.

  • Popes could excommunicate or deny kings and their people access to the sacraments.



  • Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, along with his wife and young son, spent three days barefoot in the snow at Canossa, in northern Italy. Pope Gregory VII had excommunicated Henry following a clash over secular control of the empire, and Henry was seeking readmission to the Church, which the pope granted.

Xii the church and foreign policy the crusades

XII. The Church and Foreign Policy: the Crusades.

  • In 1095, pope Urban II called on Europe’s Knights to take up the cross (crusade) and recapture Jerusalem after approximately 400 years of Muslim occupation.

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