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Middle Ages. By Alexander. Knights.

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middle ages

Middle Ages

By Alexander



Knights have armor made from tiny metal rings connected. Suits of armor used to protect the body in times of war or combat go back thousands of years. It was, however, during the Middle Ages that armor reached its highest point and also its decline.

Examples of some armor

  • Helmet (hell-met). The headpiece or head covering in a suit of armor.
  • Greave ( greeve). This term comes from the Old French word greve, which refers to the part in the hair. It is the part of the armor that protects the leg from the ankle to the knee.
  • Gauntlet (gont-let) This word comes from the Old French word gant, which means glove. Gauntlets were the armor gloves that protected the hands.
  • Coat of mail (male). Taken from the Latin word maculata, which means spotty, mesh or net, it refers to a coat made of metal rings or links which was worn under the armor.
  • Tasse(tass). This term comes from the Old French word tasse, which means pocket. It is a series of overlapping plates which together form a short skirt. There are other pieces of armor that I’ll tell you about later.

Cathedralsand churches

Around 800 years ago, people in Europe began building huge churches called cathedrals. They built them to show their love for God and to thank him for making their towns. Cathedrals builders were craftsmen. This means that they each had a special skill. An architect drew the plans for the cathedral. He was often a master mason. Masons made sure that every block was in its correct place. Some carved the stones. Stone-cutters were paid for each block they cut, so they cut their own mark into it. Building a cathedral took so long that several generations worked on each one.

Stained glass windows

The architect drew a plan of each window. Masons put this plan over the stone and carved the window frame bit by bit. Cranes lifted each piece into place, so that they formed the right stone pattern. Each of the hundreds of spaces in the pattern was filled with pieces of colored glass. The builders used metal lead to seal them together.

Wooden churches

In Scandinavia around 800 years ago, people built wooden churches because they had plenty of timber. They were called stave churches. People decorated them with wooden carvings such as dragons’ heads. The doorways were often covered with carved pictures.


The Feudal System

The Feudal System was a very social system upon mutual obligations between a lord and a vassal. The first obligation of the lord was the granting of the fief(An estate of land one held on condition of feudal service). The fief comprised all the vassal needed to fulfill his obligation. The estate varied from a few to several thousand acres. It often included horses, barns, tools, animals, and serfs. The lords also promised to protect the vassal on the field and in the courts.

The most important service by a vassal was military. It lasted 40-60 days. A portion of the vassal’s income from the fief was to be given to the lord. When the lord’s oldest son was knighted or if his older daughter got married the lord would expect money payment. By the twelfth century, the feudal system was in most of western Europe. The vassal would pledge homage to the lord by placing his hands between the lord’s hands. The vassal also swore oath of fealty to the lord by promising to be loyal and to protect the lord and the promise would be sealed with a kiss. The lord would sometimes give a piece of turf or a clod of Earth to symbolize the land being granting.


The Parts of a Castle

  • Outer Baily-first courtyard inside the outer walls of the castle
  • Inner Baily-inner courtyard of a castle protected by two walls
  • Wall or Curtain-surrounded the courtyard
  • Keep-the strongest and most heavily fortified part of the castle, last line of defense
  • Drawbridge-could be raised or lowered
  • Corbels-stone projections
  • Machicolations-holes in the parapets used for dropping all kinds of things
  • Moat-ditch around the castle
  • Barbican-forward gate of the castle located before the main gate
  • Postern-back gate
  • Arrow loops-narrow openings in the castle’s towers
  • Portcullis-main gate to the castle
  • Gatehouse-living quarters over the main gate of the castle
  • Murder holes-holes in the ceiling
  • Rocky ledges-important for the placement of castles

People of the Middle Ages

  • Knights-Crusaders-Noblemen who sought to help the Holy Lands from the Turks, crusader comes from the Latin word crux, meaning cross, often used the cross as a symbol
  • Serfs-owned nothing, lived on the lord’s land, grew their own food, worked for the lord in his field, in exchange they received protection, farmers
  • Nuns-religious women who left their homes to live together, escape poverty
  • Shepherds-took care of sheep, unrewarding work
  • Noblewomen-ladies of the castle, supervised the upbringing of their children
  • Monks-Men who left company of ordinary men to live together away from worldly temptations and affairs, took vows of obedience, poverty and chastity
  • Pilgrims-Medieval Christians who visit places where Jesus lived and died
  • Troubadours- their songs dealt with love between knights and ladies, of gallant deed, knights performed and the inspiration of their ladies
  • Bishops-noblemen of the church Priest-performed the services of
  • Alchemist-scientist a Catholic Church in small villages
  • Merchant-seller King-ruler
  • Villeins-farmers Squire-young noblemen in
  • Craftsman-blacksmith training
  • Falconer - bird trainer Pope-head of the Ramon
  • Lord-a noblemen Catholic Church
  • Baron-chief nobleman Jester-fools
  • Queen-King’s wife
  • Herald-messengers who wore their lord’s color