Medieval Feudalism & Manorialism Western Civilization January 3, 2013
What is Feudalism? • Military and political system based on land ownership and mutual obligations • (i.e., you get land for promising stuff)
What led to feudalism? • The collapse of the Roman Empire • Lack of strong central government • Most of land owned by wealthy individuals • Decline of quality of life in cities • Invasions • Many urbanites fled to the rural regions of Europe • No open land • Became tenants on lords’ lands
Some Feudal Vocabulary • Fief – the land given to a vassal • Lord – A noble who owned a large estate, and who gave land to vassals (Dukes, Earls, Counts, Abbots, Priests, Bishops) • Vassal – A noble who was given land in return for military and other services
Some Feudal Vocabulary • Knight – a well-trained, highly-respected soldier who often served as a lord and a vassal; the protectors of the lord and manor • Manor – another term used to describe the land given and controlled by the lord (a.k.a., fief) • Peasant/Serf – citizens who worked the land; could not legally leave, were bound to the land for life
Manorialism • The Medieval economic system • Rested on a set of rights and obligations between the lord and his serfs. • The lord provided his serfs with housing, strips of farmland, and protection from bandits. • In return the serfs tended the lords land, cared for his animals and helped maintain the manor.
The Manor • Consisted of: • Small village of peasant housing (12-50 families) • Manor House (Lord’s home) • Church • Common Land (grazing, hunting, fishing, lumber) • Various workshops (clothing, shoes, tools, & weapons) • Bakeries, wine presses, mills • Attempted to be self-sufficient
Obligations within the Manor • Lord - Provide food, shelter, and protection • Church clergy - Provide for the souls of the peasants • Skilled artisans (blacksmiths, carpenters, stonemasons) - Maintained & repaired manorial buildings • Peasants - Farmed the land • All were required to fight for the lord if military action was necessary
The Life of a Serf • Majority of people in Medieval Europe were serfs • Bound to the land for life; could not leave manor without permission from the lord • Not slaves – could not be bought/sold • Needed consent of lord to marry; and pay a fee • Worked lord’s land, then their own • Dues/taxes • Capitation – annual tax for existing • Taille – tax on serf’s property • Heriot – inheritance tax • Banalities – taxes paid to use the lord’s smithies, mills, and ovens
The Age of Chivalry • Knights – well-trained, highly-respected soldiers • Becoming a Knight: • Paige (Age 7) – Learned manners; waited on hosts • Squire (Age 14) – servant to a knight; cared for weapons • Knight (Age 21) – Knighted by a lord or king for warfare
The Obligations of a Knight • Displayed courage and loyalty to their lords • Pledged to die in the name of the lord • Lived by the Code of Chivalry • Faith – strict observance of Christian doctrine • Lord – unwavering loyalty to protect his lord • Women – pledge devotion and service to a noblewoman • The Weak – protect those who cannot protect themselves • Failure to protect the lord or follow the Code resulted in a public shaming • Armor stripped off • Shield cracked • Sword broken over knight’s head
The Song of Roland (Charlemagne’s Code of Chivalry) To fear God and maintain His ChurchTo serve the liege lord in valour and faithTo protect the weak and defencelessTo give succour to widows and orphansTo refrain from the wanton giving of offenceTo live by honour and for gloryTo despise pecuniary rewardTo fight for the welfare of allTo obey those placed in authorityTo guard the honour of fellow knightsTo eschew unfairness, meanness and deceitTo keep faithAt all times to speak the truthTo persevere to the end in any enterprise begunTo respect the honour of womenNever to refuse a challenge from an equalNever to turn the back upon a foe.
Homework • RESEARCH!!! • Write a tentative thesis statement for me to look at tomorrow while you research in the lab • Meet in Lab A