Life in the middle ages
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Life in the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages is the name given to a period of history of western Europe. Before the Middle Ages, much of Europe was part of the Roman Empire. .

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After the Middle Ages, western Europe was controlled by large kingdoms. So the Middle Ages are a very unique time in history. They bridge the gap between ancient times and modern times.

  • One of the early important all refer to the same time period in European history. From about 500 C.E. until 1500 C.E.leaders from the middle ages was leader of the Franks, a young warrior named Clovis. He became king of the Franks at age 15, and reigned for 30 years.

Feudalism However he created a form of government which lasted throughout the Middle Ages.

  • During the 800s western Europe was briefly united by Charlemagne. His empire however, did not last.

  • After it fell, Europe was divided into many small kingdoms.

  • Each fief was ruled by a vassal of the king. Most vassals had titles such as baron, earl, or duke. Within their fief , these rulers had supreme power over the people and the land. They collected taxes, served as judges in legal disputes, and supervised the farming of the fief.

  • Many of them were so powerful that they had their own castles.

  • The people who had no say in these arrangements were the peasants. Peasants had no economic or social power. They led very poor lives.

  • They lived in huts, worked from dusk to dawn, and were at the mercy of their rulers.

  • Most people in Europe during the Middle Ages were peasants.

Knights and manors
Knights and Manors peasants. Peasants had no economic or social power. They led very poor lives.

  • Europe during the Middle Ages was a patchwork of dozens of kingdoms and thousands of fiefs. Often, the nobles who ruled the land went to war with one and other. As a result, soldiers, especially those who rode horses, were extremely important during this time.

Becoming a knight
Becoming a Knight were also vassals themselves, of kings and lords. Being a vassal

  • To become a knight, a boy of noble birth went through three stages.

  • The first was to become a page.

  • When the son of a noble was about seven years old, he left his home to go and live in the house / castle of a knight. There he learned to ride a horse and fight with a sword and other weapons.

  • A second stage toward becoming a knight. squire assisted his knight in battle and even took part in the battle himself.

  • During this time, the squire learned all he could about becoming a fighting man.

  • A squire also learned the code of chivalry. second stage toward becoming a knight.

  • The word chivalry comes from an old French word that means “horse soldier.”

  • But chivalry came to refer to the code of conduct by which knights were expected to live.

Manorialism the know who trained the squire did the honors.

  • Manorialism was the economic system of the Middle Ages.

  • The system was called manorialism because it was based on the manor.

  • A manor was a large farm or estate.

  • Manors included the manor house, which was a large home where the lord, or ruler, lived.

  • It also included pastures, farm fields, small farm buildings, and usually an entire village.

  • Remember, a fief was the land given to a vassal in exchange for his support. Small fiefs usually had only one manor. But a large fief could include many manors.

  • Each manor was self-sufficient. where the lord, or ruler, lived.

  • Manors also traded with one another, but only for things they could not make themselves.

  • It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that most of the work done on the manor was by the peasants.

Peasant life
Peasant Life where the lord, or ruler, lived.

  • When we think of the Middle Ages we think of knights, castles, and kings. But most of the people during the time were actually peasants.

  • Remember the peasants were the poor people.

  • Most peasants were serfs. A serf was a peasant who was bound to the manor.

  • Although serfs were not slaves, their lives were not much better.

  • They could not leave the manor without the permission of their lord.

  • They were also required to pay heavy taxes, and they were completely at their lord’s mercy.