Life in the Medieval Era

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Life in the Medieval Era Living in the medieval time period was not as glamorous as it is often portrayed; peasants and serfs led hard lives, however, kings, lords, and knights lived lavishly and at the expense of those under them. In this paper you will read about all of these lifestyles, as well as the castles in which these lords and kings lived in. Mainly castle designs, fortifications, and siege tactics will be revealed to you; yet there are several sections, dealing with the lifestyles of the above mentioned, leading up to that. The Feudal System The social structure of the Middle Ages was based on the practice of feudalism. Feudalism meant that the country was not governed directly by the king, but by individual lords that paid homage to him. These lords: administered their own estates, dispensed their own justice, minted their own currency, levied taxes and tolls, and demanded military service from their vassals. Technically the king was the chief feudal lord, however the individual lords reigned supreme in their territory, doing little more than paying the king’s taxes. The idea of feudalism was built upon a mutual service between vassals and lords. As a vassal one was required to attend at the lord’s court, help administer justice, contribute money, and answer a summons to battle, as well as house and feed the lord when he traveled across his land. The lord was obliged to, protect the vassal, give military aid, and guard his children; this meant that if a daughter were to inherit the fief, the lord would arrange her marriage. Manors were the economic units of life in the early Middle Ages; manors consisted of a manor house, a few villages, and several thousand acres of land, which were divided into meadow, p... ... middle of paper ... ...sult in the collapse of the society to which he belongs. After the dark ages the church grew into power and the clerks decided they should become “knights of Christ;” many did just this, some even going as far as casting themselves into the Holy War during the many crusades. With the lady, and demands of the court, the future of knights was shifted in a different direction; she demanded that a knight act with strength on one hand, and courtesy and respect on the other. A knight should respect women; he should defend them in their hour of need, shunning the magnetic gravity of mere lust. Love could be a powerful influence over a knight, a force that could propel him to greatness beyond his own abilities; the church declared that only the spiritual love of Christ was superior to the love of a woman, the important aspect here is love was added as a chivalric element.

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