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TOAFK Notes

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  • 1. Medieval England QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.The Once and Future King
  • 2. The Middle Agesg Covers the 900-yearg period from the fallg of the Roman Empireg in the 5th century tog the beginnings ofg modern times ing the 14th century.
  • 3. gDivided into: fDark Ages: (5th to 10th centuries; period of disorder and decline)
  • 4. Later Middle Ages: (11th to 14thcenturies; period of advance towardhigher level of civilization)
  • 5. Definition of Feudalismg 1. A social system of rigid class distinctionsg 2. A political system of local government and military defenseg 3. An economic system of self- sufficient agricultural manors
  • 6. Feudal Societyg Rigid class distinctionsg Position in society determined by birth f Relatively small number of landholding nobles (privileged upper class) f Great number of peasants/serfs (unprivileged lower class) f Regardless of hard work or ability, serf cannot advance to higher social status f Noble families could marry into royalty; families could rise and fall into/out of royal favor, and move up/down within upper ranks
  • 7. The Feudal Social Pyramid (The Social System)g King: pinnacle of pyramid. Nominally owns all the land in the kingdom.g Powerful lords stand immediately below king as his vassals (glorified tenants). Received fiefs (grants of land) from king and pledged him allegiance and military service.g Lesser lords (more numerous group). Vassals of powerful lords. Received fiefs from them and pledged allegiance to them. f This subinfeudation process was repeated several times down the pyramid.
  • 8. Pyramid continued . . .g Knights: lowest and most numerous group of nobles. Constitute the bulk of the feudal armies.g Serfs: far outnumbered the entire nobility. Broad base of the pyramid.g Symbiotic relationship up/down pyramid = a relationship between two entities which is mutually beneficial for the participants of the relationship; these entities need each other to survive and prosper
  • 9. Complicated Vassal-Lord Relationshipg Often, lesser lords and knights received fiefs from different superiors (for loyalty, marriage or achievement in battle) and thus were vassals to several lords. The question of the vassals’ primary allegiance led to many bitter disputes.
  • 10. Feudal Hereditary Relationshipsg Mutual obligations between lord and vassal or between noble and serf were hereditary (binding upon the heirs of both parties)g Noble’s title and property could be legally inherited only by his firstborn son (primogeniture). Superior status given to eldest.
  • 11. Feudal Government (The Political System)g Weak central government (decentralized) f Although the central government (king) theoretically administered the entire kingdom, the king could not generally exercise authority beyond the royal domain. Supposedly the supreme ruler, he was in reality only one of several powerful lords.
  • 12. Feudal Govt. cont . . .g Vigorous local government f Because the king was, for practical purposes, weak, the local nobles completely controlled their own territory. The nobles made laws, levied taxes, dispensed justice, and waged war, thereby assuming the functions of government. Thus, feudal government was decentralized.
  • 13. Military Aspects of Feudalismg During wartime: f When an invasion or major war threatened, the powerful lord would summon his vassals to military service. In turn, the vassals would enlist their subvassals, and then all the nobles would unite into a single army to repel the invasion or prosecute the war. At other times, minor feudal lords fought among themselves for prestige or land. f Invasions and feudal wars destroyed crops and property, and had great serf casualties. Heavy armor for knights/nobles and strong castle walls minimized casualties for upper ranks.
  • 14. The Castleg Every estate (manor) had its castle.g More of a fortress than a homeg Located on elevated groundg Constructed of heavy wood or stoneg Surrounded by a moatg Had a drawbridge for protectiong Serfs came inside the castle during attacks
  • 15. QuickTimeª and a decompressorare needed to see this picture.
  • 16. Military Aspects cont. . . .g During peacetime: f Hunting, falconry f Jousts/tournaments f Training young nobles for knighthood g Military schooling in horsemanship, armor, using sword/lance/battle-axe g Became knight at age 21 g Had assistant called a squire g Observed code of honorable conduct called chivalry f Loyalty to God and the knight’s lord f Protection of the oppressed and helpless f Support of justice f Defense of Christianity f Courage, courtesy, gallantry, and generosity f Unfortunately, these ideals were frequently violated
  • 17. QuickTimeª and a decompressorare needed to see this picture.
  • 18. Feudal Economic Conditions (The Economic System)g Self-Sufficient Agricultural Manor f Farm and pasture lands f Lord’s castle f Village buildings g Church, blacksmith, carpenter, winery, flour mills, bakeries, serfs’ huts g Manor spun its own wool, tanned leather, cut lumber, raised livestock. g Some materials/services had to be obtained off-site (salt and seasonings, iron, weapons, etc.)
  • 19. Feudal Economics cont. . .g The Serf f Neither slave nor freeman g Could not be sold apart from the land; could claim the lord’s protection g “bound to the soil”--couldn’t leave without the lord’s permission g In return for protection and the right to live on the manor, serf owed the lord: f Services: several days of labor each week on the lord’s farmland f Payment in kind: a portion of the grain and other crops raised on the serf’s land f A share of the goods he prepared in the lord’s wine press, flour mill and baking oven, etc.
  • 20. So where does Arthur fit into all this?g The Arthurian legend is a group of tales in several languages that developed in many European countries in the Middle Ages concerning Arthur, semi-historical king of the Britons, and his knights. The legend is a complex weaving of ancient Celtic mythology with later traditions around a core of possible historical authenticity.
  • 21. QuickTimeª and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. Was there a real King Arthur? g For centuries after fall of Roman Empire, island of Britain constantly invaded on all fronts. Britons needed a unifying leader. g 5th century: Artorius Dux Bellorum (“Duke of Battles”) led them to victory against all invaders. g Became symbol of strength and leadership; object of stories, songs, legends. g No single man could have done the things King Arthur is credited with (legends span centuries); became mythical figure.
  • 22. Arthur legendsg Earliest continuous Arthurian narrative: Historia Regum Brittaniae (1139) by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Most credible, often-cited originating story. All later developments of Arthurian legend are based on this work.g Oldest of the French Arthurian romances is a series of 12th century poems by Chretien de Troyes. Introduces Lancelot into legends; more romantic.g By 13th century, Tristan y Isolde added to legends.
  • 23. Legends cont. . . .g 13th and 14th century tales concerned individual knights: Percival, Galahad, the Grail knights and especially Gawaine. (Culminating masterpiece: Sir Gawaine and the Green Knight, 1370)g 1485: Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur became the basis for modern Arthur stories.
  • 24. QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTimeª and a decompressorare needed to see this picture. QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. Gawaine & the Green Knight Percival QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. Galahad Knights of the Round Table
  • 25. Chivalryg From French chevaler meaning knight. Cheval: horse.g Code of behavior that medieval knights followed.g Arthur’s legacy was that the influences of Christianity and courtly love expanded the code of chivalry to include religious piety and refined social graces and manners. Chivalry gradually began to soften the harsh edges of feudal warfare. Knights were now expected to treat their fellow knights and social inferiors with respect and benevolence. Knights were prohibited from attacking the unarmed. The good knight fought for glory of God and king, not for personal gain.
  • 26. Courtly Loveg A code of behavior that defined the relationship between aristocratic lovers in Western Europe during the Middle Ages.g A nobleman, usually a knight, in love with a married woman of equally high birth or higher rank had to prove his devotion by heroic deeds and by amorous writings presented to his love.g Love not necessarily consummated; every knight had to have a worshipped lady for whom he performed his heroic quests.
  • 27. Courtly Love cont. . . .g Most noble marriages were business contracts only; true love was found in these courtly love relationships. Sometimes consummated, they were a form of sanctioned adultery. In fact, faithlessness of the lovers toward each other was usually considered more sinful than the adultery of this extramarital relationship.
  • 28. Courtly Love cont. . . .g Attraction to the lady, usually via eyes/glanceg Worship of the lady from afarg Declaration of passionate devotiong Virtuous rejection by the ladyg Renewed wooing with oaths of virtue and eternal fealtyg Moans of approaching death from unsatisfied desire (and other physical manifestations of lovesickness)g Heroic deeds of valor that win the ladys heartg Consummation of the secret love: endless adventures and subterfuges avoiding detection
  • 29. QuickTimeª and a decompressorare needed to see this picture.
  • 30. The Once and Future King QuickTimeª and a decompressor are needed to see this picture.g Terence Hanbury White: born 1906 in Bombay, India.g Parents: f Mother, Constance Aston White, was a very beautiful woman with many suitors, from which she would not choose. Accepted Garrick White’s proposal only after promising her parents she would accept the next proposal that came. f Miserable marriage; eventual divorce f Ignored child--sent to boarding school
  • 31. Origin of Novelg Young Terence discovered Le Morte d’Arthur at Cheltenham boarding school. Became captivated by story.g Went to Cambridge, taught English. Gained some notoriety for some minor writing.g End of 1930s: WWII is beginning to take shape. Rise of Hitler. Began writing stories relating to the Arthurian legend, all based on Malory’s work.
  • 32. TOAFKg 1938: The Sword in the Stone (Arthur’s childhood)g 1939: The Witch in the Wood (Gawaine and his brothers, Morgause, Morgan le Fay)g 1940: The Ill-Made Knight (Lancelot and Guinevere)g All this writing was done during a turbulent time that greatly affected White. Influenced the next two books in the series . . .
  • 33. TOAFK continued …g 1941: The Candle in the Wind (culmination of plots introduced in first three books)g 1941: The Book of Merlyn (epilogue)g In 1941, he changed his overall theme (due to changing world climate); rewrote all three previous books. White’s intention was to publish all five books as one volume with one central theme: to find the antidote to war.
  • 34. TOAFK continued …g At the time of the rewrite, Collins Publishing was not about to undertake the expense of the publication of three revised books and two newly written books to create such a large volume. Disagreement evolved between author and publisher. Resolved by the printing of a tetralogy in 1958, including the revised first three books (changing the title of the 2nd book to The Queen of Air and Darkness) and the fourth book. White’s concession was to exclude the fifth book, which was published separately in 1977.
  • 35. Miscellaneous extrasg The Sword in the Stone had phenomenal reviews; later books had good reviews, but not loved as much as TSitS.g 1958 tetralogy widely praised.g 1960 musical Camelotg 1963 Disney version of TSitSg 1977 The Book of Merlyn less marketable (too politically-minded)g White died 1964; buried in Athens