In the beginning of the Middle Age
There were many wars, so it was difficult for
merchants to travel (commerce in cities decreased).
People moved to the countryside. They lived in
village because cities became smaller and poorer due
to the wars.
The Catholic religion became important in all aspects
of daily life.
And there were more changes in the society.
The society in the Middle Ages
Society was divided into three main groups:
Nobility (King, Feudal lord and knights), clergy
(bishop) and peasants ( free men and serfs).
People of the Middle ages
A king (or lord) ruled large areas of land. To protect his land from invasion, the king gave
parts of it to local lords, who were called vassals. In return, his vassals promised to fight
to defend the king's land.
Feudal lords. They were nobles who lived in castles. They were the king’s vassals , his
loyal followers. They ruled lands granted to them by their king. Those lands were called
fiefs. Within a fiefs, a vassal acted as a local lord and could give portions of it to vassals of
his own. Someone might be the vassal of one person, but the lord of another. Feudal lord
offered protection and food in exchange for loyalty and service.
Knights : they were warriors who fought on horseback. In return for land, they pledged
themselves as vassals to the lord (or king) (lord’s vassal). Only the sons of lords could
become Knights. They defended his land in exchange for food and a parcel of land.
Candidates for knighthood began training as pages at the age of 7, learning social graces
and skills such as fencing and hunting. At 13 or 14 they became squires and began to
practice fighting on horseback. Squires served as assistants to knights both in the castle
and on the battlefield. At 21 a squire could become a knight himself, kneeling before the
lord of the manor to be "dubbed" on the shoulder with a sword.
Kings, local lords, and knights were all part-of a ruling class that called itself noblemen
Bishops were the leaders of the church, serving under the pope, the bishop of Rome.
Most bishops were noblemen. Bishops supervised the church's priests, monks and nuns
and administered its business. In many parts of Europe the church owned vast areas of
land and commanded a large number of knights. In the early Middle Ages, it was not
unusual for a bishop to lead his own knights into battle.
Priests provided spiritual instruction and conducted religious ceremonies in local, or
Frairs were traveling preachers who lived by begging and spread the teachings of St.
Francis of Assisi.
Peasants (worked on the lands of feudal lords):
Free men: They cultivates their lord’s field and received part of the harvest.
Serfs or lord’s slaves: They worked in the field or in the lord’s castle.
They lived in small communities called manors that were ruled by a local lord or vassal.
Most peasants were serfs. They were bound to the manor and could not leave it or marry
without the manor lord's permission. Serfs did all the work on the manor farm: they
worked the fields, cared for the livestock, built and maintained the buildings, made the
clothing, and cut firewood. Men, women, and children worked side by side. Serfs had
small plots of land they could work for themselves; sometimes a serf saved enough money
to buy his freedom and became a freeman.
Servants were peasants who worked in the lord's manor house, doing the cooking,
cleaning, laundering, and other household chores.
A feudal lord lived on his land with his knights, his
free men and his serfs.
When someone attacked a lord’s land, the peasant
and serf went to the castle for protection. The lord’s
knights defended his land.
What is feudalism?
A new social economic system develop, called
The king gave land (fiefs) to the Feudal lords in
exchange for loyalty, service and military help. Feudal
lords offered protection and food for loyalty and
service. Knights defended his land in exchanged for
food and a parcel of land. The peasenants worked on
Rebirth of cities
In the 13th century, medival cities started growing
and becoming prosperous again.
In the medival cities, streets were narrow and
buildings were close together. Cities were usually
surrounded by walls for protection
Many different people lived in cities: Nobles, bishops,
artisants merchants, poor people and beggars