Medieval

ages

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King


  • The King controls all of the land
  • King is also known as the highest lord
  • The government would be called a monarchy
  • He gives land called a fief to lesser nobles
  • Castles: used for house and protection
  • Keep: central tower located within a castle
  • Moat: a ditch filled with water
  • Drawbridge: moveable, heavy, wooden bridge which spanned the width of a castle moat
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Nobles

  • Nobles were also known as vassals
  • They had to give loyalty and service (protection) to the king in exchange for their land/fief
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CHURCH

  • The priests celebrated the mass, administered the sacraments, preached the teachings of the Church, explained the Bible (written in Latin), offered assistance to the sick and needy, and even ran schools in the late Middle Ages
  • Benedictine Rule- rule for monastic life
  • Canon Law- religious laws
  • Excommunication- they couldn't receive the sacraments or a Christian burial, which condemned them to hell for eternity
  • Interdict- an order excluding an entire town, region, or kingdom from receiving most sacraments and Christian burial
  • Friars- monks who did not live in isolated monasteries
  • St. Francis of Assisi- the wealthy Italian who founded the Franciscans
  • Women were viewed as weak and easily led to sin
  • The Church tried to protect women by setting a minimum age for marriage
  • Also, fined men who injured their wives severely, but women were still more harshly punished than men
  • Many women entered convents
  • In the later Middle Ages, the Church officials took control of the independent convents
  • Jewish communities existed all across Europe
  • Jews served as officials in Muslim royal courts
  • There was little interaction with the Christians and the Jews
  • The Church forbid Jews to own land or practice most occupations
  • They migrated to Eastern Europe
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KNIGHTS

  • Chivalry- code of conduct, required knights to be brave, loyal, and true to their word
  • In warefare they had to fight fairly and also had to protect the weak (peasants and noblewomen)
  • Training- started at the age of 7 learning how to ride and fight, and to keep armor and weapons in good condition, it was difficult and discipline was strict (angry blow or a severe beating)
  • Clothes- armor, shields
  • Weapons- swords, axes, daggers, spears crossbows, longbows, and lances (long poles)
  • In battle- seizing castles that commanded river crossing, harbors, or mountain passes
  • Tournaments- mock battles
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SERFS

  • They were bound to the land and had to work several days a week
  • Their jobs were to farm the lord's land, repair brides, roads, and fences
  • They received mutual rights and obligations for their labor, the right to farm some land for themselves, and their lord's protection from raids or warfare
  • They were guaranteed food, housing, and land
  • Three-field farming system- plant 2 crops and leave the 3rd to rest