Medieval Times

By Hunter, Rachel, Jack, and Faraz

June 13, 1361

How to Become a Knight

By Hunter Haas

How did one become a knight? Becoming a knight in the Middle Ages took a great deal of skill, training, and requirements. In order to become a knight, a boy first had to be born into a family in which the father was allowed the opportunity to become a knight. Once the boy has reached six or seven years old, he would go to the manor and train as a Page. There he would acquire the basic skills such as how to take care of his equipment. Once the page becomes thirteen, he had gained the necessary skills and strength to start training as a squire.

Was training different then from when the boy was a Page? Once a Page becomes a Squire, he is assigned a knight that he will assist. The squire would then focus his training on combat. He would train very intensely in armor, weapons, techniques, and strategies. Sometimes the quire is giving a small shield or sword as a symbol of him being “a knight in training”.

How are the ceremonies of becoming a knight? The ceremonies of gaining knighthood may last for many days and nights, and they sometimes include activities such as a Vergil or fasting. Many times there would be a great feast with discussions about being a knight or about courage. At the end of every ceremony the knight is dubbed. The king would place his sword, flat sided, on each of the knight’s soldiers, and then the squire would gain his knighthood.


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Life of a Serf

By Rachel Thornton

Whenever there is a social pyramid of classes, there has to be a group on the bottom. In the feudal system, the serfs were the lowest of the low.

But who were the serfs? Also known as peasants, the serfs made up the class that worked the land and specialized in a trade. In exchange for this work, the lord of the fief where they lived would provide protection from the barbaric tribes. Yet another name for this bottom class was villeins.

What were some of the hardships for serfs? These peasants were heavily taxed by the lord of the manor in return for the protection they received. They were also required to give the lord the majority of the crops they farmed. According to the law of the time, peasants were like slaves. They belonged to the lord of the manor, so he was their judge and main law enforcer.

When was the feudal system going on? The feudal system became prominent in the 9th century, and it ended in the 15th century. That’s six-hundred years of one social system, longer than most other systems last. This demonstrates how strong and well-organized the feudal system was.

So why was there a whole class just for peasants? The lords needed serfs in their fiefs to provide a steady source of income and food. Without them, the manor would not be successful and the feudal system would fall. The base of the social pyramid is what the rest depends on.

Where did feudalism become the norm? The feudal system was mostly found in Western Europe, especially England. There were some civilizations not in Europe that were similar to the feudal system. Despite this, the feudalism in Western Europe became the common model.

The serfs, or those in the bottom class, did not lead an easy life. From hard work to excess taxes, they had their work cut out for them. Despite this, many people became serfs because of the benefits; protection from the lord of the manor, a house to sleep in, food to eat, and more. All in all, the benefits outweighed the downsides to the peasants of the Middle Ages.


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Life of a Lord

By Jack Brizendine

Lord’s typically would wake up at dawn. They would first eat breakfast and then go to a meeting where business would be discussed. The types of things that would be discussed would be finances such as taxes and rents. The Lord was also encouraged to judge and order his vassals and peasants. The Lord was also expected to resolve disputes about tenants and permission to marry.

Next, the Lord would contain political discussions and decisions. The Lord would then participate in weapon practice. Then they would have their mid-morning prayers and have something to eat afterwards. Around sometime in the afternoon the Lords would go hunting or inspect their estate. Night was spent by praying and eating dinner either in the Hall of the Castle or the Manor House. People would come and entertain lords after dinner was finished. These people included dancers, jugglers, and acrobats. Lastly, they would pray and then go to bed. Bedtime was decided by the time the Lord was finished with his work.

Lords would do an enormous amount of work each day. They were viewed as political leaders and decision makers. They were at the top of the social classes and they were looked up to by thousands. The daily life of a lord is very hard and very taxing. Lords were some of the richest and hardest workers in the Middle Ages.


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The Church's Role in the Feudal System

By Faraz

The church had huge impact during the renaissance, as it was one of the main sources of judgement, law, and holy advice. The church united most of France due to its power and social aspects. Much land was held by the church, and the more land you had the more power you would hold. Depending on the type of Christian you are, you would go to either of the two types of churches: Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholic. Both churches had certain eating restrictions. One of these restrictions is that you can't eat during special time periods like Lent and Advent. There were certain classes or level to the church: nobles, peasants, and tradesmen.

There was also the clergy who were the religious people of the Middle Ages.

There were four types of clergy. They were known as bishops, priests, monks and nuns. They all followed the Pope, who was at the highest power. Each of these types of people wore different clothing and had different amounts of wealth. The church also had harsh punishments for crimes against the church. At the end of the day the church had the majority of the power and had the biggest impact during the renaissance.


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