The Dark Ages

By Cole Greco

The Nobility Class

Lords and Ladies

Lords were gifted fiefs (land) from the king. When a lord was gifted land, he pledged allegiance to the king and to come to his aid if he was in need. Lords employed knights to defend them and to help the king. Lords usually lived in castles or manor houses near a village where the peasants lived, along with large fields and a church. These estates were called manors. The lord usually cut up his fief and gave parts of it to trusted friends or family members called vassals.


Ladies took care of day-to-day life on the manor while their husband, the lord, was away. In normal circumstances, they only handled household affairs. They attended the daily mass in the mornings. Ladies managed the education of the higher-class girls in the village. In their spare time, ladies liked to embroider, dance, and read.



Sources: http://www.scoop.it/t/life-in-the-middle-ages/, Textbook, www.castlesandmanorhouses.com (for lord image), www.pinterest.com (for lady image), http://www.medievalchronicles.com/medieval-people/medieval-nobility/medieval-lady/

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Vassals

Vassals, in medieval status, were one rank below lords and ladies. A lord would usually cut up the fief he was gifted and give parts of it to vassals, in return for allegiance. Some vassals were knights, who were specially trained soldiers. Vassals could pass their part of land down the family and keep it forever, but would still be in allegiance to the lord. Vassals could also cut up their land and gift it to their own vassals.


Textbook, www.medievalchronicles.com (vassal image)

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Knights, Pages, and Squires

The Working Class

Peasants and Serfs

There was a difference between a regular peasant and a serf. Peasants were technically free, but still had to obey the lord of the manor. Peasants sometimes owned plots of land on the manor where they could grow food and keep livestock. Serfs were almost like slaves. They could not leave the land unless the lord granted permission. They were uneducated and often illiterate. The only difference between serfs and slaves was that serfs could not be bought or sold.

www.pinterest.com (Peasant picture) http://medievaleurope.mrdonn.org/commoners.html (information)

Thanks for reading!

2016 Copyright Cole Industries

For use by Mrs. Weber's 2016 Social Studies Class Only

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