Peasant Life Peasants had to pay many taxes to the lord. Houses were very small and had dirt floors. Average life expectancy was about 35 years. Believed that God determined a person’s place in society.
Knights To defend their territories, lords raised private armies of knights. In exchange for military service, knights were rewarded with land. Knight’s began training at age 7. Became a full Knight at age 21. Pasted time by training for war.
Knights & Warfare Tournaments Combined recreation with combat training. Jousting Knights guarded castles The castle was designed for defense Moats Watch towers Thick walls
Literature of Chivalry Medieval literature downplayed the brutality of knighthood and feudal warfare. Troubadours were traveling poet-musicians. King Arthur The Song of Roland Under the code of chivalry, a knight’s duty to his lady became as important as his duty to his lord. The hero’s difficulties resulted from a conflict between these two obligations.
Women’s Role in Feudal Society Women were viewed as inferior to men. Noblewomen – Ran the castle/manor while husband was away. – The lives of most noblewomen were limited. – Couldn’t inherit land. Peasant Women – Poor and powerless. – Performed essential work necessary to maintain life on the manor.
Feudalism - a political system in which a lord owned all the land while vassals and serfs farmed it. Noble- belonging to a hereditary class with high social or political status; aristocratic. Knight- a man who served his sovereign or lord as a mounted soldier in armor. Vassal- a person granted the use of land, in return for rendering homage, fealty, and usually military service or its equivalent to a lord Serf- a person required to render services to a lord, commonly attached to the lord's land. Chivalry- the rules and customs of medieval knighthood, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.