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§ 4. The medieval European society (textbook)

§ 4. Medieval European society


You know

·        As a born feudal society?

·        What conditions existed in the Middle Ages?

·        What zakom and who with?

·        As a farmer and lived in the feudal Middle Ages?

·        Why farmers duties performed, if any?

·        What is a peasant community?


1. Feudalism

At the end of VII - Top VIII. closed associations of wealthy and distinguished people and barbaric Roman society. They have turned into a powerful clique of landowners. These landowners were many representatives of the church leadership, and many members of the Germanic tribes. These large landowners and became the basis for the formation of dominant segments of society, which relied on royal power.

At Verdun nayzhurtovanishoyu division and strong part of the former empire of Charlemagne was West Frankish kingdom - Future France as it became known from X - XI Art.

The capital of the new States became Paris, situated on the river Seine. Authorities last Carolingian abstained here the longest, до end X Art. It, However, weakened, and their loss of control theirми Volodinrowed. Accelerated destruction external dangers. From end VIII. Countries Europe were subjected to attacks Normans who crossed the sea and ships plundered the coastal countries nahanyayuchy terror on the population. The list of devastating raids of Arabs and Hungarians in the ninth century. osylylysya in Pannonia.

Representatives local authorities obliged the large landowners in an emergency appear with their armies for reflection attack. Simultaneously дрibni landowners sought to save themselves from Mr.abihs and move under the protection of powerful patrons. Such people called vassals. By offering protection, they made an oath of fidelity his patron - liege (From Lat. Senior - senior) and obligated to serve him, arriving armed at his request.

To have in his rosporyadzhenni squad man-at-arms (knights), a large landowner could distribute part of their land to soldiers for service, which, in turn, if size to allow the possession, can transmit it to the service of his vassals. This way vystroyuvalysya senyoramy relations and vassals, which resembled a ladder or pyramid. At the top of the ladder (pyramid) was a king who was considered vassal of God. Some kings were vassals of the Pope. Historians such order called "Feudal ladder or "Feudal ierarhiyeyu.

When attacks Norman frequent Bald Charles II 847 р. ordered"Each вilnu elect a superior man. " Right superior over their vassals pryrivnyuvalasya King to power over their пiddanymy. And after 30 years was considered heredity benefitsiyiv and count title. Now benefitsiyi become a hereditary possession - fief. The word "fief" of origin "feudal," "feudalism" means "Land ownership", given (donated) the master - his seniors vassals (пidvladniy man), which it had serve as host. Possession fief, like benefitsiya, required services, mostly military. Winners were called feudal fief. Everyone had a great feudal power, and the last Carolingians were powerless: they had no authority among the feudal lords or the army to fight against external enemies. Began County formed that resembled a small kingdom. It is time feudal disintegration. King was now only "first among рivnyh. Gradually, this system spread to all countries Western, Central and Eastern part of Europe.

In the Middle Ages the word "feudal" and "feudal society does not used. They came up later in the XVII-XVIII .. At first they were dirty value to indicate the backward social system and those who defended him. In historical scholarship, these words were used more later, but Nabil wide use.

2. The three states witherednovichnoho societiesа

By X - XIII. Western Europe finally formed the main states of medieval society. Each of these Socialnyh groups had their views, lifestyles, possessed a certain situation. Public structure of Biдрiznyalasya as from those that existed in Germanic, Slavic and other European nations, and from that was Ancient Rome, the ruins of which have state of medieval Europe.

Educated people ages at the time пidmityly that society divided into different social groups with their rights and responsibilities. Medieval society did not know equality in rights and duties`yazkah. The most widespread theory about division of society into three states: "those who pray" (Priests and religious), those that fight "(knights), those who work (farmers, artisans, etc.).. Socialnyy status of uspadkovuvavsya father to son.

According medieval sages, each state had its important duties and was required for others. They could not exist without each other. Yes, the clergy пikluvalosya of soul knights defended country, and farmers all suck.

Bishop Adalberon Lanskyy about three states (XI cent.)

First condition - warriors, defenders of the church and the people всix without exception, both strong and weak? The second condition - the farmers, these unfortunate people have something only the price of hard work. To all - money, clothes, food - provide they have the whole world. No free man could not live without farmers? Peasant feeding the owner, who claims that he is fed peasant… Тac House of God (community) is divided into three parts: some praying, others fighting, some more work. Three? parts do not suffer from its separation: services provided by one of them, create conditions for the work of two others, under each part пikluyetsya on the whole. So this is the only Triple Alliance, so the rule of law, and people enjoy peace.


1.      What Bishop Adalbert explained this division of society?

2.      What was the basis for such division of society?

3.      What, according to Bishop, ensured the unity of society?

4.      What are the differences such a structure of Roman society was or Germanic?


Proposed medieval sages system of division of society and their relationship could not stand the test of time. Realities life of `found that society is divided into three layers, each layer divided into smaller groups that had their rights, privileges and duties. From emergence of cities and increasing their role in the life of the system of medieval Europe relations between social groups is more complicated. Large influence on the division social strata of society to have land holdings and make money. All those who had wealth and status in society is the concern to aristocracy. In such a way is a rural, urban aristocracy. Anyone who thought himself an aristocrat and has sought to bring some kind of action, his power.


Speaking of the place   women in society, English historian Marjorie R. metaphorically stated: "In   medieval woman constantly poised between the sewage pit and pedestal.


3. Clergy

In the mentioned scheme of division of society into three states in the first place were monks and priestsyky. Their main task was пikluvatysya of Christian salvation shower. This training in the imagination of people at that time was more important than as anyand earthly affairs.

Medieval society for centuries remained poor. Hunger was a frequent visitor. And вCE, is not taking into consideration expenditure of resources, effort and time, the Europeans built huge cathedrals and many Church, gave the clergy the tithes - a tenth of crops and other profits. Wanting to save his soul, rich and poor gave their church property and land ownership. Moreover, the society gave the church most capable and educated children, who dedicated life to serving God. The first condition was the only one that is replenished with vihidtsyamy рiznyh state of society. Almost всand famous scientists and thinkers, like much of the writers and poets, artists, musicians, belonged to the clergy.

To fight against their enemies used the church excommunication and interdict. For medieval man anathemawas a terrible punishment. In fact, it meant the loss of all human members of society. A man was unable to participate in Christian rituals, hold any office, had no right to help her, it could even kill. If the church believed that the disobedience is not only guilty individuals, it could exclude entire villages, cities or even countries. This is referred to as weaning interdict.

In cities and countries, Separate from the church, closed churches forbidden to carry out Christian ceremonies - baptisms, weddings, funerals and ed. These countries Church then began to organize military expedition - the Crusades.

The church was huge political, economic and spiritual force. Based on this, Roman Pope to X - XIII Art. brought against a unification of all Christian свitu under his rule. Gradually the church became the largest landowner in Europe, and the life of the church leadership is not something different from secular feudal lords. The clergy was no longer restricted in their activities only church services and prayers. They carried out justice, participated in state administration, performing feudal features taught in schools and universities, funded by the royal event. For many, prayer has become only a secondary occupation.


4. Feudal lords. Locks

All the large landowners who lived through the labor of dependent peasants taken calledтand feudal. They were 2 - 5% population Villageidayuchy dominant position in society. Between feudal, As mentioned, formed a kind of system of relations, called vasalitet. Between seniors and vassal there was a kind of unwritten agreement: vassal pledged to faithfully serve the Master, and he, in return, promised vassals support and protection. This contractualрukladavsya of witnesses and considered inviolable.

If a vassal violated the contractualрHe had to break above its branch head and scatter it around. Homage needed as fiefвAnd strong, noble protectorв, superior power and depended on the number of dedicated and operationally vassals. Wealth - land and money - even by themselves do not decide. In feudal society they were needed for distribution vassals.

It should Recalledyou that the system vasalitetu (depending) resembled Ladder or пiramidu, pinnacle of which was King. By straight vassals of the king were often Duke vassals of the Dukes - marquees, marquis vassals - graphs on barons and knights. Knights usually accompanied by anything more hikesі-boys knight of the families who have not received this award. Although it was thought that the king is for seniors всIX, but France there was a rule: "my vassal Vassal - not мth vassal. That the King should not have a relationship utruchatys betweenDuke and awnings, etc.

But this clear system is complicated if, for example, a graph received additional fief from the king or from another graph. Case zaplutuvalas so that all was difficult to understand who whose vassal. Such confusion led to many clashes between vassals, seniors and soldiers. Victory was stronger on the side. Such мizhusobytsi most reflected negatively on farmers who were targeted robberies and violence.

In IX - XI. Pageimki attacks Arabs Hungarians, Normans led to the emergence in Europe of a new type of defensive structures - locks. The castle was both a fortress and the Dwelling of feudal lord.

At the present day in France 4969 preserved castles, most of them in destroyed form. According to the present known written sources and Archeological finds are aware of another 4788 medieval castles that is forever znyknuly.

Castles were built mainly on a hill, which roseв above terrain. Surrounded by a moat of water with high стInam and towers in several rows, the castle was quite reliable fortifications. Even a few hundred of its defenders successfully kilkatysyachnoho troops resisted the siege.

Over all buildings The castle towered main tower - donzhon. It was designed for life feudal lord, and for defense. Its пidvaly prystosovuvaly for storing supplies. Also, there are often dug well or arranged in`prison. The upper floors were rooms where he lived with his seigneur family and servants. An important element of the tower was a secret passage that allowed host, if necessary, to escape to safety place. Tower itself could defend yourself even when others strengthen captured enemy castle.

Together with the castles of Europe and emerged heavily armed professional soldiers - knights. They were the main actors всix wars of the Middle Ages. Knight was not just a rider, as an independent fighting unit. He was dressed у chain armor - a shirt fastened together with metal rings. She was subsequently replaced the forged armor that protected the knight from head to foot. In addition, prykryvavsya warrior in the battle shield, which was shown emblem - token of its kind and motto - A brief statement that explained Mediaст emblem. Knight Armament consisted of a long heavy spear and sword (рidshe battle axes or sticks). War-horse rider too sporyadzhavsya armor. Thus, the knight on horseback became hisрidnoyu floating fortress. All of these weapons pricey, equal to the value of 20 to 45 cortexв.

The main purpose knights in battle was not to kill the enemy, and, knocking him out of the saddle, and disarm take captivity. For noble captives were available substantial ransom. The winner covered themselves with glory, and it was most important. Through that у Wars X - XIII. armies were few, and losses among the knights - minor.

Glory invincible warrior could gain in war or пid a knight Tournament- Military competition in the power and skill. They are comfortable with kings or nobles feudal lords. On tourwith ri'Yizhdzhalysya as those who would take participation, and those who wanted to see a show. These events lasted for several days.

First day participants demonstrated the agility and strength. The next day, arranged matches of the tournament with a special weapon between пIshim knights or horsemen. Sometimes when rivals have decided to find a unsolved dispute between them, the weapon was real. In such matches occurred and the victim. The thirdth day of the field immediately groups, often - 50 to 50. Participants declared that compete for commitment to the beautiful ladies, which пince they fight could count. The winner won fame and recognition, honorary awards, and horses and guns also losers. Because remain unarmed and horse was considered a disgrace to the loser turned winner for ransom.

Gradually tournaments lost training goal and turned to aristocratic Holidays.

To become knights, should have to pass specialialnu separation procedure. The eldest son, who succeeded his father fief, not пidlyahav division, in younger years was a squire, learning and riding equipment weapons possession. Having reached 18, he alone or together with other future knights spent the night у prayers. Next day seigneur of many свidkah handed sword and spurs. Consecrated in the Knights gave the oath of fidelity, pledged to protect widows, orphans and those who serve God. In рiznyh countries ordinance had their features, first it was simple, later complicated. At the end of XI Art. to this ceremony and joined the church.

Publish pressihiynyy ordination in Knights (XI cent.)

First, the bishop blesses the flag (Knight). Prayer: God's eternal and almighty… Оholiday heavenly blessing this flag, ready to fight to see it in a strong struggle against infidels and rebellious people, and for your patronage to it naviyuvav terrifying enemies of the Christian people ...

Conjoined knights lance and flag bishop consecrates the holy water. Then he blesses the sword: "Let us bless this sword on your belt servant so that he could protect and protect the church, widows, orphans and всix those who serve God against the cruelty of the enemy, and he naviyuvav to horror for all those who made against him ...

1. Who proclaimed a knight and the main enemies of the church?

2. З Reason for the Church held the dedication ceremony knights?


5. Peasants and senyoriya. Facilities peasant

Peasantry layer was the largest medieval society. It lowest in social status the structure of feudal society, but important and necessary. Farmers were outside the feudal hierarchy, they were not vassals and subjects. If work in the ancient world despised as unworthy of free citizens, then by Middle workers respected. Even the church consecrated a physical work - "Bagging bread daily the sweat of your face. " But this only touched the peasants, who thus refrained from Socialnyh performances. Ruling strata of society to physical labor was treated contemptuously. Although it fed all classes, his life was difficult.

Life in Medieval Europe was full of danger and farmers had to seek shelter in a powerful superior. In exchange seigneur prysvoyuvav right to land and forced peasants itidbuvaty duties: pay servage vidroblyaty or serfdom. Serfdomою all were called freely of peasants to farm superior. They treated lords' fields, built and repaired his house, barns and bridges, cleaned rates fished. Servage - part of farm products (grain, livestock, poultry, etc.) that a farmer had to pay his superior. Servage could be in cash.







Work in the field   senyora in senyora economy, the shipping, to repair roads,   bridges and lock seyora more.

Natural: part   grain crops, fruits, vegetables, poultry, eggs, handicrafts, hay, wood   etc..

Money: determined   amount of money.


Hammers, flour   Mel'nytsia senyora, bake bread in the oven senyora, crush grapes in the press in   senyora, subject to court senyora more.


In addition, seigneur judged peasant his court. Сelyanyn had no right to move into another location without permission etc.. But he medieval West still has not been disfranchised and excluded from the system law. If a farmer regularly performed duties, seigneur could not deny it to use land plot on which to work his ancestors.

All These restrictions on freedom for a long time not seen by farmers as too burdensome. Dimensions duties, handling not changed for centuries were recorded, Accepted by the people as a custom - a powerful regulatory force ages, with which all were considered. Any deviation from tradition led to the manifestation of discontent or speeches peasants.


Not all farmers were equal in their rights. Farmers were divided into personally dependent peasants (serfs) and personally free. Personally dependent peasants (Slaves) in the Middle Ages called the server. In the ancient world the word serv meant slave. The main duty servo was boon as was 3-4 days at week. In addition he had to pay and processing. Properties senyora not considered only land and property and serv. If the server wanted to sell, he was to receive permission from senyora by paying some tax. If serv-dying father, son had better pay senyoru cow or horse. Otherwise senyor was entitled to take land from the server. Getting married server could also only with permission senyora. Each year serv the castle had to carry senyora cock. As a symbol of what he fully obeys senyora power.

Somewhat more rights were personally free peasants. They are usually paid only processing. Such a farmer could even sell their allotment, but new owner had to pay senyoru processing.

Since the XII century. Western European farmers have launched counter burdensome to the dependences of the end of XIVArt. Servo little left. Usually farmers gained their personal freedom repurchase or during fierce fighting (peasant revolt).

All rights with respect to peasants who had senyor farmers are on a general concept senyoriya.Senyoriya - a land that farmers received in the possession of senyora it yourself dependent farmers senyora is power over them, this duty in favor of peasant senyora. Senyoriya is an important feature of medieval European society.


From "Poyemy of versonskyh Willan * Estule Hoza (XII century).

Home work in a year - until Midsummer Day (July 24). Willan have to mow the meadows shribaty and collect hay kopychky and put them in a bottle ... and then carry on Barsky yard. When they say ...

But August and comes with his new job ... They committed`serfdom and connected to it should not be overlooked. Willan should reap the bread, collect and`yazuvaty it in bundles, stored in stack among field and transported immediately to amber. This service they carry from childhood, as bare her ancestors. So they work on senyora ...

Then they have to work out again serfdom. When they rozpahaly land, they follow grain in the barn, and spread boronuyut ...

To Christmas should give chickens ...

On Easter again boon ...

After this should go in the smithy of horses prick ...

Then they bear the heater ban, and this is the worst. When the wife there Willan send and regularly pay their servage brings his dough, then pekarsha, nadminna and arrogant, grumbling and discontented baker and strive, he swears Lord's teeth, the oven will protoplena badly and that they do not have to eat good bread - it will not propechenym.



* Willan - (from Lat. Villa - Villa, substance) - but personally vilnv land farmers dependent on the landowner.


1.      What explains this passage in the poem?

2.      What are the duties of peasants mentions this document?

3.      What heater ban?


Peasant farm in character was natural, That everything necessary for life produced on-site: from food to handicrafts. Only some products, particularly of salt or iron, had to go to places where they are manufactured, and there vyminyuvaty their products on their work. The money from the peasants were рidkistyu. But with time everything changed. In XV Art. was a natural destruction and formation commodity economy, when what is produced or grown mainly goes to sale.


6. Rural community. Marriage and seven`I farmer

Living alone in those days was difficult because the farmers in medieval Europe lived communities. It was easier to maintain farm defend their interests before the seniors, to keep household and cultural tradition.

Joint economic community decide the case. To all members community had the same conditions for farming, Niva smash on site with рiznoyu soil quality, and each allocated strips land in different areas. From these strips, composed allotment farmer. Periodically redistribution of land took place. Forests, pastures, hayfields, рichky, lakes were in common use for all members of the community.

The community helped poor, the widows, protect those offended by strangers. The community often elected their old age, built churches, priests kept, looking after roads, bridges, generally in the order on their lands. Rural holidays also arranged у бilshosti cases by community. У weddings, funerals were attended by all. The worst thing punishment was banishment from the community. Such a person deprived of всof their rights and support. Generally not a farmer imagined his life outside the community. У community united the inhabitants of one or more villages. At first the village were very small - a half-dozen yards. Each village had its artisans, especially blacksmiths and Miller. There were specialists in their pottery, weaving and more.


Rural community

Regulates the use of land

Allocates duties between the peasants

Decide all questions of life and rural communities. Solution`Liabilities   minor conflicts

Assists widows and orphans



In the medieval peasants who lived alone had very little. If you lose husband or wife, then tried to join a remarriage. Usually choose bride or groom of convenience. Not valued beauty and performance, Health`there is dowry. Marriage is typically arranged parents. Arranging the candidacy of the bride advance. Groom giving bride's parents present. In turn, by gave the bride a dowry. Since Roman times were widespread early marriage: girls from 12-13 years, young men of 14-15 years. Marriage equality did not exist. Man Chapter seven was considered`ї. Infant created the lot, but surviving for ten years, only every second child. Bringing up children, who were many, was in early to moderate pryuchuvanni work. In work life filled kozhnodnevnoyu father rarely showed the children warm feelings. Educate their children tend to give the farmers but could not because schools were not. Only some managed to learn a local priest.


7. World peasant

Peasant рidko traveled outside their village. Therefore, his ideas about свIT prostyahalosya often only a few days at a distance transition from their native surroundings. Time in the village pop up slowly. Over the summer came winter by winter - summer. By plowing - the harvest, at harvest - plowing. Xia-It may appear that Life flows are used to. And if something changed and, very quietly.

News в limited to local village events. Sometimes traveled merchants, pilgrims, nomads were talking about miracles allegedly seen in other countries. Of all the village owned the diploma, but priest, a few people. Special need it is not felt, moreover, Бibliya was written in Latin, which is not understood.

Everything depended on the life of the peasant crop, livestock offspring, and because everything revolved around it, even Christian Holidays. Misunderstanding of many natural phenomena peasant faith strengthened in various spirits good and evil. To normalize the usual life farmers resorted до mageії - Special Action Agenda to achieve the desired. Hoping that magic will help protect by drought, crop failure, disease, etc.. Tried to influence not only on weather. Envy desire to cause harm in every way lucky love - bewitch lofty heart. In eachvillage had its own "experts" on wizardry and magic (witches and sorcerers). Such People were afraid and at the same time respect, asked for help.

At least for the evil witch in Western Europe fear the corpses called mertsi (In Germanic peoples were called Synagogue - lyudynovovkamy). To protect from any possible evil villagers also used the magic and all sorts of talisman. One of the most popular talismans in Europe still remains пidkova, affixed above the entrance to the house. In medieval Europe was not such a person would not have dreamed of charm that would have protected her from various disorders.

All sorts of evil are often mentioned in fairy tales - one of the most common types of folk art (folklore). In fairy tales, among the peasants were common пisni (holiday, ritual, work, heroic), translations, stories, proverbs and more. In the accounts of Epidрs observed human behavior.

Toil birth dreams of farmers countryWhere you can not work while enjoying all that you like. This country, where flow milk рichky kysilnyh in banks, in Italy called Kukkanya in England - Kokeyn, France - Kokan, Germany - Shlaraffiya. Favorite characters peasant stories, fairy tales were poor - fair and good, silly fun - Jacques fools, Hans boob, big dolt; noble robbers - Robin Hood etc..


Check how to remember

  1. What is      feudalism? Why is it called the medieval period? Why social system averageх called feudal ages?
  2. На which will be divided      medieval society?
  3. Which states      were dominant society?
  4. What is      lock? Fold      description of the castle. Donationsit its main elements.
  5. Who are the Knights? How      knight was arming? As he Biв themselves in battle?
  6. What was      peasant farming?
  7. What is      duties? What are the duties performed peasants?
  8. What is      peasant community?
  9. How and when      ukladavsya marriage? What was the peasant seven`я?
  10. How uyavlyavsya свIT farmers?


Think and answer

  1. As the opinion      medieval thinkers were divided responsibilities between рiznymy states society?
  2. Or      then meet the realities of medieval society the division into three      parts?
  3. Why medieval      thinkers put clergy on the first мistse in      society? What role in society was the church?
  4. What causes      Castleв? What role they played      life in medieval society?
  5. Why peasantsand lived      communities?      What role it played in the life of a peasant?
  6. That      uvlyavlen shaped the farmer about the world?



Perform the task

  1. Explain the terms      "Vassal", "vasalitet", "The feudal hierarchy, the feudal staircase".
  2. Fold      scheme of medieval society.
  3. Define      characteristics of subsistence agriculture.
  4. Пidhotuyte written      Story: "Life is a peasant in the Middle Ages."



For the curious

Would you describe the social structure of the Middle Ages fair? His opinion justification.