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  • Middle Ages, Castle Life
    would order retainers to bring him back for serfs were bound to the lord unless they could evade him for a year and a day The lord would also hear the petty offenses of peasants and fine the culprits or perhaps sentence them to a day in the pillory Serious deeds like poaching or murder were legal matters for the local court or royal circuit court The lady of the castle had many duties as chatelaine She inspected the work of her large staff of servants She saw that her spinners weavers and embroiderers furnished clothes for the castle and rich vestments for the clergy She and her ladies also helped to train the pages well born boys who came to live in the castle at the age of 7 For seven years pages were schooled in religion music dancing riding hunting and some reading writing and arithmetic At 14 they became squires The lord directed the training of squires They spent seven years learning the practices of chivalry and above all of warfare At the age of 21 if worthy they received the accolade of knighthood For the ceremony of knighthood see Knighthood Sometime between 9 AM and noon a trumpet summoned the lord s household to the great hall for dinner They gustily ate quantities of soup game birds mutton pork some beef and often venison or boar slain in the hunt In winter the ill preserved meat smacked fierily of East Indian spices bought at enormous cost to hide the rank taste Great flat pieces of bread called trenchers served as plates and after the meal were flung to the dogs around the table or given to the poor Huge pies or pasties filled with several kinds of fowl or fish were relished Metal or wood cups

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/castle_life.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Middle Ages, Dynamic Culture of the Middle Ages
    giving alms to the poor and building churches to visibly demonstrate their members collective piety The choices made by women in the patriarchal society of High Medieval Europe illustrate the new and increased variety of social classes Women s roles usually were defined in relation to men with marriage and childbearing as women s main social and political functions Nevertheless women were active and influential throughout society Royal and aristocratic women wielded authority at court and managed complex households as Blanche of Castile did when she reigned as France s regent for her son King Louis IX Townswomen operated brewing and weaving businesses and even briefly formed their own guilds Peasant women engaged in intensive manual labor producing food and sustaining their households Some women left such circumstances to become household servants in the manor or in towns where their rights were minimal Religious women chose to exchange the material life of marriage and family for a spiritual and intellectual life in a cloister While women could not become priests they did influence society as visionaries spiritual advisors and writers One such influential woman was Abbess Hildegard of Bingen Germany 1098 to 1179 who frequently spoke out on the religious political and social issues of her day In both the hierarchical and communal order of the Middle Ages everyone had a place and knew it One s identity was linked to kinship class and faith ignoring these boundaries threatened the order of society In response to the perceived threat of non Christian peoples such as Jews Muslims Gypsies and religious heretics discriminatory laws placed those groups on the margins of society Anti Semitism or the hatred of Jews sometimes inspired Christian mobs to murder Jews as Christ killers as when the Crusaders passed through Germany in 1096 However despite the discrimination and fear that oftentimes restricted their businesses and social contacts Jewish communities maintained a strong internal network through family synogogue and contacts with Jews across and outside Europe In fact Jews played an integral role in medieval society by influencing medieval scholarship Political Centralization and the Development of Government by Consent In the midst of the economic growth and social turmoil the High Middle Ages witnessed the stabilization of Europe s political boundaries and the growth of centralized governments throughout the continent Building on the economic strength of towns and trade the individual rulers of Europe developed competent bureaucracies to govern their domains as is evident in the increased use of written legal documents The power of these new rulers was limited however by pressure from competing social groups and political organizations such as the aristocracy townspeople and the church In the 11th through 13th centuries the growing communities in Europe developed stable political identities usually under a central ruler Royal control expanded in Angevin England Capetian France and Germany under the Holy Roman Emperors Meanwhile newly unified Christian kingdoms emerged in Iberia with the kingdoms of Léon and Castile and Portugal in Scandinavia with Denmark Norway and Sweden and in eastern Europe with the Magyar ruled Kingdom of Hungary the Piast dynasty in Poland and Kievan Russia The Slavic peoples of eastern Europe were influenced by both western Europe and the Byzantine Empire For example Russia s Slavic population converted to Byzantine or Eastern Orthodox Christianity under the Kievan dynasty founded by Scandinavians in the 10th century They formed a strong Slavic Christian culture that survived even the Mongol conquest of the 13th century Medieval rulers did not have absolute power rather their competence lay in developing strategic relationships with the aristocracy the towns and the church Even while kings were centralizing their power new representative assemblies in medieval England s Parliament and France s Estates General laid down the roots of government by consent of the people For example England s Henry I who reigned from 1100 to 1135 created an efficient government auditing system in the Exchequer the body that managed the receipt and expenditure of revenue His grandson Henry II who reigned from 1154 to 1189 contributed to the development of common law that united the kingdom But King John who reigned from 1199 to 1216 was forced by his barons to sign the Magna Carta in 1215 a precursor to constitutional monarchy in England Often conflicts between these competing sources of authority gave rise to new political theories and laws In the 11th century Investiture Controversy for example popes and secular rulers debated the right to invest or appoint bishops As European religious leaders developed more systematic authority over their churches reformers sought to free local churches from the control of lay aristocrats and kings However Europe s kings were accustomed to appointing their own archbishops and bishops as these men who were usually from aristocratic families served as royal administrators When Gregory VII pope from 1073 to 1085 challenged the German Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV s appointment of a bishop he sparked a long conflict over the relationship of church and state Subsequent popes such as the dynamic Innocent III pope from 1198 to 1216 used the same bureaucratic mechanisms that secular rulers used to develop legal theories freeing the church from secular influence Although ultimately unsuccessful the arguments made on both sides of the debate helped define the boundaries of political authority for both church autonomy and secular government Religion and Scholarship Creative tensions in medieval society and politics led to new ideas such as those exchanged in the debates over faith and reason in the new universities They also led to the rise of new religious orders and forms of spirituality New ideas emerged in popular religion during the struggle between orthodox Christianity and numerous heresies The influence of Jewish and Muslim scholarship the rise of an educated class of career scholars and the growth of an urban reading public also contributed to this cultural and intellectual ferment in Europe During the 12th and 13th centuries universities arose in the major European cities These universities met the demand for education

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/dynamic_culture_of_medieval_euro.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Middle Ages, Influence of Christianity
    Dancing In The Middle Ages Castle Life Cultural Expression Dynamics of the Middle Ages Influences of Christianity Monks and Monasticism Monetary System Peasant s Life The Rise of Towns Influence of Christianity The International History Project Date 2001 During the reign of Clovis Christianity began to lift Europe from the Dark Ages The first step was the conversion of Clovis in 496 Many barbarians had become Christians earlier but most of them held the Arian doctrine condemned as heresy by the Roman Catholic church When Clovis became a Roman Catholic his Franks began to receive the support of the bishop of Rome that is the pope This opened to the Franks the residue of Roman culture sustained by the church Its monks living in retreats called monasteries had preserved a knowledge of Roman arts crafts and industries They now began to spread this learning Christianity s influence widened when the great Charlemagne became king of the Franks in 768 and brought the Lombards and heathen Saxons under his sway In 800 the pope proclaimed him ruler of the Holy Roman Empire Charlemagne vigorously sought to provide his people with education He founded schools in monasteries and churches for the poor as well as for the nobility As Charlemagne s empire passed to weak descendants Europe was terrorized by new invasions Sea going Vikings swept down on England and the west coast of Europe and darted up rivers to raid inland Hungarians drove from the east into Germany France and Italy Moors from Africa and Spain slashed into southern Europe The inept kings of the broken Holy Roman Empire could not provide defense They turned to the powerful lords of the realm sometimes granting land for aid Many lords built fortified dwellings or castles Peasants built their villages of huts near

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/influence_of_christianity.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Middle Ages, Monks and Monasticism
    Khamba organized themselves into a military police force for the protection of the higher clergy Monasticism has played a vital role in the creation preservation and transmission of culture This was especially true of the Christian orders in the Middle Ages Often the only literate members of society were the monks It was they who made and transmitted written copies of the Bible and other ancient works from generation to generation They organized some of the first libraries Often they conducted scientific and other research to benefit the surrounding communities They were expert farmers who were able to pass on the benefits of their expertise to peasants on the large manors Types of Monasticism The two basic kinds of monasticism are eremitic a hermit life style and cenobitic a communal life style Both types have variations and they are found in most major religions Eremitic The hermits are religious recluses In the early centuries of Christianity there lived in the Egyptian desert a number of solitaries whose desire was to escape all the evils of the world They were called eremites a Greek word meaning dwellers in the desert Other religions notably Jainism and Hinduism also have had hermit monks Common to all true hermits is a persistence in living alone and following a strict discipline of meditation and self mortification As the number of Egyptian hermits increased during the 3rd and 4th centuries they began to gather in small unregulated groups These were not communities in the strict sense because each hermit followed his own discipline There was no communal dining meditation or work Buddhist monks and nuns lived in similar loose associations before permanent communities were established Cenobitic True monastic communities have sets of rules There are disciplines including prayer worship study work and service that are obligatory for all members The first community of monks living under one roof and following the same routine was founded in Egypt by the Christian ascetic Pachomius It was started in about 320 at Tabenna an island in the Nile River Pachomius is said to have built nine monasteries for men and two for women These monasteries were probably the models for those established by the Greek theologian St Basil the Great in the 4th century It was he who set forth the first monastic rule which became the basis for all later Eastern Orthodox monastic institutions Basil laid down the principle that the monk must not live for himself alone but must do good for his fellow man To give his monks the opportunity to put the rule into practice he established hospitals hospices and orphanages near the monasteries He also provided schools for the education of boys whether or not they were training to become monks Basil also taught that work is of greater value than self mortification and punishment The best known monastery in the tradition of Basil is Mount Athos in Greece What Basil s rule was for the Eastern church that of St Benedict became for Roman Catholicism during the Middle Ages Benedict of Nursia formulated a rule calling for poverty chastity obedience and stability His rule also indicated that individual monks were not to own property It was rather to be held by the order and administered by appointed trustees Benedict exalted work as necessary for the well being of the individual He viewed the religious life as essentially social not personal Some orders are semimonastic Notable among these in Christianity are the Franciscans and Dominicans both founded early in the 13th century Members of these orders while having monasteries as a home base go out into society as teachers preachers and missionaries Members are called friars meaning brothers and they are dependent on offerings from the people for their food and other needs A number of Hindu orders also have mendicants who alternate between a communal existence and a public life of teaching or preaching The Hindu orders are much more loosely organized than either Christian or Buddhist counterparts Status of Women In all monastic traditions as in most religions generally women have always occupied a status inferior to men Roman Catholicism has consistently refused to grant equal status to nuns because they cannot be ordained as priests Buddha was originally reluctant to allow women into his order He eventually relented after some of his disciples had succeeded in establishing nunneries In the early days of Christianity women who vowed to give their lives to service to God lived in their homes Later they lived in communal houses called parthenones from the Greek word for virgin The implication of course was that such women would never marry The word nun is derived from this Greek term by way of the French nonne During the Middle Ages there were many communities of nuns throughout Europe Their organizations were with few exceptions similar to those of monks Eastern Religions Monasticism among Christians originated around the 4th century in Egypt and the Middle East It had come into existence much earlier in the older religions of India and from there it spread to Southeast Asia China Tibet and Japan Hinduism Monasticism in India owes its origins to Buddhism Although Buddhism did not survive as a religion in India it left behind the tradition of the monastic order or sangha which was readily absorbed by Hinduism The most influential founder of Hindu monasticism was Sankara a philosopher and theologian in the 8th century The main currents of modern Indian thought are derived from his doctrines His order Dasanami set the monastic standards for all of Hindu India It is the strictest of the orders and accepts as members only Brahmins the highest Indian caste Monks in this tradition have one chief obligation meditation All other tasks such as group incantation of liturgy teaching or participation in monastic assemblies are secondary to meditation The monk has no social obligations though he may initiate others into the secrets of meditation There are about 90 monastic Hindu orders Not all are

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/monks_and_monasticism.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Middle Ages, Peasant's Life
    Conclusions Additional Topics Dancing In The Middle Ages Castle Life Cultural Expression Dynamics of the Middle Ages Influences of Christianity Monks and Monasticism Monetary System Peasant s Life The Rise of Towns The Peasant s Life The International History Project Date 2001 About nine tenths of the people were peasants farmers or village laborers Only a few of these were freemen peasants who were not bound to a lord and who paid only a fixed rent for their land The vast majority were serfs and villeins Theoretically the villeins had wider legal rights than the serfs and fewer duties to the lords There was little real difference however A peasant village housed perhaps ten to 60 families Each family lived in a dark dank hut made of wood or wicker daubed with mud and thatched with straw or rushes Layers of straw or reeds covered the floor fouled by the pigs chickens and other animals housed with the family The one bed was a pile of dried leaves or straw All slept in their rough garb with skins of animals for cover A cooking fire of peat or wood burned drearily day and night in a clearing on the dirt floor The smoke seeped out through a hole in the roof or the open half of a two piece door The only furniture was a plank table on trestles a few stools perhaps a chest and probably a loom for the women to make their own cloth Every hut had a vegetable patch All the peasants worked to support their lord They gave about half their time to work in his fields cut timber haul water spin and weave repair his buildings and wait upon his household In war the men had to fight at his side Besides labor peasants

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/peasant.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • Middle Ages, Emergence Of Towns
    by the walls of a castle or monastery Places accessible to main roads or rivers grew rapidly Wherever merchants settled laborers and artisans came Carpenters and blacksmiths made chests and casks for the merchants goods and carts to transport them Shipbuilders turned out trading vessels Butchers bakers and brewers came to supply food for the workers and tailors and shoemakers came to supply clothes Others came to make the wares of trade By the 13th century Europe was dotted with towns Few had as many as 10 000 people The towns were introducing a new kind of life into medieval Europe however for the townspeople now lived by the exchange of goods and services They were no longer self sufficient like the small groups of peasants on the manors were they had to develop a lifestyle based on the idea of exchange This organization laid the foundations for modern economic and social living As the cities grew rich they sought the right to govern themselves The first to free themselves from the power of feudal lords were in Italy Venice Pisa Genoa Florence and others Towns in France were next to gain power then towns along the Rhine Valley and on the Baltic coast where cities of the Hanseatic League grew to enormous wealth and strength Some of the towns bought their freedom from the nobles and the church others fought bitter battles to win it A few were given it In the towns the houses were packed together because every town had to be a fortress with stout high walls and a moat or river to protect it from hostile nobles pirates and robber bands The smaller the walled enclosure the easier it was to defend The only open places were the market square in the town center the

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/rise_of_towns.htm (2016-02-11)
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  • The flying buttress
    of the stone roof from the thin nave wall downwards and outwards enabling the architect to open up the walls into huge stained glass panels Flying Buttresses Notre Dame Paris Ground Plan of a Gothic Cathedral Chartres Main Gothic Page

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  • Gothic Art and Architecture
    South Door 1330 1336 Description Gilded bronze height of portion shown cm 50 detail from panels on South Door representing virtue 1330 1336 Description Marble detail 1347 48 Unique testimony of his work in Orvieto Almost certain intervention by his son Nino Description Marble detail from about 1419 Angle relief facing the sea perhaps by the Lombard Sculptor Matteo Roverti Description Stone height of portion shown cm 40 Detail from

    Original URL path: http://history-world.org/gothic_art.htm (2016-02-11)
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