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Lecture Four
The Middle Ages
1. A General Survey of the Middle Ages
(1). The Definition of Middle Ages: 91★ ★ ★
n Middle Ages: The period in European history between the collapse of Rome and the Renaissance, from 476 CE to about 1450. It is so called because it came between ancient times and modern times.
n It is also known as the medieval period, and as the Dark Ages. As during the Middle times there was no central government to keep the order, and the Christian church shaped people’s ideas and lives by taking the lead in politics, law, art, and learning of Europe, it is also called “Age of Faith.”
Organization of Church: 95-6
n Pope of the Roman Catholic Church罗马教皇、教宗
n ↓
n Archbishops大主教、红衣主教(province )
n ↓
n Bishops主教(主教管区diocese)
n ↓
n Priests牧师、教士(堂区parish, part of a diocese)
n ↓
n Lay member of church 非神职人员
(2). Emergence of Nations in Middle Ages
n Qin & Han dynasties →the Huns westward→ barbarian Germanic tribes, such as the Angles, Saxons, Franks, Visigoths and Vandals, crossed the Danube river into the territory of the Roman Empire →establishment of many Germanic kingdoms, which developed into nations as England, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany.
n Between 5-11 centuries, Europe suffered frequent wars and invasions. Political unity (that of Roman Empire) gave way to widespread destruction and confusion. There was no central government, and it was Christian church that seemed to unite Europe and kept the order.
(3). New Institutions of Europe ★ ★ ★
n In the isolation and chaos of the 9th and 10th centuries, European leaders no longer attempted to restore Roman institutions, but adopted whatever would work. The result was that Europe developed a relatively new and effective set of institutions. The most well-known of the institutions were manorialism (the organization of the peasants庄园制度), monasticism (the organization of the churchmen修道院制度), and feudalism (the institution of the aristocracy封建制度). (来源:EnglishCN.com)
2. Feudalism ★ ★ ★
n The term "feudalism” derives from the Latin “feudum,” a grant of land.”
(1). Why did feudalism become a necessity?
Feudalism came to be initially a system of local defense against the constant dangers and uncertainties of a rather primitive existence in northern Europe after the relative order of the Roman Empire disappeared.
(2). Three elements of feudalism : 92-4 ★ ★ ★
n Feudalism is defined by three elements that existed and characterized the medieval period: lords (封建领主), vassals (封臣) and fiefs (封地, 采邑).
n A lord was a noble who owned land. A vassal was given land by the lord. The land was known as a fief. In exchange for the fief, the vassal would provide military service to the lord. The obligations and relations between lord, vassal and fief form the basis of feudalism.
Further reading: meaning of “fief”
It came from the German vieh, or "cow," the measure of wealth among the early Germans, a term that gave rise to the medieval word fief. "Fief" simply meant "something of value." In the agricultural world of the time, "something of value" was usually land. But the sixteenth-century lawyers pictured this land as having been under the control of a powerful king who distributed much of it to his followers
Further reading: how did feudalism begin?
n As the northern tribes migrated into Europe, each man wanted to have his own land and used whatever force was necessary to obtain it. The strongest of these men made himself king and took the largest portion of the land he had conquered. The remaining land was divided among his chief followers, with the condition that they pay him taxes and fight for him. In turn, these men divided the land they had been given by the king among other men with the same conditions they had agreed to. The dividing continued down to the smallest landholder.
n As a result, every man (except the king) owed something to a stronger man. The stronger man was the lord, and the weaker man was his vassal. The lord might also be the vassal of a yet more powerful lord.
Further reading: Who first began this practice?
n It was Charles Martel(715-741, 查理·马特奥斯特亚), a Frankish ruler, who first started granting estates (fiefs) for military service in the eighth century. He had a good reason:
n Europe was being invaded by a large Muslim army which came up from Spain. Martel could not have gathered a strong enough fighting force without giving the fighters (vassals) something substantial in exchange for their service. That was land or the right to use land for their own purposes.
n Charlemagne, grandson of Charles Martel,  was a stronger and more powerful ruler. He was able to field armies strong enough to conquer most of central Europe. But his army was an army of foot soldiers, who were really farmers and herdsmen most of the time. It was not a professional army in any sense of that term.
n The extension of these two precedents led to the creation of a permanent fighting force exclusively dedicated to military activity and nothing else.
(3). A conclusion of feudalism
n Feudalism was a medieval contractual relationship among the upper classes.
n It was further characterized by:
n i. the localization of political and economic power in the hands of lords and their vassals;
n the exercise of that power from the base of castles, each of which dominated the district in which it was situated.
n This formed a pyramidal form of hierarchy, as illustrated below:
n king

n        vassal                                       vassal
n         (lord)                                         (lord)

n vassal           vassal                 vassal          vassal
3. Manorialism: 93-4 ★ ★ ★
(1). What is manorialism?
n Manorialism is the other side of the feudal coin, for it deals with the social and economic relationships between the peasants and their lords (which feudalism does not infer). In a sense, manorial agriculture is the economic base of feudalism.
n Manors usually had four parts to them: arable land, meadow land, waste land, and the village. Each part had a specific purpose and none could be dispensed with if the manor was to survive.
(2). Social classes within the manor
I. Lords: an aristocratic class
n Rising in Europe in 8th, 9th and 10th centuries, the lords drew economic support from manors by preempting rents and services from peasants. They had a right to the products from some part of the land. They had certain strips of the best arable land set aside for the lord (i.e.  the lord‘s demesne). The lord also got dues 贡物 from the serfs: sheafs of grain and other dues in kind (the lord got the best animal when the head of the family died, for instance). He collected fees from the serfs for using his still酒厂, wine press, bake oven and other utilities. Fines were assessed by the manor court for various infractions of custom and rules.
II. Peasant class
n The peasant class of medieval Europe can be classified into three groups: free men, serfs (villeins农奴), and cotters农场雇工.
n Free men had certain fixed dues which they had to pay or deliver. Serfs had the same dues, but also had to provide labor services for the lord on his land. Cotters had no rights to arable land whatsoever. They worked for some sort of wage in kind.
n The serfs are little better than slaves, for they need permission to marry or move village and have to pay the lord for almost everything.  For instance, the lord has the choice of their animals when the serfs die, and the serfs have to give the lord a hen at Christmas and eggs at Easter.
Monor house of lords: the only house made of stone in village
Further reading: Why did manorialism emerge in northern Europe?
n climate & topography
n → provided a fundamental distinction from the grape-olive-grain-complex of the Mediterranean lands.
n agricultural techniques
n → quite different in northern Europe from Mediterranean lands. An instance is the moldboard plow. As distinguished from the scratch plow, it created a revolution in agriculture:
n social adjustments
n →brought about by new agricultural techniques. Since it took 6 to 8 small oxen to pull a moldboard plow, the pooling of resources became necessity. This led to cooperative cultivation of the soil. By 10th century most of Europe was divided into farming units known as manors.
n In south of Europe, however, there was no comparable change in agriculture. (It is no surprise that feudalism and manorialism never really developed in the south of Europe, since they had to depend on the traditional olives and grapes)
III. Church
n The church played an important role in all this. The peasants had to pay tithes (ththings) or harvest products to the church in order to maintain it. These tithes (1/10th of total income) were collected by the parish priest or the lord's agent.
(1). Who are knights?
n Knights are skilled horse soldiers who have been given their manors in return for serving in the army.
n But remember they are not born knights. They have to be trained in chivalry from about the age of 7 when they become a page 侍童, at 14 he will become a Squire (骑士扈从) and continue with his education as a gentleman, learning about religion, and also learning how to fight with lance and sword. A successful squire will be knighted by the Baron or even the King in a ceremony where he swears to fight for God, his King and to be chivalrous
(2). The Code of Chivalry (骑士信条) ★ ★ ★
n The code of chivalry can be said to be a set of ideals and duties by which medieval knights lived. Although throughout the Middle Ages the code kept changing to meet new socio-economic realities, it maintained the essential quality of defending 'rightness' that ties the many images of what we call 'chivalry.' 
Some components of the code
n Loyalty to country, King, honor, freedom, and the code of chivalry.
n Loyalty to one's friends and those who lay their trust in thee.
n Live one's life so that it is worthy of respect and honor.
n Never attack an unarmed foe.
n Never attack from behind.
n Avoid cheating.
n Exhibit self control.
n Respect women.
n Exhibit Courage in word and deed.
n Defend the weak and innocent.
n Fight with honor.
n Exhibit manners
(1). The romance
n "Romance" originally referred to the vernacular French language which was called romanz (meaning that it was derived from the language spoken by the Romans, i.e. Latin). Consequently, French and other languages derived from Latin, such as Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, are still referred to as “Romance languages" (or New Latin Languages) today.
n Here Latin refers to the Vulgar Latin which evolved in different areas after the break-up of the Roman Empire. This spoken Latin differed in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar from classical Latin, a highly stylized and polished literary language selectively developed from early Latin, i.e. the Latin language of the Golden Age of Latin Literature (broadly the 1st Century B.C.), possibly extending to the Silver Age (the first two centuries A.D. directly after the Golden Age).
n In the 12th century, literature which was written down in the French vernacular was referred to as "romance" to distinguish it from "real" literature, which was invariably written in Latin.
n Gradually, the term "romance" began to refer to the specific sort of narrative literature that was most popular among the French-speaking court audiences of France and Anglo-Norman England.
n They told stories of the chivalric adventures of knights and their ladies, often set at the court of King Arthur. The audience for these early vernacular narratives was largely made up of women--the queen, duchess or countess and the other ladies of her court. These women naturally tended to be interested in stories in which women played central roles.
 
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