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The Middle Ages: English 4
Transcript of The Middle Ages: English 4
The Middle Ages, also known as the Medieval era, was roughly 1,000-year span between the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Renaissance in Europe. Although the era of the Middle Ages is often portrayed as intellectually and artistically stagnant, this was not entirely the case. Agriculture and Gothic architecture flourished, as did the Catholic Church, which wielded tremendous power throughout Europe.
Monks & Nuns
Pilgrimages were an important part of religious life in the Middle Ages. Many people took journeys to visit holy shrines such as the Church of St. James at Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the Canterbury cathedral in England, and sites in Jerusalem and Rome. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a series of stories told by 30 pilgrims as they traveled to Canterbury.
The Church becomes the most POWERFUL force in Europe
The Catholic church was the ONLY church in Europe during the Middle Ages
had its owns laws and large coffers
Church leaders such as bishops and archbishops sat on the king's council and played leading roles in the government
Parish priests, on the other hand, came from humbler backgrounds and often had little education.
The village priest tended to the sick and indigent and, if he was able, taught Latin and the Bible to the youth of the village.
Village church was a social center and place of worship
A political, economic, and social system based on military service
evolved from a basic need for protection against invasions
powerful lords would grant estates to vassals who had taken oaths of loyalty, known as a feudal contract which made the lord and vassal mutually obligated to each other. The lord promised to protect the vassal and the vassal would in turn promise military service.
In the feudal society, everyone had a place
The King was in complete control under the Feudal System. He owned all the land in the country and decided who he would lease land to. He therefore only allowed those men he could trust to lease land from him. However, before they were given any land they had to swear an oath to remain faithful to the King at all times.
Below the King were powerful Lords (like Dukes and Counts) who in turn had vassals such as lesser lords, who would have vassals such as knights, who had vassals such as peasants
Grants land to
Grants land to
Grants land to
Provides money and Knights
Provides protection and military service
Provides food and services when demanded
Knights were given land by a Baron in return for military service when demanded by the King.
They were boys trained from an early age to become warriors
Knighthood was grounded in the feudal ideal of loyalty and entailed a complex set of social codes
The knight was one of three types of fighting men during the middle ages: Knights, Foot Soldiers, and Archers. The medieval knight was the equivalent of the modern tank. He was covered in multiple layers of armor, and could plow through foot soldiers standing in his way. No single foot soldier or archer could stand up to any one knight.
Becoming a Knight
When a boy was eight years old, he was sent to the neighboring castle where he was trained as a page. The boy was usually the son of a knight or of a member of the aristocracy. He spent most of his time strengthening his body, wrestling and riding horses. He also learned how to fight with a spear and a sword.
At the age of fifteen or sixteen, a boy became a squire in service to a knight. His duties included dressing the knight in the morning, serving all of the knight’s meals, caring for the knight’s horse, and cleaning the knight’s armor and weapons. He followed the knight to tournaments and assisted his lord on the battlefield.
A young man could also become a knight for valor in combat after a battle
A knight was armed and armored to the teeth
armor was made of small metal rings called chain mail
A knight wore a linen shirt and a pair of pants as well as heavy woolen pads underneath the metal-ringed tunic
Plates covered their chests, back, arms, and legs. A bucket like helmet protected the knight’s head and had a hinged metal visor to cover his face
Suits of armor were hot, uncomfortable, and heavy to wear. A suit of armor weighed between forty and sixty pounds
Chivalry and Courtly Love: Ideal but Unreal
The romance of Courtly Love practised during the Middle Ages was combined with the Code of Chivalry
The romance, rules and art of courtly love allowed knights and ladies to show their admiration regardless of their marital state.
There were strict rules of courtly love (these are just a few)…
The easy attainment of love makes it of little value; difficulty of attainment makes it prized
Every lover regularly turns pale in the presence of his beloved
When one lover dies, a widowhood of two years is required of the survivor
Real jealousy always increases the feeling of love
Every act of a lover ends in the thought of his beloved
Nothing forbids one woman being loved by two men or one man by two women
A true lover is constantly and without intermission possessed by the thought of his beloved
The Knights Code of Chivalry and the vows of Knighthood
The Knights Code of Chivalry described in the Song of Roland and an excellent representation of the Knights Codes of Chivalry are as follows:
To fear God and maintain His Church
To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
To protect the weak and defenceless
To give succour to widows and orphans
To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
To live by honour and for glory
To despise pecuniary reward
To fight for the welfare of all
To obey those placed in authority
To guard the honour of fellow knights
To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
To keep faith
At all times to speak the truth
To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
To respect the honour of women
Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
Never to turn the back upon a foe
Women in Medieval Society: No Voice, No Choice
had no rights in the political system
a woman was always subservient to a man, whether husband, father, or brother
her father's or brother's social standing determined her place in society and how much respect she was given
A noblewoman's life was occupied with childbearing and household supervision
for the peasant woman, life was a ceaselss round of childbearing, house work, and fieldwork
Peasants and Manor Life
The Manor, or lord's estate was the heart of the Medieval economy
Peasants lived and worked on these manors
Most peasants were serfs, which were not slaves, but also not free-they had to stay on the manor to work unless they had permission from the lord
Peasants and their lords were held together by mutual obligations
peasants had to work farming the lord's land, they also repaired roads, bridges, buildings, etc
peasants also paid fees to their lords for marriage, using the mill, and inheriting the land
lords provided a section of the land for peasants to farm for themselves
lords protected against raids and invasions
Although they could not leave without permission they could also not be forced to leave - guaranteed food and housing
Peasnat life was harsh
worked long hours, shared a room or a hut with entire family and any livestock they might have
The Great Happenings
The Crusades were a series of military campaigns during the time of Medieval England against the Muslims of the Middle East.
The First Crusade
The Black Death
Why the fight over the Holy Land?
In 1076, the Muslims had captured Jerusalem - the most holy of holy places for Christians. Jesus had been born in nearby Bethlehem and Jesus had spent most of his life in Jerusalem. He was crucified on Calvary Hill, also in Jerusalem.
However, Jerusalem was also extremely important for the Muslims as Muhammad, the founder of the Muslim faith, had been there and there was great joy in the Muslim world when Jerusalem was captured. A beautiful dome - called the Dome of the Rock - was built on the rock where Muhammad was said to have sat and prayed and it was so holy that no Muslim was allowed to tread on the rock or touch it when visiting the Dome.
The Rise of Feudalism
Medieval Weapons and Armor
The First Crusade had a very difficult journey getting to the Middle East
They traveled from France through Italy, then Eastern Europe and then through what is now Turkey. They covered hundreds of miles, through scorching heat and also deep snow in the mountain passes
The Crusaders ran out of fresh water and according to a survivor, some were reduced to drinking their own urine, drinking animal blood or water that had been in sewage. Food was bought from local people but at very expensive prices
Disease was common especially as men were weakened by the journey and drinking dirty water. Dysentery was common. Heat stroke also weakened many Crusaders. Disease and fatigue affected rich and poor alike.
The attack and capture of Jerusalem started in the summer of 1099
once the Crusaders had managed to get over the walls of Jerusalem, the Muslim defenders there ran away
the Crusaders cut down anybody they could and the streets of Jerusalem were ankle deep in blood
Those Muslims who had their lives spared, had to go round and collect the bodies before dumping them outside of the city because they stank so much
The Muslims claimed afterwards that 70,000 people were killed and that the Crusaders took whatever treasure they could from the Dome of the Rock
The capture of Jerusalem did not end the Crusades as the Crusaders wanted to get rid of the Muslims from the whole region and not just Jerusalem. This desire led to the other crusades.
The Murder of Thomas Becket, 1170
A sword's crushing blow extinguished the life of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, on a cold December evening as he struggled on the steps of his altar. The brutal event sent a tremor through Medieval Europe. Public opinion of the time and subsequent history have laid the blame for the murder at the feet of Becket's former close personal friend, King Henry II.
The place of Thomas Becket's murder. Thomas Becket (1118-1170), the Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral on December 29, 1170, by four knights of King Henry II. Almost immediately pilgrims began journeying to pray at his tomb, and Canterbury soon became the most important pilgrimage destination in England. These pilgrimages were immortalized by
. In 1538, King Henry VIII seized the gold, silver and other valuables at Becket's shrine to replenish England's royal coffers.
The Black Death came in three forms, the bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic.
The bubonic plague was the most commonly seen form of the Black Death. The mortality rate was 30-75%. The symptoms were enlarged and inflamed lymph nodes (around arm pits, neck and groin). The term 'bubonic' refers to the characteristic bubo or enlarged lymphatic gland. Victims were subject to headaches, nausea, aching joints, fever of 101-105 degrees, vomiting, and a general feeling of illness. Symptoms took from 1-7 days to appear.
The septicemic plague was the most rare form of all. The mortality was close to 100% (even today there is no treatment). Symptoms were a high fever and skin turning deep shades of purple.
The black death got its name from the deep purple, almost black discoloration. Victims usually died the same day symptoms appeared. In some cities, as many as 800 people died every day.
The pneumonic plague was the second most commonly seen form of the Black Death. The pneumonic and the septicemic plague were probably seen less than the bubonic plague because the victims often died before they could reach other places (this was caused by the inefficiency of transportation). The mortality rate for the pneumonic plague was 90-95% (if treated today the mortality rate would be 5-10%). The pneumonic plague infected the lungs. Symptoms included slimy sputum tinted with blood, sputum is saliva mixed with mucus exerted from the respiratory system, and as the disease progressed, the sputum became free flowing and bright red. Symptoms took 1-7 days to appear.
Feudalism: weak kings, strong nobles
Duke William of Normandy of France defeats and kills King Harold of England, the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings.
So begins the “Norman Conquest” – an event that changed English history, character, and language
An efficient and ruthless soldier
Wanted to rule the Anglo-Saxons, not eliminate them
To the Anglo-Saxon’s more democratic and artistic tendencies, the Normans brought administrative ability, an emphasis on law and order, and cultural unity
William of Normandy
The Domesday, or rather Doomsday, book is one of William’s great administrative feats and was an inventory of nearly every piece of property in England-including, land, cattle, and buildings.
The name not only implies a judgement of worth but also the fact that all were judged without bias
Its purpose was to determine taxes owed to the king
Survey and Making of Domesday
A page from the Domesday Book, 1086. The Domesday Book, compiled under the direction of William I the Conqueror of England, was a survey of the population and resources of England in 1086, to be used in determining taxes owed to the king.
The Magna Carta: Power to (some of) the people!
In 1215, English barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta as an effort to curb the Church’s power. The document later became the basis for the English constitutional law
The Hundred Year's War (1337 - 1435)
• The first ‘national’ war waged by England against France
• Based on dubious claims to the throne of France by two English Kings: Edward III (reigned from 1327-1377) and Henry the V (reigned from 1413-1422)
• The English lost the war with France, but two different battle forces came from this war:
The Yeoman (small landowners)
– they formed the center of the English army by replacing the knight in armor. The yard-long arrows could fly over the walls and pierce the armor of the knights (an important character in Chaucer’s CTales). With the Emergence of the yeoman class, modern, democratic England was born.
Joan of Arc
– an illiterate French peasant woman who convinced the King of France to lead the French armies to fight the English. She was successful for two years until captured and sold to the English, who tried her in an ecclesiastical court. She was found guilty of crimes from witchcraft to wearing men’s clothes and burned at the stake.
Islam Vs. Christianity=Religious Warfare
To understand how the life and times of the Medieval time period not only influenced a literary movement, but directly portrays the lives and times of the culture
What caused the Crusades?
Signs of the Church's power:
extensive feudal holdings
Monasteries in the Middle Ages were based on the rules set down by St. Benedict in the sixth century.
The monks became known as Benedictines and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to their leaders. They were required to perform manual labor and were forbidden to own property, leave the monastery, or become entangled in the concerns of society. Daily tasks were often carried out in silence.
Monks and their female counterparts, nuns, who lived in convents, provided for the less-fortunate members of the community. .
Monasteries and nunneries were safe havens for pilgrims and other travelers.