Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Medieval Feudalism & A Military Society

Medieval life is a fascinating subject for study. From medieval worship to medieval feudalism there's a wealth of information available for study. Loyalty and allegiance were particularly complex matters with pros and cons on both sides and whilst we don't profess to be experts on the subject, we wanted to share a little of what we do know in this blog post.

Early medieval Britain and indeed Europe as a whole was dominated by feudalism, particularly in the 12th century. There was no concept of nationhood and patriotism was not something people could relate to. Your loyalty was to your ruler.

Europe was split into principalities called feudatories, each one being ruled by a king, duke or a count. The ceremony of homage was commonplace; this was where a kneeling vassal placed his hands between those of his overlord and promised him service and obedience. However, this was not all one way as an overlord was expected to offer protection, friendship and support to any of his vassals in trouble.

Medieval Europe was basically a military society with warfare being the business of kings and noblemen. There might be much blood spilled but afterwards it was usual for a truce to be signed and things would return to normal - except of course for the peasants and townsfolk who suffered greatly.

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