Chapter 8: European Civilization in the Early Middle Ages, 750-1000

  1. Invasions and disintegration of Carolingian Empireà __. For protection, powerful lords were supported by subjects. The contract sworn between lord and subordinate formed social organization called __.
    • new type of relationship between free individuals
    • feudalism
  2. I.                   Vassalage
    • a.      Derived from Germanic society
    •                                                               i.      Warriors swore oath of loyalty to leader
    • 1.      Fought in turn for care
    • a.      Vassal

  3. I.                   Vassalage
    a.      Breakdown of government
    •                                                               i.      Powerful nobles= control of large areas
    • 1.      Grants of land to vassals in return for fighting
    • a.      Fighting skills
    • b.      Symbiotic
    • 2.      Lands became most important gift a lord could give to vassal in return for military service
    • 3.      Relationship made official by public ceremony
    • a.      To become vassal: act of homage to lord
    • Loyalty to one’s lord was chief virtue
  4. I.                   Vassalage
    Frankish Army
    • a.      Frankish army originally consisted of foot soldiers
    •                                                               i.      8th century: larger horses and stirrup introducedà military change
    • 1.      Spear throwersà armored coats of mail and long lances
    • a.      Heavily armed cavalry, or knights
  5. I.                   Vassalage
    •                                                               i.      Horse, armor and weapons expensive to purchase and maintain
    • 1.      Learning to wield= time consuming 
  6. I.                   Fief-Holding 
    • a.      Land granted to vassalà fief
    •                                                               i.      Many vassals who held such grants exercised rights of jurisdiction or political and legal authority within their fiefs
    • b.      Decline of Carolingian world due to impact of dissension within and invasions from withoutà increase of powerful lords
    •                                                               i.      Instead of single government, people responsible for keeping order
    • 1.      Some lords in France—castellans—made castles and asserted authority to collect taxes and dispense justice to local population
    • a.      Lack of central control increased these castles and castellans
  7. I.                   Fief-Holding 
    • a.      Became complicated as subinfeudation developed
    •                                                               i.      Vassals of king had vassals who gave military service in return for land
    • 1.      Also had vassals
    • a.      Lord-vassal relationship bound greater and lesser landowners
    •                                                             ii.      Hierarchy was only model with king on top
    • 1.      Reality: great lords on top
  8. I.                   Fief-Holding
    Lord-Vassal Relationship, Lordship, Fief-Holding
    •                                                               i.      Honorable relationship between free men
    • 1.      No servitude
    •                                                             ii.      Subinfeudation widespread
    • 1.      With rights of jurisdiction, fiefs gave lords virtual possession of rights of government
    • b.      New practice of lordship
    •                                                               i.      Product of Carolingian worldà spread to England, Germany, c. Europe, and in Italy
    • c.       Fief-holding
    •                                                               i.      Characterized by set of practices
    • 1.      Mutual obligations of lord toward vassal and vassal toward lord
    • a.      Obligations varied
  9. I.                   Fief-Holding
    Mutual Obligations
    •                                                               i.      Major obligation: perform military service
    • 1.      Great lord responsible for providing knights for the king’s army
    • a.      Vassals had to furnish suit at court
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Vassal had to go to lord’s court when summoned, either to give advice to lord or sit in on case, since important vassals of lords were peers, only they could judge each other
    •                                                             ii.      Also obliged to provide hospitality for lord when stayed at vassal’s castle
    •                                                           iii.      Responsible for aids, or financial payments, to the lord on a number of occasions
    • 1.      Wedding, knighting, ransom
  10. I.                   Fief-Holding
    Lord Responsibilites and Practices
    • a.      Lord Responsibilities
    •                                                               i.      Protect vassal
    •                                                             ii.      Maintenance of vassal, by granting a fief
    • b.      Practices common
    •                                                               i.      Improper behaviorà dissolve of bond
    •                                                             ii.      Vassal failed to provide loyaltyà forfeit fief
    • 1.      Vassals’ deathà fief reverted to lord
    • a.      Fiefs hereditary by 10th c.
  11. I.                   New Political Configurations in the Tenth Century
    • a.      Europe began to recover from invasions
    • b.      Disintegration of Carolingian Empire and emergence of great and powerful lordsà new political configurations
  12. I.                   New Political Configurations in the Tenth Century
    Eastern Franks: Last King
    •                                                               i.      Last king died in 911à local rulers exercised control in dukedoms
    • 1.      Dukes elected one to serve as king of Germany of eastern Franks (Conrad of Franconians)
    • a.      Did not lastà Henry the Fowler, duke of Saxony
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Not successful in creating unified kingdom due to lack of resources
    • 1.      Saxon dynasty
  13. I.                   New Political Configurations in the Tenth Century
    Eastern Franks: Best King
    •                                                               i.      Best known Saxon kingà Otto I (son of Henry the Fowler)
    • 1.      Defeated Magyars at Battle of Lechfeld in 955
    • 2.      Encouraged Christianization of Slavic and Scandinavians
    • a.      Relied o bishops and abbots to govern
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Response to tendency of lay lords to build up power at expense of king
    • 1.      Clergy= celibateà bishops and abbots’ positions not hereditary
    • a.      King maintains control
  14. I.                   New Political Configurations in the Tenth Century
    Eastern Franks Intervening in Italian Politics
    • 1.      Intervened in Italian politics
    • a.      Crowned emperor of Romans by pope in 962
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Roman imperial title on Frankish kingà new “Roman Empire” in hands of Germansà burden to Germany kingship
    • 1.      Rule Italy and govern Germany
    • a.      Impossible
  15. Western Franks
    •                                                               i.      9-10 c. Carolingians had little success in controlling lords of western Franks
    • 1.      Counts did not mind wishes of kings
    • 2.      987: death of kingà nobles and chief prelates of church chose Hugh Capet, count of Orleans and Paris, as new king
  16. Western Franks: Hugh Capet
    • 1.      Created dynasty
    • a.      Hugh’s family controlled only a region around Paris, while other French nobles possessed equal or greater lands than those of the Capetians
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Assumed the king would be happy with revenue of personal lands and not burden nobility
    • 2.      Chose son, Robert, as anointed associate in case he died on campaign in Spain
    • a.      Capetian Dynasty would rule for centuries
  17. Western Franks
    Late 10th Century
    • 1.      Territory that would be France was not unifiedà loose alliance of lords who thought king as equal
    • a.      Assisted king only when beneficial
  18. Anglo-Saxon England
    •                                                               i.      Different course from Frankish kingdoms
    • 1.      Struggle  btw. Anglo-Saxon kingdom and Viking invasions= unified kingdom
  19. Anglo-Saxon England
    Alfred the Great
    • a.      Alfred the Great, king of Wessex (871-899) played crucial role
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Defeated Danish army in 879 and made peace with Danes after strengthening army and creating navy
    •                                                                                                                                     ii.      Believed in education
    • 1.      Invited scholars to court/ encouraged translation of works of church fathers into Anglo-Saxon, the vernacular (language of people)
    • a.      Old English used for official correspondence too
  20. Anglo-Saxon England
    Alfred the Great Successors
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Reconquered remaining areas occupied by Danes
    •                                                                                                                                     ii.      Established unified Anglo-Saxon monarchy
  21. Anglo-Saxon England 
    Alfred the Great Successors: King Edgar
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Anglo-Saxon England had well-developed and strong monarchical government
    • 1.      Kingship= elective
    • a.      Descendents of Alfred chosen only
    • 2.      Counties (shires)= administrate units/ king assisted by agent appointed/ controlled by him (sheriff)
    • 3.      Chancery or writing office issued writs conveying king’s orders to sheriffs
  22. Manorial System
    • a.      Landholding class of nobles and knights= elite
    •                                                               i.      Ability function as warriors depended on having leisure time to pursue arts of war
    • 1.      Landed estates worked by dependent peasants
    • a.      Provided economic sustenance that made this possible
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Manor: agricultural state operated by lords and worked by peasants
    • Lords give protection; peasants give freedom, tie to lord’s land, and labor for him
  23. Manorial System: 
    •                                                               i.      Due to small farmers needing protection or food in time of bad harvests
    • 1.      Free peasants gave up freedom in return for protection and lord’s land
    • a.      Became serfs
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Could not be bought and sold, but were subservient
    • 1.      Required to provide labor
    • 2.      Pay rents
    • 3.      Subject to lord’s jurisdiction
    • 4.      60% serfs in 9th c. 
  24. Manorialism
    Serf's Labor Services
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Working lord’s demesne, the land retained by the lord (1/3-1/2 of land and surrounding barns and ditches)
    • 1.      Labor varied from manor to manor and person to person, but common work: 3 x a week
    •                                                                                                                                     ii.      Serfs paid rent by giving share of every product raised
    •                                                                                                                                   iii.      Paid for use of pasturelands, streams, ponds, and surrounding woodlands
    • 1.      Obliged to pay tithe to local village church
  25. Manorialism
    Lord's Rights over Serfs
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Serfs bound to lord’s land; couldn’t leave without permission
    •                                                                                                                                     ii.      Serfs could not marry anyone outside manor without approval
    •                                                                                                                                   iii.      Exercised public rights or political authority on lands
    • 1.      Right to try serfs in own court, for lesser crimes
    • a.      Lord’s manorial court provided the only law that most serfs knew
    •                                                                                                                                   iv.      Established monopolies on certain services that provided additional revenues
    • 1.      Could be required to bring grain to lord’s mill and pay fee to have it ground into flour
    • a.      Gave virtual control over both lives and property of serfs
  26. Manorialism
    Administration of Manors
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Lord of manor was knight= live on estate and supervise in person
    • 1.      Great lords possessed many manors and relied on steward or bailiff to run each estate
    • a.      Manors controlled by both lay lords and monasteries and cathedral churches
    •                                                                                                                                                                                                               i.      Monasteries kept accurate records more than lords
    •                                                                                                                                                                                                             ii.      Surveys provided best sources of info on medieval village life
    •                                                                                                                                                                                                           iii.      A single village might constitute a manor or a large manor might encompass several villages
  27. Manorialism
    Early MIddle Ages
    • 1.      Majority of men and women, free or unfree, worked the land
    • a.      Period of declined trade
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Hoarding and frequenting bartering of goods
    • 1.      Few coins in circulation
    • b.      Never disappeared
    •                                                                                                                                       i.      Surplus products exchanged at local markets
    •                                                                                                                                     ii.      Both aristocrats and wealthy clerics desired not local merchandise
    • 1.      Trade conducted with Byzantine Islamic caliphs of Baghdad
    • a.      Traders, often Jews, carried goods by boat on European rivers or caravans with horses or mule
  28. Manorialism
    Early MIddle Ages
    • 1.      900: Italian merchants, especially Venetians, entered trade
    • 2.      Summary: western Europe was underdeveloped, predominantly agrarian society and couldn’t match splendor of Roman Empire
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Chapter 8: European Civilization in the Early Middle Ages, 750-1000