The Middle Ages
When were the Middle Ages?
AD 500 - AD 1500
Describe the feudal system
1) King owned the land but gave it to his people. Kept a quarter for himself
2) King's followers
: vassals. Some were earls with titles like earl or count. Others were bishops or abbots
3) Lords gave some land to knights
: kings soldiers who rode horseback into battle
4) Peasants farmed the land. Payed heavy taxes and rent to Lords and King. Two types
: serfs and freemen
What was the feudal system?
How land was owned and society was organised in medieval times
What were villeins?
Serfs with 30 acres of farmland
What were serfs?
Peasants who were given land by the Lord and had to farm for him for free. They couldn't leave the manor or get married without their Lord's permission.
What were freemen?
These peasants didn't have to work for free for the Lord. They could marry and travel as they wished, however they also paid taxes to the Lords and priests.
What was the tithe?
Tax paid by the peasants to the priest in the form of one tenth of their crops
What were the commons?
The area of the land where all animals belonging to the peasants could graze
What was the forge?
Where the blacksmith worked
What was the water mill used for?
Milling wheat into flour
What was the alehouse?
Where poor people drank beer
Who was the bailiff?
Kept law and order
How did the open-field system work?
1) Land in the manor was divided into two parts
2) One part was the commons
3) Other part to grow crops. Divided into three fields. Each field divided into long strips. Each peasant family had a few strips in each field
4) One of the three fields was left fallow each year to rest the soil and keep it fertile
5) This was crop rotation
What kind of houses did peasants have?
Wattle and daub with a thatched roof
What was pottage?
A vegetable soup with oats
How could a serf become a freeman?
If they ran away for a year and a day without getting caught
What were stocks?
A criminals hands and legs were locked between two planks of wood and passers by would spit at them or throw things at them
What was the most common punishment for small crimes?
What was a pillory?
Just like the stocks except a person's head and hands were held
What was a ducking stool?
Women who made trouble in the village were tied to a chair and repeatedly dipped into water
What happened to a witch?
Hanged or burned alive
What were the first type of medieval castles?
Motte and Bailey
What was a motte and bailey castle made of?
In a motte and bailey, what was the motte?
A small hill where the fort was situated
In a motte and bailey, what was the bailey?
Ground level enclosure where the Lord and his soldiers usually resided
What were motte and bailey castles replaced with?
What was the keep in a stone castle?
The main living quarters
What were the battlements of a castle?
The lookout area above the keep. Soldiers kept lookout for enemies all day in the battlements
What were the curtain walls of a medieval castle?
The outer walls of the castle
What were turrets in a stone castle?
Strong towers along the walls
What was the portcullis in a medieval castle?
The iron grille that could be lowered in front of the castle door
What were ramparts in a stone castle?
Walkways on the inside of the castle walls, wide enough for soldiers to walk along
What was a moat in a medieval castle?
A ditch around the castle that was usually filled with water from the nearby lake or river
What was another word for the bailey, or courtyard?
What were the latrines of a stone castle?
The toilets of the castle
What was contained in the courtyard of a stone castle?
: Knights' horses were kept here
2) Pigeon Houses
: pigeons were used for food and messages
: safer than inside the castle to avoid fires
: blacksmith made horseshoes and weapons
: essential for clean water
What was a siege?
When an enemy attacked, the townspeople went to the castle for safety. The enemies would then prevent anyone from entering and exiting the castle while they attacked
What was a battering ram?
A large log suspended by rope that was swung at the castle gate to try open it
What were used to throw huge boulders over the wall of a castle?
What was a ballista?
A giant crossbow machine to fire arrows
What were siege towers?
An enclosed ladder that attackers used to get near to the castle
Why did attackers sometimes dig tunnels under the castle walls?
They hoped they would collapse
What were siege ladders used for?
To climb the castle walls
Why did spiral staircases circle to the right in a medieval castle?
Most people held their weapons in their right hand, so it easier to fight going down the stairs rather than up, in the case of an attack
What was the solar in a medieval castle?
The room the lady of the castle used for work such as embroidery
Who were kept in the dungeons of a castle?
Prisoners of war
Around what year did Lords not know how to read or write until?
Up to the 1300s
What were trenchers?
Big slices of bread that were sometimes used instead of plates
What was a wimple?
What was hawking?
Hunting with hawks
What were tournaments?
Knights acted out mock battles for entertainment
What were melées in tournaments?
What was jousting?
Tournaments that were one on one fighting
The Middle Ages