World History Notes
High Middle Ages

- new social group: merchants to go along with, those who fought, those who prayed, those who labored

- many rose from the ranks of vassals
- high class nobles = great landowners & magnates, lower class nobles = new merchants & petty landlords & wealthy farmers
- arms (fighting) was their profession
- war gave new riches (fiefs) & gain honor & glory
- peace is boredom & economic stagnation for knights
- dubbing knighthood similar to a religious sacrament, priest blessed equipment – bath of purification, confession, communion
- in 12th century knighthood restricted to men of high birth, kings could choose whoever they wished
- tournaments in peacetime, fostered training, but added aggression and injury and some deaths to “friendly” war games
- knights made lots of children with many women, wrote love poems, rode horses (calvary) – later they were made obsolete by infantry & artillery

- regular clergy = monks who live separate from the world (avoid materialistic influences – denied worldly comforts & distractions)
- Dominicans went out into the world to combat heresy & preach (worked & begged to support themselves)
- Regular clergy did have contact through teaching, church celebrations
- Secular clergy = lived & worked directly with the lay people (wealthy cardinals, archbishops, priests)
- Priests often were poor – said the mass & were not much more educated than the people they served
- Nuns = recruited from wealthy class – give dowry to church
- Church & its clergy were not subject to same laws as “regular” people
- Clergy were superior (in theory) – no taxes, no law (went to ecclesiastic courts), church land was not under the domain of law (threaten excommunication)

- worked on the manor of nobility
- they owned whatever was left over after the lord’s needs were met
- banalities = subject to desires of the lord (breed their cows with his bull)
- not slaves, important to keep serfs happy & healthy for the benefit of the manor
- free to marry within the village, ask lord’s permission to marry outside
- 2 basic changes
- single family holdings, increase in tenants, decrease in lord’s fields = reduction in services needed from each tenant (only a few days a year service, down from several days a week)
- single family units were protected and passed down to children, eventually being viewed as “their land”
- money$$$ = paid rent, not service, gain freedom through making money = rent payers were not dependent on the lord and visa-versa

The History Box HOME
site & service provided by