The Problem Returns… • After Charlemagne died in 814 A.D., kings found it increasingly difficult to defend their kingdoms. • Threat of constant invasion. • Vikings, Arab Empire, etc. • As the power of the kings decreased, nobles filled the void. • People began to turn to local officials to protect them. • Feudalism - The political and social order of the European Middle Ages. It is based on protection. • Feudal Contract – A set of unwritten rules that guide the system.
The King’s Role The King’s role is to offer protection to the lesser nobles.
The Noble’s Role • The Noble’s role was to use their armies to serve and protect the king. • The King, in return, offered them lands and protection.
The Knight’s Role Heavily armored cavalry that offered service and protection to their nobles. In return, they received land grants called fiefs.
Peasant’s Role Peasants served their lords (nobles). In return, they received protection.
Manorialism • Manor – an estate that a lord ran and peasants worked. • Serfs = peasants legally bound to the land. (60% of Europe!) • Serfs work land for lord (1/3 or ½ of estate), worked rest of land to feed themselves. • Vassal - A man who served a lord in a military capacity. • Could be a knight or a serf. • These manors frequently grew into towns or villages. • A wealthy or powerful lord would fortify his manor house and turn it into a castle.
Assaulting a Castle • Direct Assault • Siege Tower • Trebuchet/Catapult • Battering Ram • Tunneling