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HIS109Y1 (520)


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University of Toronto St. George
Anthony Cantor

Feudalism & the Three Orders of Medieval Society  The world became much more “local” after fall of Roman Empire  Need for security: grew after Roman law vanished, began to dominate almost everything  Ancient Roman traditions began to change: patron-client relationship became more military  Foundations of Feudalism: powerful Romans retired to the country for security & food in “fortified (protected) houses”  Tribal groups of Barbarians (“comez” – companion) had “thugs”/chosen protectors that were rewarded the most by leaders (who usth these personal relationships in Europe)  This system was built by early 9 century: rural life, security, food, privilege was awarded for loyalty in those personal relationships  Became efficient: mutual benefit, less chaos  No gov’t: private armies, public power was in private hands, increasing military connection  Important technological change from Central Asia: stirrups (place to put feet on saddle)  Cavalry became more efficient, which revolutionized warfare (greater protective element): men could stand “on” their horses & fight better  “Thugs” were found to be best suited for military training; had loyalty of chieftain/landlord  Creation of concept of “chivalry”: knights on horseback (only privileged military class: foot soldiers couldn’t beat them; akin to bikers today)  Society’s structure began to change w/ system  Chieftain maintaining loyalty: culture of mutual loyalty (chieftain provided knights w/ status, means & transfer of land; knights provided chieftain w/ protection)  Knight’s property couldn’t be inherited by his son, had to be earned through maintaining loyalty Feudalism – transfer of land (fief) among chieftain/landlord & knights for mutual loy
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