Medieval Social Hierarchy
During the middle ages or the medieval period, the society was divided into several different classes which were based on their importance in society and kingdom. These classes were divided and marked on the basis of factors like status, hereditary, income and others.
By exploring illuminations depicting rural life, Dr Alixe Bovey examines the role of the peasant in medieval society, and discusses the changes sparked by the Black Death. In the Middle Ages, the majority of the population lived in the countryside, and some 85 percent of the population could be described as peasants.
From attitudes to original sin to the roles of wives, mothers and nuns, Dr Alixe Bovey examines the role of women in medieval society. An illustration of Christine de Pizan writing in her study, from The Book of the Queen (Harley MS 4431, f. 4r) Usage terms Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.
In the Middle Ages, before the rise of national states in western Europe, the people there lived under a system called feudalism. This was a social system of rights and obligations based on land ownership patterns. The feudal system that developed in medieval Europe was the foundation of the region's early society and politics. It created a mutually beneficial contract between landowners and the lesser nobility, and affected most of medieval history, from the time of Charlemagne until the end of the Crusades.
Feudalism had two enormous effects on medieval society. It discouraged unified government and it also discouraged trade and economic growth.
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