The Medieval Era Essay

1455 words - 6 pages

The Medieval Era

The Medieval era is so easily generalized into the three orders of
those who fight, those who work, and those who pray, or even simply
divided into the privileged and unprivileged. These distinctions are
important, for the ability of the church and manor to influence a
peasant's actions and to take a peasant's earnings was obviously a
central component of a peasant's life. However, when peasants
constituted such a sizable majority of the population (over 90
percent), it is also important to recognize the distinctions among
them. Some peasants were free and some were serfs. Some peasants were
well off and some were barely subsisting. Some peasants held manorial
offices and some did not. Some peasant women lost their identity
behind a husband and others maintained it by never marrying. In this
sense, Judith M. Bennett's portrayal of peasant life in A Medieval
Life: Cecilia Penifader of Brigstock, c. 1295-1344 is a nuanced
perspective. She not only analyzes the affect of the powerful
institutions of church and manor on peasants, but she also recognizes
that they were affected differently depending on their position within
peasant society.

Through her use of court records from the manor of Brigstock, Bennett
attempts to help readers "understand the lives of medieval peasants -
their families, work, communities, superstitions, fears, and hopes."
Cecilia Penifader and other Brigstock tenants were obligated to attend
court every three weeks, in which they settled community business.
These court rolls are only clues into the lives of the people of
Brigstock, and they require some amount of historical interpretation.
For example, Bennett explains that court rolls during the Great Famine
do not explicitly tell of the hardships the people endured, but they
do provide insight through interpretation of the crimes and business
transactions taking place in this time period. Through recording land
sales and inheritances, the courts rolls explain the economic status
of certain peasants, and through recording contracts and crimes
committed, they can describe relationships between peasants. For
example, Bennett writes, "Cecilia illegally took hay off the land of
Richard Everard; she let her animals trespass onto the property of
others; she argued with Alice Baker," (103). Again, the records are
factual but anything that goes beyond the written word is an inference
subject to interpretation and generalization. Bennett also uses poems
and songs throughout the text. "Clues about how privileged people
regarded peasants can be found in their courtly songs, sarcastic
proverbs, nasty jokes, and pious sermons," writes Bennett (3).
However, these only tell about the generalized negative opinions of
elites regarding peasants. Personal diaries and letters are missing
from the book...

Find Another Essay On The Medieval Era

Medieval Warfare: Stagnant or Flowing? Essay

1744 words - 7 pages The medieval era has often been considered the Dark Ages, a time of little civil development and simple, almost backwards, social systems. Medieval warfare specifically has been regarded with little respect and has been seen to lack military artistry. From this fertile, yet uncultivated, ground comes the early modern period of European history. The main point of contention is the cavalry's early dominance over European culture, which inevitably

A Comparison of the Medieval and Renaissance Eras

1019 words - 4 pages It is amazing how significantly various aspects of society can and will change overa prolonged period of time. Between the time periods of the Medieval era and theRenaissance, one can note numerous significant changes, mainly those pertaining to artand religion. In general, ideals and subjects during the Renaissance became more secular.In Medieval times, people seemed to focus mainly on the church, God, and the afterlife;whereas during the

“In what ways did religion and economics influence the development of medieval Europe and Japan?”

905 words - 4 pages of this era. While both places were very different there was still some similarities, such as feudalism. The medieval times have even influenced things of today, such as democracy. This period, which has left its mark on time is one of importance and should not be over looked or ignored.

Japanese Literature

1208 words - 5 pages , because of the increase in civil wars and shift in political power. This is clearly evident in the works of gunki monogatari, especially “Heike Monogatari,” because the tales depict inelegant things that were not to be mentioned in Heian period literature, such as blood and gore. The illustration of the atrocities of war shows the increase in battles and wars of the period. This coincides with the European medieval era, in which battles were

The Rise of Universities in Medieval Europe

1103 words - 4 pages In the present modern day, and seemingly for an extensive period of time, society has tended and still does, hold a predisposed idea that a university is associated with a building and the location that it is in. What society does not realise however the fact that it is a place to study where the location does not matter because towards the end you still achieve the same degree as anyone else. In early modern periodization, the medieval term

Michelangelo Buonarroti

1062 words - 4 pages Renaissance, because he portrayed his paintings using shadows, boldness, depicting three dimensional objects. Causing the characters on the ceiling to come alive. In contrast to the Medieval age, art consisted of dull, flat without shadow or dimension. The Renaissance created an era where artists could express themselves through lively art. Art during the pre-renaissance era, the Medieval age, was greatly influenced by the Catholic Church

the name of the rose

663 words - 3 pages important, but not how intellectual pursuits were uninteresting to the Christianity if it wasn’t about God. To start, Arnaud’s film holds the theme of reason vs. faith and it shows us the influence of the Roman Church during the medieval era. The main character of “The Name of the Rose” is William of Baskerville. William investigates mysterious deaths of monks in the abbey. During the medieval time, the church controlled a fair amount of

Medieval Art in a Modern World

625 words - 3 pages Medieval Art in a Modern World When I was looking at different works of art from the Middle Ages in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (medieval wing), one in particular caught my attention. Entitled “Plaque with the Crucifixion and the Stabbing of Hades,” this piece embodies life and death, triumph and defeat, divinity and humanity. Carved in ivory, this plaque, depicting the Passion of Christ with an allusion to Hades (god of the underworld

History of Fashion

627 words - 3 pages , and improved textile-making techniques. The upper class nobles grew during this era; personal health was gained by survivors of the Black Plague. Wealthy classes often experimented often resulting in extreme styles. The second group of fashion history includes 1350 – 1700. The first era of this time period was the Renaissance. This included about 150 years, in which the style was influenced by Medieval and Gothic Designs, and Italian

Medieval Weaponry

1797 words - 7 pages Soldiers in medieval Europe used a variety of weapons. A soldier's choice of armor depended on the time during which he lived, the type of fighting he did, and his economic situation. For hand-to-hand combat soldiers typically used swords, axes, clubs, and spears. Crossbows, bows, and javelins served as projectiles for most of the medieval period, though firearms had begun to appear toward the end of the era. Siege weapons such as catapults

The Change Of Status For The Women Of Medieval Europe

925 words - 4 pages advancement when taking into account the ladies of this era still experienced an inferior legal status. The ease in which the transition between the lord and lady took place implies some sort of partnership in a marriage. This was a substantial advancement compared to prior time periods when marriage was anything but a partnership. The voice medieval women possessed in their marriages further established the idea of a marriage based on a

Similar Essays

Islamic Science In The Medieval Era

2566 words - 10 pages analyzed and clearly refuted. Following these counter arguments, the main weight of historical facts and events in the identification and explanation of Islamic scientific innovation will be presented, showing the inaccuracy of referring to the medieval period as dark. Finally, I will show that the misleading perception of the medieval era as stagnant is due to the modern bias for the superiority of Western ideas. One could argue that the

A Feminist In The Medieval Era: Margery Kempe

1401 words - 6 pages Margery Kempe did something that many people (especially women) would not dare to do- she broke away from the identity that her society had molded for her. The Book of Margery Kempe is one of the most astonishing documents found of the late medieval era and is the first autobiography to have been discovered. Margery Kempe does not shy away from telling the story of the personal and intricate details about her adventurous life. It is hard to

European Castles Of The Medieval Era

1991 words - 8 pages CASTLES:OF THE MEDIEVAL ERANot so long ago, there was a period in time where kings ruled the lands and knights took their directions. The feudal system was thriving and life was good. This time was the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages took their effect in the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries. During this time, kings and lords built large forts to protect their strongholds. However, they were more than just forts. They were giant

Changes And Innovations In Japanese Literature In The Medieval Era

982 words - 4 pages presence of Buddhism in literature of medieval Japan, not be a critique on the plausibility of it as a religion. So, Buddhism shows up in anywhere from the lines of poetry where loneliness is expressed, the poet sealing himself in seclusion and trying to follow the path, yet failing to do so, to the prose of folktales. The Uji Shui and Hojoki in particular embody the teachings of Buddhism coupled with traditional storytelling in an attempt to