33 thoughts on “Medieval Society

  1. Reminds one of the verse in the Victorian hymn, "All things Bright and Beautiful:"

    "The rich man in his castle,
    The poor man at his gate.
    God made them high and lowly
    And ordered their estate."

    In the first part of, "The Romance of the Rose" (13th century) the protagonist is advised to wear such tight footwear so peasants will wonder how he got them on. Dress code is still prevalent today, so perhaps we are not as far removed from the middle ages as we might think.

  2. Very clear, organised and well-informed. RR is a breath of fresh air in a field often dominated by certified nutters, bigots, and conspiracy theorists who consider themselves experts on the topic because they have read a Dan Brown novel.

  3. Was there overt understanding with the 3 realms? Or more of causal influence. Someone articulated it, but, that was observation. When clergy and nobles started making political moves, were they utilizing their understanding of the 3 realms?

  4. I don't think this takes men-at-arms or archers into account. There was a degree of social mobility.

  5. It's remarkable how this pattern of social stratification was the same in other distant cultures. The Indian example of varnaashrama dharma had four classes, the lowest order belonging to the indigenous conquered race, while the upper three classes almost exactly followed the pattern of the three estates. My hunch is that this was not accidental, but a pattern the Aryan race carried with them as they settled in new lands east and west of their original grazing grounds near the Caspian Sea.

  6. Maybe I'm ignorant, but I view medieval times merely as the era of ignorance (that's why it was the Dark Ages) where all the great ancient technology was lost to the world. I respect ancient civilizations like Greece and Rome more than I respect anything medieval.

  7. Adam and Eve were happy in the "Garden Of Eden"…but Eve talked to the snake (devil) and decided to eat the apple from the "FORBIDDEN TREE!"…..and GOD was "Really Pissed Off! and told Adam and Eve to "Put On Clothes and Leave the Garden of Eden!….so it's simple….it's all the fault of WOMEN!

  8. I appreciate what you are doing! You deserve more views!
    But there was little difference in what “Eastern Europe” and “Western Europe” were like during the Middle Ages.

  9. Uhm, not sure if you covered this in another section.

    Serfdom created by Constantine is pretty important.

    Nobel Laureate Economic Historian Douglas C. North said in his book "Structure and Change in Economic History" pages 100-115, that the concentration of wealth is what lead to the decline of the Roman Empire. According to him, wealth was highly concentrated – 6 senators owned half of North Africa (I'm not sure if he is talking about the Roman province of Africa which is roughly Tunisia today, or the Geographical expression of North Africa – and whether or not that would include Egypt (probably not). The wealthy and the powerful used their influence to avoid paying taxes. Rome lacked the political will to raise enough funds to raise a large enough army to protect its borders.

    Other historians cite the collapse of the Roman commercial economy. However these are really the same thing. Wealth concentrated. Gold specie concentrated as well. The western half of the empire no longer had a robust cash economy. Barter became the means of exchange. Serfdom and feudalism is really an exchange of labor/service for use of land.

    I wonder if perhaps Europe remained like this until the black plague surfaced creating a labor shortage forcing employers of labor to resort to the form of cash payments. Then shortly after this, the discovery of new silver mines in Bohemia (the source of the Thaler or "dollar") and shortly after that the arrival of more specie from the Americas all injecting more cash money into Europe allowing it to remain a cash exchange based society set Europe off into the direction of fairly consistent economic growth into the modern age.

    Back to Constantine. His edict might have helped alleviate problems in the West, but more likely it greatly intensified the concentration of wealth, and that in turn impoverished demand, into a vicious cycle further collapsing the Roman economy.

    One wonders, then, if the spread of Christianity was a response to this trend. In theory, one got mutual support from one's christian community and that helped alleviate the poverty. But also the doctrines of Christianity promising a comfortable after life perhaps mitigating the harshness of serfdom in this life.

    Or perhaps, Constantine saw Christianity as a way of keeping labor down on the farm and keeping it mute and helping to make poverty more tollerable – and so he embraced it in order help the wealth and powerful stay and become every more wealthy and powerful. Certainly serfdom did that for them.

  10. 31:48 I hear you speak of the clergy and its internal divisions, for nigh half an hour, nowhere did i hear mentioned the fact that those high clergy where in fact of the aristocracy by birth.
    The second and third sons of noble houses,the bastards of lords, what of them? Primogeniture being inmost places the law of the realm, what of them?
    They could try and go to some foreign land to carve a place for themselves as their ancestors did,they could and did rebel against their siblings, they could marry into land, or they could go to the church.
    Thing being what they were, it is not difficult to see a noble man's sons or even daughters, as well as the children of the wealthy but not noble class to choose the Church as a career.
    That being the case,faith became secondary, as more and more accrued to the church, it was skill of management that was sought and preferred over piety, or theological understanding.
    The church like every other institution found itself infiltrated from within and was powerless to stop the tide.
    As for the peasants, all was not toil day in and day out, there where feast days, saints days, fairs, and of course executions for entertainment and spectacle.
    Indeed as we come into a more formal state , the church and the nobility take pains to provide diversions for the peasants. Relief days, as it were, from their toil.
    Unfortunately when you starve no feast of relief day is going to change that.
    The princes of both Church and state forgot that they ruled not by grace of God, or by force of arms, but by the tolerance of the ruled.

    Something today's rulers tend to forget also.
    A mob is a beast with a thousand heads and no brain. Maybe its time to remind them that their fine palaces ,and their sumptuous feasts are depended on our tolerance of them.

  11. most excellent history lessons! razor sharp points of view and insights into the organic ebbs and flows of humanity. pure pleasure!

  12. Great video, i just have a quetion.. the "system" of the estates was the same for byzantine empire?

  13. Love your vids! It's refreshing to hear an objective – yet still insightful – historical perspective for once..

  14. You mention that the pope asserted his authority in determining who would be bishops, but what was the situation in the Orthodox areas?

  15. excellent……..I can 'feel' the medieval society through your communication skill…..thank you.

  16. 3:06, those sculptures are currently located in the Saint Mark's Cathedral square, in Venice, Italy. You can find alot of artifacts there that were stolen from Constantinople after the Crusaders looted the city.

  17. I've watched many of your videos and found them all informative and useful. However, this particular one stands out for the amount of new (to me) information and smooth presentation. Well done!

  18. I appreciate that you are offering this excellent class free on You Tube.  It would be wonderful if you could do a simplified version (same visuals, but simplified vocabulary) that homeschoolers and Christian schools could use.  I believe world history is usually taught in 5th or 6th grade, depending on state.  Having a narration with that level vocabulary would be great. 

  19. I heard that the big advantage of the horse yoke was a horse can plow faster and deeper than an oxen.  Over on wikipedia they say that a horse can plow about 50% faster than an oxen.  I can see how being able to plow 50% more land during the few weeks you had to plant would basically equate to being able to grow 50% more food.

  20. At this time the bifurcation of society into upper and lower classes even extended into the monasteries. The abbots frequently came to be accommodated in palaces while the rank and file monks continued to live in dormitories and eat in refectories. The abbots, after all, were administrators of great landholdings, so were seen to be on a par with bishops and nobles. It was also not uncommon for a young or bastard son of a noble to be given a position in the church, either as a bishop or as an abbot. Nunneries too, usually had a noble-born woman as abbess. Often, a noble widow might join an abbey as abbess after her husband's death, especially one she had donated to during her husband's life.

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