Feudalism - Medieval Politics revolve around the affairs of the classes particularly the nobility under the system of feudalism. Under feudalism, every member of society has a set place and changing classes is extremely difficult or even impossible depending on your circumstances. Feudalism is a complex relationship of obligation and mutual service between vassals and their Lords.
King or Ruling Council - In theory the King was the chief feudal lord, but since his absence he has been replaced with the ruling council. Since they lack the prestige and influence of a King they are little more than figureheads. They do have the power to wage war on other countries, make treaties with other countries, levy taxes to pay for wars and to conscript people into the Armed Forces in defense of the country.
Alliances - There are several political alliances throughout the kingdom, although only four are truly powerful. They are made up of provinces which join the alliance of their local Lord and generally support each other in council votes whenever possible. They are listed in current order of power although all are near equal in stature.
Royalist Party - This conservative party believes in the rule of law and order, even at the occasional sacrifice of liberties. They believe only royal blood can serve in the military and participate in government and believe the life of a royal is worth saving no mater the loss of life among the commoners. They believe that the surrounding countries are inferior and are to be colonized or as a last resort eradicated whenever possible.
Party of the Ancient Court - This party believes that those of royal blood should rule but they also believe that rulership comes with great responsibility to all people. They believe that through extraordinary deeds a man can surpass his station even unto the highest offices of the land. They follow the ways of the Ancient Court which gave the Country the Royal Council and prevented civil war. They still follow the rules of Chivalry and all Knights of the Court spend at least half of their time looking for the lost King.
Red Flag Party - This group believes that power is order and are against any system of government. They refuse to support the rule of law and are often, but not always, outlaws and brigands. Provinces governed by this exercise swift and brutal justice meted out by those with the most power. Wars and battles are frequent.
Templars - This group of healers and spiritual men believe that regardless of the form of rule that the laws of God must be served. They seek to work with whoever is in power to help the lands and provide places of worship and sanctuary from the harsh realities of life. They rarely interfere in the world of politics and only for a good cause.
Church of the New Order - This party believes that God and his chosen people are the only ones fit to rule. They believe that the Church and state should be one.
Barons - In truth the day to day affairs of the country are not governed directly by the King or the ruling Council but by individual Lords, or Barons. These regional leaders are very powerful and have the power to seize land, dispense justice, mint money, levy taxes and tolls, and demand military service from vassals. Usually the Lords can field greater armies than the King making them very dangerous and powerful. A Baron is obliged to protect his vassals, give the king or his vassals military aid when needed, guard his children and follow the rule of Law as set forth by the King or ruling Council. If any of these obligations are not met he can be removed from office and the next in line for the position takes over. In practice this is very difficult to do since many of the appointees to the court that decides these matters have been appointed by the Baron.
Knights - After the Barons the next rung on the social ladder was the Knight. Becoming a Knight is a long and difficult task. It is possible for any freeman to become a knight but knights generally come from a noble, or wealthy, family since a knight had to have the right political connections. Knighthood was not bestowed purely because of noble birth. There are many steps required to achieve knighthood. The path to knighthood begins at the age of seven, when a vassal sends his son to the Baron's house to become a page. A page is cared for by the women of the house, who instruct him in comportment, courtesy, cleanliness, and religion. When they have proven themselves a page has the opportunity to became a squire, or a personal attendant to a knight. From the knight he learns combat with the two-handed sword, battle axe, mace, dagger and lance. He also learned strategy, siege and fortification tactics, hawking, riding, and other needed skills.
Squires - The word Squire is derived from the words "Esquire, Escuyer" which means 'shield bearer'. The role of a squire is one of the most important steps to Knighthood. The duties of a Squire are to learn about Chivalry, Heraldry, advanced horsemanship, and practice the use of specialized weapons. They must develop strength, speed, dexterity, leadership skills, climbing skills, athletics, swimming, castle siege and defense, bravery and the ability to withstand extremes such as extreme cold and heat, tiredness and hunger and all other skills required of a Knight. It is also their duty to enter into the social life of the castle and learn courtly etiquette, jousting, music and dancing. In times of war Squires accompany Knights on the battlefield, leading and tending the horses, caring for the Knight and their steeds Armor, repairing weapons, carrying messages, and guarding the Knight while they slept. They came under fire from arrows and many squires were killed doing their duty. In times of great crisis some squires even took up arms to defend their Knight from harm. The most envied position for a Squire was "squire of the body". These squires were the closest and most trusted by the lord and were allowed to accompany him into battle. Sometimes knighthood was conferred on a "squire of the body" as a reward for bravery on the battlefield although this was very rare.
Becoming a Knight - After many long years of training and learning the skills of combat a Squire may be considered for Knighthood. In theory a squire can be knighted on the battlefield for exceptional valor, but this event is extremely rare. At the end of the Knighthood ceremony a Knight is addressed by the title "Sir." The entry into Knighthood is highly ritualized and requires the potential Knight to memorize the Knightly Code and recite it perfectly. He must also be able to recite it anytime he is asked by his Lord in the future. When he is judged ready a squire competes with other squires for the privilege of becoming a Knight of the Realm. Once proven worthy he undergoes the elaborate ritual known as the Order of Knighthood Ceremony. The first stage of the ritual starts during his last night as a Squire when he he prepares for the vigil by a ritual bath in blessed waters. The body needs to be thoroughly cleansed as a symbol of purification. Next they are dressed in a white vesture to symbolizes purity and covered by a red robe which symbolizes nobility. His shoes and hose are black which symbolizes death. Next comes a Night Vigil in the Chapel of a Castle or Church. His sword, shield, and armor is placed on the altar where he then kneels or stands in silent prayer for ten hours. He is required to guard his armor during this time and if any harm should come to it he can not become a knight. Next is the atonement ceremony, or the accolade. It starts in the morning where he dons his armor of knighthood. He is joined by others to hear Mass and a long sermon on the duties of a knight. The priest then blesses his sword and shield and then possession of the sword and shield is passed to a sponsor who puts a heraldic blazon on his shield which identifies the Knight. He then passes it along to the lord that is to conduct the Knighthood ceremony. Next is a public ceremony where the Knight is presented to the lord by two sponsors in a Public ceremony. The Knight takes his vows, recited the Knightly Code, and swears an oath of allegiance to his lord. Afterwards is a deeply religious ceremony with blessings from the Church. The final part of the ceremony is called the Colée of Enlightenment. It is conducted by another knight, or if the Knight is very lucky, by a Baron, a member of the ruling council, or even a King. A knight is then dubbed with a sword. Dubbing is a blow struck with the flat of the hand or the side of the sword and was regarded as an essential act of the knighting ceremony.
Colée of Enlightenment - This ceremony has five parts.
1) "In remembrance of honor and bravery." (Strike the right shoulder)
2) "In remembrance of your oath and obligations." (Strike the left shoulder)
3) "Be thou a good and wise knight." (Strike the head)
4) The two sponsors then put spurs on the knight and his sword is girded on or sheathed.
5) "Arise now, Sir Knight."
Celebration - Music and a Fanfare accompany and celebrate the Knighthood. The celebrations continue with a feast attended by fellow knights, nobles and sometimes royalty. The women and ladies of the court or manor join the feasts which are accompanied by music and dancing. A tournament is often arranged for the following day allowing the new Knight and his fellows to demonstrate their knightly skills.
A Disgraced Knight - Anyone who breaks the Oath Knighthood is seen as to have committed a crime against God which could lead to eternal damnation. Acts unbecoming of a knight include fleeing from a battle, refusing a challenge from an equal, leaving his comrades to die, betraying his lord or otherwise betraying the Knightly code. A disgraced Knight had his spurs hacked off and his shield is hung upside down as a sign of dishonor. He is stripped of all land and titles and is shunned by others of noble birth.
Coup de Grace - The death-blow a knight gave to his mortally wounded opponent was called a Coup de Grace. It was a act of mercy that would end the suffering of a foe. Without it the opponent could linger in pain for hours or even days.
The Knightly Code - " I pledge to fear God and maintain His Church, to serve my liege lord (Baron) in valor and faith, to protect the weak and defenseless, to give succor to widows and orphans, to refrain from the wanton giving of offence, to live by honor and for glory, to despise pecuniary (monetary) reward, to fight for the welfare of all, to obey those placed in authority, to guard the honor of fellow knights, to eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit, to keep faith, at all times to speak the truth, to persevere to the end in any enterprise begun, to respect the honor of women, to never refuse a challenge from an equal, and to never turn my back upon a foe until he is defeated. I will uphold this code at all costs, even at the cost of my own life.
Note: This code is rarely lived up to, but it remains the standard for chivalry and proper behavior amongst the nobility.
Vassals - A vassal is a free man who holds his piece of land, or fief, as a grant from his ruling Lord. Vassals use this land to support themselves and their retinue. Vassals pay for the land which is normally typically between 1200 and 1800 acres by providing service to their Lord. A vassals manor would usually include farm land, forest, common pasture land, one or more small villages, a mill, a small church and a large Manor House. The rest of the fief was allotted to the vassals peasants. The Manor House was the place of residence of the vassals and their families, They were built apart from the village where the peasants lived. Vassals hold great power over the peasants, holding privileges including the right to hunt and even the right to judge them for minor crimes and misdemeanors. A vassal is required to attend his Liege Lord at his court, help to administer justice, and contribute money to fill his coffers. He must answer a summon to battle, bringing with him an agreed upon number of fighting men. He must also feed and house the lord and his company when they travel across his land. This obligation can be very expensive since most Lords travel with a very large group. An extended stay can even bankrupt the vassal. In a few days of feasting a Lord and his retinue can consume 6,000 chickens, 1,000 rabbits, 90 boars, 50 peacocks, 200 geese, 10,000 eels, thousands of eggs and loaves of bread, and hundreds of casks of wine and cider. A vassal that has displeased his Liege Lord may find himself the target of an "extended visit" to allow him to "help the vassal get his affairs in order." Most vassals will take great measures to avoid this.
Inheritance - When a vassal dies, his heir is required to publicly renew his oath of faithfulness or "homage of fealty" to his Lord. If a daughter inherits, the Lord can arrange her marriage, allow her to rule or chose her own mate that becomes the Lord of the Manor. If there are no heirs or the heir refuses to pay homage the Liege Lord can dispose of the fief as he sees fit.
Clergy - The Church plays a major part in government and many also work as public officials in service to the nobility, particularly as as scribes and chancellors. Non governmental religious leaders can also influence political affairs. This can sometimes lead to disputes and conflicts between the church and state. Some monastic orders are quite wealthy with funds that rival or exceed some nobles of their area. Local nobles are often funded by regional churches, who in turn pay tribute to regional rulers.
Powerful Merchants -
Larger farmers -
Heraldry - Heraldry is used to identify the wearer of armour in battle and also in jousting tournaments. Heraldic markings can be anything from simple colors and shapes to complicated images and patterns. Most Knights use a coat of arms which includes the mantling, a helmet, a crest, a motto and, in the case of royalty, a coronet and supporters. They are displayed on a shield and together they identify the owner who has been granted the right to bear arms. A son inherits his father's arms and quarter them with his mothers and so on making some coats of arms very complicated. The crest sits on top of the coat of arms, often above the symbol of a helmet. This reflects its origins as a means of identification during combat when an emblem would be attached to the top, or crest, of the combatant's helmet. Unlike a coat of arms, the crest can remain the same across generations and different branches of one family. Sometimes a family's crest is a an emblem of their occupation or trade. A ducal coronet may be added to the crest of a Bishop while a mural coronet can signify a military distinction and a naval coronet a naval one. However it is not unusual for branches of one family to develop different crests to distinguish themselves. If they are not accompanied by a coat of arms, crests are usually shown on top of a twisted band (a wreath), coronet or cap (called a chapeau) reflecting their historic origin. Traditionally, crests are engraved on the family's silver in the and the full coat of arms is reserved for larger and more ceremonial items.
Peasants - Peasants have a hard life, filled with back breaking work, with little to show for it but a modest meal and a place to sleep. Peasants have to swear an oath of obedience on the Bible to their Lord and by proxy to the Duke, Earl or Baron who owns that lord’s property. The peasant has to pay taxes and rent on its property to the Lord as well as a tithe to the Church of 10% of the value of what he has farmed during the year, which was to be paid in cash or trade. Peasants also have to work for free on church land. After taxes are paid a peasant can keep what was left, if anything. Peasants that have a bad season might be required by a cruel Lord to pay in seed. This could cause them to fall short on the seed needed to plant for the coming year which could lead to a shortage of food. Peasant children do not typically attended school. Instead children join their parents in working the land. At a young age they clear stones and chase birds away during sowing season. Life was hard for peasants but life for Serfs was much worse. Unlike Serfs peasants did not hove to work on Sundays or on holidays such as saints' days, and they had permission to travel to nearby fairs and markets or go on pilgrimages. They were freemen who could choose to leave a village and travel to another if they decided.
Surfs - Although not technically a slave, a serf was bound to a parcel of land, usually about thirty acres, for life. He could own no property and needed the lord's permission to marry. Under no circumstance could a serf leave the land without the lord's permission unless he chose to run away. (See becoming a Freeman) Serfs were required to work a certain number of hours on the Lord and Churches part of his lands and also make certain payments in money, grain, honey, eggs, or other items. When a Serf ground wheat he was required to use the lord's mill, and pay the customary charge. A lord can tax his serfs as heavily as he pleases and make them work as hard as he dictates, so the life of a serf hinges greatly on the compassion of his Lord. While mistreatment is common many Lords treat their Serfs very well, even granting freedom is the Serf so desires. While they were bound by their Serfdom, the serf did have some rights. A Serf could cut a limited amount of hay from the meadow and use this to feed farm animals such as cattle, geese and swine. Serfs were also allowed to take a small amount of wood from the forest for fuel and building purposes. Serfs could not be sold apart from their land nor could their holdings be taken from them. They could not be displaced, even if the manor changed hands. They could not be required to fight, and were entitled to the protection of the lord of the Manor.
Becoming a Freeman - If a Serf managed to escape to a town and could stay there for a year and a day, he was a free man. This was very difficult however as the Serf had no possessions and were usually only skilled at farming making survival on their own very difficult.
War - Medieval politics places great emphasis on war, considering it to be a regrettable but necessary tool of foreign and sometimes domestic policy.
Wars of Nobility - Small scale wars between nobility are a nearly constant occurrence. They can be started because of anything from a small insult, real or imagined, or because of a serious issue that cannot be solved with diplomacy. Battles between nobles are usually small in scale. They are fought between the knights of individual Lords and occasionally hired mercenaries or those seeking the favor of the Lord. The object in a fight isn't necessarily to kill the opposing Lord. Instead they would seek to capture and ransom him. The ransoms are sometimes the real reason for a battle and the insult is just a pretense.
Castles - The large number of castles is a consequence of the constant threat of war. Nearly every nobleman has build or is building a castle for his and his peoples defense and protection.
Manor Houses - The largest and most important room in a Manor House is the great hall. This huge chamber was usually built upon the second floor to protect it from a direct attack. A great hall could serve many purposes, from a dining hall for guests and servants, to a meeting area, or any other purpose that was needed. There is typically a fireplace in the middle of the great hall for keeping warm. These halls have massive walls with small windows for increased defense against attack. The solar, or family room, was a private area reserved for the Lord, his family, and important guests.
Life in the Manors - A manor consists of a manor house, one or more villages, and up to several thousand acres of land divided into specific sections. These section consist of meadows, pastures, forests, and cultivated fields. The cultivated fields are further divided into strips; one section, usually 1/3, is set aside for the lord of the manor, a smaller amount for the church, and the remainder for the peasants and serfs personal use. This land is usually divided out so that each person has an equal share of fertile and poor lands. At least half the work week is spent on the land belonging to the lord and the church. The Lord might also require that a certain amount of time must also be spent doing routine maintenance and on special projects such as clearing a tract of land, cutting down firewood, and building structures like mills, roads, and bridges. The rest of the time the villagers are free to work their own land. Manors were at one time the economic and social center of life in Eternus. Tradesmen were trained here and typically remained in service of the Lord for their entire lives. Hall life has decreased as the ease of travel has increased. Trades have become more specialized and many tradesmen and women have moved out of the hall and into the cities where they can provide services to a larger portion of the populace.
Life in the Village - Villages are comprised primarily of peasants. Villages typically consist of 10-100 families that live in small buildings called or rough huts
Huts - Peasants typically lived in huts. Huts typically had dirt floors, with no chimneys or windows. Often, one end of the hut was used for storing livestock. Furnishings were sparse and consisted primarily of three legged stools, a trestle table, and beds on the floor softened with straw or leaves.
Cruck Houses - Peasants typically live in small houses called cruck houses which consist of a wooden frame onto which is plastered a mixture of mud, straw and manure, called wattle and daub. Once left to dry in the sun the mixture became quite strong. The straw added insulation while the manure was considered good for binding and giving strength. The roofs are thatched. There is usually a little furniture within the cruck houses and the floor is lined with straw. Windows are just holes in the walls and doors are usually covered with a curtain rather than a wooden door. These houses were not big but repairs were quite cheap and easy. Houses have no running water, no baths or washing basins and simple chamber pots for toilets. Beds are simply straw stuffed mattresses. Families cook and sleep in the same room. Children over the age of five typically sleep in a loft if the cruck house has one allowing the parents limited privacy.
tithe Barns - The church collected produce from the tithe and placed them into large barns called tithe Barns.
Animals - At night animals like a pigs, oxen, cows or chickens are brought inside for safety to protect them against wild animals such as wolves and bears. It also protects them from being stolen or wandering off. The loss of any animal can be hard to overcome. particularly a valuable animal like an ox, which was essential to plowing the fields.
Water Sources - Water was needed for cooking, washing and the occasional bath. Typically a river, stream or well provides the average village with water. It is typically the job of a wife to collect water in the morning using a wooden buckets. Towns need a large supply of water which is usually brought into a town using a series of ditches or pipes and delivered to a conduit which is similar to a fountain. Every city now has a number of public baths houses called "stews". The stews can attract thieves who will steal from their pockets when the victims are in the baths. Water is purified by magical means because it can frequently be contaminated by waste or other contaminants.
Bathing - Bathing used to be a rare event even for those that could afford to visit a bath house. It was commonly said that a peasant could only expect to be fully bathed twice in their life. First when they were born and secondly when they had died. Face and hand washing was more common but event that was not done daily. Now bathing has become the height of fashion and even peasants usually bathe at least three times a week.
Diplomacy - Successful diplomatic efforts between nobles are often marked by a marriage between two houses. Nobles placed great emphasis on the importance of daughters, as they are often wedded off to troublesome nobles or to cement foreign alliances.
Tournaments - Tournaments are intense and colorful celebrations complete with singing, dancing, and feasting which might last for one or even several days depending on the importance of the contest. They are an essential part of military and social life of an area. Many different types of combat are practiced at the tournaments each with a different type of combat method. These include jousting, archery, hand to hand combat using swords and other weapons and etc. These "war games" consist of both individual contests or jousts, and group combats. These contests are the only place where a Knight or Page's reputations can be made in times of peace. The audience views the tournament from the battlements of the castle or on a grandstand, called a Berfrois, which was built a full story above the level of the field. This grandstand houses the ladies and other noble spectators. Pavilions or bright, round medieval tents of alternating colors are erected around the area of the jousting tournaments. These pavilions house the combatants and surgeons. Jousting tournaments are one of the few places where royalty, nobles, knights, ladies and commoners all participate in the same events. They are very important for the morale of a community. Lances and swords are blunted and the armour is heavy and extremely cumbersome. but the fighting is so fierce and spirited that as many as 10% are injured and occasionally contestants are killed. Prizes are given to the winners, and some knights make their fortunes by going from tournament to tournament. The knights gain a reputation and are treated as celebrities wherever they travel.
Preparations - Jousting tournaments are formally planned and preparations are numerous. An announcement is sent in advance via heralds to get permission of the nobles of the area. Once it is given then criers travel around making the announcement in the towns. From the towns the word spreads to the villages that a jousting tournament is to be held at a specific time and place. The rules are published in advance of the jousting tournament. The news of a jousting tournament is always greeted with great excitement and the banners of the knights are hung from the windows where they lodge or by their supporters. Before each contest lances are measured so no one knight gain advantage through use of a longer lance.
The Lists - Jousting tournaments are usually held on a field called the 'Lists'. "To be in the lists" meant to be competing in the tournament.
The Joust - This individual tournament event is the most prestigious and has the greatest prize.
Joust a Plaisance Tournament - This series of elimination jousts lasts for several days and uses a point system so that an overall winner can be determined. Each Knight would joust three times with each opponent.
Pas d'armes or passage of arms Tournament - This special contest in the only type in which a non-noble born person can compete. During this contest a Knight or Page sends out a proclamation that he will take on all challengers at a specific time and place. If he is defeated then the winner has the option of to take the monetary reward or present himself as a replacement for the defeated opponent. Of course this must be approved by the ruling Lord or Knight and almost always requires that the person be a suitable candidate of noble birth and strong moral character. This tournament is most commonly a method used by a Knight to select a Squire from amongst his pages or by a Lord to select Knight's to make up his personal guard.
The Melee - a melee is a team event.
Melee a pied Tournament - This event is comprised of teams of knights fighting on foot.
Melee a cheval Tournament - This event is comprised of teams of knights fighting on horseback.
Kippers and the Spoils Tournaments - The Kippers and the Spoils Tournaments is one of the largest tournaments. It travels around the kingdom from place to place and with 24 tournaments every year. They are a good source of revenue for a successful Knight. The champion's prize money could yield a considerable prize. Also victors are allowed to claim the armor and weapons of a fallen adversary during the tournament. To claim the armour and weapons the knight employed a page or squire as his 'Kipper'. A Kipper collects the 'Spoils of Combat' as the tournament proceeded. The weapons and armor of a knight are very expensive and a fallen knight will not give them up easily. The Kipper is armed with two blunt, but heavy clubs, with which they can attempt to knock the unfortunate Knight into an unconscious state and collect the spoils of combat.
Vespers Tourney - This tournament is held on the eve of a larger event. It is a lesser event where younger knights had an opportunity to demonstrate their prowess before the experienced knights and assembled gallery. It is open to squires as well.
Invocation - This opening day processions allows judges and contestants to ride in a formal procession used to start a tournament or pas d’armes.
Tree of Shields - This tent is erected at one end of the ground. It holds several colored shields that are hung for a pas d’armes. Challenging knights can choose the combat they require by riding up and touching his lance to the shield.
Favors - Knights often wear ladies' "favors" like a scarf, handkerchief, veil, or sleeve, when jousting.
Second Day Ceremony - The Second day ceremony included the display of the helms of knights who had fought in tournaments. The ladies in the audience inspected the helms and denounced acts of un-chivalrous behavior.
Third Day Ceremony - The third day ceremony was when the 'Chevalier d'honneur' was chosen who performed the rule of an umpire.
Award Ceremony - On the last day of the tournament the ceremony for awarding the tournament prizes was conducted. The combatants meet in the center of the lists, and embrace each other in the true companionship of chivalry. The winner of the jousts is awarded a prize by the Queen of Beauty, who is elected for the occasion from among the women present.
Days End - Every day of the tournament ended with feasting, music and dancing.
In Europe during the Medieval times the only recognized religion was Christianity, in the form of the Catholic religion. The lives of the Medieval people of the Middle Ages was dominated by the church. From birth to death, whether a peasant, a serf, a noble a lord or a King - life was dominated by the church and Medieval religion. Various religious institutions, such as monasteries and convents, became both important, rich and powerful. The lives of many Medieval people including various orders of monks and nuns were dedicated to to the Catholic church and religion. This was also a period of great change in the Christian church. Disputes of the Crusades led to the split between the Eastern and Western Christian Churches, called the Great Schism of 1054. The practices of the Catholic religion were questioned and the beliefs of men such as Martin Luther (1483 - 1546) prompted a new religion called Protestantism which led to a further split in the Christian Church referred to as the Protestant Reformation. This section covers all the important events and Religious Reformers and philosophers who shaped the changes in Medieval religion.
Religion and Philosophy
During the Middle Ages religion as everything. It was not unusual for people to go to church everyday and pray five times a day. People believed that all the good things in life were due to the bounty of god and that the evil events of the times were due to their sins. Medieval religion was extremely important and even the doctors and physicians of the era were also well versed in religion. From birth to death, whether you were a peasant, a serf, a noble a lord or a King - life was dominated by the church and Medieval religion. There were many famous Medieval Saints and there are details of the names of this pious men and women of the Middle Ages. The following links provide and insight to different aspects of the religion and philosophy of the Middle Ages.
Christian Religion History
History of the Catholic Religion
The Great Schism
Popes in Medieval Times
Medieval Religious Festivals
Medieval Benedictine Rule
Medieval Benedictine Monks
Daily Life of a Medieval Monk
Daily Life of a Medieval Nun
Famous Medieval Saints
Religion and Philosophy
Biographies and Timelines of famous Religious Reformers and Philosophers
A biography and timeline can be found on the famous Medieval Religious Reformers and philosophers in the Medieval Religion section. Click one of the following links for facts and information:
Timelines and Biographies of
Famous Religious Reformers and Philosophers
William of Ockham
Peter the Hermit
Timelines and Biographies of
Famous Religious Reformers and Philosophers
Christian Religion History
Read about Christian Religion History from the emergence of Christianity during the Roman era through to the Middle Ages.
History of the Catholic Religion
The major historical events in the history of Catholic Religion including the subjects of heresy and the Inquisition and the Great Schism.
The Great Schism
Learn about the Great Schism of 1054 which was the split between the Eastern and Western Christian Churches.
The practices of the Catholic religion were questioned during the Reformation and the beliefs of men such as Martin Luther prompted a new religion called Protestantism.
Popes in Medieval Times
The names and list of Popes who enjoyed great influence and power in the Middle Ages 1066 - 1485.
The Life of people during the Middle ages was dictated by the changes in the season. The different seasons and months of the year were celebrated with Religious Feasts and Festivals which are detailed in this article.
Monks in the Middle Ages
Learn about becoming a monk, the vows taken by monks, the Monastery and life of monks and the sexual practices of monks.
Nuns in the Middle Ages
All nuns led lives which were strictly disciplined. Their lives were dedicated to their God and their faith and was a renunciation of worldly fashion and esteem.
The Definition of a Pilgrimage, the concept of Pilgrimage, Christian Pilgrimage and Destinations including Pilgrimage to Walsingham, St. Peter's Basilica, Loudres and Canterbury. Christian Pilgrimage and the Crusades. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and the Pilgrimage of Grace.
Middle Ages Monastery
The first type of Medieval monastery adhered to the Benedictine Rule, established by St. Benedict in 529AD. The major orders of Medieval monks were the Benedictines, the Cistercians and the Carthusians. The layout, buildings and rooms in a monastery.
The principal buildings of a large convent were grouped around an inner court, called a cloister and included a church, a refectory, or dining room, with the kitchen and buttery near it and a dormitory where the nuns slept.
The concept of Monasticism centered around withdrawing from the world, from its temptations and its transitory pleasures to a life of solitude, prayer, and religious contemplation.
The three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience were the basis of the rule of St. Benedict.
The Benedictine monks lived under strict discipline. They could not own any property; they could not go beyond the monastery walls without the abbot's consent; they could not even receive letters from home
Read about the strange life of an Anchoress who was a deeply religious woman who chose to live a solitary life in confined quarters called an an anchorage or and anchorhold, which usually consisted of a single small cell.
Religion and Philosophy of Martin Luther
Martin Luther - The short biography of Martin Luther an important Medieval figure who was famous as a Theologian, Philosopher and religious reformer who founded the Lutheran religion.
Religion and Philosophy of Albert Magnus
Albert Magnus - The short biography of Albert Magnus an important Medieval figure who was famous as a German philosopher and theologian.
Religion and Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas - A short biography of Thomas Aquinas with key dates about the life story of an important Medieval figure who was famous as one of the greatest theologians of the Catholic Church.
Religion and Philosophy of Peter the Hermit
Peter the Hermit - A short biography of Peter the Hermit with key dates about the life story of an important Medieval figure who was famous for leading the People's Crusade - The First Crusade 1096 - 1099.
Religion and Philosophy of Jan Hus
Jan Hus - The short biography of Jan Hus an important Medieval figure who was famous as a philosopher, Angelus and religious reformer who attracted followers called the Hussites.
Religion and Philosophy of John Wycliffe
John Wycliffe - The short biography of John Wycliffe an important Medieval figure who was famous as a Medieval religious reformer and the first person to translate the Bible into Eternus.
Religion and Philosophy of William of Ockham
William of Ockham - The short biography of William of Ockham an important Medieval figure who was famous as a Medieval Franciscan friar and scholastic philosopher.
Religion and Philosophy of Peter Abelard
Peter Abelard - The short biography of Peter Abelard an important Medieval figure who was famous as a Medieval scholar, philosopher and his tragic love affair with the beautiful Heloise.
Famous Religious Reformers and Philosophers - Erasmus
Erasmus - The short biography of Erasmus an important Medieval figure who was famous as a Humanist and Religious Reformer.
Religion and Philosophy
The Medieval Life and Times website provides interesting facts, history and information about Medieval religion and philosophy which scatter the Medieval History books. The Medieval Times Sitemap provides full details of all of the information and facts about the fascinating subject of the lives of the people who lived during the historical period of the Middle Ages. The content of this section on the Christian religion and Medieval life and times provides free educational details, facts and information for reference and research for schools, colleges and homework for history courses and history coursework.