Check your answers
1.- The origin of feudalism.
1 Europe was divided into numerous kingdoms.
2 They were very weak. They had no armies and could not protect their lands.
3 They turned to the nobles for help.
4 The nobles had their own armies and castles.
5 The peasants had to work for the nobles, and submit to their authority.
6 The peasants became nobles´ serfs.
2.- Feudalism: a new social system.
1 They had complete control over their lands.
2 The king´s power was limited to the lands he controlled directly.
3 The barons became the king´s vassals.
4 The king gave the barons a fief or manor.
5 It was a ceremony where the nobles paid homage to the king and swore allegiance to him.
6 Barons could have vassals, who were usually nobles of a lower rank. They swore allegiance to their lord and received a smaller fief.
7 The nobles and the kings.
3.- The powers of the king and his court.
1 The king´s power was very limited.
2 The court was formed by a group of lawyers, clergy and soldiers.
3 They helped the king to govern.
4 The king´s army was small.
5 Defence depended on his vassals´ private armies.
6 The king called on the nobles for help.
7 The king´s main income came from his fiefs and from some towns.
8 The king couldn´t charge taxes in his vassal´s lands.
9 The Chuch and important nobles helped the king in wars or marriage agreements.
10 A cognoment is a nickname. It refers to a particular feature or event related to them. For example, William the conqueror.
4.- What was a fief?
1 It is a piece of land that nobles received in exchange for swearing allegiance to the king.
2 There are a castle, villages, agricultural land and pasture, forests, a demesne, plots of land for the peasants, a mill, etc.
3 A demesne is the part of land on the manor used by the lord himself.
4 The lord rented plots of land to the peasants, so that they could grow their own food. The peasants paid their rent in money, products or work on the lord´s land.
5 The peasants couldn´t use the forests whenever they liked to because the forests belonged to the lord and he decided when the peasants could hunt there or collect firewood.
6 The lords administered justice and collected taxes.
7 The lords also took a toll or tax from the merchants.
8 A toll was a tax that paid the merchants who crossed the lord´s bridges and land.
5.-Who were the nobles? True or false.
1 False. Some nobles...
3 False. At the age of eight.
6 False. Just in wars.
8 False. Marriages were arranged by parents.
6.- Questions about the nobles
1 They fought on horseback, and their weapons were the lance, the shield and the mace.
2 They served as pages to an important noble and learned to tight.
3 The nobles were made knights when they proved their worth, at the age of twenty.
4 The noblewomen organised the servants, educated the children and did sewing and weaving.
7.- Who were the clergy? Questions about religious orders.
1 The most important religious order was the Order of Saint Benedict.
2 The rule explained the monk´s duties in a monastery.
3 It means that their members could not leave their monastery.
4 Some rules required that members beg to collect money for the poor. Others imposed absolute poverty.
5 They were a habit because it distinguished them from other orders.
8.- How did peasants live? True or false.
3 False. They had to obey the lord.
4 False. They couldn´t
5 False. The lord treated them badly.
7 False. They could.
10 False. It is a percentage of the harvest.
9.- Questions about the peasants´ everyday life and work.
1 They lived in small villages.
2 Their houses were made of mud and wood, and had one room.
3 The father was the head of the family. The rest of the family had to obey him.
4 It means that the peasants grew food, made clothes and furniture, and built their houses.
5 Because they rarely ate meat or fish. Illness was often fatal and few peoples reached the age of forty. Disasters, such as drought, floods and plague caused many deaths.
6 The whole family, including children, worked from sunrise to sunset.
7 They used sickles, scythes, hoes and Roman ploughs.
8 They were cereals for making bread and beer. They also grew vegetables, grapes and other fruits.
9 Some families had one or two animals.
10.- Label the pictures
sickles - Roman ploughs - scythes - hoes
11.- What they did as they had no fertilisers?
Every year they left half of their land fallow so that it could recover and become fertile again. As a result, agricultural production was very low.