Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Boccaccio's time - Medieval time (part2)

Life in the Middle Ages

The peasants, including serfs, freeman and villeins, on a manor lived close together in one or more villages. Their small, thatch-roofed, and one-roomed houses would be grouped about an open space, or on both sides of a single, narrow street. The only important buildings on that time were the parish church, the parsonage, a mill, and possibly a blacksmith's shop. The population of one of these villages often didn't exceed in one hundred people.

Medieval village life during the Middle Ages was self-sufficing. Perhaps the most striking feature of medieval village life was its self-sufficiency. The inhabitants tried to produce at home everything they required in order to avoid the uncertainty and expense of trad. The land gave them their food; the forest provided them with wood for their houses and furniture.  

Life of the Peasants and the Lords

Life in a medieval villages was rude and rough. The peasants labored from sunrise to sunset, ate coarse fare, lived in huts, and suffered from frequent pestilences. They were often the helpless prey of the feudal nobles. If their lord happened to be a quarrelsome man, given to fighting with his neighbors, they might see their lands ravaged, their cattle driven off, their village burned, and might themselves be slain. Even under peaceful conditions the narrow, shut-in life of the manor could not be otherwise than degrading. Under feudalism the lords and nobles of the land had certain rights over medieval serfs and peasants which included the right of jurisdiction, which gave judicial power tot he nobles and lords and the right of hunting.

There were positive points of peasants and their village life in the middle ages. If the peasants had a just and generous lord, they probably led a fairly comfortable existence. Except when crops failed, they had an abundance of food, and possibly a cider drink. They shared a common life in the work of the fields and in the services of the parish church.

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