Feudal Europe Vocabulary


Chivalry-- knighthood, knights collectively, or the characteristics expected of a knight: valor, nobility, fairness, courtesy, respect for women, and protection of the weak.

Fealty-- solemn oath between a vassal and his liege, pledging service in return for protection.

Fief-- lands held as a result of fealty. The obligation of service and lands granted in return sometimes passed from father to son.

Joust-- mock warfare; generally begun on horseback, combat could continue on foot and might only end when one participant surrendered or was killed... An *extremely* rough sport.

Liege-- overlord, to whom a vassal swore loyalty and support, who (in return) pledged to honor and protect his vassal or “liegeman”.

Mail--armor composed chiefly of small, inter-locking metal rings.

Plate-- armor composed of several, over-lapping or connected sections of metal, shaped to the contours of the wearer’s body.

Vassal-- one who pledged service (usually military) to a feudal lord in return for land, support, or political favors.

Apprentice-- a beginner or novice who agrees to work for a master in his trade or craft in return for instruction and support.

Page-- a young person in the process of learning social etiquette by waiting on his/her elders.

Serf-- a farm laborer, one step up from a slave. Serfs could not come and go as they pleased, but they could not be sold away from their homes and families.

Squire-- an apprentice knight, often an elder page in training to become a knight.

Villein-- a villager, freeman, or city dweller.

Calligraphy-- ornamental handwriting.

Heraldry-- science of creating, recording, and reading

Coats of Arms which identified members of the nobility.



Aristocracy: A privileged minority, usually based on inherited wealth and high social position.

Bishop: a clergyman of noble rank, higher than a priestCathedral: the main church for a district or diocese which served as the seat of the bishopChivalry: Knightly qualities such as valor, fairness, courtesy, respect for women, and protection of the poor.

Coat of Arms a shield marked with insignia or designs of a particular family or groupFeudalism: The economic, political, and social organization of medieval Europe in which land held by vassals in exchange for military or other services was worked by serfs who were bound to the land.

A Manor: A district controlled by a feudal lord, usually consisting of a few farms, a village, a church, and a manor house.

Medieval Era: The period of the Middle AgeMiddle Ages: The period of history between the fall of the Roman Empire, around 500 AD, to the birth of the Renaissance, about 1450 AD. The period from 500 AD and 1000 AD is called the Dark Ages so that the period 100-1450 AD is commonly called the Late Middle Ages or HIgh Middle Ages.Monk: A man who lives alone or with a religious order which is separated from normal worldly activities and who lives according to strict rules under vows or poverty and obedience.

Serf: A person in feudal servitude, bound to his master's land and transferred with it when it passed to a new owner.

Tithing: One-tenth of annual produce or money paid as a tax to support the church and clergy.


Middle Ages Vocabulary on Quizlet


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