Roles and Lifestyles of Aristocrats and Peasants During Medieval European Civilization

Topics: Middle Ages, Serfdom, High Middle Ages Pages: 8 (2503 words) Published: July 1, 2011

Roles and Lifestyle of Aristocrats4
Roles and Lifestyle of Peasants6
Roles and Lifestyle of Townspeople8
Differences between Lifestyle of Aristocrats, Peasants and Townspeople10 Summary about Aristocrats, Peasants and Townspeople11


Figure 1.0: Timeline of major events during Medieval European civilization. Trade increased during Medieval European civilization which subsequently contributed to the surge demand of gold, silver and silk. Figure 2.0: Trade routes of Medieval European civilization

During the period of Medieval European civilization, there were three groups of people who played very important roles, namely aristocrats, townspeople and peasants. Peasants in the middle age made up about 90% of the entire population. (Trembinski, 2006) The social structure was primarily organized and based on feudal system. Most of the people were very religious during that period. Church was an important part in the feudal system.

Figure 3.0: Hierachy during Eruopean Medieval civilization.
Referring to the diagram above, it was the hierarchy of Medieval European civilization where everyone has different responsibilities. In this paper, roles of aristocrats, townspeople and peasants played in the European Medieval civilization and differences of lifestyle between these three groups of people will be discussed.

Roles and Lifestyle of Aristocrats
(Roles of aristocrats were presented by me during the presentation) The Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristole conceived the term “aristocracy” as the “rule of the best”- morally and intellectually superior, governing in the interest of the entire population. The word is derived from two Greek words, aristos, which means “best” and the second one is kratein, which means “rule”. (Aristocracy) Aristocracy is a term used interchangeably with nobility. Aristocrats play significant roles in Medieval European civilization from social, political, economical to military. They have special power and privileges. Aristocrats are very important people between the king and the common people. Their roles are to help the king to make decisions, enforce law and regulation. Responsibility has always been an integral part of life with aristocrats. Ensuring the country is guided and ruled in the right direction are responsibilities of aristocrats as well. (The Web development aristocracy, 2007) In addition, it is their responsibilities to build the state and provide protection to people. Aristocrats will attend business functions or meetings related to lands owned by them. (Daily Life of a Noble Lord in the Middle Ages) On the other hand, aristocratic women were both economically and politically powerful during Medieval European civilization. They were dynamic and influential throughout the society. Aristocratic women were able to carry out their prescribed roles as aristocrats usually meant that they were acquired with knowledge, either in a convent or were tutored at home. When their husbands are away, they have the responsibility to take care and manage their estates. Besides, maintaining the financial account is also one of the roles of aristocratic women during that period. Other than managing their servants, aristocratic women also need to oversee the supply of food and ensure all other supplies that are necessary for their households are at the optimum level. (Middle Ages Class Notes, 2010) Generally, aristocrats have a very religious lifestyle. They are a group of religious and prayerful people as they have the habit to pray daily. They pray have morning, evening and bedtime prayer. Other than that, they have a very active lifestyle as well. They go for hunting and hawking during the day. In addition, they spend their day for weapon training as it is their responsibility to provide protection to the king and the people. As the people in the lower...
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