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Ch 20: Feudalism in Europe & the Early Middle Ages

About This Chapter

Look over these lessons on European feudalism to learn about culture and society in the Early Middle Ages. Each lesson in this chapter is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz to help check your understanding of these Early Middles Ages topics.

Feudalism in Europe & the Early Middle Ages - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

In European feudalism, the monarchs owned the land, the nobility oversaw the land and peasants were required to farm it. During the chaotic Early Middle Ages, such a system offered a level of stability but also considerable strife and conflict. By exploring the lessons in this chapter, you'll learn more about the impact and consequences of the feudal system in Europe, as well other defining events and accomplishments of the Early Middle Ages. The lessons cover topics like:

  • How the feudal system was structured
  • How Charlemagne rose to power as Holy Roman Emperor
  • The definition of monasticism
  • What characteristics define Carolingian art and architecture
  • Who the Vikings were
  • What the role of the knighthood was during the Early Middle Ages

VideoObjective
Feudalism: Charlemagne and the Holy Roman EmpireFind out how feudalism changed before, during and after the reign of Charlemagne.
Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire and the Divine Right to RuleDiscover how Charlemagne ruled the Holy Roman Empire and his belief in the divine right of kings.
Monasticism from St. Benedict to ClunyLearn what monasticism is and its impact during the Middle Ages.
Carolingian Art: History, Style & CharacteristicsSee examples of Carolingian art and what qualities the works share.
Carolingian Architecture: Style, Characteristics & ExamplesExplore the style of Carolingian churches and monasteries.
History of the VikingsGet details on why the Vikings' were so effective at orchestrating raids and at establishing trading colonies.
The Technology Behind the Armored KnightLearn about medieval armor and technology used to support armored knights.
Knighthood & the Middle Ages Code of ChivalryGet to know the purpose of knights and the code of chivalry they adhered to.
Order from Chaos: Establishing Stability through Feudal Ties and ManorsExamine the stability feudalism offered society during the tumultuous Early Middle Ages.

9 Lessons in Chapter 20: Feudalism in Europe & the Early Middle Ages
Feudalism: Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire

1. Feudalism: Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire

This lesson explains the rule of Charlemagne and his control over the Holy Roman Empire. It highlights his many military conquests and his divine rights as king, while also focusing on the role feudalism played before, during, and after his reign.

Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire and the Divine Right to Rule

2. Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire and the Divine Right to Rule

This lesson will explore the rule of Charlemagne and his exercise of the divine right of kings. It will highlight his reign as Holy Roman Emperor, focusing on his military conquests and his cultural reforms.

Monasticism from St. Benedict to Cluny

3. Monasticism from St. Benedict to Cluny

This lesson will trace the history of Western monasticism from Benedict to Cluny. It will focus on the Benedictine rule while also highlight monastic contributions to society.

Carolingian Art: History, Style & Characteristics

4. Carolingian Art: History, Style & Characteristics

This lesson covers the art of the Carolingian Renaissance. We'll explore the causes of the Carolingian Renaissance, then see how the art of illumination was adapted for new uses. Then we'll discuss treasure bindings and finish with a quick survey of the few other surviving forms of Carolingian art.

Carolingian Architecture: Style, Characteristics & Examples

5. Carolingian Architecture: Style, Characteristics & Examples

This lesson covers Carolingian architecture. We first look at Charlemagne's place in a long tradition of imperial builders. We then look at features that distinguish Carolingian churches from early Christian churches: piers, transepts, choirs and westworks. Finally, we explore the blueprint of a Carolingian monastery.

History of the Vikings

6. History of the Vikings

This lesson covers the history of the Vikings. We examine the Viking longships and their role in raids. Then we explore the impact these raids had on European history. Next we look at some of the other things the Vikings did besides raiding.

The Technology Behind the Armored Knight

7. The Technology Behind the Armored Knight

This lesson looks at the technology behind the armored knight. We'll follow the development of medieval armor and the development of the saddle. Finally, we'll look at the implications of this expensive form of warfare.

Knighthood & the Middle Ages Code of Chivalry

8. Knighthood & the Middle Ages Code of Chivalry

While we may think of knights in shining armor protecting women and the Church through the code of chivalry, the reality was a very different state of affairs. This lesson explains why knights were needed, as well as when the code broke down.

Order From Chaos: Establishing Stability through Feudal Ties and Manors

9. Order From Chaos: Establishing Stability through Feudal Ties and Manors

This lesson will explore the impact of feudalism on European society. While explaining the system of feudalism, it will highlight how it offered protection and stability to Europe, specifically after the 5th century fall of Rome.

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