Medieval Sourcebook: Medieval History in the Movies

Serfdom is the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism

Daily Life of Medieval Lords - Medieval Life and Times

The Frankish kingdom gave rise to the , the most brilliant scholarly and artistic flowering of the Early Medieval period, which spanned roughly the same period as the Carolingian dynasty (ca. 750-900). With the ascent of Charlemagne, this early "renaissance" came to centred at (Germany), selected by Charlemagne as the Frankish capital.

The feudal system was a simple but effective means of medieval government in which the king rented land to barons, who provided him knights and taxes

Camelot International: Britain's Heritage and History

The guilds were one sign of the late-medieval development of a kind of "middle class," but there were other encouraging signs as well. During the fifteenth century a growing number of peasants and tenant farmers were able to obtain their own small parcels of land, even though the common areas of many towns were under feudal control - and even if most of these new smallholders were as illiterate as their parents. However great the power of the landed classes was, there were occasional signs of relief. Labour wages were, in theory, established by national law, and in 1446, when the baron of Calatabiano prohibited the pasturing of sheep on common land, the shepherds took their case to the crown courts and won.

The eventually gained controlover much of Calabria, Apulia and the areas around Venice and Ravenna. Theirmain sphere of influence was Italy's Adriatic coast. The Longobards invadedItaly in 568, displacing the Byzantines in rural areas (where they introduced rudimentary feudalism) while obtaining - at best - nominal support from key port cities like Venice and Bari. For their part, the Byzantines were generally content to rule the more important centers, leaving the rest for the Longobards, but over the next few centuries there were occasional conflicts. Significantly, the bishops in the Byzantine territories, and even in many of the Longobard ones, were under the ecclesial jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, not the Pope of Rome. Equally important, the Byzantine cities implemented the Code of Justinian while in the Longobardic lands, at least initially, a form of Germanic law was enforced.