midterm review - final copy

Not all courtly couples observed the rules the

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not all courtly couples observed the rules the lovesick knight became a conventional figure in medieval romance love for the lady was supposed to inspire the knight to higher spirituality and great deeds why did courtly love emerge? 4 theories: (1) worship of the lady was modeled on Mariology which was strong in Southern France (2) sexual energy needs an outlet; Christian renunciation of earthly passion causes intensification of desire (3) maybe the knight was actually glorifying the lady’s husband by glorifying her he was hoping to curry favor with the lord by flattering the lord’s wife (4) noble ladies in Southern France at this time had an unusual degree of power; their husbands were often away for years on crusades primogeniture left many second sons landless
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Week 4 2. structure of feudal society in medieval Europe in the 12 th century AD, Europe was emerging from a period of chaos after the fall of the Roman Empire, called the Dark Ages the economy was based on plow agriculture the King and the Pope had “divine right” to rule the land they in turn granted rights in the land to the warriors and religious nobles (bishops) each land grant was called a fief each warrior noble divided his fief into smaller areas controlled by land gentry or monasteries these local lords controlled serfs who worked the land serf status was hereditary; he or she was bound to particular land they were born on and controlled by that particular noble lineage o GOD > King or Pope > Warrior Nobles or Bishops > Landed Gentry or Monasteries > Serfs the serfs tilled the lord’s land and lived on whatever produce that the lord allowed them to keep 3. vassalage the hierarchical system was held together by Christianity vassalage was the social glue of feudalism (the way the contract is to capitalism) how power flowed in the vassalage system: o each nobleman swore loyalty to his lord; he would give him produce and fight for him o the lord granted the vassal rights in the land (fief); he also promised to protect the vassal the vassalage ritual o the future knight signaled submission by kneeling before the lord and placing his hand between the lord’s hands o the knight rose and, placing his hand on a sacred relic or Bible, swore fealty (loyalty) to the lord o in return, the lord declared him his knight, bound to fight for the lord and the fiefdom o the nobility defended themselves, including against serf uprising, with trained horses, weapons, and armor
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Week 4 o this type or warfare was ended by the importation of gunpowder from China the gun was a great equalizer our marriage proposal is directly descended from this ritual 4. troubadours the knight composed songs for his lady, proclaiming her beauty and his loyalty, bravery, and devotion the first troubadours were knights; later on they became more specialized poets and entertainers the men’s poems tended to be abstract or boastful 5. women’s voices in courtly love
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