Essay On Feudalism In Medieval Europe

788 words - 4 pages

Relationships of Feudalism (Tutorial 4) Samantha Nendze: 3056785 History 101: GS02 Professor R. Falconer November 6, 2017, The difference between vassal and lord shows the ranking of power and the foundation for feudal relationships of medieval history. Idealized views of feudalism represent honorable agreements between a lord and his vassal or vassals in which they both offered their loyalties to one another in exchange for land and services that were usually military in nature. Instead, the Agreement between Count William V of Aquitaine and Hugh IV of Lusignan, translated by Paul Hyams of Cornell University, demonstrates the tumultuous relationships between vassal and lord for the struggle of having and maintaining power and authority. This literary account shows the conflict that formed between Hugh and William. The text depicts the kinds of relationships that had developed from the feudal system between lords and vassals in the eleventh century, along with feudalism's connection to the church and the unyielding loyalty that helped bind the relationship between a vassal and the lord or monarch.

This text appears to be a piece of literature that tells a story rather than a historical record of events. It illustrates feudal relationships of the eleventh century, but in a dramatic way that looks as if it is closely related to fictional pieces of writing. It shows strong emotions like William's anger over what Hugh does and the unhappy demeanor of Hugh as he is let down again and again by his Lord. The narrative dialogue, along with confrontations filled with angst and irritation, gives the text an even more story lie quality to it. Even with this piece of literature having a story lie quality, it can still be used to draw historical context from it, like the type of relationships amongst the ranks of landowners and tenants depicted through Count William and Hugh's conflicts between each other.

A relationship between a lord and vassal seemed to be very much hierarchy based in that the Lord held authority over the vassal. Count William knew he could take advantage of his vassal Hugh because of his rank that was created by the feudal system. Even though Hugh had an important city and had a number of additional claims to another land, William asserted his unyielding power over his territory and thus Hugh's, Hugh being William's vassal. William asser...

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