An unknown poet in the medieval times described the three social classes of European society of his time in this way: “One toils, one prays, and one defends.” Let us examine these social classes, their lives and what part they played in building their Europe. One Toils The common place peasants were referred to as toilers, because they held the base positions of workers (farmers, welders, herders, barbers).
Their lives consisted of ever changing working assignments that were dictated by season and need by superior officials (clergy or political).
Their homes were of simple design made of wood frames, which were stuffed with straw and rubber then plastered over with clay. The roof was simply thatched together. Homes of the poorer had but one room, while others consisted of two, one for eating and activities and one for sleeping.
Their food was adequate if resources permitted, grown from their own backyard and meat was only consumed on special occasions because it was not readily available. An interesting fact was that the bread that the peasants grew was highly nutritious because it contained not just wheat and rye but it was also made with barley, millet, and oats. These grains served another purpose as well, they were used to make ale. Ale was the poor man’s liquor, and according to records a large sum was consumed and was responsible for a lot death tolls in medieval court records. All in all the “toilers” were a simple people, but in their simplicity were the foundation of European for who sewed the clothes together to clothe the superiors and who grew the food that was fed to the superiors.
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One Prays This is an obvious description of the clergy of Europe. A strong example of how important religion was to Europe was and still is the Gothic Cathedral, it ascended stretched out to the heavens, symbolic of the people’s passion for God. The cathedral was build through the hands of everyone in the community, some by using their architectural skills, others by donating the needed funds for completion of the project. Sound management by the popes, along with new characteristics of religious life, made the Catholic church a forceful authority in every area of European citizen’s life.
One Defends The defenders of Europe, her soldiers, ever changing the flow of their motherland. The role of solders was clear. As seen in the many battles that formed Europe. When Normandy arrived on the coast and incontestably beat King Harold in battle. This allowed for much changing. Normandy combines Anglo-Saxon and Norman policy’s to create a new England.
Civil wars such as the one in 1642 that occurred between Royalist and the parliamentary forces caused by ill feelings between Charles I and the Parliament. The Parliament being successful because of the well disciplined soldiers on its side. Once in power the parliament actions of abolishing the monarchy and the House of lords was initiated, making England a Commonwealth. These are just a few examples of how wars and the soldiers who fight them played a part in changing and establishing Europe. Each part of society played a role in the development and at times the demise of various givens of life some good some bad, which in turn shaped Middle Age Europe.