Serfdom in Medieval Feudal Europe

As the Western Roman Empire collapsed, landholders gradually transitioned from outright slavery to serfdom. What Is Feudalism? Let’s imagine that you’re a poor European farmer in the Middle Ages. Here’s the political situation: you don’t own the land you live on. It’s rented from a baron or a duke. You and your neighbors share a[…]

The Evolution of Servile Peasants in Medieval Hungary and Catalonia

It was justified by reference to historical myths that nobles and servile peasants were separated by courage and cowardice. Introduction The Uprising of the Catalan servile peasants (remences) between 1462 and 1486 was unusual in the history of European insurrections. Waged by a surprisingly well-armed force of peasants who played an important military role as[…]

Serfdom and Daily Life in the Medieval World

Serfs increased their political power by acting collectively in village communities which began to hold their own courts and which acted as a counterweight to those of the landed gentry. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Medieval serfs (aka villeins) were unfree labourers who worked the land of a landowner (or its tenant) in return for physical[…]