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the feudal relationship of lord and vassal. What were their responsibilities toward each other?The relationship of lord and vassal was very close. Here are 3 main points:It was an honorable relationship between legal equals. Only nobles could be vassals. The greater lords were vassals and tenants of the King. The less powerful lords where vassals and tenants of the greater lords, and so on down. The same man might be both vassal and lord – vassal to a more powerful lord above him and lord to a less powerful vassal below him. It was a very personal relationship. Each man’s loyalties and obligations were owed only to the lord immediately above him or to the vassal below him. The fief was really a contract between lord and vassal. The lord granted the use of the land. He also guranteed the vassal protection. The vassal promised to provide the lord a certain number of cavalry riders and foot soldiers and agreed to pay for their expenses while they were in battle. Military service was usually limited to 40 days a year. Vassals also were obligated of feudal aids – special payments to hel pcover extraordinary expenses of the lord, such as ransom if the lord were captured in war. The vassal was expected to give the lord a house and food for a certain number of days a year, to attend ceremonies, and to serve on the lord’s court administer justice. Essay Question #5: Discuss the life of a monk. What vows did he take and what contributions did monks make to medieval society?The monk promised to follow a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience. He gave up everything he owned, and he promised to never marry. He agreed to obey the rules of his order or group of monks. The Church offered people a proper way of life, a path to follow from birth to death to heaven. It was a blessing to care for poor people, widows, and orphans. Art was often brought by the villagers to the church to beautify the house of God. The monks in monasteries were often artists in their own right. Monks lived in monastaries. A monastery was a place where a man lived away from the problems of life of the rest of the world. Often the rules and regulations of the monastery where strict. In the monastery there were rules for each hour of the day. Everything was planned for the monks, but they were given time to think and pray. It is in monasteries where they make up for the sins of their youth. The monks do not waste time in the monastery. They work hard because they believe it is God’s will. They do such jobs as farmwork and charity work. Many monasteries had a rule that they were supposed to say nothing. They were never to talk to each other unless they get special permission. They took a vow of silence on that.

They are also educated in the monastery. They are given Latin and Greek books. They learn to write, and are taught art.Essay Question #6: Rome did not “fall” in a day. Discuss the reasons that contributed to the downfall of the world’s greatest empire. The downfall of Rome is contributed to several reasons. Slavery has been stressed by some historians as the cause of Roman decline. They say it produced a class of people who were always discontented and often in revolt. It tended to make slave owners brutal, selfish, and lazy.Another weakening factor was the army. After the Good Emperors, leadership was poor and discipline could not be enforced. Military interference in the choice of an emperor made the government unstable. Mainting the army was also very expensive. Another contribution was the lack of civilian control of the military. The emperor had to be strong to keep the legions loyal. The common soldiers lost a sense of loyalty to Rome and instead served anyone who could pay them better.Barbaric invasions played a role in the Roman downfall. However, this was not a factor until the empire had declined were the barbarians able to break through the frontiers. Rome tried to control the entire Mediterranean world with a government originally designed for a small city-state. In an age of slow transportation, the empire grew too fast and became too large for the kind of governmental organization the Romans set up. Government expenses were heavy. Taxes had to finance the construction of public buildings, the maintenance of the army, and, in the later empire, the cost of two capitals – one in the west and one in the east. Even heavy taxes could not produce enough money to run the government. After Trajan, their source of revenue – rich plunder from foreign wars – was exhausted. Decreased revenue for the government resulted in unrepaired roads and bridges. This made the roads unsafe to travel on, which in turn decreased trade. When trade declined, manufacturing suffered. Eventually, neraly all trade and manufacturing disappeared, and people began to leave the towns. Agriculture also suffered. Small farmers gradually lost their lands to a few great landowners. These are the main contributions to the “fall” of Rome.


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