Medieval knights generally lived in the castles of noble families, serving under the lord or baron while providing military service and protection in exchange for lodging, weapons, armor, food, money and horses. The king could also grant knights, who were also called "vassals," their own fiefdom.
The feudal system allowed for men to advance through knighthood and service in the military. Knights held their place in society above the peasantry but were not only made up of royalty or members of the noble or ruling classes. Knighthood had to be earned; it could not be inherited in most countries, although there were systems of hereditary knighthood in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Ireland and Belgium at certain times during the Medieval period. The young sons of a lord oftentimes advanced themselves by becoming knights. The knight could earn his fortune for his professional service to the lord or noble or by being granted land of his own by the king. Training for knighthood began in childhood, with most boys starting on the official path to knighthood at age 7.
Although not common, women were sometimes appointed as knights. In fact, 68 women were appointed knights between 1358 and 1488 in England's Order of the Garter.Learn More
Peasants ate primarily food made from grains and vegetables in the Middle Ages. They also drank mostly ale, since water was unsafe, and wine was too expensive.Full Answer >
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant, adventurer and writer who traveled back and forth from Italy to China during the late 1200s. Polo's family went to China in 1271 when he was 17. The adventurer returned to Venice in 1295, after which he published a book of his travels. He died in 1324, several decades after the publication of "The Travels of Marco Polo."Full Answer >
King Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, established a more centralized government, refined the absolute monarchy that defined the French method of governance, created a court at Versailles and led France through four long wars. King Louis XIV assumed the throne as King of France at the age of 4, following in his father's footsteps. The young king underwent several years of rigorous training in military techniques and academic subjects before gaining the requisite knowledge and skills to begin acting as king.Full Answer >
Islam began in the first half of the 7th century A.D. In 610 A.D., the Prophet Muhammad began to receive messages from God, or Allah, and he began to preach these messages in his native Mecca.Full Answer >