thanks for the invitation.

I’m sorry, I’m not an expert in this field. My major is the history of France in the 18th century. To put it more broadly, modern Europe or early modern France. In fact, learning history is a very sad thing. Many people think that historians should be knowledgeable, but today, specialization forces people to be more and more confined to a narrow field. Those who are qualified to answer this question should be scholars who specialize in the history of medieval institutions. They should at least know a little Latin, otherwise they can’t appreciate the historical environment at that time. Some views on


1 This problem is too big, because the Middle Ages lasted for thousands of years; The geographical scope of Europe is also too wide. It is difficult to sum up the commonalities between the Frankish kingdom in the melovian era and the Italian City Republic in the late Middle Ages.

2. Based on my own superficial understanding, some classical Medieval Studies in the 20th century, especially the study of economic and social history, are often limited to the area between the Rhine and the Loire, that is, the original core area of frank; But less attention is paid to the fringe; I don’t know how it has developed in recent years. As far as I know, French scholars have paid much attention to Medieval Italy recently;

3. The change of system leads to the difficulty of long-term qualitative description. For example, a well-known fact is that the authority of the Pope experienced a process from weak to strong and finally declined in the middle ages; The monarchy of medieval France also had a process from weak to strong, and this was only a general trend, with many twists and turns.

4. My understanding of the middle ages comes from my early study and some translation work in recent years. Here is a brief description of some qualitative descriptions of the feudal system in the 11th century (i.e. the feudal system after the collapse of the Carolingian Empire) by George Duby, a great historian of the Middle Ages (only limited to France):

A: about the feudal system: in the feudal system, The first point is the complete superiority of a social group: the members of this group enjoy recognized privileges because of their military occupation and origin, especially the right to live in leisure by relying on the labor of low-ranking people; In addition, their obligations are only required by the deed of enfeoffment and the responsibility of the manor. More precisely, feudalism meant that power was broken into many independent cells. In each cell, the master, the Lord, holds the power of command and punishment in his personal name; He exercised this authority as if he were using one of his hereditary possessions.

B. the relationship between the king and the princes (Lords). The feudal system meant the fragmentation and disintegration of authority, and its development was at the cost of weakening kingship. But this view should not be pushed too far. Because there has never been a feudal society without a king. For the latter, the earthly monarch is as indispensable as the invisible God. Because the Dharma king was anointed and crowned, he had the color of divine power that all other great feudal lords did not have.




but in various certificates and chronologies at that time, statements such as principles (Princes) and optimates (grands) repeatedly appeared, which refer to such figures in Gaul provinces, The power in their hands is similar to that exercised by the Kape family in the former duchy of France (i.e. the territory of the French royal family: domaineroyal), and acts as the protector of the churches, especially monasteries, in their territory.

in terms of their power, they enjoy complete freedom and are exempt from any obedience to the king. They claimed to be loyal to the king, but they were never really regarded as vassals of the king, let alone vassals. In France in the 11th century, it can not be considered that there is a pyramid structure of enfeoffment and allegiance, and that local nobles will serve the King through the allegiance of princes. Such a structure did not begin to take shape until the 12th century. In France at that time, each vassal constituted the core of an independent feudal network, and there was no connection with other networks. Dukes and earls sometimes leave the territory to attend the coronation of the new king and elect the king by cheering. However, they do not believe that they have any form of obligation to the king. However, in the 11th century, with the exception of the Duke of Normandy, all these great feudal lord territories had further fragmentation of power: on the island of France, the territory of the caper royal family, power was fragmented to the level of the castle Lord, who was a symbol of public order at that time and replaced the responsibilities undertaken by the superior authorities such as the king and Duke. “Spekds” refers to the feudal lords, the “spekds” and “spekds” which are composed of the highest lords and nobles in France, including the “spekds” and “spekds”; On the other hand, it also includes ordinary Lords (each castle Lord territory has about 20-30 such less prominent families, which is close to the number of villages). In most parts of France, this kind of people have the largest number in the knight group; In addition, in the northwest of France, there are more warriors at home. They have no land, but live in the castle closely with the castle owner. However, due to the increasingly prominent common characteristics, the diversity of identity and authority among Knights has disappeared. All warriors share the same philosophy and abide by common moral standards, and when facing the church and farmers, they form an increasingly united group. D. Enfeoffment: a knight who formally becomes someone else through a ceremony called “loyalty”. During the interview, he must be bareheaded, unarmed and assume a completely dominated posture; Then he fell on his knees; Then he would see an obvious guiding gesture, so he put his hands together and put them between the hands of his future master. The latter immediately helped him up and kissed him to show that two individuals who were in fact equal had formed a new relationship, that is, the relationship between vassal and seigneur.

the connotation of monarchy and vassal system by fulbert, the most outstanding jurist and bishop of Chartres in the 11th centuryMade the clearest explanation. Around 1020, when the Duke of Aquitain asked about the duties of the vassal, The bishop replied: “A person who makes a promise to his master must always have six adjectives in his mind: safe, reliable, decent, beneficial, convenient and possible. Safe: that is, he cannot do any harm to his master’s body; reliable: that is, he cannot reveal his master’s secret or sell the castle to protect his master’s safety to hurt his master; decent: that is, he cannot destroy his master’s justice or other things that have something to do with his master’s honor Rights and interests of related parties; Beneficial: that is, not to damage everything possessed by the owner; Convenience and possibility: that is, not to make it difficult or impossible for the master to do good things. Therefore, no matter what kind of justice, the vassal cannot damage his master. ” “However, this is not enough for a vassal to enjoy his manor. He really can’t be satisfied with not doing evil, but doing good. If he wants to be commensurate with his grace and faithfully abide by his oath, he also needs… To provide advice and help to his master.” E. Fiefs: fiefs appeared at the turn of the 10th-11th century [the term originates from the Gothic feudum, which originally meant property such as livestock, from which feudalism came]. In the instruments of the time, the Latin term was usually translated into the colloquial word: bienfait. Feng Jun should be generous to his “people”. Like a father, he should support his vassals at home and distribute gifts, weapons and clothes to them from time to time. In the view of all knights in the family, only on this point can they show the magnanimity of monarchy. However, at the beginning of the 11th century, the vassal was used to receiving gifts from his master immediately after the ceremony of allegiance, such as a property, an estate, a church, a tithe interest, or even an ordinary land, so that he could ensure his livelihood at least on the day when he did not betray the vassal. F. Church: great changes took place in the church in the middle and late 11th century, especially in the Cluny reform movement. The previous church was greatly influenced by secular lords. The appointment of bishops is carried out either in accordance with customary succession practices or in accordance with a system of asylum, which is no different from that of the monarch over his mining Knights: the Duke, some earls, or the king places symbolic scepters and rings in the hands of the candidate to grant the latter the office of bishop, But these people were chosen from their illegitimate children or the sons of their vassals. At that time, the church discipline was relaxed, the church was used as a sheepfold, the clergy married and had children, and analyzed the church property. They could not read the Bible, and preached carelessly… The monasteries of




were also controlled by the secular world and impacted by all kinds of corruption. But the monastery woke up earlier. According to the Charter of Cluny monastery, the monastery has been immune from the disadvantages of the patronage system since 910. Moreover, in order to prevent such violations, it is directly attached to the Holy See. Like the latter, its protectors are St. Peter and St. Paul. It is very important that since the beginning of the 11th century, monks advocated “God’s peace” and religious discipline on knight behavior, which derived the Jihad Movement. It is against this background that the social theory of “three grades” emerged, in which priests are higher than knights in battle.

g. in Pan Europe, in 1073, the fanatical friar Hildebrand was elected pope, namely Gregory VII. He had a far-reaching impact on the reform of the church. The clergy must be celibate, the religious power is higher than the secular authority, severely punish the clergy to buy and sell and analyze the religious property, and even improve the religious quality of the clergy. These measures have strengthened the status of the church and clashed with some secular monarchs. As we all know, Canossa attended the audience. It is generally believed that the authority of the Pope reached its peak during Innocent III and gradually declined thereafter.

PS:1. The above views are mainly limited to the 11th century. For the understanding of history, please keep the awareness of movement and change;

2. Such views are tentative, even one-sided, and Dolby himself humbly admits this. For example, A. most of the documents we are now in contact with are left by monks, which should belong to “advanced culture”, and have too strong subjective consciousness, which is difficult for the general public to pry; B. There is often a distance between the statements in the literature and real life. Dolby himself said that those hot tempered Knights often forget the obligation of vassal when they are impulsive, so they should distinguish the deep meaning behind the language, but at present, it is not easy;

3. We should be alert to the distance between modern people and Chinese people in mentality and values between ancient and foreign cultures. France in the 11th century was a very backward and barbaric society. There was no clear concept of territory, no unified centralized authority, and personal life was basically limited to the castle Lord’s territory. Its living norms almost completely came from unreliable habits and memories, not to mention written laws and regulations. Property rights were often superimposed, divided or mixed, The interpretation of natural phenomena is more about religious affiliation, or an expression of religious fear… All these require us to understand the mentality of that era: mentalit é.