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 Post subject: Re: Of the Feudal System(AKA Michael - er, Ian! explains, ep
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:00 pm 
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Here is an example that might prove useful.

The city of Lugdunum was founded by the Romans in 46 BC. It became the beachhead for the conquest of Gaul.

1360-odd years later the city of Lyon, now-named, is run by the church. The Canons of St Jean and the Archbishop hold secular power in the city and its surrounds as well as spiritual.

However the Count of Montbrison disputes control of some of that territory and in the past battles have been fought -- the Count would win, then the pope would intervene and broker a peace and life would return to normal.

The city itself is growing and the burghers of the town want access to a justice system outside the control of the church. Nominally the Holy Roman Emperor controls Lyon but his power has waned. So the burghers turn to the King of France.

He waits until tension flairs between the Archbishop and the Count of Montrbrison. He offers to broker a permanent peace. The solution is a complex one -- various military assets change hands, keeping the Count happy, and the boundary of the Barronie Lyonnais is established -- but is done peacefully. The King is now the feudal overlord of Lyon.

So what changed in Lyon now that Lyon was a part of the kingdom of France. Very little. The nobility of the region were long established before the king arrived. Like the rest of the nobility they resisted tooth-and-nail any diminishing of their rights as well as the imposition of any new obligations.

The main change came in the people's access to the law courts superior to the Lyonnais courts. This was heavily resisted by the establishment but over the next 50 years it became fact.

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 Post subject: Re: Of the Feudal System(AKA Michael - er, Ian! explains, ep
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:29 am 
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That was a nice example, Ian. I will think about all the stuff you've written and do some more research.


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 Post subject: Re: Of the Feudal System(AKA Michael - er, Ian! explains, ep
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:25 am 
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One last one. We have this perception that everyone wanted to be a knight. We imagine that everyone who could be a knight was a knight, and many of those who couldn't strove to earn the right to be a knight.

This couldn't be further from the truth. In 1300s France roughly 10% of those entitled to become a knight were in fact knighted.

You see, being a knight changed nothing for the individual in terms of who they were (that is, their status within society) nor how they fought in war (access to arms and armour and training) nor their function in society. What it changed was their obligations to the King -- that is, it increased the King's power at a cost of reducing their own.

Couched in those terms -- who would do it?

The answer, obviously, is not many and those who did saw themselves as career soldiers or career politicians (they might be termed courtiers but their function was political). A career in Paris might be a character's goal but it necessitates the potential for diminished power locally (wherever their demesne might be situated).

Regards,

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Ian Plumb
Illustrations for Gamers
Lyonpaedia
Griffin Grove Gaming
Kraftworks for Kids School Holiday Program


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