Serf and turf: A history of feudalism around the world

What was life under feudalism really like?

Stars Insider

08/04/23 | StarsInsider

LIFESTYLE Dark ages

Feudalism, depending on who you ask, evokes images of knights in shining armor, decadent castle feasts, lonely samurai, and hardworking peasants tending the fields. But while there were certainly knights, castles, peasants, and fields, it wasn't all so simple or idyllic. In truth, feudalism is one of the many things that made Europe's Dark Ages so dark, and held back societal and technological progress in regions around the world. While it is seen by many historians as a necessary step between the ages of ancient empires and the modern world we find ourselves in today, the transition wasn't exactly graceful or pretty. Feudalism was a time of greed and uncivilized opulence for a small ruling class, and an era of endless labor and destitute living conditions for the rest of society.

So, how did these times of darkness come about, and how did they lead to the societies we live in today? Read on to find out.

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