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Social Class and Health in the Middle Ages/Renaissance - Research Paper Example

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Life in the Middle Ages during the time of feudalism brought about a rigid social structure that left a wide division between those who held money and land, and those that worked that same land for little to no pay. Those of wealth and privilege could look forward to a good diet…
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Social Class and Health in the Middle Ages/Renaissance
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Download file to see previous pages use of books and the internet, this paper examines not only feudalism in general and the social structure that depended upon it, but the various diseases and options that were available to the different classes based upon their status for medical treatment, alongside common problems that were widespread in the Middle Ages and gave no thought to the same status that those who lived during that era held dear.
The fall of the Roman Empire ushered in a new way of life for most of Europe that would last from 500 A.D. to 1500 A.D., allowing most of the country to adopt a structured hierarchy which bound all peoples of a society together in a system that became known as feudalism. The feudal system was implemented across much of Europe, from Germany and France to England and Italy (Nelson, 1999). Most often represented as a pyramid, with the king or ruler at the top and the common serf or peasant at the bottom, feudalism represented a vast economic and social network of nobles and aristocracy ranking near the top of the pyramid and the majority of the common men and women, known as serfs or peasants, at the bottom (Abels). The common connector among the levels of social structure was, quite simply, the land parcels that were handed out by the king to his most trusted noblemen, who divided it into smaller parcels amongst their own followers as well as employing serfs, or peasants, for various functions (Nelson, 1999). This ensured a system of complete and total loyalty, as those up and down the levels of social strata in feudalism made promises to one another. Those of lower social class, such as serfs, promised to work hard and serve their lord in exchange for a small hut and food; those that were of aristocratic class promised to protect the serfs at all costs (Abels). With such promises in place, there was virtually no need for anyone to enforce feudalism, as everyone simply knew where they belonged and what their duties were to each other.
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