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Feudalism in Europe

Feudalism was introduced in Europe in the 10th century AD and flourished between the 10th and 15th centuries. At the time of its origin feudalism was a progressive system as compared with slavery. Under the feudal system power belonged to the feudals headed by monarch, and everyone belonged to some specific social estate.

In the 10lh - 11th centuries travelling artisans appeared in Western Europe. As a rule their settlements were near big monasteries and feudal castles. Merchants from other lands often came and sold their goods there. To protect themselves from the attack of knights the artisans surrounded their settlements with walls and built fortifications round them. Gradually such settlements turned into towns. Artisans who practiced the same crafts and lived in the same town often united to form guilds. Goods were manufactured in artisans workshops where everything was made by hand (manual labour). The church was the mainstay of feudalism. The clergy persecuted the disobedient (the heretics) mercilessly, tortured them and burnt them at the stake.


1. AD (Anno Domini) - нашей эры

2. as compared (with) - по сравнению (с)

3. under the feudal system - при феодализме

4. headed - во главе

5. as a rule - как правило

6. to protect themselves from ... - чтобы защититься от ...

7. the same crafts - те же самые ремесла

8. manual labour - ручной труд

9. at the stake - на костре


I. Give Russian equivalents of the following:

At the time of its origin; belong to the feudal lords; headed by monarch; travelling artisans; specific social estate; to form a guild; to surround settlements; artisans workshops.

II. Express agreement or disagreement with the following using:

Yes, you are right (= it is correct)

No, you are not right (= you are wrong)

1. Feudalism was introduced in Europe in the 18lh century.

2. At the time of its origin feudalism was a regressive system.

3. Goods were manufactured in artisans workshops.

4. The church was the mainstay of feudalism.

III. Suggest the English for:

Достигать расцвета; при феодализме; как правило; строи­ли укрепления; объединялись в гильдии; оплот феодализ­ма; пытать; сжигать на костре.

IV. Find in the text sentences with these words and translate them:

To flourish, monarch, travelling artisans, fortifications, guild, mainstay.

IV. Complete the following sentences:

1. At the time of its origin feudalism .

2. As a rule, artisans settlements

3. The artisans surrounded ....

4. Goods were manufactured ....

5. The clergy persecuted ....

V. Answer the following questions:

When was feudalism introduced in Europe? Whom did the power belong to? When did travelling artisans appear in Western Europe? Where did they usually settle? Why did they choose these places? What did the artisans surround their settlements with? What associations of artisans were typical for that time? Where were goods usually manufactured in the medieval town?

VI. Speak on the formation of a medieval town:

The words you may need: travelling artisans; settlements; big monasteries; feudal castles; to protect from knights; to surround the settlements; fortifications.

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