By Kenneth M. Setton, Marshall W. Baldwin
The six volumes of A historical past of the Crusades will stand because the definitive background of the Crusades, spanning 5 centuries, encompassing Jewish, Moslem, and Christian views, and containing a wealth of data and research of the heritage, politics, economics, and tradition of the medieval international.
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Additional resources for A History of the Crusades, Volume I: The First Hundred Years
Although it was not completely confined to the regions of hamlets, it was most common there. Under this system the farmer had a small garden or infield near his house that he kept in continuous cultivation by using the manure from his animals. Then he would go out and plow a piece of land some distance away, grow crops on it until it lost its fertility, and then abandon it and plow another piece. This method of exploitation was suited to a region with a large amount of available land, none of which was very fertile.
It seems clear that great lay and ecclesiastical lords were encouraging their tenants who lived in their chief seats to acquire specialized skills. Thus there were craftsmen living around castles, cathedrals, and monasteries who made articles for the use of their lords. In Flanders the spinners and weavers were already manufacturing more woolen cloth than they could use and were selling it to others. There were also merchants engaged in inter-regional commerce. Men of Rouen carried wine to England to satisfy the thirst of the Norman favorites of king Edward the Confessor.
There has been a great deal of essentially fruitless dis~ cussion about the distinction between homage and fidelity. The fact that prelates often were willing to swear fidelity but refused to do homage would seem to indicate that fidelity was personal loyalty while homage represented a promise to perform the services due from a fie[ But household knights who held no fief often swore fidelity and did homage. Actually it seems doubtful that there was any clear, generally accepted distinction. Ordinarily the two were part of a single ceremony.
A History of the Crusades, Volume I: The First Hundred Years by Kenneth M. Setton, Marshall W. Baldwin