Mister Richardson’s
Church History Class

Chapter 11

A. Feudalism
1. Feudalism was the system of government in Europe during the Middle Ages.
2. The kings who came after Charlemagne were weaker and depended on the nobles for their rule.
3. The nobles depended upon their knights to help them in ruling their lands.
4. The knights ruled over lesser tenants.
5. Those who received land upon the condition of military aid and service were called vassals.
6. The land which a vassal received was called a fief.
7. The people who lived on and belonged to the land were known as serfs.
8. Kings were generally weak during this period.

B. The Normans
1. The Norsemen (Vikings) who did not return to Norway, but settled in France, were known as Normans.
2. The where they lived was directly across the English Channel from England and is still know as Normandy.
3. In 1066, William, duke of Normandy (aka William the Conquerer), crossed the Channel and invaded England.
4. He defeated the English king, Harold, at the Battle of Hastings and took the English throne.
5. This was the last time that England was successfully invaded.

C. Lay Investiture
1. The popes continued to need the support of kings and nobles to rule over their lands.
2. When a king felt that he was more powerful than the pope, he would appoint bishops in opposition to the pope.
3. When a layman (such as the king) appoints bishops, this is called lay investiture.
4. Otto I was the first to make such an appointment.
5. The popes, of course, were against lay investiture.
6. Otto was also the first ruler of what came to be known as the Holy Roman Empire, which was located mainly in Germany.
7. The papacy was so weak at this time that there were 20 popes between 891 and 955.
8. In 1045, due to the corruption of simony, there were three popes at the same time.