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Some people maintain that the whole of medieval society can be explain

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Some people maintain that the whole of medieval society can be explain  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2017, 02:16
Some people maintain that the whole of medieval society can be explained by the relationship between lord and vassal. But while much of Europe was divided into fiefs, the very lands from which the word feudalism derives, there were parts of the continent that did not fit so nice a definition. In fact, much of Italy, Spain, and southern France were not “feudal” in this sense.

Still, contractual obligations based on land ownership did define much of the social interaction of the period. Corporations, such as they were in this time, might be lords or vassals or both. For example, a monastery might be the lord to the tenant who resides in one of the manor houses on the monastery grounds, while at the same time the monastery pays its homage to the king. There was much room in the medieval system for ambiguities, but the exchange of obligations between superior and inferior was the key element of the society.
As the feudal system increased in scope, new social structures emerged to help maintain the convoluted networks of relationships required by feudalism. In order to justify the continued extraction of resources from the peasants, the kings and lords had to provide security. This exchange led to both the aristocracies that would come to control Europe for centuries to come and the rise of a dedicated warrior class, whose militaristic tendencies would be partly responsible for the years and years of warfare that would wrack Europe. Counterbalancing this, though, was the tradition of courtly behavior and romantic love that would not have arisen without the fighting class.

While the lives of the vassals were not to be envied, it would be remiss to think that medieval kings led luxurious lives. The great kings of early Europe had more freedom, but that freedom was tempered by the paucity of options available. There was not much more to do than eat, sleep, pray, hunt, and watch over the estate.


The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. critique the position of those who believe medieval Europe was defined entirely by the feudal system
B. compare and contrast medieval European social structures with modern ones
C. describe the social conditions prevalent under the feudal system
D. discuss the historical conditions that led to years of European warfare
E. detail the daily lives of typical medieval citizens

Each of the following aspects of the feudal system is mentioned in the passage EXCEPT
A. responsibilities based on land ownership
B. simultaneous occupation of roles
C. complicated societal relationships
D. pastimes of vassals
E. early form of taxation

It can be inferred from the author’s discussion of kings in the passage that
A. most medieval kings were highly religious
B. medieval kings were no freer than the vassals that served them
C. medieval kings provided their vassals with protection in exchange for material goods
D. kings were partly responsible for the wars that wracked Europe
E. medieval kings paid homage to no one

The author uses the term “feudal” in the first paragraph most probably to emphasize that
A. social relations in Italy, Spain, and southern France were not based on obligations and land ownership
B. the word feudal has many different derivations
C. certain parts of Europe need a different word to define the social interactions that took place in them
D. Italy, Spain, and southern France did not have kings
E. although certain parts of the continent were not divided into fiefdoms, a system of obligations still existed


Source: McGraw-Hill's GMAT
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Re: Some people maintain that the whole of medieval society can be explain  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Sep 2018, 00:03
Discussed here https://gmatclub.com/forum/some-people- ... 36829.html
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Re: Some people maintain that the whole of medieval society can be explain &nbs [#permalink] 02 Sep 2018, 00:03
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Some people maintain that the whole of medieval society can be explain

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