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About this product
- DescriptionThe medieval clergy, aristocracy, and commercial classes tended to regard peasants as objects of contempt and derision. In religious writings, satires, sermons, chronicles, and artistic representations peasants often appeared as dirty, foolish, dishonest, even as subhuman or bestial. Their lowliness was commonly regarded as a natural corollary of the drudgery of their agricultural toil. Yet, at the same time, the peasantry was t viewed as other in the manner of other condemned groups, such as Jews, lepers, Muslims, or the imagined monstrous races of the East. Several crucial characteristics of the peasantry rendered it less clearly alien from the elite perspective: peasants were t a mirity, their work in the fields urished all other social orders, and, most important, they were Christians. In other respects, peasants could be regarded as meritorious by virtue of their simple life, productive work, and unjust suffering at the hands of their exploitive social superiors. Their unrewarded sacrifice and piety were also sometimes thought to place them closest to God and more likely to win salvation.
- Author BiographyPaul Freedman is Professor of History at Yale University and the author, most recently, of Church, Law, and Society in Catalonia, 900-1500.
- Author(s)Paul Freedman
- PublisherStanford University Press
- Date of Publication01/01/1999
- SubjectRegional History
- Series TitleFigurae: Reading Medieval Culture
- Place of PublicationPalo Alto
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintStanford University Press
- Width155 mm
- Height235 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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