The Medieval Times began in the 1400's and ended when the cannon was invented, in the 1500's, which made the castles as they had been built useless. Cannons were able to knock down the castles with ease and therefore made them a waste for defense.

        The King had a very important role in the daily life of the people of the Medieval Times.

        The King's Role

        Some of the Kings were great and some brought shame to their countries. When they used their money wisely and helped the peasants then they were grateful. The King allowed peasants to live on his land but did charge them taxes. Sometimes the taxes would be giving part of the crop to the King or working for the King. This was more of a barter type system to pay for the taxes. The King was the most powerful ruler in that area. He controlled the laws and the people who lived around him. If they broke his rules they were often put to death or sent to the dungeons, which often resulted in death.

        A good King would give presents to his people for all the work they did for him, but a mean and horrible King would be "black hearted" and not spread the great joy of the celebration. For example he might increase the taxes and bring despair to his people and his country. This would eventually lead to the unrest of his people.

        The King was the maker of the laws that everyone had to obey because of his power. The King was thought to be a ruler of everyone and everything so he was also the grand ruler of the land that he owned. The peasants didn't have the weapons or the organization needed to take over the kingdom. They were also scared because the King was so powerful and if they made the King mad at them he would limit their food and shelter.

        The King's Family

        The King's family included the Queen who organized feasts and had his children. The Queen's primary role was to have male children so that when the King died there would be another King to rule. The Queen would sometimes even rule the country when a King was away, fighting a battle but it was usually not her role.

        The King's Clothes

        The King wore fancy clothes to show off how much money he had. Usually the King wore necklaces for every day of the week. These necklaces were made of precious jewels like rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. He wore a big, fancy, velvet robe with lots of diamonds and jewels and light colours to signify his importance and his wealth. The jewels that he wore on his robes were also emeralds, sapphires, topaz, and rubies.

        Maids sewed bright colored material into his robe like yellow, green, red and blue. They always wore fancy, catchy colors that caught your eye unlike the peasants that wore dull reds, browns and greys. The Kings were the only people allowed to wear purple because this color signified power and wealth. The King would also wear a golden crown filled with jewels and carry a scepter containing diamonds and many other jewels. This helped also to signify his importance.

        The King's Properties

        In the Medieval times the King owned most of the land around his castle. The King would also give some land away, usually to wealthy people like barons and knights. They did that because they wanted knights close by that could protect them. If he was a good King, he was always willing to provide land to these people but then he knew they would owe him. The King also provided land to many servants that would also work for him. This also demonstrated how rich and powerful he was. This would show other attackers that he had many people who worked for him and that would deter them from trying to overpower his kingdom. The King usually built his castle close to a forest. If a peasant or anybody else would hunt without the King's permission this would probably result in a death sentence for that person or they would be sent to the dungeon. The church also received part of the King's land. The king felt this would help to pave his way to heaven. The land that a king owned signified how powerful he really was.

        The King's Amusement

        The King had many people to amuse him. These people were called jesters and troubadours. Jesters usually did acrobatics with interesting tricks like back-flips, handstands and cartwheels. Troubadours on the other hand, played symphonies and orchestra music such as classical and traditional types. All these forms of entertainment were to impress the King, to make him happy and to enjoy the time he had. If the King was not impressed then the jester or troubadour could be punished or sent away.

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Copyright © 2002 P. Milz, C. Fotheringham, and Galileo Educational Network Association