He spent most of his time working the land, and trying to grow enough food to survive another year. Social activities were important also, every citizen in a medieval town were expected to attend fairs in the town square (Life during the Middle Ages). Medieval
weddings, also one of the important events, were a whole town activity. Women were largely confined to household tasks such as cooking, baking bread, sewing, weaving, and spinning. But some medieval women held other occupations such as blacksmiths, merchants, and apothecaries (Life during the Middle Ages). Medieval diets lacked vitamins A, C and D and were not high in calories. The only positive part of these diets, were that they were somewhat "heart-smart;" low in fat and high in fiber. But the medieval world was usually a very hungry one. (Life during the Middle Ages). The Catholic Church was the main source of education. Every cathedral and monastery established a school to provide free education to every boy who had the intelligence and the perseverance to follow a demanding course of study. Medieval students often sat together on the floor, scrawling notes from lessons using a bone or ivory stylus on wooden tablets coated with green or black wax (Life during the Middle Ages). ...
The political instability brought about by the barbarian invasion, made the Church as the only sought institution that provide good guidance and learning source. During that period, the popes have the two very effective tools to consolidate power in their office: excommunication and interdict. Excommunication was the first weapon. Catholics believe salvation depends on perpetual sacramental observance. Cutting a communicant off from the sacraments means one loses salvation. When the pope excommunicated a believer there was really "no hope" (Church History). The Interdict served as the pope's second weapon. What excommunication was to individuals, the interdict was to an entire nation. A papal interdict would suspend all public worship and withdrew the sacraments. After the interdict went into effect, Citizens usually pressured their rulers to repent or abdicate (Church History).
Changes in the Medieval Italian Society and their Causes
The Rise of Feudalism. The barbarian invasions of Italy and the rest of Europe left a power vacuum. The power vacuum is then filled by feudalism. In the feudal system, the king awarded land grants or "fiefs" to his most important nobles, his barons, and his bishops, in return for their contribution of soldiers for the king's armies. At the lowest echelon of society were the peasants, also called "serfs" or "villeins." In exchange for living and working on his land, known as the "demesne," the lord offered his peasants protection (What was it really like).
Changes in Attitudes Towards Women. During the period, Women were usually treated as property. Passion was considered sinful to 11th and 12th century moralists, but these ideals were slowly being worn away with the rituals