Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Little Known Facts about Medieval Russian History

Feudalism, or manorialism, was a system of forced labor where lords enslaved laborers and forced them to work on their farms. The laborers were called serfs and they were not allowed to leave the land they were bonded to.

This practice was common all over Eastern Europe, and particularly severe in the Russian empire. Indeed, the excesses of this system formed the basis for the Communist Revolt.

But that is not our topic today. Today we are going to discuss details of day-to-day life in those times.

Recently discovered artefacts and accounts from the period suggest that serfs often tried to escape across the vast, unpeopled steppes of Asia Minor.

Initially, it appears, the lords did not bother, because they believed that the serfs would perish in the harsh conditions on the steppe.

Soon, however, it was obvious that the serfs were not only managing to survive, they were setting up villages of their own.

Alarmed, the lords started actively pursuing the serfs and capturing them, usually with a net, in the fashion of the Roman Retiarii.

The most interesting account appears in the diary of a lord, dating from that period.

Meticulously written, the diary describes the equipment required for the purpose.

"A net of strong twine, a spear, a lance, a fast horse, all these are required for capturing them.

And do not forget to wear a band tight around thy waist.

And make sure the band around thy waist is not too narrow

For it is only too well known that a broad band is required for netting the serfs."

15 comments:

Aravind said...

You seem to be getting better with each post. :)

Siddharth said...

OMG! Naren Naren!
I have fallen off the chair....!

rambodoc said...

Super. You are showing the hallmarks of a good whine, I mean wine!

Susa said...

hehe, not surprising the missus felt worried enough to put a warning post out! Nutty, but a good read!

SRK said...

My my, aren't you turning out to be quite the pun-dit?

Harishhh said...

brilliant! simply brilliant!

Sheela said...

Dear all
Mr. Shenoy will be unable to post in the near future as we have unanimously taken a family decision to truss him up and throw him out the window unless he promises to stop writing such ghastly puns. I mean, it is all very civilized of you to drop in a kind word and everything but how would you feel if your every waking moment is full of puns? You'll go nuts. Which reminds me of another ghastly pun..... Actually, I think I will convert this comment into a post.....

Thanks for your forbearance and don't worry about Mr. Shenoy who has some decent Personal Accident insurance.

-Regards

Sheela

buddy said...

:D

Ranju said...

Mrs.S, glad to know that your shoulder has healed strong enough to be able to throw Mr. S out the window...
:D

Bea Walker said...

That'll teach me to read your blog at work!!! Now the people at work think I am nuts - laughing like a loon...Chin up Mrs. S....err - do you need any help with the Accident insurance claim filing? :P

Bhel Puri & Seekh Kabab said...

*groa*

Vivek said...

That LAST line blew me away!
:D
ROFL!

Sowmya Srikrishnan said...

You are a museum-piece sirji!

Pls give us all a break.....god I am dying!

le embrouille blogueur said...

Mrs.S....that would be extremely unkind of you to all readers ...word of ad-vice ....please do not wear a pony tail on the day of this planned activity .... Naren...please send us a calendar invite and we shall be there to witness the fall....lol !!

RukmaniRam said...

*bows*