The nobleman Hugh of Lusignan’s account of his dealings with his lord, count William of Aquitaine, provides a window into eleventh-century feudal society in the kingdom of France.  The kingdom of France during this time was fragmented into many smaller jurisdictions ruled by dukes, counts, viscounts, bishops, and minor lords.  In fact, the king of France effectively ruled only a small territory around the cities of Paris and Orleans, while some of his rivals, such as the count of Aquitaine, controlled more territory and had more vassals.  In this account, fortresses often serve as fiefs granted by a lord to his vassal.

Respond to the following prompts
1. Although Hugh feels ill treated by his lord Count William, why does he (mostly) maintain his loyalty?  (Be sure to use and apply the generic terms of lord, vassal, and fief in your discussion.)

2. What were the primary sources of conflict in this society?

3. How did the system of lord and vassal relations serve to provide some political stability in a society with a very small or almost non-existent state/government?



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