Say a young and also ambitious european farmer wanted to become a wealthy nobleman or even dominion over a country. Could this it is in feasibly done? go it ever happen?


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In terms of coming to be a monarch, no, I'm not conscious of any time that occurred in the middle ages. Together for ending up being wealthy, powerful and noble? It definitely seems to have actually been possible, come a minimal extent, in any case in the locations I know ideal (which is France in the centuries around the turn of the millennium). Be afflicted with in mind though the this was a period of substantial social and also political flux, i m sorry always enables for the relaxing because that rules and also chances for world to do things castle otherwise wouldn't it is in able to.

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One method in which peasants could advance was v the church. I've written around this before here. Here's the pertinent bit:

Could a peasant end up being a member of the elite by joining the clergy?

Yes. However it was incredibly rare. It's likewise very challenging to determine just how low-born these instances really were, since we usually understand only the their opponents taunted them for being peasants, but medieval authors were very snobby: come them gift the 3rd son of the count of Neverheardofitsville was almost the very same as gift a peasant, even if the wasn't the reality.

Hildebrand, the future Gregory VII, is the best example that this uncertainty: he is very often declared to it is in of humble origins, the child of a Tuscan carpenter, yet there are additionally suggestions the he was related to a ahead pope, Gregory VI, and also that the had family ties v some pretty crucial Roman monasteries. We do know that peasants might make it come the top. The one situation in i beg your pardon it's universally welcomed is the of Pope Silvester III II, far better known together Gerbert that Aurilliac (b. C.940), who climbed from his at an early stage life together the boy of a peasant native the mountains of the Auvergne in main France, to holding essential ecclesiastical office in Spain, Germany and also France, tutoring the Emperor's son, ultimately being chosen to the papacy (in 999) and generally being pertained to as the most influential intellectual the the tenth century. But Gerbert to be so unexplained that future churchmen speculated that he might have been in league v the devil, his increase was so spectacular and also unusual.

I get the feeling that you're looking an ext for a secular course to power though. It's challenging to call really, in specific because everyone who insurance claims (or was accused) of lower origins could not really have been a peasant, yet just a branch of some obscure neighborhood nobility. In the twelfth century, us do gain some genealogical literary works which gives humble origins to some powerful noble family members (such as the counts of Anjou or the counts of Nevers-Auxerre), but how lot of this is a literary trope is difficult to recognize - though if I had actually to guess I'd say they were 'humble' in the sense of emerging from the minor aristocracy, fairly than indigenous the peasantry.

The various other possibility was for a peasant to come to be a knight, a group of human being who were progressively asserting their nobility throughout the eleventh century. The origins of knights room hotly contested, and also tied up in a the majority of other debates about medieval society, but there space some chroniclers who believe that they source in well-off peasants basically starting to dominate and also extort their neighbours, mafia-style. Rather disagree, and also see knights emerging from present local, low-level aristocracies. It's a controversy which doesn't look choose being solved anytime soon.

I guess the closes i can involved giving you a identify answer is that medieval people definitely thought the it could happen, also if us don't have certain examples. We have the right to see this in the story the a serf indigenous the floor of the Benedictine monastery that Fleury ~ above the Loire in main France, composed in the 1040s. That escaped native the monastic lands and also went to live in Burgundy, wherein he rose up to end up being a respected neighborhood knight. The story originates from a miracle arsenal however, so us can't assume the this is an actual genuine example, but it is definitely something that they author thought his audience would think could happen. The wonder happens later, once a patron the the abbey comes across the serf in Burgundy, and brings him to court to expose him. The serf tries come swear the he was always a knight, yet St Benedict transforms him right into a black dog, therefore proving his true evil nature. He's transformed back into a man, and sent back to live his live that drudgery on the ranches of the saint, and all is well v the world.

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TL:DR; the wouldn't be feasible for a peasant to become a king, but it was certainly thought possible for him to end up being a boy noble, even if together a thing was seen as a an extremely bad point by our aristocratic writers.