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the economic system that prevailed in medieval Europe; it was related to the Roman custom of patronage and was based on land tenure and the relationship between the tenant and the landowner


a piece of land in the feudal system


a style of decoration in which strips of gold are set on edge to form small cells, which are filled with coloured enamel glass paste and fitted with thin slices of semiprecious stones

Animal interlace

in medieval art, a type of decorative motif featuring elongated animals interlaced into serpentine ribbons

Animal style

in medieval art, a style of decoration featuring symmetrical design, interlaced organic and geometric shapes, and animal motifs


a compound phrase used in poetry in substitute for the name of a person or thing

Carpet page

a descriptive term that refers to the resemblance between highly decorated pages of medieval manuscripts and Turkish or Islamic carpets


the hall in which monks worked to copy and decorate biblical texts


a professional entertainer or minstrel who performed from court to court

Chansons de geste

a type of French medieval epic poem; literally `song of heroic deeds.`


in music, one note per syllable


the same music repeated for each stanza for a poem

Chivalric code

the code of conduct for a knight: courage in battle, loyalty to his lord and peers, and courtesy toward women


a chevalier guided by a strict unwritten code of conduct


a rectangular courtyard in a monastery, typically arcaded and dedicated to contemplation and reflection


an imposing, sometimes monumental entrance of a church made up of two tall towers flanking a multi-storied narthex


the dining hall of a monastery

Gregorian chant

a type of liturgical chant popularized during the time of Charlemagne and still widely used until the 20th century


a song in which one or many voices sing a single melodic line with no harmony

A capella

without instrumental accompaniment


a note in traditional Gregorian notation, usually indicated by a small square


a simple chant form in which each syllable is sung to two or three notes


in later medieval chant, the practice of singing a single syllable to many notes

Motte and bailey

a type of castle consisting of a raised earth mound (motte) and the enclosed courtyard at its base (bailey)

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