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Many people are interested in the Middle Ages while others are not But no matter what the preference is the Middle Ages offer a lot of material for entertainment like movies or novels Some of these are actually historically correct but most are not There are two books that directly deal with the Middle Ages These two books are The Return of Martin Guerre and Name of the Rose They deal with village life and monastery life respectively The monasteries were the center of life for a lot of the monks in the Middle Ages Monastery life also called monasticism rose from small groups of devout Christians These groups of people wanted to lead a more perfect life that was free from all the harm of regular life They secluded themselves from the rest of society in deserts and mountains Some of these groups started harming themselves to try to gain holiness Shortly there after leaders sprang up and laid down rules that the monks could not injure themselves anymore they had to start up manual labor instead The principal figure in the shaping of monasticism in the West was Saint Benedict who founded a monastery at Monte Cassino in 529 He said that monks should live in poverty study and do manual labor They should also at all time obey the abbot or head of the monastery The monks are expected to pray learn talk little and give up all personal belongings Benedicts monastery became the standard for all monasteries in Western Europe Villages started to emerge again in Europe in the twelve century Through the towns the middle class emerged The middle classes were usually merchants These people were not attached to the land Because of this they had a different value system then that of lords and serfs Since many of the towns were located on lords land the towns still incorporated feudalism Most of the villages were small and located at
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