Serfs in Europe

A law promulgated by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in 332 CE required serfs to remain on the land and to submit to the demands of the lord and his agents. There still to this day a colony of Serfs, also known as tenant farmers of the late Roman empire who, though not technically enslaved, were bound by law to donate their labor to a nobleman or landowner and still do today. A similar system of serfdom existed in ancient China.

      332 CE
      Roman Emperor

Additional Information:

  • Constantine the Great – Wikipedia
    Constantine was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, and he played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan in 313, which declared religious tolerance for Christianity in the Roman empire.
  • History of serfdom – Wikipedia
    In Western Europe serfdom became progressively less common through the Middle Ages, particularly after the Black Death reduced the rural population and increased the bargaining power of workers. … In England, the end of serfdom began with the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381.
  • Serfdom – Wikipedia
    Slavery persisted right through the Middle Ages, but it was rare. In the later Middle Ages serfdom began to disappear west of the Rhine even as it spread through eastern Europe. Serfdom reached Eastern Europe centuries later than Western Europe—it became dominant around the 15th century.
  • Serfdom |
    The vast majority of serfs in medieval Europe obtained their subsistence by … Throughout Chinese history, land-bound peasants were considered freemen in …
  • Serfdom in Europe (article) | Khan Academy
    Seventeenth-century historians and lawyers who studied the Middle Ages decided to give a common name to the diverse landowner-tenant arrangements that existed in northwest Europe during the Middle Ages, starting with the collapse of Charlemagne’s empire in the late ninth century and declining after the Black Plague and …

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