The aristocracy of the medieval ages formed a symbiotic relationship with the peasants, a situation in which both parties contribute, although the peasant's contribution seems to be more strenuous. By analyzing primary sources, I intend delineate the function of the aristocracy in regards to the peasants, the attitudes and beliefs characterized by aristocrats, and the restrictions placed on them by their responsibilities to the peasants, as well as the church.
Einhard's work, The Life Of Charlemagne, offers some excellent information about the restrictions placed on aristocracy. The document mentions several times Charlemagne's devoutness to the Christian faith and towards the papacy in particular.
Beyond all other sacred and venerable places he loved the church of the holy Apostle Peter of Rome, and he poured into its treasury great wealth in silver and gold and precious stones. He sent innumerable gifts to the Pope; and during the whole course of his reign he strove with all his might (and, indeed, no object was nearer to his heart than this) to restore to the city of Rome her ancient authority, and not merely to defend the church of Saint Peter but to decorate and enrich it out of his resources above all other churches (Einhard, qtd.
in Kishlansky: 129.) This quote illustrates the aristocracy's responsibility to the Christianity and the Papacy. Charlemagne is loyal to Roman Catholic Church, as opposed to the simply the Christian faith. The distinction is clearly made by the way in which Einhard refers to the church as the "the church of the holy Apostle Peter of Rome". This title clearly distinguishes it from the general Christian faith. It also implies a strong connection between Charlemagne as an aristocrat of high authority to the Church in Rome. The nature of this connection is made...