The emergence of the market economy had a positive influence on people in Europe compared to that of China or Japan.
The horse collar was invented in China; the collar allowed the farmer to work his fields faster than the using oxen, which were being used in Europe at that time. The horse collar had a little effect in China, but was revolutionary to the production of food in Europe, why was this?
A farmer in some Asia countries worked extremely hard. But no matter how hard they worked; Farmers in these countries were defined by his trade and had no movement up or down the social ladder.
In Europe, with the emergence of a market society, the farmer’s hard work would benefit him. The farmer in Europe could obtain wealth, and this would move him up in the social ladder, compared to other farmers. Basically, a European farmer was still a farmer on the overall social ladder, but if he obtained more wealth, he was perceived as higher on this social ladder compared to other farmers.
The medieval time was just that, a time between the dark ages and the renaissance. Social order was now changing, and concepts of hierarchy would remain for a long time (and in some instances still today), but it was beginning to erode. Now it was money, not blood lines, which began to be major influences on society.
Besides farmers, I listed several other trade or professions in my novel, Legend of the Mystic Knights:
Scullery Maid- She was the lowest of the castle staff. She cleaned the floors, tables and pots and pans.
Gong Farmers- They gathers human excrement from privies to be used a fertilizer.
Artilliator- A maker of crossbows.
Carpenter- An important trade in medieval times. He created or repaired wooden objects and structures. Although he worked with wood, he was not allowed to use a wood plane. To use a wood plane on must be a joiner.
Cordwainer- Someone who works with leather to make shoes. I mentioned in my novel how a page does not mind working with the cordwainer, except he could not stand the smell. In medieval times, urine was often used to tan leather.
Crier- Also referred to as a bellman. He would inform people of upcoming events or to to inform people of proclamations made by the king or other royalty. The crier would often yell “Oyez, oyez oyez, which means, “listen” or “hear”.
Peddler-Also referred to as a cheapjack. Someone who traveled around areas selling goods.
Next time: I will describe unique monsters in my novel.