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Machicolation:
1) A projection in the battlements of a wall with openings through which missles can be dropped on besiegers.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

2) Opening in floor of projecting parapet of a castle between supporting corbels, through which missles could be dropped on to assailants at base of wall. Translation of hoards into stone.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)

3) Parapet built out on corbels so that missles could be hurled through the aperture so created to prevent men attacking the base of a wall.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 249)

Related terms: Castle


Mainferme:
Life lease.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Location: France


Mainmorte:
Mortmain. The lord's right to a share of his men's personal estate after death.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Related terms: Buteil / Heriot / Mortmain / Meilleur Catel


Mainpast:
To assume responsibility for another; to be under the guardianship of another.
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234)

Related terms: Wardship


Maintenance:
Unlawful intervening or meddling in an action before a court to assist either party by money, or other means, to carry the case to a successful conclusion, possibly to share in the advantage of winning the case; usually linked with champerty.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 256)


Malservi:
Term used in Provence for men of servile status.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)


Man:
In this sense to be a lord's man, to owe obligations to, in the forms of labor or service. A woman can be someone's man.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Man-At-Arms:
1) A soldier holding his land, generally 60-120 acres, specifically in exchange for military service. Sometimes called a Yeoman.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Any mounted fighting man who wore armour.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 250)


Mangonel:
1) A form of catapult.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

2) Stone-throwing siege engine, often thought to have operated on the torsion principle.
   (Prestwich, Michael. Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience, 348)

3) Siege engine operated by the torsion principle and capable of throwing a 300-pound stone up to 400 yards.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 250)


Manichee:
A member of a dualistic religion (opposing light against darkness) based on the teaching of a third-century Persian named Mani. Damned as a heresy by the Christian Church. The term was frequently used for later medieval dualists and generally as a term of abuse.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)


Mannus:
In Classical Latin a Celtic pony, but it improved its status by degrees, until in the twelfth century the term was used to denote both a horse carrying a litter and a horse ridden by a king in battle. (Orderic, iv, 240, vi, 240).
   (Davis, R.H.C. The Medieval Warhorse: Origin, Development and Redevelopment, 136)


Manor:
1) A small holding, typically 1200-1800 acres, with its own court and probably its own hall, but not necessarily having a manor house. The manor as a unit of land is generally held by a knight (knight's fee) or managed by a bailiff for some other holder.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Estate held by a lord and farmed by tenants who owed him rents and services, and whose relations with him were governed by his manorial court.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 230)

3) An estate with land and jurisdiction over tenants. Not necessarily a whole village, which might have several manors, just as one manor might own land in more than one village.
   (Wood, Michael. Domesday: A Search for the Roots of England, 214)

4) Unit of rural lordship, varying greatly in size.
   (Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369, 144)


March:
Borderland.
   (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 223)

Related terms: Marcher Lords


Marcher Lords:
1) The name commonly given to Norman landholders on the Welsh border.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Lord of a border district, such as the boundaries of Wales and Scotland.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 230)

3) A lord of a frontier territory as in Wales where he had considerable independence.
   (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 223)

Related terms: March


Maréchaussée:
Due levied by lord for protecting harvest.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)


Marescalcia: [mariscaltia, mascalcia]
Horse-medicine.
   (Davis, R.H.C. The Medieval Warhorse: Origin, Development and Redevelopment, 137)

Related terms: Mariscalcus / Menescalcia


Mariscalcus:
A marshal or horse-doctor. His office or position in his "marshalcy".
   (Davis, R.H.C. The Medieval Warhorse: Origin, Development and Redevelopment, 137)

Related terms: Marescalcia


Mark:
1) A measure of silver, generally eight ounces, accepted throughout western Europe. In England is worth thirteen shillings and four pence, two thirds of one pound.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) Money of account, worth thirteen shillings and fourpence, or two-thirds of a pound.
   (Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369, 144)


Market:
A place where goods may be bought or sold, established in a village or town with the authorization of a king or lord. This noble extends his protection to the market for a fee, and allows its merchants various economic and judicial privileges.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Fair


Marriage:
Feudal right to arrange marriage of widow or ward.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 145)

Related terms: Merchet


Marshal:
Household official in charge of the stables, later a royal officer.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 230)


Mas:
Isolated farm in certain regions of France.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)


Mask Stop:
Stop at the end of a hoodmould, with distant resemblance to the human face.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Maul: [mallet]
1) A hammer-type weapon, with a heavy leaden head on a five-foot wooden shaft.
   (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 223)

2) Long handled mallet often carried by English longbowmen and used as both a weapon and a tool.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 250)


Medale:
A drinking festival after the lord's meadows had been mowed.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 338)


Medietates:
Share-cropping agreement.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Related terms: Metayage


Medkniche:
A haymaker's fee, viz. as much hay as the hayward can lift with his middle finger to his knees.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 338)


Megaduke:
Grand admiral of the Byzantine navy.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)


Mégerie:
See: Facherie


Meilleur Catel:
Lord's right to one head of cattle from dependent's estate after death.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Related terms: Buteil / Heriot / Mainmorte / Mortmain


Meix Taillable:
Land which conferred servile status on the occupant.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)


Mendicants:
1) Beggars; the term referred to members of religious orders who were forbidden to own personal or community property and were required to live on charity; they sometimes sought their income by begging; mendicant is another term for such friars as the Franciscans, Dominicans and Carmelites.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 363)

2) The orders of friars, especially but not only the Franciscans, who lived by begging and not upon landed endowments like the traditional monastic orders.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 364)

Related terms: Franciscan


Menescalcia:


Méplant:
See: Complant


Merchet:
1) Payment due to a manorial lord upon marriage.
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234)

2) A payment by unfree tenants for the right to marry off daughters or other female relatives.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)

3) A fine paid by a servile tenant to his lord for liberty to give his daughter in marriage.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 338)

Related terms: Formariage / Marriage


Merlon:
1) Part of a battlement, the square "sawtooth" between crenels.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

2) Solid part of embattled parapet between embrasures, sometimes pierced with slit.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)

Related terms: Castle


Merop: [meropsi (pl.)]
A category of dependent peasant in Serbia.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)


Mesnie:
1) Military personnel of a castle household.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 230)

2) Household.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Related terms: Hommes de Maisnie


Messalians: [Massalians]
Members of an enthusiastic early Christian sect. The name was revived as a term of abuse for Bogomils.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)


Messor:
1) Officer responsible for supervising the fields.
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234)

2) An offical appointed to oversee the manorial reapers or mowers.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 338)


Messuage:
1) Site of a home with its outbuildings.
   (Bennett, Judith M. Women in the Medieval English Countryside, 234)

2) House and yard.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 245)

3) A portion of land occupied as a site for a dwelling-house and its appurtenances.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 338)


Métayage:
Share-cropping agreement; hence métayer, share-cropper; métairie, share-cropping holding.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Related terms: Medietates


Metropolitan:
1) Archbishop having jurisdiction over a province containing several dioceses.
   (Frame, Robin. Colonial Ireland, 1169-1369, 144)

2) A major bishop, standing over a major diocese, ranking below the patriarch and above the archbishops.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)


Meurtrière:
Arrow loop, slit in battlement or wall to permit firing of arrows, or for observation.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

Related terms: Arrow Loop / Castle


Meyer:
Farmer.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Related terms: Grangier


Mezzadria:
Share-cropping agreement.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)

Location: Italy


Michaelmas:
Feast of St. Michael on 29 Sept.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Midrash:
Verse by verse exegesis of the Old Testament by Jewish teachers over the centuries. Many volumes of such have been published.
   (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 624)


Military Religious Orders:


Mine:
Tunnel dug under foundations to undermine walls or towers.
   (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 223)

Related terms: Sapping


Ministérial:
Domestic official.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)


Minor Orders:
The first tonsure and the four grades of clerkship below subdeacon, committing recipients neither to a clerical career nor to celibacy.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 364)

Related terms: Holy Orders / Orders


Minstrel:
A poet and singer, also called a jongleur, who lives and travels off of the largess of the aristocracy.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Misdemeanor:
A minor offense.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 257)


Misericorde:
"Mercy" dagger, so called from being used to dispatch enemy wounded.
   (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 223)


Mistery:
See: Craft


Mitre:
Junction of two timbers at an angle of 45 degrees.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Moat:
A deep trench dug around a castle to prevent access from the surrounding land. It could be either left dry or filled with water.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Castle


Moiety:
Literally half, commonly with reference to a half a tenth.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 364)


Moissonage:
Levy on crops.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)


Monastery:
A place where monks or nuns live for a religious life.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Abbey


Money-Fief:
Military service rendered in exchange for an annual payment from the king.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 250)


Moneyer:
1) A person licenced by the crown to strike coins, receiving the dies from the crown, and keeping 1/240 of the money coined for himself.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

2) A minter or maker of coins.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)


Monk:
Generally, a man who joined a religious house, called a monastery, where he took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience; the commonest form of monk was a man living under the provisions of the Rule of St Benedict.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 363)

Related terms: Nun


Moot: [gemot (Old English)]
A court or meeting, as in burhgemot, portmoot or portmanmoot - common names for town courts, or the London folkmoot and wardmotes.
   (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 199)


Mormaer:
A Gaelic Title (Great Steward) given to the rulers of the seven provinces of Celtic Scotland.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)


Morning Star:
1) Form of mace, consisting of a spiked metal ball attached by a chain to a short metal shaft.
   (Seward, Desmond. Henry V: The Scourge of God, 223)

2) Five foot lon club, its head studded with iron spikes, used by the Swiss during the 1300-1500 period.
   (Wise, Terence. Medieval Warfare, 250)


Mort d'Ancestor:
Action to discover whether ancestor dies in possession of land, thus validating his heir's succession.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 145)

Related terms: Assize / Disseisin / Novel Disseisin / Seisin


Mortar:
A mixture of sand, water, and lime used to bind stones together permanently.
   (MEDIEV-L. Medieval Terms)

Related terms: Castle


Mortise: [Mortice]
1) Socket in timber into which another piece of wood or tenon is jointed.
   (Kenyon, John R. Medieval Fortifications, 211)

2) Cavity cut in the end of a timber to receive the tenon.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Mortmain:
1) Applied to the way in which undying institutions, especially those connected with the church, held real property, and thereby could not be liable for the exactions which would be due to a lord at the death of an individual.
   (Swanson. , 367)

2) Literally "dead hand", applied to property held by ecclesiastical corporations.
   (Hogue, Arthur R. Origins of the Common Law, 257)

3) Literally "dead hand", a term which was applied to land granted in perpetuity to the church; also the title of the English statute of 1279 which barred all such grants.
   (Heath, Peter. Church and Realm, 1272-1461, 267)

Related terms: Buteil / Heriot / Mainmorte / Meilleur Catel / Mortuary


Mortuary:
1) A payment due on death of the parish church (or, from incumbents, to the bishop) in acknowledgement of spiritual subjection. Usually either a beast or a robe, but precise demands and liabilities varied.
   (Swanson. , 367)

2) Death duty paid by villein to parish church, usually second-best beast or chattel.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 245)

3) A customary gift (usually the second best animal) paid to the parish priest from the estate of a deceased parishioner.
   (Bennett, H.S. Life on the English Manor: A Study of Peasant Conditions, 1150-1400, 338)

Related terms: Mortmain


Motte:
1) An earthwork mound on which a castle was built.
   (Gies, Joseph and Francis. Life in a Medieval Castle, 226)

2) Mound of earth supporting a tower and palisade.
   (Kenyon, John R. Medieval Fortifications, 211)

Related terms: Castle


Moulding:
Ornamental outline of capitals, cornice, etc.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Movables:
Personal property that can be removed (as opposed to landed property), on which levies of taxation such as a tenth or a fifteenth were made.
   (Sayles, George O. The King's Parliament of England, 145)


Muid:
Measure of capacity.
   (Duby, Georges. Rural Economy and Country Life in the Medieval West, 555)


Mullion:
Vertical bar dividing the lights of a window.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Multure:
Portion of meal or flour kept by the miller in payment for his services.
   (Gies, Frances and Joseph. Life in a Medieval Village, 245)


Muntin:
Intermediate upright in panelling.
   (Wood, Margaret. The English Medieval House, 413)


Murage:
A toll charges to pay for the building or repair of town walls.
   (Reynolds, Susan. An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns, 199)


Mural Tower:
Tower built on the line of the curtain wall.
   (Kenyon, John R. Medieval Fortifications, 211)

Related terms: Castle


Murrain:
A sheep or livestock disease. Lacking a sophisticated system of classifying animal diseases, contemporaries lumped all outbreaks as murrains.
   (Waugh, Scott. England in the Reign of Edward III, 238)


Muslim:
A follower of the religion of Islam; also spelled Moslem.
   (Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History, 363)

Related terms: Islam



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