Izvestiya of Saratov University.
ISSN 1819-4907 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1913 (Online)

John of Gaunt

Affinity in the XIV–XV Centuries: Means of Formation and Social Functions

Evolution of feudal system on the verge of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries entailed а decline of military service based on former tenurial bonds and its substitution by the system of contracted obligations which facilitated development of the institution of affinity. These communities forming around magnates executed not only military functions but became the centers of social, political and administrative activity. They defended interests of their members and promoted matrimonial and economic links among them.

Geoffrey Chaucer’s Vicious Aristocracy and Virtuous Workers

Geoffrey Chaucer is a representative of an early English humanistic literature, who in his «The Canterbury tales» managed to show the whole panorama of social life in England of the XIV century. His short stories reflect the epochal change, the formation of new values and a new elite. Chaucer notes the degradation of the secular and spiritual aristocracy, welcomes the enrichment and strengthening of the third estate, connects it with the future of their country, admires workers-peasants that preserved the moral purity of the «corrupt age» of the poet.