This epoch starts approximately in the year 500 and ending approximately around the year 1000. The middle ages last till the year 1500. The part of history that we are discussing is called the early middle ages. This is the time of the monks and Knights.
In the year 476 brought an end to the Western Roman Empire. By the collapse of the Roman Empire changed much for the farmers. They could in the time of the Roman Empire use the Roman technique. Now they had to save themselves. This caused the harvest backwards and could an average farming family but difficult. Also, the trade in. The Roman money was nothing more valuable and people started again with barter.
The large area where the Romans ever prevailed was now fragmented. Starting from the year 500 formed several kingdoms. One of the rich belonged to the Frankish king Clovis. In the eighth century this became a large Kingdom in Western Europe. Charlemagne was when the Emperor of this realm.
The King had his country is divided into zones. In those regions the King had a landlord posted. The landlord if the land rent to farmers in Exchange for protection. The farmers grew the country and gave their landlord a share of the harvest. This system is called a hofstelsel. The farmers are called serfs. Most people in the Netherlands from the early Middle Ages lived in the countryside. They were so serfs under a landlord.
Almost all people were so part of this hofstelsel. The serfs, the country gentlemen and the King. However, there were people who lived outside this hofstelsel. Some were free farmers. But there were also people who lived in monastic communities. They heard at the Church. The Catholic Church played an important role in this epoch. There were a lot of monasteries in England and Ireland. In Netherlands was the first monastery built only after the early middle ages. In these monasteries monks lived. These men devoted their whole life to the Church. This meant that they were not allowed to marry. The monks filled their days praying and writing. For example, they copied biblical texts. These texts they adorned with beautiful letters.
The oldest Dutch written text that we know, however, is not a biblical text. This text begins with the words Hebban olla vogala. This was probably a romantic poem. The word hebban probably means. Olla means all. Vogala means birds. It is thought that the translation of the complete phrase "all birds Have started nesting, except me and you. Which we wait now? ". But because this is so long ago in the history is written, we know the exact meaning of course not sure.