- from Middle Ages
In some places in medieval Europe, over 90 percent of the people lived in villages scattered throughout the countryside.
Peasants spent long days working the land. Serfs or villeins (vih-LANES) had to work for the lord a certain number of days per week. Plus, they paid the lord fees, including a yearly tax and a fee when a woman got married. Other peasants, called freemen, paid rent but not fees and owed the lord less labor.