In the fifth century, the Germanic invaders took over Rome. In effect to this, drastic declines in learning took place. The invaders knew neither to read not write, this then in effect caused illiteracy across all of Rome. This also caused the population to plummet because the Romans were leaving. The few that could read and write consisted of Priests and other high church officials. The Germanic tribes had rich oral traditions of storytelling and songs. Therefore, no written language existed.
Language also saw a decline. Latin changed as Germans and Romans mixed together. The official language still lingered but unfortunately it could not be understood.The languages mixed together creating new words and phrases. The various languages slowly but surely continued to separate the already declining empire. French, Spanish and other languages evolved from this crazy mixed up language. Lower people in the social order were known as peasants or serfs. Although peasants aren't classified as slaves, life as a serf still included multiple hardships. Serfs lived on a manor that belonged to a Lord. Peasants never really traveled more than 25 miles away from the manor. Serfs paid high prices to live in that manor. Peasants paid taxes on any ground grain and marriage. Any marriage had to be approved by a Lord. Also after paying all the taxes owed to the Lord, a tithe had to be paid to the priest. The church convinced peasants that this life simplified church teachings. .
Tournaments gave people a little taste of an actual battle. Armies used different weapons and methods to force other armies to surrender. The weapons used consisted of the Mangonel, the Battering Rams and the Trebuchet. When using the Trebuchet armies used pots if burning lime, boulders, severed human head, captured soldiers, diseased cows and dead horses. Defenders poured hot boiling water, hot oil or molten lead on outside armies. Showers of arrows also rained down from behind the castle walls.