NIOS Class 10 Social Science Chapter 2 Medieval World

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NIOS Class 10 Social Science Chapter 2 Medieval World

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Medieval World

Chapter: 2




Q. 1. Describe the bond between the feudal lord and his vassal in about 30 words.

Ans: (i) The bond between the feudal lord and his vassal were established through an elaborate ceremony.

(ii) The vassal had to serve his lord. In return the lord protects his vassal.

Q. 2. Who were Serfs?

Ans: They were the dependent peasants of Medieval European World. They were completely under the authority of their lord. 

Q. 3. Justify the following state-ments giving reasons for the same. 

(a) The period from the 10th to the 12th century witnessed a revival of trade and growth of town life.

Ans: Yes the period from the 10th to 12th century witnessed a revival of trade and growth of town life. It was during this period the agricultural yield increased many times. This enabled the people to sell their produce and buy new commodities for long distance trade.

(b) From the 13th century onwards there was a reversal in the trend of growth of feudal economy.

Ans: There was a reversal in the trend of growth of feudal economy because reduction in labour services and technological stagnation led to the decrease in agricultural production.

(c) The cultural life before the 10th century was a prosperous time for learning and the art in Europe.

Ans: The cultural life before the 10th century was to prosperous time for learning and the art in Europe because education was privilege of the few and was given to only few while the learning was demonstrated by the blind faith.


Q. 1. Give reasons why Mecca arose into prominence.

Ans: During Medieval period Mecca arose into prominence as:

(i) It is the birth place of Prophet Muhammad.

(ii) It is situated on the junction of major trade routes.

Q. 2. Enlist at least five fields in which we can see the contribution of Arab civilization.

Ans: The fields in which the Arabs contributed:

(i) Mathematics

(ii) Literature 

(iii) Medicine

(iv) Architecture

(v) Astrology

(vi) Natural Science

Q. 2. Fill in the blanks:

(a) In the South, it was the ________ Dynasty that held way over most of the Peninsular India.

Ans: Chola.

(b) The Mughal System was based on the smooth functioning of the ________ and ________ systems.

Ans: Mansabdari, Jagirdari.

(c) The ________ were money changers who issued hundis or Bills of Exchange.

Ans: Saraf’s.

(d) The Bhakti Movement stressed on oneness with God through ________

Ans: Personal Devotion.


Q. 1. Explain why the medieval period is a significant period that needs to be studied to understand the evolution of human society.

Ans: (1) Since the medieval period constitutes an important stage in the evolution of human society that needs to be studied for its own interest.

(2) Not only that the achievements and glories of the medieval period were also important steps towards the modern period. In a sense, “modernity” has its roots in the medieval period.

(3) The medieval period is considered as a long but dark period. However the medieval period was not a dark period or an interruption all over the world.

(4) For the Islamic world the Middle Age was a period when a civilization took birth, flowered and reached the height of its glory.

(5) In India the medieval period was an age of synthesis. It saw a fusion of old and new political, economic and social systems. Out of this fusion emerged a unique cultural pattern of coexistence and tolerance that became the hallmark of the medieval period in India.

Q. 2. Describe the changes that took place in political and economic life in Western Europe after the downfall of the Roman empire. 

Ans: The changes that took place in Western Europe in political and economic life after the end of the Roman Empire: 

(1) The Western provinces had their capital in Rome while Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern provinces.

(2) The Roman emperor Constantine had set up the new capital of the eastern territories the ancient Greek city of Byzantine in 330 A.D. It came to be known as Constantinople after his name.

(3) The Roman Empire continued to exist in the East for almost a thousand years after it had collapsed in the West. It was known as the Eastern Roman or the Byzantine empire. This eastern civilization of Greek speaking people reached very high standards of economic and cultural life at a time when Western Europe was in a very backward condition.

(4) The Roman empire in the West came to an end by attacks of various Germanic tribes like the Goths, Vandals, Visigoths and Franks. After overthrowing the Roman empire in the West in 476 A.D., these invaders established separate tribal kingdoms.

(5) It is a historical fact that the new Germanic rulers did not exactly replace the earlier systems with their own. In fact Roman and Germanic societies came into close contact and merged with each other. As a result of this and the prevailing political and economic conditions a new type of society was born in Europe, with institutions and systems that were quite different from either Roman or Germanic ones. The most important institution of this new society was feudalism. 

Q. 3. Examine the main features of medieval Indian economy. 

Ans: The Main Features of Medieval Indian Economy:

(1) Agriculture: (a) The Delhi Sultanate as well as the Mughal empire was based on the surplus of agricultural produce of the peasants that was extracted in the form of revenue.

(b) In the Mughal empire, particularly in the reign of Akbar, far reaching changes and improvisation were made in the system of revenue collection. It was no longer an arbitrary understanding between the state and the peasant or the landed classes like the Zamindar. Land was now measured and land revenue was fixed according to the exact area of land. Fertility of the land was also taken into account. The cash value of the state’s share of the produce was then calculated according to prevailing market rates and the revenue was fixed in cash terms accordingly.

(c) The state encouraged payment of revenue in cash. This was a period (the Mughal Period) of commercialization of agriculture and the state encouraged cash crop production.

(d) The state also took a lot of interest in the extension of cultivation into areas which were hitherto uncultivated or forest areas.

(e) The state of medieval India gave different incentives to pioneer agriculturists. 

(f) The state also advanced loans to peasants as well as revenue relief in time of crop failure.

(2) Trade and Commerce: (a) Trade and commerce which had declined greatly following the period of the Guptas (after 550 A.D.) also saw a revival during this time. Urban centers also flourished after a considerable period of decline Inland trade increased in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries as a result of this new urbanization. A large network of roads connecting these urban centers came up which also facilitated trade. Cities like Delhi, Agra, Lahore, Multan, Dhaka, Ahmedabad, Surat and Cambay rose in importance.

(b) The merchants from Punjab were sent to markets in West and Central Asia.

Political stability and relative peace established by the Mughals made it possible to travel with considerable cash between any two cities of the empire.

(c) Coastal trade also flourished. 

(d) There were a large number of trading classes and commercial practices were of high standard and integrity. The Seths, Bohras and Modis were engaged in long distance trade, while Beopari’s and Banias dealt in local and retail trade. The Banjaras were a special class of traders who carried bulk goods, particularly food stuffs.

(e) The Sarrafs or Shroff were money changers who issued hundis or bills of exchange. The hundi was a letter of credit that could be paid at a later date.

This facilitated the movement of goods from one part of the country to another as it made the transaction of money over long distances remarkably easy.

Q. 4. What were the main teachings of Islam? Discuss in about 100 words.

Ans: The main teachings of Islam: 

(1) Unity of God: Every Muslim should have firm faith in God whom they called ‘Allah’. He should proclaim the unity of God and Prophet Muhammad as his messenger- La-Illah-il Allah; Muhammad ur-Rasul i.e., there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah. Allah is all powerful and great. His glory knows no bounds and he is very kind and all pervading.

(2) Namaz: Every Muslim should offer prayers five times a day-morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night. On Friday i.e., Jumma afternoon prayer should be offered in the mosque under the guidance of Imam.

(3) Payment of Zakat: Every Muslim must pay 1/40% or 2% part of his income as Zakat. Zakat (voluntary gift to poor) should be given by the Muslims thinking that they are making an offering to Allah and it is a holy deed.

(4) Observing ‘Roza’: During the holy month of Islam called Ramzan every day Roza should be observed. This fast lasts from sun rise to sun set. During this interval a man offering Roza should not eat or drink anything.

(5) Going for ‘Haj’: Every Muslim. should go on pilgrimage to Mecca at least. once in his lifetime. This pilgrimage is called Haj and the pilgrim is known as ‘Haji’.

(6) Prohibition of Idol-Worship: No Muslim should indulge in idol worship. This is the reason for there having no idol or photograph of Prophet Muhammad.

(7) Prohibition of drinking and ham: Islam enjoins the Muslims not to indulge in drinking or eating ham as pig is a dirty animal.

(8) Loan on interest: No Muslim should indulge in the practice of giving loan on interests. 

(9) Sharha: No other law except the fixed by ‘Sharha’ governing marriage and divorce should be accepted. 

(10) Day of Judgement: Islamic religion believes in life after death. Like Christianity it also talks of the day of Judgement. They believe that everybody would reap the reward or retribution for his deeds on the day of judgment.

Q. 5. Arab Civilization in the Medieval Period left behind a legacy of discoveries and achievements.” Justify the statement.

Ans: Arabia is a desert region. Before the foundation of Islam most of the Arabians were Bedouins and main sources of their livelihood was pastoralism and desert. produces such dates. Arabia was also a safer transit route than others for carvanas trading between Africa and Asia. The Arabian philosophy was earlier based on Greek thought. In every sphere of life they made at great progress. One of the interesting feature of Arab philosophy is that it excelled all over medieval culture. They were also excelled in optics, chemistry and mathematics. The Arab civilization is also known for their contribution in literature and poetry.

In brief, we can also conclude that Arabs were not behind the west. This civilization marks by the diverse elements created by a splendid society leaving behind a legacy of discovery and civilization. 

Q. 6. Differentiate between Iqtadars and Mansabs.

Ans: The Iqta system was prevalent during Sultanate period and the owner of Iqta i.e., a piece of land was known as Iqtadar. During Sultanate period the Sultan granted Iqta to military commander. It was not given to him permanently but the land (Iqta) was given to him only to control over revenues. He collects the land revenue. After collecting land revenue, he kept his expenditure and a fix amount paid to Sultanate.

Likewise the Mughal appointed Mansabdar to perform military services. The mansabs were the ranks given to Mughal officials in lieu of the service they render to the empire. 

The owner of the Iqta was called Iqtadar while Mansab was the rank given to Mughal officials. 

Q. 7. What were the important teachings of Bhakti movement and Sufism? How did they acted as a bridge between the Hindus and Muslims?

Ans: Teachings of Bhakti Saints:

(i) They laid stress on oneness with the god through personal devotion.

(ii) They opposed caste system.

(iii) They were not in favour of religious rituals.

Teachings of Sufi Saints: 

(i) They stress on love and devotion to god. 

(ii) They preached the message of religious tolerance and compassion. Both Hindus and Muslims have strong faith in the ideology and teachings of both Bhakti and Sufi saints. There was strong interaction between them and both act as a bridge between two communities to share their ideology.

Q. 8. Illustrate how medieval Indian culture represented a harmonious synthesis of traditions.

Ans: Medieval Indian Culture: 

(1) Religion: In the sphere of culture, the medieval period witnessed a great synthesis of traditions. The Bhakti and Sufi movements in the religious sphere are examples of this. The Bhakti movement which stressed on oneness with god through personal devotion came very close to the everyday lives of ordinary people. It stressed on purity and devotion rather than rituals and sacrifices. It questions the caste system and the authority of the Brahmans. The Sufi saints also stressed on devotion and love as the only way to realise the divine. They preached tolerance and compassion. They lived lives of austerity and shared the sorrows and anxieties of the common masses. As a result, their influence over the masses with Hindus and Muslims was very strong. There was also a lot of interaction between the Sufi and Bhakti saints and exchanged philosophical ideas took place. Both traditions in fact acted as a bridge between the two communities of Hindu and Muslims.

(2) Language and Literature: In the area of language and literature the trend of synthesis is also witnessed. Though classical languages like Persian and Sanskrit flourished the really remarkable development was in the growth of regional languages. Several regional languages like Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Rajasthani and Gujarati attained a level of maturity and came to be used in literary composition. The Ramcharit- manas of Tulsidas, The Padmavat of Malik Muhammad Jayasi, the Mangala Karyas of Bengali poet like Manik Duta and Mukundaram, the compositions of Alaol in Bengali and those of Eknath and Tukaram in Marathi became famous during this time.

(3) Art and Architecture: Art and architecture also flourished during medieval time:

(a) Painting: Under the Mughals, painting was organized in the royal Karkhanas and painters were on the government payroll. The Mughal school of painting represented a complete assimilation of the Persian and Indian styles. This was to some extent a result of the fact that the artists of this school brought with them elements of the various traditions to which they belonged like, Rajputana, Gujarat, Malwa, etc.

(b) Architecture: (i) Another fascinating aspect of cultural life in medieval India is visible in its Indo-Islamic architecture. It is characterised by the adaptation of Indian resources, expertise, motifs, designs, etc. to Persian styles. New features like the arch and the dome were combined with the use of Hindu motives like the bells, swastika, lotus and kalash (water pot).

(ii) The Qutub Minar, the Alai Darwaza and various monuments of the Tughlaq period like the tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq are fine examples of architecture during the Delhi Sultanate period.



Tick the correct option: 

1. Which of the following Germanic tribes attacked on the western sides of the Roman Empire?

(a) Goths

(b) Visigoths

(c) Vandals and Franks

(d) All of these

Ans: (d) All of these.

2. When was Roman Empire in the West overthrown by Germanic tribes?

(a) 330 AD

(b) 370 AD

(c) 476 AD

(d) 570 AD

Ans: (c) 476 AD.

3. In which of the following century the feudal system of production underwent significant changes?

(a) After 10th century 

(b) After 11th century

(c) Before 9th century

(d) After 16th century 

Ans: (a) After 10th century.

4. Where was Prophet Muhammad born?

(a) Mecca

(b) Medina

(c) Israel 

(d) Philsiptain

Ans: (a) Mecca.

5. When was Prophet Muhammad born?

(a) 622 A.D.

(b) 570 A.D.

(c) 610 A.D.

(d) 670 A.D.

Ans: (b) 570 A.D.

6. The Arabs were excelled in

(a) Chemistry 

(b) Optics

(c) Mathematics

(d) All of these

Ans: (d) All of these.

7. The Turks established their empire in India in _________

(a) 12th century

(b) 13th century

(c) 14th century

(d) 15th century

Ans: (b) 13th century.

8. Which of the following dynasty belongs to Jaunpur?

(a) Gajapati 

(b) Ahom

(c) Sharqi

(d) Ilyas Shahi

Ans: (c) Sharqi.

9. Under Delhi Sultanate, military commanders were assigned territorial units known as: 

(a) Jagirs

(b) Iqtas 

(c) Mansabs

(d) Serfs

Ans: (b) Iqtas.

10. Who introduced Mansabdari system in India?

(a) The Mughal

(b) The Turks 

(c) The Khaljis

(d) The Tughlaqs

Ans: (a) The Mughal.

11. Hundi was a letter of __________

(a) Appointment

(b) Credit

(c) Treaty

(d) Resignation

Ans: (b) Credit.

12. Who is the founder of Sikhism?

(a) Guru Nanak

(b) Guru Ramdas 

(c) Guru Gobind Singh

(d) Guru Har Rai

Ans: (a) Guru Nanak.

13. Which of the following bore out the synthesis trends between different traditions? 

(a) Art and Architecture

(b) Music and Dance

(c) Language and Literature

(d) All of these

Ans: (d) All of these.

14. Whose ‘Dohas’ are still recited?

(a) Kabir’s

(b) Jayadeva’s

(c) Farid’s

(d) Mirabai’s

Ans: (a) Kabir’s.


Q. 1. Why did Europeans coined the concept ‘Middle Age’?

Ans: The Europeans coined the concept of ‘Middle Age’ between ancient and modern periods, period of history. It was because they observed a vast and dark period of

interruption between the classical period of Ancient Greeks and Roman Civilization and their own Modern Age.

Q. 2. By whom was the ancient Greek city of Byzantine made his capital? What name was then given to it?

Ans: Ancient Greek city of Byzantine was made his capital by Roman Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D. It was then renamed ‘Constantinople’ after his name.

Q. 3. What was Fief? 

Ans: Fief was the grant of land made by a lord to his vassal.

Q. 4. Who were Serfs?

Ans: The dependent peasants of medieval period, tied to the soil and completely under the authority of lord were called serfs.

Q. 5. What were known as Manar?

Ans: Manor was the entire landed estate of the lord which was managed directly by him. 

Q. 6. Why we cannot called medieval period or age a dark age? 

Ans: Because it witnessed so many important developments and growth in various spheres of life in different parts of the world.


Q. 1. What is meant by the feudal ? In which part of the world it was the main form of social organization in medieval times?

Ans: The word ‘Feudal’ originally meant a ‘Fief’ or land given on the condition of, service. Under this system all the land system and its administration was given to the feudal lords. The feudal lords and not the king played a vital role in the administration of the country.

In medieval world, it was the main term of social organization in Western Europe.

Q. 2. What is the political and economic importance of the feudal system? (V. Imp.)

Ans: Nobles maintain peace in their regions and give protection to their people. They also created the feeling of mutual understanding and cooperation among the people.

The feudal lords provided economic provisions through memorial system. Although later on it degenerated into tyranny of the lords resulting in great suffering of the serfs.

Q. 3. Describe any three merits of Feudal system. 

Ans: Merits of Feudal System:

(i) It provided security of life and prosperity to common people.

(ii) It exercised an effective check upon the autocratic rule of the king.

(iii) The feudal lords established order during the period of disorder and confusion. 

Q. 4. Give causes of the growth of towns in the medieval period.

Ans: Following were the important causes of the growth of towns in the medieval period:

(i) Towns were free from feudal lords. There were no restrictions on the movements of the people in towns. People being disturbed by the chaotic conditions prevailing in the rural areas came to towns and settled there. The freedom of towns helped in their growth.

(ii) The progress of trade and commerce helped the rise of towns and cities. The traders and businessmen preferred to settle in the towns. As such there was an unprecedented rise of new towns and cities.

(iii) Towns were centers of trade and commerce. Inhabitants of towns amassed wealth. Enormous wealth of the towns helped in their growth.

Q. 5. Describe the categories of peasants under feudalism in Europe.

Ans: There were three categories of peasants in the feudal system during the Middle Age in Europe:

1. Free holders: The free holders received the land from the lords and paid taxes to them. This category of peasants did not work for their lords.

2. Villeins: This category of peasants had to give a part of their produce to their lords and had to work on the lord’s fields for a fixed number of days. For the rest of the period, they used to work freely in their own fields.

3. Serfs: It was the lowest category of peasants. They were just like slaves of their lords. They had not only to work on the fields of their lords and give them a part of their produce but also to perform such petty jobs as building or repairing their houses, roads etc.

Q. 6. When did the rise of Islam take place? Describe its impact on the political conditions of Arabia. (V. Imp.)

Ans: 1. Before the rise of Islam, people of Arabia were divided into a number of tribes. These tribes were involved in wars over the possession of land, particularly pastures. During the first six hundred years of the Christian era, trade with other lands had become important. Trade was carried on in two cities, Mecca and Medina. This trade had brought Arabs in contact with new ideas.

2. In the 7th century, a new religion took birth in Arabia. It was Islam. This religion united the warring tribes of Arab together. Consequently the Arabs established a mighty empire. This empire included not only the whole of Arabia but also Iran, Syria, Egypt, Central Asia, North Africa, Spain and parts of India. They built up a wonderful civilization.

Q. 7. What was the Bhakti movement?

Ans: Bhakti movement: Bhakti saints had a long history in India. It were the Alvars and Nayanars of the Tamil who started the tradition of preaching the idea of Bhakti through stories and hymns. This movement gained popularity with the merchants and artisans in the towns and the peasants in the rural areas. A great number of the Bhakti saints were from the non-brahmin castes. In fact, the Bhakti movement was the movement of the saints who preached love and devotion as means of coming near to God.

Q. 8. What were the main teachings of Bhakti saints? 

Ans: Main Teachings of Bhakti saints were the following:

1. The Bhakti saints taught that the relationship between man and God was based on love.

2. They gave little importance to prayers, fasts and rituals and much to the true love of God.

3. They gave much stress on respect for all human beings.

4. They believed that worshiping God with devotion was better than merely. performing religious ceremonies.

5. They preached the need for tolerance among men and religions.

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