In the idea of a medieval man, a properly organized society consists of three Estates – the clergy, chivalry and peasantry.
XI century. From the work of Bishop Adalberon Lansky
The community of believers is a single body, but the state consists of three bodies, because another law, human, distinguishes two great estates… One class is soldiers, defenders… of all, without exception, both strong and weak… The second estate – peasants… All – money, clothes, food – they provide the whole world. None of the free people could not live without the peasants… we see that the king and the prelates are the peasants of their peasants. The peasant feeds the lord, who claims that it is he who feeds the peasant… Thus, the house of God is divided into three parts: some pray, others fight, others work. For adjacent parts, their isolation is not harmful: the services that one of them enjoys create conditions for the work of the other two; in turn, each part takes care of the common. So this tripartite union preserves the unity,
This idea of the organization of the society was not fantastic, because the emergence of medieval cities really consisted of three main classes – clergy, knights and peasants. Without any of them, it could not have developed.
Estates – large groups of the population, which differ in their hereditary rights and responsibilities.
Prelate is the honorary name of the higher Catholic clergy.