How were political borders marked during the Middle Ages?
I have a very specific question regarding borderlands: between 500-1500, how were the political borders identified? Was it a mere furrow on the ground? Did we have any signs? In other words, were such borders formed along physical boundaries?
I imagine, considering that people didn’t know how to read and many people had lands, symbols, icons and heralds were used to make sure no one would trespass (and die).
This question is extremely important to me; any single reference or image (painting) would be extremely appreciated. Thanks!
Ps: excuse me if this is an easy/stupid question. I’m not a native English speaker, so the more specific a topic gets, the harder the research.
Medieval Europe did not have clear borders in the way that we take for granted. The lines that we see on our maps of medieval Europe reflect our understanding of the reality on the ground. Keep in mind that medieval Europe did not have clearly organized states with citizens. Restrictions on travel (for non-serfs at least) had more to do with the limits of technology than any legal system. There were no border guards to stop people from crossing from Aragon to France and demanding a passport.