So how much power did rulers have back then? Could they just walk into someones home and fuck their wife legally? Could they just start having sex with peasants out in public? What if they wanted you to drink their pee? What do? How degenerate were they with their power back then?
Honestly, no one could really stop them.
But they more or less needed the support of the church to maintain their legitimacy, so if they started being flagrant degenerates in front of the peasantry the Pope might excommunicate them or something.
Courtiers and foreign guests might not be morally outraged, but such unusual behavior suggests incompetence and madness. Rulers would have been schooled to sate their desires the traditional way in the palace rather than do anything that might turn people against them. If they needed to demonstrate their strength there was always an enemy they could attack which they had been putting off due to the expense, as opposed to defenseless peasants which would prove nothing.
Nope. Unless you want a huge peasant + unhappy nobles uprising, that is. Peasants being peaceful keks is a fucking meme. They had documented rights and obligations, at least in Western Europe, and any infringement upon those would first lead to protest and then to uprising.
>So how much power do rulers have now? Can they just walk into someones home and fuck their wife legally? Can they just start having sex with peasants out in public? What if they want you to drink their pee? What do? How degenerate are they with their power now?
pressing a someone of the lower classes into becoming a concubine for a high ranking noble was not uncommon in some societies, her relatives might even approve
having sex in public, torturing and humiliating peasants who are supposed to be under your protection was possible but unlikely or at least something they'd try to hide
they'd try to find better ways of doing these things that had fewer unseen repercussions
>In eighteenth-century France, a number of writers perpetuated other myths pertaining to the supposed power of the overlords during the Ancien Régime, such as the droit de ravage (right of ravage; providing to the lord the right to devastate fields of his own domain), and the droit de prélassement (right of lounging; it was said that a lord had the right to disembowel his serfs to warm his feet in).
I remember reading that during the medieval and early modern peasant revolts it was popular to accuse the nobility of sexually assaulting their wifes and daughters. Never really investigated that. Maybe someone knows more about it. It might have been just propaganda and justification for the revolts.