The Middle Ages The period of European history extending from about to — ce is traditionally known as the Middle Ages. The term was first used by 15th-century scholars to designate the period between their own time and the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The period is often considered to have its own internal divisions: During late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, political, social, economic, and cultural structures were profoundly reorganized, as Roman imperial traditions gave way to those of the Germanic peoples who established kingdoms in the former Western Empire.
The Catholic Church After the fall of Rome, no single state or government united the people who lived on the European continent. Instead, the Catholic Church became the most powerful institution of the medieval period. Kings, queens and other leaders derived much of their power from their alliances with and protection of the Church.
These policies helped it to amass a great deal of money and power. The Rise of Islam Meanwhile, the Islamic world was growing larger and more powerful. At its height, the medieval Islamic world was more than three times bigger than all of Christendom.
Under the caliphs, great cities such as Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus fostered a vibrant intellectual and cultural life. Poets, scientists and philosophers wrote thousands of books on paper, a Chinese invention that had made its way into the Islamic world by the 8th century.
Scholars translated Greek, Iranian and Indian texts into Arabic.
Inventors devised technologies like the pinhole camera, soap, windmills, surgical instruments, an early flying machine and the system of numerals that we use today. And religious scholars and mystics translated, interpreted and taught the Quran and other scriptural texts to people across the Middle East.
Crusaders, who wore red crosses on their coats to advertise their status, believed that their service would guarantee the remission of their sins and ensure that they could spend all eternity in Heaven.
They also received more worldly rewards, such as papal protection of their property and forgiveness of some kinds of loan payments. The Crusades began inwhen Pope Urban summoned a Christian army to fight its way to Jerusalemand continued on and off until the end of the 15th century.
They did make ordinary Catholics across Christendom feel like they had a common purpose, and they inspired waves of religious enthusiasm among people who might otherwise have felt alienated from the official Church.
They also exposed Crusaders to Islamic literature, science and technology—exposure that would have a lasting effect on European intellectual life. Art and Architecture Another way to show devotion to the Church was to build grand cathedrals and other ecclesiastical structures such as monasteries.
Cathedrals were the largest buildings in medieval Europe, and they could be found at the center of towns and cities across the continent.
Between the 10th and 13th centuries, most European cathedrals were built in the Romanesque style. Romanesque cathedrals are solid and substantial: They have rounded masonry arches and barrel vaults supporting the roof, thick stone walls and few windows.
Aroundchurch builders began to embrace a new architectural style, known as the Gothic. Gothic structures, such as the Abbey Church of Saint-Denis in France and the rebuilt Canterbury Cathedral in England, have huge stained-glass windows, pointed vaults and arches a technology developed in the Islamic worldand spires and flying buttresses.
In contrast to heavy Romanesque buildings, Gothic architecture seems to be almost weightless. Medieval religious art took other forms as well. Frescoes and mosaics decorated church interiors, and artists painted devotional images of the Virgin Mary, Jesus and the saints. Also, before the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, even books were works of art.
Craftsmen in monasteries and later in universities created illuminated manuscripts: In the 12th century, urban booksellers began to market smaller illuminated manuscripts, like books of hours, psalters and other prayer books, to wealthy individuals.
Landless peasants known as serfs did most of the work on the fiefs: They planted and harvested crops and gave most of the produce to the landowner. In exchange for their labor, they were allowed to live on the land.
They were also promised protection in case of enemy invasion. During the 11th century, however, feudal life began to change. Agricultural innovations such as the heavy plow and three-field crop rotation made farming more efficient and productive, so fewer farm workers were needed—but thanks to the expanded and improved food supply, the population grew.
As a result, more and more people were drawn to towns and cities. Meanwhile, the Crusades had expanded trade routes to the East and given Europeans a taste for imported goods such as wine, olive oil and luxurious textiles.
As the commercial economy developed, port cities in particular thrived.The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: exalted the accomplishments of Charles Martel, and circulated stories of the family's great piety.
Other misconceptions such as "the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages", "the rise of Christianity killed off ancient. The major accomplishments of Charlemagne include developing the rules of the feudal system, encouraging reading and writing throughout his empire, developing commerce with a unified monetary system, and the unification of all Germanic peoples into a single kingdom through his crusades, which sought to convert all subjects to Christianity.
Dec 27, · Guarantee success on your exam by learning about Charlemagne and his rule. Know when he lived and how he chose to control his countries. Feudal system during . Charlemagne Arguably the founder of the Frankish Empire in Western Europe, Charlemagne was the elder son of Pepin the Short ( - September 24, , reigned - , the brother of the Lady Bertha (mother of Roland), the first Carolingian king, and his wife Bertrada of Laon ( - July 12, ).
The major accomplishments of Charlemagne include developing the rules of the feudal system, encouraging reading and writing throughout his empire, developing commerce with a unified monetary system, and the unification of all Germanic peoples into a .
Charlemagne: Arguably the founder During this period, the livre and the sou were counting units, only the denier was a coin of the realm.
Charlemagne applied the system to much of the European Continent, and Offa's standard was voluntarily adopted by much of England. Autograph of Charlemagne The Middle Ages. The Black Plague.