Middle Ages

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This article is about medieval Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_0

For a global history of the period between the 5th and 15th centuries, see Post-classical history. Middle Ages_sentence_1

For other uses, see Middle Ages (disambiguation). Middle Ages_sentence_2

"Medieval times" redirects here. Middle Ages_sentence_3

For the dinner theatre, see Medieval Times. Middle Ages_sentence_4

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or Medieval Period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. Middle Ages_sentence_5

It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. Middle Ages_sentence_6

The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. Middle Ages_sentence_7

The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_8

Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority, invasions, and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_9

The large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. Middle Ages_sentence_10

In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Middle Ages_sentence_11

Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete. Middle Ages_sentence_12

The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. Middle Ages_sentence_13

The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in the 11th century. Middle Ages_sentence_14

In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Middle Ages_sentence_15

Monasteries were founded as campaigns to Christianise pagan Europe continued. Middle Ages_sentence_16

The Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty, briefly established the Carolingian Empire during the later 8th and early 9th centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_17

It covered much of Western Europe but later succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, and Saracens from the south. Middle Ages_sentence_18

During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased greatly as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Middle Ages_sentence_19

Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, and feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_20

The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Middle Ages_sentence_21

Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Middle Ages_sentence_22

Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, and by the founding of universities. Middle Ages_sentence_23

The theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, and the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_24

The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine, plague, and war, which significantly diminished the population of Europe; between 1347 and 1350, the Black Death killed about a third of Europeans. Middle Ages_sentence_25

Controversy, heresy, and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, and peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Middle Ages_sentence_26

Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period. Middle Ages_sentence_27

Terminology and periodisation Middle Ages_section_0

The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation or Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Modern Period. Middle Ages_sentence_28

The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". Middle Ages_sentence_29

In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, and media saecula, or "middle centuries", first recorded in 1625. Middle Ages_sentence_30

The adjective "medieval" (or sometimes "mediaeval" or "mediæval"), meaning pertaining to the Middle Ages, derives from medium aevum. Middle Ages_sentence_31

Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", and considered their time to be the last before the end of the world. Middle Ages_sentence_32

When referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". Middle Ages_sentence_33

In the 1330s, the Italian humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua (or "ancient") and to the Christian period as nova (or "new"). Middle Ages_sentence_34

Petrarch regarded the post-Roman centuries as "dark" compared to the "light" of classical antiquity. Middle Ages_sentence_35

Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People (1442), with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries". Middle Ages_sentence_36

Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient, medieval, and modern. Middle Ages_sentence_37

The most commonly given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Middle Ages_sentence_38

Later starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_39

For Europe as a whole, 1500 is often considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Middle Ages_sentence_40

Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. Middle Ages_sentence_41

English historians often use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. Middle Ages_sentence_42

For Spain, dates commonly used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Middle Ages_sentence_43

Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and later "Low" period. Middle Ages_sentence_44

English-speaking historians, following their German counterparts, generally subdivide the Middle Ages into three intervals: "Early", "High", and "Late". Middle Ages_sentence_45

In the 19th century, the entire Middle Ages were often referred to as the "Dark Ages", but with the adoption of these subdivisions, use of this term was restricted to the Early Middle Ages, at least among historians. Middle Ages_sentence_46

Later Roman Empire Middle Ages_section_1

Further information: Late Antiquity, Roman Empire, Fall of the Western Roman Empire, and Byzantium under the Constantinian and Valentinian dynasties Middle Ages_sentence_47

The Roman Empire reached its greatest territorial extent during the 2nd century AD; the following two centuries witnessed the slow decline of Roman control over its outlying territories. Middle Ages_sentence_48

Economic issues, including inflation, and external pressure on the frontiers combined to create the Crisis of the Third Century, with emperors coming to the throne only to be rapidly replaced by new usurpers. Middle Ages_sentence_49

Military expenses increased steadily during the 3rd century, mainly in response to the war with the Sasanian Empire, which revived in the middle of the 3rd century. Middle Ages_sentence_50

The army doubled in size, and cavalry and smaller units replaced the Roman legion as the main tactical unit. Middle Ages_sentence_51

The need for revenue led to increased taxes and a decline in numbers of the curial, or landowning, class, and decreasing numbers of them willing to shoulder the burdens of holding office in their native towns. Middle Ages_sentence_52

More bureaucrats were needed in the central administration to deal with the needs of the army, which led to complaints from civilians that there were more tax-collectors in the empire than tax-payers. Middle Ages_sentence_53

The Emperor Diocletian (r. 284–305) split the empire into separately administered eastern and western halves in 286; the empire was not considered divided by its inhabitants or rulers, as legal and administrative promulgations in one division were considered valid in the other. Middle Ages_sentence_54

In 330, after a period of civil war, Constantine the Great (r. 306–337) refounded the city of Byzantium as the newly renamed eastern capital, Constantinople. Middle Ages_sentence_55

Diocletian's reforms strengthened the governmental bureaucracy, reformed taxation, and strengthened the army, which bought the empire time but did not resolve the problems it was facing: excessive taxation, a declining birthrate, and pressures on its frontiers, among others. Middle Ages_sentence_56

Civil war between rival emperors became common in the middle of the 4th century, diverting soldiers from the empire's frontier forces and allowing invaders to encroach. Middle Ages_sentence_57

For much of the 4th century, Roman society stabilised in a new form that differed from the earlier classical period, with a widening gulf between the rich and poor, and a decline in the vitality of the smaller towns. Middle Ages_sentence_58

Another change was the Christianisation, or conversion of the empire to Christianity, a gradual process that lasted from the 2nd to the 5th centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_59

In 376, the Goths, fleeing from the Huns, received permission from Emperor Valens (r. 364–378) to settle in the Roman province of Thracia in the Balkans. Middle Ages_sentence_60

The settlement did not go smoothly, and when Roman officials mishandled the situation, the Goths began to raid and plunder. Middle Ages_sentence_61

Valens, attempting to put down the disorder, was killed fighting the Goths at the Battle of Adrianople on 9 August 378. Middle Ages_sentence_62

As well as the threat from such tribal confederacies from the north, internal divisions within the empire, especially within the Christian Church, caused problems. Middle Ages_sentence_63

In 400, the Visigoths invaded the Western Roman Empire and, although briefly forced back from Italy, in 410 sacked the city of Rome. Middle Ages_sentence_64

In 406 the Alans, Vandals, and Suevi crossed into Gaul; over the next three years they spread across Gaul and in 409 crossed the Pyrenees Mountains into modern-day Spain. Middle Ages_sentence_65

The Migration Period began, when various peoples, initially largely Germanic peoples, moved across Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_66

The Franks, Alemanni, and the Burgundians all ended up in northern Gaul while the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes settled in Britain, and the Vandals went on to cross the strait of Gibraltar after which they conquered the province of Africa. Middle Ages_sentence_67

In the 430s the Huns began invading the empire; their king Attila (r. 434–453) led invasions into the Balkans in 442 and 447, Gaul in 451, and Italy in 452. Middle Ages_sentence_68

The Hunnic threat remained until Attila's death in 453, when the Hunnic confederation he led fell apart. Middle Ages_sentence_69

These invasions by the tribes completely changed the political and demographic nature of what had been the Western Roman Empire. Middle Ages_sentence_70

By the end of the 5th century the western section of the empire was divided into smaller political units, ruled by the tribes that had invaded in the early part of the century. Middle Ages_sentence_71

The deposition of the last emperor of the west, Romulus Augustulus, in 476 has traditionally marked the end of the Western Roman Empire. Middle Ages_sentence_72

By 493 the Italian peninsula was conquered by the Ostrogoths. Middle Ages_sentence_73

The Eastern Roman Empire, often referred to as the Byzantine Empire after the fall of its western counterpart, had little ability to assert control over the lost western territories. Middle Ages_sentence_74

The Byzantine emperors maintained a claim over the territory, but while none of the new kings in the west dared to elevate himself to the position of emperor of the west, Byzantine control of most of the Western Empire could not be sustained; the reconquest of the Mediterranean periphery and the Italian Peninsula (Gothic War) in the reign of Justinian (r. 527–565) was the sole, and temporary, exception. Middle Ages_sentence_75

Early Middle Ages Middle Ages_section_2

Main article: Early Middle Ages Middle Ages_sentence_76

New societies Middle Ages_section_3

Main articles: Migration Period and fall of the Western Roman Empire Middle Ages_sentence_77

The political structure of Western Europe changed with the end of the united Roman Empire. Middle Ages_sentence_78

Although the movements of peoples during this period are usually described as "invasions", they were not just military expeditions but migrations of entire peoples into the empire. Middle Ages_sentence_79

Such movements were aided by the refusal of the Western Roman elites to support the army or pay the taxes that would have allowed the military to suppress the migration. Middle Ages_sentence_80

The emperors of the 5th century were often controlled by military strongmen such as Stilicho (d. 408), Aetius (d. 454), Aspar (d. 471), Ricimer (d. 472), or Gundobad (d. 516), who were partly or fully of non-Roman background. Middle Ages_sentence_81

When the line of Western emperors ceased, many of the kings who replaced them were from the same background. Middle Ages_sentence_82

Intermarriage between the new kings and the Roman elites was common. Middle Ages_sentence_83

This led to a fusion of Roman culture with the customs of the invading tribes, including the popular assemblies that allowed free male tribal members more say in political matters than was common in the Roman state. Middle Ages_sentence_84

Material artefacts left by the Romans and the invaders are often similar, and tribal items were often modelled on Roman objects. Middle Ages_sentence_85

Much of the scholarly and written culture of the new kingdoms was also based on Roman intellectual traditions. Middle Ages_sentence_86

An important difference was the gradual loss of tax revenue by the new polities. Middle Ages_sentence_87

Many of the new political entities no longer supported their armies through taxes, instead relying on granting them land or rents. Middle Ages_sentence_88

This meant there was less need for large tax revenues and so the taxation systems decayed. Middle Ages_sentence_89

Warfare was common between and within the kingdoms. Middle Ages_sentence_90

Slavery declined as the supply weakened, and society became more rural. Middle Ages_sentence_91

Between the 5th and 8th centuries, new peoples and individuals filled the political void left by Roman centralised government. Middle Ages_sentence_92

The Ostrogoths, a Gothic tribe, settled in Roman Italy in the late fifth century under Theoderic the Great (d. 526) and set up a kingdom marked by its co-operation between the Italians and the Ostrogoths, at least until the last years of Theodoric's reign. Middle Ages_sentence_93

The Burgundians settled in Gaul, and after an earlier realm was destroyed by the Huns in 436 formed a new kingdom in the 440s. Middle Ages_sentence_94

Between today's Geneva and Lyon, it grew to become the realm of Burgundy in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_95

Elsewhere in Gaul, the Franks and Celtic Britons set up small polities. Middle Ages_sentence_96

Francia was centred in northern Gaul, and the first king of whom much is known is Childeric I (d. 481). Middle Ages_sentence_97

His grave was discovered in 1653 and is remarkable for its grave goods, which included weapons and a large quantity of gold. Middle Ages_sentence_98

Under Childeric's son Clovis I (r. 509–511), the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, the Frankish kingdom expanded and converted to Christianity. Middle Ages_sentence_99

The Britons, related to the natives of Britannia – modern-day Great Britain – settled in what is now Brittany. Middle Ages_sentence_100

Other monarchies were established by the Visigothic Kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, the Suebi in northwestern Iberia, and the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa. Middle Ages_sentence_101

In the sixth century, the Lombards settled in Northern Italy, replacing the Ostrogothic kingdom with a grouping of duchies that occasionally selected a king to rule over them all. Middle Ages_sentence_102

By the late sixth century, this arrangement had been replaced by a permanent monarchy, the Kingdom of the Lombards. Middle Ages_sentence_103

The invasions brought new ethnic groups to Europe, although some regions received a larger influx of new peoples than others. Middle Ages_sentence_104

In Gaul for instance, the invaders settled much more extensively in the north-east than in the south-west. Middle Ages_sentence_105

Slavs settled in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkan Peninsula. Middle Ages_sentence_106

The settlement of peoples was accompanied by changes in languages. Middle Ages_sentence_107

Latin, the literary language of the Western Roman Empire, was gradually replaced by vernacular languages which evolved from Latin, but were distinct from it, collectively known as Romance languages. Middle Ages_sentence_108

These changes from Latin to the new languages took many centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_109

Greek remained the language of the Byzantine Empire, but the migrations of the Slavs added Slavic languages to Eastern Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_110

Byzantine survival Middle Ages_section_4

Main articles: Byzantine Empire under the Justinian dynasty and Byzantine Empire under the Heraclian dynasty Middle Ages_sentence_111

As Western Europe witnessed the formation of new kingdoms, the Eastern Roman Empire remained intact and experienced an economic revival that lasted into the early 7th century. Middle Ages_sentence_112

There were fewer invasions of the eastern section of the empire; most occurred in the Balkans. Middle Ages_sentence_113

Peace with the Sasanian Empire, the traditional enemy of Rome, lasted throughout most of the 5th century. Middle Ages_sentence_114

The Eastern Empire was marked by closer relations between the political state and Christian Church, with doctrinal matters assuming an importance in Eastern politics that they did not have in Western Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_115

Legal developments included the codification of Roman law; the first effort—the Codex Theodosianus—was completed in 438. Middle Ages_sentence_116

Under Emperor Justinian (r. 527–565), another compilation took place—the Corpus Juris Civilis. Middle Ages_sentence_117

Justinian also oversaw the construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and the reconquest of North Africa from the Vandals and Italy from the Ostrogoths, under Belisarius (d. 565). Middle Ages_sentence_118

The conquest of Italy was not complete, as a deadly outbreak of plague in 542 led to the rest of Justinian's reign concentrating on defensive measures rather than further conquests. Middle Ages_sentence_119

At the Emperor's death, the Byzantines had control of most of Italy, North Africa, and a small foothold in southern Spain. Middle Ages_sentence_120

Justinian's reconquests have been criticised by historians for overextending his realm and setting the stage for the early Muslim conquests, but many of the difficulties faced by Justinian's successors were due not just to over-taxation to pay for his wars but to the essentially civilian nature of the empire, which made raising troops difficult. Middle Ages_sentence_121

In the Eastern Empire the slow infiltration of the Balkans by the Slavs added a further difficulty for Justinian's successors. Middle Ages_sentence_122

It began gradually, but by the late 540s Slavic tribes were in Thrace and Illyrium, and had defeated an imperial army near Adrianople in 551. Middle Ages_sentence_123

In the 560s the Avars began to expand from their base on the north bank of the Danube; by the end of the 6th-century, they were the dominant power in Central Europe and routinely able to force the Eastern emperors to pay tribute. Middle Ages_sentence_124

They remained a strong power until 796. Middle Ages_sentence_125

An additional problem to face the empire came as a result of the involvement of Emperor Maurice (r. 582–602) in Persian politics when he intervened in a succession dispute. Middle Ages_sentence_126

This led to a period of peace, but when Maurice was overthrown, the Persians invaded and during the reign of Emperor Heraclius (r. 610–641) controlled large chunks of the empire, including Egypt, Syria, and Anatolia until Heraclius' successful counterattack. Middle Ages_sentence_127

In 628 the empire secured a peace treaty and recovered all of its lost territories. Middle Ages_sentence_128

Western society Middle Ages_section_5

See also: Early medieval European dress and medieval cuisine Middle Ages_sentence_129

In Western Europe, some of the older Roman elite families died out while others became more involved with ecclesiastical than secular affairs. Middle Ages_sentence_130

Values attached to Latin scholarship and education mostly disappeared, and while literacy remained important, it became a practical skill rather than a sign of elite status. Middle Ages_sentence_131

In the 4th century, Jerome (d. 420) dreamed that God rebuked him for spending more time reading Cicero than the Bible. Middle Ages_sentence_132

By the 6th century, Gregory of Tours (d. 594) had a similar dream, but instead of being chastised for reading Cicero, he was chastised for learning shorthand. Middle Ages_sentence_133

By the late 6th century, the principal means of religious instruction in the Church had become music and art rather than the book. Middle Ages_sentence_134

Most intellectual efforts went towards imitating classical scholarship, but some original works were created, along with now-lost oral compositions. Middle Ages_sentence_135

The writings of Sidonius Apollinaris (d. 489), Cassiodorus (d. Middle Ages_sentence_136

c. Middle Ages_sentence_137

585), and Boethius (d. c. 525) were typical of the age. Middle Ages_sentence_138

Changes also took place among laymen, as aristocratic culture focused on great feasts held in halls rather than on literary pursuits. Middle Ages_sentence_139

Clothing for the elites was richly embellished with jewels and gold. Middle Ages_sentence_140

Lords and kings supported entourages of fighters who formed the backbone of the military forces. Middle Ages_sentence_141

Family ties within the elites were important, as were the virtues of loyalty, courage, and honour. Middle Ages_sentence_142

These ties led to the prevalence of the feud in aristocratic society, examples of which included those related by Gregory of Tours that took place in Merovingian Gaul. Middle Ages_sentence_143

Most feuds seem to have ended quickly with the payment of some sort of compensation. Middle Ages_sentence_144

Women took part in aristocratic society mainly in their roles as wives and mothers of men, with the role of mother of a ruler being especially prominent in Merovingian Gaul. Middle Ages_sentence_145

In Anglo-Saxon society the lack of many child rulers meant a lesser role for women as queen mothers, but this was compensated for by the increased role played by abbesses of monasteries. Middle Ages_sentence_146

Only in Italy does it appear that women were always considered under the protection and control of a male relative. Middle Ages_sentence_147

Peasant society is much less documented than the nobility. Middle Ages_sentence_148

Most of the surviving information available to historians comes from archaeology; few detailed written records documenting peasant life remain from before the 9th century. Middle Ages_sentence_149

Most of the descriptions of the lower classes come from either law codes or writers from the upper classes. Middle Ages_sentence_150

Landholding patterns in the West were not uniform; some areas had greatly fragmented landholding patterns, but in other areas large contiguous blocks of land were the norm. Middle Ages_sentence_151

These differences allowed for a wide variety of peasant societies, some dominated by aristocratic landholders and others having a great deal of autonomy. Middle Ages_sentence_152

Land settlement also varied greatly. Middle Ages_sentence_153

Some peasants lived in large settlements that numbered as many as 700 inhabitants. Middle Ages_sentence_154

Others lived in small groups of a few families and still others lived on isolated farms spread over the countryside. Middle Ages_sentence_155

There were also areas where the pattern was a mix of two or more of those systems. Middle Ages_sentence_156

Unlike in the late Roman period, there was no sharp break between the legal status of the free peasant and the aristocrat, and it was possible for a free peasant's family to rise into the aristocracy over several generations through military service to a powerful lord. Middle Ages_sentence_157

Roman city life and culture changed greatly in the early Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_158

Although Italian cities remained inhabited, they contracted significantly in size. Middle Ages_sentence_159

Rome, for instance, shrank from a population of hundreds of thousands to around 30,000 by the end of the 6th century. Middle Ages_sentence_160

Roman temples were converted into Christian churches and city walls remained in use. Middle Ages_sentence_161

In Northern Europe, cities also shrank, while civic monuments and other public buildings were raided for building materials. Middle Ages_sentence_162

The establishment of new kingdoms often meant some growth for the towns chosen as capitals. Middle Ages_sentence_163

Although there had been Jewish communities in many Roman cities, the Jews suffered periods of persecution after the conversion of the empire to Christianity. Middle Ages_sentence_164

Officially they were tolerated, if subject to conversion efforts, and at times were even encouraged to settle in new areas. Middle Ages_sentence_165

Rise of Islam Middle Ages_section_6

Main articles: Spread of Islam and Early Muslim conquests Middle Ages_sentence_166

Religious beliefs in the Eastern Roman Empire and Iran were in flux during the late sixth and early seventh centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_167

Judaism was an active proselytising faith, and at least one Arab political leader converted to it. Middle Ages_sentence_168

Christianity had active missions competing with the Persians' Zoroastrianism in seeking converts, especially among residents of the Arabian Peninsula. Middle Ages_sentence_169

All these strands came together with the emergence of Islam in Arabia during the lifetime of Muhammad (d. 632). Middle Ages_sentence_170

After his death, Islamic forces conquered much of the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia, starting with Syria in 634–635, continuing with Persia between 637 and 642, reaching Egypt in 640–641, North Africa in the later seventh century, and the Iberian Peninsula in 711. Middle Ages_sentence_171

By 714, Islamic forces controlled much of the peninsula in a region they called Al-Andalus. Middle Ages_sentence_172

The Islamic conquests reached their peak in the mid-eighth century. Middle Ages_sentence_173

The defeat of Muslim forces at the Battle of Tours in 732 led to the reconquest of southern France by the Franks, but the main reason for the halt of Islamic growth in Europe was the overthrow of the Umayyad Caliphate and its replacement by the Abbasid Caliphate. Middle Ages_sentence_174

The Abbasids moved their capital to Baghdad and were more concerned with the Middle East than Europe, losing control of sections of the Muslim lands. Middle Ages_sentence_175

Umayyad descendants took over the Iberian Peninsula, the Aghlabids controlled North Africa, and the Tulunids became rulers of Egypt. Middle Ages_sentence_176

By the middle of the 8th century, new trading patterns were emerging in the Mediterranean; trade between the Franks and the Arabs replaced the old Roman economy. Middle Ages_sentence_177

Franks traded timber, furs, swords and slaves in return for silks and other fabrics, spices, and precious metals from the Arabs. Middle Ages_sentence_178

Trade and economy Middle Ages_section_7

Main article: Medieval economic history Middle Ages_sentence_179

The migrations and invasions of the 4th and 5th centuries disrupted trade networks around the Mediterranean. Middle Ages_sentence_180

African goods stopped being imported into Europe, first disappearing from the interior and by the 7th century found only in a few cities such as Rome or Naples. Middle Ages_sentence_181

By the end of the 7th century, under the impact of the Muslim conquests, African products were no longer found in Western Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_182

The replacement of goods from long-range trade with local products was a trend throughout the old Roman lands that happened in the Early Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_183

This was especially marked in the lands that did not lie on the Mediterranean, such as northern Gaul or Britain. Middle Ages_sentence_184

Non-local goods appearing in the archaeological record are usually luxury goods. Middle Ages_sentence_185

In the northern parts of Europe, not only were the trade networks local, but the goods carried were simple, with little pottery or other complex products. Middle Ages_sentence_186

Around the Mediterranean, pottery remained prevalent and appears to have been traded over medium-range networks, not just produced locally. Middle Ages_sentence_187

The various Germanic states in the west all had coinages that imitated existing Roman and Byzantine forms. Middle Ages_sentence_188

Gold continued to be minted until the end of the 7th century in 693-94 when it was replaced by silver in the Merovingian kingdom. Middle Ages_sentence_189

The basic Frankish silver coin was the denarius or denier, while the Anglo-Saxon version was called a penny. Middle Ages_sentence_190

From these areas, the denier or penny spread throughout Europe from 700 to 1000 AD. Middle Ages_sentence_191

Copper or bronze coins were not struck, nor were gold except in Southern Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_192

No silver coins denominated in multiple units were minted. Middle Ages_sentence_193

Church and monasticism Middle Ages_section_8

Main article: Christianity in the Middle Ages Middle Ages_sentence_194

Christianity was a major unifying factor between Eastern and Western Europe before the Arab conquests, but the conquest of North Africa sundered maritime connections between those areas. Middle Ages_sentence_195

Increasingly, the Byzantine Church differed in language, practices, and liturgy from the Western Church. Middle Ages_sentence_196

The Eastern Church used Greek instead of the Western Latin. Middle Ages_sentence_197

Theological and political differences emerged, and by the early and middle 8th century issues such as iconoclasm, clerical marriage, and state control of the Church had widened to the extent that the cultural and religious differences were greater than the similarities. Middle Ages_sentence_198

The formal break, known as the East–West Schism, came in 1054, when the papacy and the patriarchy of Constantinople clashed over papal supremacy and excommunicated each other, which led to the division of Christianity into two Churches—the Western branch became the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern branch the Eastern Orthodox Church. Middle Ages_sentence_199

The ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Empire survived the movements and invasions in the west mostly intact, but the papacy was little regarded, and few of the Western bishops looked to the bishop of Rome for religious or political leadership. Middle Ages_sentence_200

Many of the popes prior to 750 were more concerned with Byzantine affairs and Eastern theological controversies. Middle Ages_sentence_201

The register, or archived copies of the letters, of Pope Gregory the Great (pope 590–604) survived, and of those more than 850 letters, the vast majority were concerned with affairs in Italy or Constantinople. Middle Ages_sentence_202

The only part of Western Europe where the papacy had influence was Britain, where Gregory had sent the Gregorian mission in 597 to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. Middle Ages_sentence_203

Irish missionaries were most active in Western Europe between the 5th and the 7th centuries, going first to England and Scotland and then on to the continent. Middle Ages_sentence_204

Under such monks as Columba (d. 597) and Columbanus (d. 615), they founded monasteries, taught in Latin and Greek, and authored secular and religious works. Middle Ages_sentence_205

The Early Middle Ages witnessed the rise of monasticism in the West. Middle Ages_sentence_206

The shape of European monasticism was determined by traditions and ideas that originated with the Desert Fathers of Egypt and Syria. Middle Ages_sentence_207

Most European monasteries were of the type that focuses on community experience of the spiritual life, called cenobitism, which was pioneered by Pachomius (d. 348) in the 4th century. Middle Ages_sentence_208

Monastic ideals spread from Egypt to Western Europe in the 5th and 6th centuries through hagiographical literature such as the Life of Anthony. Middle Ages_sentence_209

Benedict of Nursia (d. 547) wrote the Benedictine Rule for Western monasticism during the 6th century, detailing the administrative and spiritual responsibilities of a community of monks led by an abbot. Middle Ages_sentence_210

Monks and monasteries had a deep effect on the religious and political life of the Early Middle Ages, in various cases acting as land trusts for powerful families, centres of propaganda and royal support in newly conquered regions, and bases for missions and proselytisation. Middle Ages_sentence_211

They were the main and sometimes only outposts of education and literacy in a region. Middle Ages_sentence_212

Many of the surviving manuscripts of the Latin classics were copied in monasteries in the Early Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_213

Monks were also the authors of new works, including history, theology, and other subjects, written by authors such as Bede (d. 735), a native of northern England who wrote in the late 7th and early 8th centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_214

Carolingian Europe Middle Ages_section_9

Main articles: Francia and Carolingian Empire Middle Ages_sentence_215

The Frankish kingdom in northern Gaul split into kingdoms called Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy during the 6th and 7th centuries, all of them ruled by the Merovingian dynasty, who were descended from Clovis. Middle Ages_sentence_216

The 7th century was a tumultuous period of wars between Austrasia and Neustria. Middle Ages_sentence_217

Such warfare was exploited by Pippin (d. 640), the Mayor of the Palace for Austrasia who became the power behind the Austrasian throne. Middle Ages_sentence_218

Later members of his family inherited the office, acting as advisers and regents. Middle Ages_sentence_219

One of his descendants, Charles Martel (d. 741), won the Battle of Poitiers in 732, halting the advance of Muslim armies across the Pyrenees. Middle Ages_sentence_220

Great Britain was divided into small states dominated by the kingdoms of Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex, and East Anglia which descended from the Anglo-Saxon invaders. Middle Ages_sentence_221

Smaller kingdoms in present-day Wales and Scotland were still under the control of the native Britons and Picts. Middle Ages_sentence_222

Ireland was divided into even smaller political units, usually known as tribal kingdoms, under the control of kings. Middle Ages_sentence_223

There were perhaps as many as 150 local kings in Ireland, of varying importance. Middle Ages_sentence_224

The Carolingian dynasty, as the successors to Charles Martel are known, officially took control of the kingdoms of Austrasia and Neustria in a coup of 753 led by Pippin III (r. 752–768). Middle Ages_sentence_225

A contemporary chronicle claims that Pippin sought, and gained, authority for this coup from Pope Stephen II (pope 752–757). Middle Ages_sentence_226

Pippin's takeover was reinforced with propaganda that portrayed the Merovingians as inept or cruel rulers, exalted the accomplishments of Charles Martel, and circulated stories of the family's great piety. Middle Ages_sentence_227

At the time of his death in 768, Pippin left his kingdom in the hands of his two sons, Charles (r. 768–814) and Carloman (r. 768–771). Middle Ages_sentence_228

When Carloman died of natural causes, Charles blocked the succession of Carloman's young son and installed himself as the king of the united Austrasia and Neustria. Middle Ages_sentence_229

Charles, more often known as Charles the Great or Charlemagne, embarked upon a programme of systematic expansion in 774 that unified a large portion of Europe, eventually controlling modern-day France, northern Italy, and Saxony. Middle Ages_sentence_230

In the wars that lasted beyond 800, he rewarded allies with war booty and command over parcels of land. Middle Ages_sentence_231

In 774, Charlemagne conquered the Lombards, which freed the papacy from the fear of Lombard conquest and marked the beginnings of the Papal States. Middle Ages_sentence_232

The coronation of Charlemagne as emperor on Christmas Day 800 is regarded as a turning point in medieval history, marking a return of the Western Roman Empire, since the new emperor ruled over much of the area previously controlled by the Western emperors. Middle Ages_sentence_233

It also marks a change in Charlemagne's relationship with the Byzantine Empire, as the assumption of the imperial title by the Carolingians asserted their equivalence to the Byzantine state. Middle Ages_sentence_234

There were several differences between the newly established Carolingian Empire and both the older Western Roman Empire and the concurrent Byzantine Empire. Middle Ages_sentence_235

The Frankish lands were rural in character, with only a few small cities. Middle Ages_sentence_236

Most of the people were peasants settled on small farms. Middle Ages_sentence_237

Little trade existed and much of that was with the British Isles and Scandinavia, in contrast to the older Roman Empire with its trading networks centred on the Mediterranean. Middle Ages_sentence_238

The empire was administered by an itinerant court that travelled with the emperor, as well as approximately 300 imperial officials called counts, who administered the counties the empire had been divided into. Middle Ages_sentence_239

Clergy and local bishops served as officials, as well as the imperial officials called missi dominici, who served as roving inspectors and troubleshooters. Middle Ages_sentence_240

Carolingian Renaissance Middle Ages_section_10

Main article: Carolingian Renaissance Middle Ages_sentence_241

Charlemagne's court in Aachen was the centre of the cultural revival sometimes referred to as the "Carolingian Renaissance". Middle Ages_sentence_242

Literacy increased, as did development in the arts, architecture and jurisprudence, as well as liturgical and scriptural studies. Middle Ages_sentence_243

The English monk Alcuin (d. 804) was invited to Aachen and brought the education available in the monasteries of Northumbria. Middle Ages_sentence_244

Charlemagne's chancery—or writing office—made use of a new script today known as Carolingian minuscule, allowing a common writing style that advanced communication across much of Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_245

Charlemagne sponsored changes in church liturgy, imposing the Roman form of church service on his domains, as well as the Gregorian chant in liturgical music for the churches. Middle Ages_sentence_246

An important activity for scholars during this period was the copying, correcting, and dissemination of basic works on religious and secular topics, with the aim of encouraging learning. Middle Ages_sentence_247

New works on religious topics and schoolbooks were also produced. Middle Ages_sentence_248

Grammarians of the period modified the Latin language, changing it from the Classical Latin of the Roman Empire into a more flexible form to fit the needs of the Church and government. Middle Ages_sentence_249

By the reign of Charlemagne, the language had so diverged from the classical Latin that it was later called Medieval Latin. Middle Ages_sentence_250

Breakup of the Carolingian Empire Middle Ages_section_11

Main articles: Holy Roman Empire and Viking Age Middle Ages_sentence_251

Charlemagne planned to continue the Frankish tradition of dividing his kingdom between all his heirs, but was unable to do so as only one son, Louis the Pious (r. 814–840), was still alive by 813. Middle Ages_sentence_252

Just before Charlemagne died in 814, he crowned Louis as his successor. Middle Ages_sentence_253

Louis's reign of 26 years was marked by numerous divisions of the empire among his sons and, after 829, civil wars between various alliances of father and sons over the control of various parts of the empire. Middle Ages_sentence_254

Eventually, Louis recognised his eldest son Lothair I (d. 855) as emperor and gave him Italy. Middle Ages_sentence_255

Louis divided the rest of the empire between Lothair and Charles the Bald (d. 877), his youngest son. Middle Ages_sentence_256

Lothair took East Francia, comprising both banks of the Rhine and eastwards, leaving Charles West Francia with the empire to the west of the Rhineland and the Alps. Middle Ages_sentence_257

Louis the German (d. 876), the middle child, who had been rebellious to the last, was allowed to keep Bavaria under the of his elder brother. Middle Ages_sentence_258

The division was disputed. Middle Ages_sentence_259

Pepin II of Aquitaine (d. after 864), the emperor's grandson, rebelled in a contest for Aquitaine, while Louis the German tried to annex all of East Francia. Middle Ages_sentence_260

Louis the Pious died in 840, with the empire still in chaos. Middle Ages_sentence_261

A three-year civil war followed his death. Middle Ages_sentence_262

By the Treaty of Verdun (843), a kingdom between the Rhine and Rhone rivers was created for Lothair to go with his lands in Italy, and his imperial title was recognised. Middle Ages_sentence_263

Louis the German was in control of Bavaria and the eastern lands in modern-day Germany. Middle Ages_sentence_264

Charles the Bald received the western Frankish lands, comprising most of modern-day France. Middle Ages_sentence_265

Charlemagne's grandsons and great-grandsons divided their kingdoms between their descendants, eventually causing all internal cohesion to be lost. Middle Ages_sentence_266

In 987 the Carolingian dynasty was replaced in the western lands, with the crowning of Hugh Capet (r. 987–996) as king. Middle Ages_sentence_267

In the eastern lands the dynasty had died out earlier, in 911, with the death of Louis the Child, and the selection of the unrelated Conrad I (r. 911–918) as king. Middle Ages_sentence_268

The breakup of the Carolingian Empire was accompanied by invasions, migrations, and raids by external foes. Middle Ages_sentence_269

The Atlantic and northern shores were harassed by the Vikings, who also raided the British Isles and settled there as well as in Iceland. Middle Ages_sentence_270

In 911, the Viking chieftain Rollo (d. c. 931) received permission from the Frankish King Charles the Simple (r. 898–922) to settle in what became Normandy. Middle Ages_sentence_271

The eastern parts of the Frankish kingdoms, especially Germany and Italy, were under continual Magyar assault until the invader's defeat at the Battle of Lechfeld in 955. Middle Ages_sentence_272

The breakup of the Abbasid dynasty meant that the Islamic world fragmented into smaller political states, some of which began expanding into Italy and Sicily, as well as over the Pyrenees into the southern parts of the Frankish kingdoms. Middle Ages_sentence_273

New kingdoms and Byzantine revival Middle Ages_section_12

Main articles: Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty, Byzantine Empire under the Isaurian dynasty, First Bulgarian Empire, Christianisation of Bulgaria, Kingdom of Germany, Christianisation of Scandinavia, and Christianisation of Kievan Rus' Middle Ages_sentence_274

See also: Byzantine–Arab wars (780–1180) and Byzantine–Bulgarian wars Middle Ages_sentence_275

Efforts by local kings to fight the invaders led to the formation of new political entities. Middle Ages_sentence_276

In Anglo-Saxon England, King Alfred the Great (r. 871–899) came to an agreement with the Viking invaders in the late 9th century, resulting in Danish settlements in Northumbria, Mercia, and parts of East Anglia. Middle Ages_sentence_277

By the middle of the 10th century, Alfred's successors had conquered Northumbria, and restored English control over most of the southern part of Great Britain. Middle Ages_sentence_278

In northern Britain, Kenneth MacAlpin (d. c. 860) united the Picts and the Scots into the Kingdom of Alba. Middle Ages_sentence_279

In the early 10th century, the Ottonian dynasty had established itself in Germany, and was engaged in driving back the Magyars. Middle Ages_sentence_280

Its efforts culminated in the coronation in 962 of Otto I (r. 936–973) as Holy Roman Emperor. Middle Ages_sentence_281

In 972, he secured recognition of his title by the Byzantine Empire, which he sealed with the marriage of his son Otto II (r. 967–983) to Theophanu (d. 991), daughter of an earlier Byzantine Emperor Romanos II (r. 959–963). Middle Ages_sentence_282

By the late 10th century Italy had been drawn into the Ottonian sphere after a period of instability; Otto III (r. 996–1002) spent much of his later reign in the kingdom. Middle Ages_sentence_283

The western Frankish kingdom was more fragmented, and although kings remained nominally in charge, much of the political power devolved to the local lords. Middle Ages_sentence_284

Missionary efforts to Scandinavia during the 9th and 10th centuries helped strengthen the growth of kingdoms such as Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, which gained power and territory. Middle Ages_sentence_285

Some kings converted to Christianity, although not all by 1000. Middle Ages_sentence_286

Scandinavians also expanded and colonised throughout Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_287

Besides the settlements in Ireland, England, and Normandy, further settlement took place in what became Russia and Iceland. Middle Ages_sentence_288

Swedish traders and raiders ranged down the rivers of the Russian steppe, and even attempted to seize Constantinople in 860 and 907. Middle Ages_sentence_289

Christian Spain, initially driven into a small section of the peninsula in the north, expanded slowly south during the 9th and 10th centuries, establishing the kingdoms of Asturias and León. Middle Ages_sentence_290

In Eastern Europe, Byzantium revived its fortunes under Emperor Basil I (r. 867–886) and his successors Leo VI (r. 886–912) and Constantine VII (r. 913–959), members of the Macedonian dynasty. Middle Ages_sentence_291

Commerce revived and the emperors oversaw the extension of a uniform administration to all the provinces. Middle Ages_sentence_292

The military was reorganised, which allowed the emperors John I (r. 969–976) and Basil II (r. 976–1025) to expand the frontiers of the empire on all fronts. Middle Ages_sentence_293

The imperial court was the centre of a revival of classical learning, a process known as the Macedonian Renaissance. Middle Ages_sentence_294

Writers such as John Geometres (fl. Middle Ages_sentence_295

early 10th century) composed new hymns, poems, and other works. Middle Ages_sentence_296

Missionary efforts by both Eastern and Western clergy resulted in the conversion of the Moravians, Bulgars, Bohemians, Poles, Magyars, and Slavic inhabitants of the Kievan Rus'. Middle Ages_sentence_297

These conversions contributed to the founding of political states in the lands of those peoples—the states of Moravia, Bulgaria, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and the Kievan Rus'. Middle Ages_sentence_298

Bulgaria, which was founded around 680, at its height reached from Budapest to the Black Sea and from the Dnieper River in modern Ukraine to the Adriatic Sea. Middle Ages_sentence_299

By 1018, the last Bulgarian nobles had surrendered to the Byzantine Empire. Middle Ages_sentence_300

Art and architecture Middle Ages_section_13

Main articles: Medieval art and Medieval architecture Middle Ages_sentence_301

See also: Migration Period art, Pre-Romanesque art and architecture, and Carolingian art Middle Ages_sentence_302

Few large stone buildings were constructed between the Constantinian basilicas of the 4th century and the 8th century, although many smaller ones were built during the 6th and 7th centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_303

By the beginning of the 8th century, the Carolingian Empire revived the basilica form of architecture. Middle Ages_sentence_304

One feature of the basilica is the use of a transept, or the "arms" of a cross-shaped building that are perpendicular to the long nave. Middle Ages_sentence_305

Other new features of religious architecture include the crossing tower and a monumental entrance to the church, usually at the west end of the building. Middle Ages_sentence_306

Carolingian art was produced for a small group of figures around the court, and the monasteries and churches they supported. Middle Ages_sentence_307

It was dominated by efforts to regain the dignity and classicism of imperial Roman and Byzantine art, but was also influenced by the Insular art of the British Isles. Middle Ages_sentence_308

Insular art integrated the energy of Irish Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Germanic styles of ornament with Mediterranean forms such as the book, and established many characteristics of art for the rest of the medieval period. Middle Ages_sentence_309

Surviving religious works from the Early Middle Ages are mostly illuminated manuscripts and carved ivories, originally made for metalwork that has since been melted down. Middle Ages_sentence_310

Objects in precious metals were the most prestigious form of art, but almost all are lost except for a few crosses such as the Cross of Lothair, several reliquaries, and finds such as the Anglo-Saxon burial at Sutton Hoo and the hoards of Gourdon from Merovingian France, Guarrazar from Visigothic Spain and Nagyszentmiklós near Byzantine territory. Middle Ages_sentence_311

There are survivals from the large brooches in fibula or penannular form that were a key piece of personal adornment for elites, including the Irish Tara Brooch. Middle Ages_sentence_312

Highly decorated books were mostly Gospel Books and these have survived in larger numbers, including the Insular Book of Kells, the Book of Lindisfarne, and the imperial Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram, which is one of the few to retain its "treasure binding" of gold encrusted with jewels. Middle Ages_sentence_313

Charlemagne's court seems to have been responsible for the acceptance of figurative monumental sculpture in Christian art, and by the end of the period near life-sized figures such as the Gero Cross were common in important churches. Middle Ages_sentence_314

Military and technological developments Middle Ages_section_14

During the later Roman Empire, the principal military developments were attempts to create an effective cavalry force as well as the continued development of highly specialised types of troops. Middle Ages_sentence_315

The creation of heavily armoured cataphract-type soldiers as cavalry was an important feature of the 5th-century Roman military. Middle Ages_sentence_316

The various invading tribes had differing emphases on types of soldiers—ranging from the primarily infantry Anglo-Saxon invaders of Britain to the Vandals and Visigoths who had a high proportion of cavalry in their armies. Middle Ages_sentence_317

During the early invasion period, the stirrup had not been introduced into warfare, which limited the usefulness of cavalry as shock troops because it was not possible to put the full force of the horse and rider behind blows struck by the rider. Middle Ages_sentence_318

The greatest change in military affairs during the invasion period was the adoption of the Hunnic composite bow in place of the earlier, and weaker, Scythian composite bow. Middle Ages_sentence_319

Another development was the increasing use of longswords and the progressive replacement of scale armour by mail armour and lamellar armour. Middle Ages_sentence_320

The importance of infantry and light cavalry began to decline during the early Carolingian period, with a growing dominance of elite heavy cavalry. Middle Ages_sentence_321

The use of militia-type levies of the free population declined over the Carolingian period. Middle Ages_sentence_322

Although much of the Carolingian armies were mounted, a large proportion during the early period appear to have been mounted infantry, rather than true cavalry. Middle Ages_sentence_323

One exception was Anglo-Saxon England, where the armies were still composed of regional levies, known as the fyrd, which were led by the local elites. Middle Ages_sentence_324

In military technology, one of the main changes was the return of the crossbow, which had been known in Roman times and reappeared as a military weapon during the last part of the Early Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_325

Another change was the introduction of the stirrup, which increased the effectiveness of cavalry as shock troops. Middle Ages_sentence_326

A technological advance that had implications beyond the military was the horseshoe, which allowed horses to be used in rocky terrain. Middle Ages_sentence_327

High Middle Ages Middle Ages_section_15

Main article: High Middle Ages Middle Ages_sentence_328

Society and economic life Middle Ages_section_16

Further information: Agriculture in the Middle Ages Middle Ages_sentence_329

The High Middle Ages was a period of tremendous expansion of population. Middle Ages_sentence_330

The estimated population of Europe grew from 35 to 80 million between 1000 and 1347, although the exact causes remain unclear: improved agricultural techniques, the decline of slaveholding, a more clement climate and the lack of invasion have all been suggested. Middle Ages_sentence_331

As much as 90 per cent of the European population remained rural peasants. Middle Ages_sentence_332

Many were no longer settled in isolated farms but had gathered into small communities, usually known as manors or villages. Middle Ages_sentence_333

These peasants were often subject to noble overlords and owed them rents and other services, in a system known as manorialism. Middle Ages_sentence_334

There remained a few free peasants throughout this period and beyond, with more of them in the regions of Southern Europe than in the north. Middle Ages_sentence_335

The practice of assarting, or bringing new lands into production by offering incentives to the peasants who settled them, also contributed to the expansion of population. Middle Ages_sentence_336

The open-field system of agriculture was commonly practiced in most of Europe, especially in "northwestern and central Europe". Middle Ages_sentence_337

Such agricultural communities had three basic characteristics: individual peasant holdings in the form of strips of land were scattered among the different fields belonging to the manor; crops were rotated from year to year to preserve soil fertility; and common land was used for grazing livestock and other purposes. Middle Ages_sentence_338

Some regions used a three-field system of crop rotation, others retained the older two-field system. Middle Ages_sentence_339

Other sections of society included the nobility, clergy, and townsmen. Middle Ages_sentence_340

Nobles, both the titled nobility and simple knights, exploited the manors and the peasants, although they did not own lands outright but were granted rights to the income from a manor or other lands by an overlord through the system of feudalism. Middle Ages_sentence_341

During the 11th and 12th centuries, these lands, or fiefs, came to be considered hereditary, and in most areas they were no longer divisible between all the heirs as had been the case in the early medieval period. Middle Ages_sentence_342

Instead, most fiefs and lands went to the eldest son. Middle Ages_sentence_343

The dominance of the nobility was built upon its control of the land, its military service as heavy cavalry, control of castles, and various immunities from taxes or other impositions. Middle Ages_sentence_344

Castles, initially in wood but later in stone, began to be constructed in the 9th and 10th centuries in response to the disorder of the time, and provided protection from invaders as well as allowing lords defence from rivals. Middle Ages_sentence_345

Control of castles allowed the nobles to defy kings or other overlords. Middle Ages_sentence_346

Nobles were stratified; kings and the highest-ranking nobility controlled large numbers of commoners and large tracts of land, as well as other nobles. Middle Ages_sentence_347

Beneath them, lesser nobles had authority over smaller areas of land and fewer people. Middle Ages_sentence_348

Knights were the lowest level of nobility; they controlled but did not own land, and had to serve other nobles. Middle Ages_sentence_349

The clergy was divided into two types: the secular clergy, who lived out in the world, and the regular clergy, who lived isolated under a religious rule and usually consisted of monks. Middle Ages_sentence_350

Throughout the period monks remained a very small proportion of the population, usually less than one percent. Middle Ages_sentence_351

Most of the regular clergy were drawn from the nobility, the same social class that served as the recruiting ground for the upper levels of the secular clergy. Middle Ages_sentence_352

The local parish priests were often drawn from the peasant class. Middle Ages_sentence_353

Townsmen were in a somewhat unusual position, as they did not fit into the traditional three-fold division of society into nobles, clergy, and peasants. Middle Ages_sentence_354

During the 12th and 13th centuries, the ranks of the townsmen expanded greatly as existing towns grew and new population centres were founded. Middle Ages_sentence_355

But throughout the Middle Ages the population of the towns probably never exceeded 10 percent of the total population. Middle Ages_sentence_356

Jews also spread across Europe during the period. Middle Ages_sentence_357

Communities were established in Germany and England in the 11th and 12th centuries, but Spanish Jews, long settled in Spain under the Muslims, came under Christian rule and increasing pressure to convert to Christianity. Middle Ages_sentence_358

Most Jews were confined to the cities, as they were not allowed to own land or be peasants. Middle Ages_sentence_359

Besides the Jews, there were other non-Christians on the edges of Europe—pagan Slavs in Eastern Europe and Muslims in Southern Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_360

Women in the Middle Ages were officially required to be subordinate to some male, whether their father, husband, or other kinsman. Middle Ages_sentence_361

Widows, who were often allowed much control over their own lives, were still restricted legally. Middle Ages_sentence_362

Women's work generally consisted of household or other domestically inclined tasks. Middle Ages_sentence_363

Peasant women were usually responsible for taking care of the household, child-care, as well as gardening and animal husbandry near the house. Middle Ages_sentence_364

They could supplement the household income by spinning or brewing at home. Middle Ages_sentence_365

At harvest-time, they were also expected to help with field-work. Middle Ages_sentence_366

Townswomen, like peasant women, were responsible for the household, and could also engage in trade. Middle Ages_sentence_367

What trades were open to women varied by country and period. Middle Ages_sentence_368

Noblewomen were responsible for running a household, and could occasionally be expected to handle estates in the absence of male relatives, but they were usually restricted from participation in military or government affairs. Middle Ages_sentence_369

The only role open to women in the Church was that of nuns, as they were unable to become priests. Middle Ages_sentence_370

In central and northern Italy and in Flanders, the rise of towns that were to a degree self-governing stimulated economic growth and created an environment for new types of trade associations. Middle Ages_sentence_371

Commercial cities on the shores of the Baltic entered into agreements known as the Hanseatic League, and the Italian Maritime republics such as Venice, Genoa, and Pisa expanded their trade throughout the Mediterranean. Middle Ages_sentence_372

Great trading fairs were established and flourished in northern France during the period, allowing Italian and German merchants to trade with each other as well as local merchants. Middle Ages_sentence_373

In the late 13th century new land and sea routes to the Far East were pioneered, famously described in The Travels of Marco Polo written by one of the traders, Marco Polo (d. 1324). Middle Ages_sentence_374

Besides new trading opportunities, agricultural and technological improvements enabled an increase in crop yields, which in turn allowed the trade networks to expand. Middle Ages_sentence_375

Rising trade brought new methods of dealing with money, and gold coinage was again minted in Europe, first in Italy and later in France and other countries. Middle Ages_sentence_376

New forms of commercial contracts emerged, allowing risk to be shared among merchants. Middle Ages_sentence_377

Accounting methods improved, partly through the use of double-entry bookkeeping; letters of credit also appeared, allowing easy transmission of money. Middle Ages_sentence_378

Rise of state power Middle Ages_section_17

Main articles: England in the Middle Ages, France in the Middle Ages, Germany in the Middle Ages, Italy in the Middle Ages, Scotland in the Middle Ages, Spain in the Middle Ages, and Poland in the Middle Ages Middle Ages_sentence_379

The High Middle Ages was the formative period in the history of the modern Western state. Middle Ages_sentence_380

Kings in France, England, and Spain consolidated their power, and set up lasting governing institutions. Middle Ages_sentence_381

New kingdoms such as Hungary and Poland, after their conversion to Christianity, became Central European powers. Middle Ages_sentence_382

The Magyars settled Hungary around 900 under King Árpád (d. c. 907) after a series of invasions in the 9th century. Middle Ages_sentence_383

The papacy, long attached to an ideology of independence from secular kings, first asserted its claim to temporal authority over the entire Christian world; the Papal Monarchy reached its apogee in the early 13th century under the pontificate of Innocent III (pope 1198–1216). Middle Ages_sentence_384

Northern Crusades and the advance of Christian kingdoms and military orders into previously pagan regions in the Baltic and Finnic north-east brought the forced assimilation of numerous native peoples into European culture. Middle Ages_sentence_385

During the early High Middle Ages, Germany was ruled by the Ottonian dynasty, which struggled to control the powerful dukes ruling over territorial duchies tracing back to the Migration period. Middle Ages_sentence_386

In 1024, they were replaced by the Salian dynasty, who famously clashed with the papacy under Emperor Henry IV (r. 1084–1105) over Church appointments as part of the Investiture Controversy. Middle Ages_sentence_387

His successors continued to struggle against the papacy as well as the German nobility. Middle Ages_sentence_388

A period of instability followed the death of Emperor Henry V (r. 1111–25), who died without heirs, until Frederick I Barbarossa (r. 1155–90) took the imperial throne. Middle Ages_sentence_389

Although he ruled effectively, the basic problems remained, and his successors continued to struggle into the 13th century. Middle Ages_sentence_390

Barbarossa's grandson Frederick II (r. 1220–1250), who was also heir to the throne of Sicily through his mother, clashed repeatedly with the papacy. Middle Ages_sentence_391

His court was famous for its scholars and he was often accused of heresy. Middle Ages_sentence_392

He and his successors faced many difficulties, including the invasion of the Mongols into Europe in the mid-13th century. Middle Ages_sentence_393

Mongols first shattered the Kievan Rus' principalities and then invaded Eastern Europe in 1241, 1259, and 1287. Middle Ages_sentence_394

Under the Capetian dynasty the French monarchy slowly began to expand its authority over the nobility, growing out of the Île-de-France to exert control over more of the country in the 11th and 12th centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_395

They faced a powerful rival in the Dukes of Normandy, who in 1066 under William the Conqueror (duke 1035–1087), conquered England (r. 1066–87) and created a cross-channel empire that lasted, in various forms, throughout the rest of the Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_396

Normans also settled in Sicily and southern Italy, when Robert Guiscard (d. 1085) landed there in 1059 and established a duchy that later became the Kingdom of Sicily. Middle Ages_sentence_397

Under the Angevin dynasty of Henry II (r. 1154–89) and his son Richard I (r. 1189–99), the kings of England ruled over England and large areas of France, brought to the family by Henry II's marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine (d. 1204), heiress to much of southern France. Middle Ages_sentence_398

Richard's younger brother John (r. 1199–1216) lost Normandy and the rest of the northern French possessions in 1204 to the French King Philip II Augustus (r. 1180–1223). Middle Ages_sentence_399

This led to dissension among the English nobility, while John's financial exactions to pay for his unsuccessful attempts to regain Normandy led in 1215 to Magna Carta, a charter that confirmed the rights and privileges of free men in England. Middle Ages_sentence_400

Under Henry III (r. 1216–72), John's son, further concessions were made to the nobility, and royal power was diminished. Middle Ages_sentence_401

The French monarchy continued to make gains against the nobility during the late 12th and 13th centuries, bringing more territories within the kingdom under the king's personal rule and centralising the royal administration. Middle Ages_sentence_402

Under Louis IX (r. 1226–70), royal prestige rose to new heights as Louis served as a mediator for most of Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_403

In Iberia, the Christian states, which had been confined to the north-western part of the peninsula, began to push back against the Islamic states in the south, a period known as the Reconquista. Middle Ages_sentence_404

By about 1150, the Christian north had coalesced into the five major kingdoms of León, Castile, Aragon, Navarre, and Portugal. Middle Ages_sentence_405

Southern Iberia remained under control of Islamic states, initially under the Caliphate of Córdoba, which broke up in 1031 into a shifting number of petty states known as taifas, who fought with the Christians until the Almohad Caliphate re-established centralised rule over Southern Iberia in the 1170s. Middle Ages_sentence_406

Christian forces advanced again in the early 13th century, culminating in the capture of Seville in 1248. Middle Ages_sentence_407

Crusades Middle Ages_section_18

Main articles: Crusades, Reconquista, and Northern Crusades Middle Ages_sentence_408

See also: Byzantine Empire under the Macedonian dynasty and Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty Middle Ages_sentence_409

In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks took over much of the Middle East, occupying Persia during the 1040s, Armenia in the 1060s, and Jerusalem in 1070. Middle Ages_sentence_410

In 1071, the Turkish army defeated the Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert and captured the Byzantine Emperor Romanus IV (r. 1068–71). Middle Ages_sentence_411

The Turks were then free to invade Asia Minor, which dealt a dangerous blow to the Byzantine Empire by seizing a large part of its population and its economic heartland. Middle Ages_sentence_412

Although the Byzantines regrouped and recovered somewhat, they never fully regained Asia Minor and were often on the defensive. Middle Ages_sentence_413

The Turks also had difficulties, losing control of Jerusalem to the Fatimids of Egypt and suffering from a series of internal civil wars. Middle Ages_sentence_414

The Byzantines also faced a revived Bulgaria, which in the late 12th and 13th centuries spread throughout the Balkans. Middle Ages_sentence_415

The crusades were intended to seize Jerusalem from Muslim control. Middle Ages_sentence_416

The First Crusade was proclaimed by Pope Urban II (pope 1088–99) at the Council of Clermont in 1095 in response to a request from the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos (r. 1081–1118) for aid against further Muslim advances. Middle Ages_sentence_417

Urban promised indulgence to anyone who took part. Middle Ages_sentence_418

Tens of thousands of people from all levels of society mobilised across Europe and captured Jerusalem in 1099. Middle Ages_sentence_419

One feature of the crusades was the pogroms against local Jews that often took place as the crusaders left their countries for the East. Middle Ages_sentence_420

These were especially brutal during the First Crusade, when the Jewish communities in Cologne, Mainz, and Worms were destroyed, as well as other communities in cities between the rivers Seine and the Rhine. Middle Ages_sentence_421

Another outgrowth of the crusades was the foundation of a new type of monastic order, the military orders of the Templars and Hospitallers, which fused monastic life with military service. Middle Ages_sentence_422

The crusaders consolidated their conquests into crusader states. Middle Ages_sentence_423

During the 12th and 13th centuries, there were a series of conflicts between them and the surrounding Islamic states. Middle Ages_sentence_424

Appeals from the crusader states to the papacy led to further crusades, such as the Third Crusade, called to try to regain Jerusalem, which had been captured by Saladin (d. 1193) in 1187. Middle Ages_sentence_425

In 1203, the Fourth Crusade was diverted from the Holy Land to Constantinople, and captured the city in 1204, setting up a Latin Empire of Constantinople and greatly weakening the Byzantine Empire. Middle Ages_sentence_426

The Byzantines recaptured the city in 1261, but never regained their former strength. Middle Ages_sentence_427

By 1291 all the crusader states had been captured or forced from the mainland, although a titular Kingdom of Jerusalem survived on the island of Cyprus for several years afterwards. Middle Ages_sentence_428

Popes called for crusades to take place elsewhere besides the Holy Land: in Spain, southern France, and along the Baltic. Middle Ages_sentence_429

The Spanish crusades became fused with the Reconquista of Spain from the Muslims. Middle Ages_sentence_430

Although the Templars and Hospitallers took part in the Spanish crusades, similar Spanish military religious orders were founded, most of which had become part of the two main orders of Calatrava and Santiago by the beginning of the 12th century. Middle Ages_sentence_431

Northern Europe also remained outside Christian influence until the 11th century or later, and became a crusading venue as part of the Northern Crusades of the 12th to 14th centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_432

These crusades also spawned a military order, the Order of the Sword Brothers. Middle Ages_sentence_433

Another order, the Teutonic Knights, although founded in the crusader states, focused much of its activity in the Baltic after 1225, and in 1309 moved its headquarters to Marienburg in Prussia. Middle Ages_sentence_434

Intellectual life Middle Ages_section_19

Main articles: Renaissance of the 12th century, Medieval philosophy, Medieval literature, Medieval poetry, and Medieval medicine of Western Europe Middle Ages_sentence_435

During the 11th century, developments in philosophy and theology led to increased intellectual activity. Middle Ages_sentence_436

There was debate between the realists and the nominalists over the concept of "universals". Middle Ages_sentence_437

Philosophical discourse was stimulated by the rediscovery of Aristotle and his emphasis on empiricism and rationalism. Middle Ages_sentence_438

Scholars such as Peter Abelard (d. 1142) and Peter Lombard (d. 1164) introduced Aristotelian logic into theology. Middle Ages_sentence_439

In the late 11th and early 12th centuries cathedral schools spread throughout Western Europe, signalling the shift of learning from monasteries to cathedrals and towns. Middle Ages_sentence_440

Cathedral schools were in turn replaced by the universities established in major European cities. Middle Ages_sentence_441

Philosophy and theology fused in scholasticism, an attempt by 12th- and 13th-century scholars to reconcile authoritative texts, most notably Aristotle and the Bible. Middle Ages_sentence_442

This movement tried to employ a systemic approach to truth and reason and culminated in the thought of Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274), who wrote the Summa Theologica, or Summary of Theology. Middle Ages_sentence_443

Chivalry and the ethos of courtly love developed in royal and noble courts. Middle Ages_sentence_444

This culture was expressed in the vernacular languages rather than Latin, and comprised poems, stories, legends, and popular songs spread by troubadours, or wandering minstrels. Middle Ages_sentence_445

Often the stories were written down in the chansons de geste, or "songs of great deeds", such as The Song of Roland or The Song of Hildebrand. Middle Ages_sentence_446

Secular and religious histories were also produced. Middle Ages_sentence_447

Geoffrey of Monmouth (d. c. 1155) composed his Historia Regum Britanniae, a collection of stories and legends about Arthur. Middle Ages_sentence_448

Other works were more clearly history, such as Otto von Freising's (d. 1158) Gesta Friderici Imperatoris detailing the deeds of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, or William of Malmesbury's (d. c. 1143) Gesta Regum on the kings of England. Middle Ages_sentence_449

Legal studies advanced during the 12th century. Middle Ages_sentence_450

Both secular law and canon law, or ecclesiastical law, were studied in the High Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_451

Secular law, or Roman law, was advanced greatly by the discovery of the Corpus Juris Civilis in the 11th century, and by 1100 Roman law was being taught at Bologna. Middle Ages_sentence_452

This led to the recording and standardisation of legal codes throughout Western Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_453

Canon law was also studied, and around 1140 a monk named Gratian (fl. 12th century), a teacher at Bologna, wrote what became the standard text of canon law—the Decretum. Middle Ages_sentence_454

Among the results of the Greek and Islamic influence on this period in European history was the replacement of Roman numerals with the decimal positional number system and the invention of algebra, which allowed more advanced mathematics. Middle Ages_sentence_455

Astronomy advanced following the translation of Ptolemy's Almagest from Greek into Latin in the late 12th century. Middle Ages_sentence_456

Medicine was also studied, especially in southern Italy, where Islamic medicine influenced the school at Salerno. Middle Ages_sentence_457

Technology and military Middle Ages_section_20

Main articles: Medieval technology, Medieval warfare, and History of science § Science in the Middle Ages Middle Ages_sentence_458

Further information: List of medieval European scientists Middle Ages_sentence_459

In the 12th and 13th centuries, Europe experienced economic growth and innovations in methods of production. Middle Ages_sentence_460

Major technological advances included the invention of the windmill, the first mechanical clocks, the manufacture of distilled spirits, and the use of the astrolabe. Middle Ages_sentence_461

Concave spectacles were invented around 1286 by an unknown Italian artisan, probably working in or near Pisa. Middle Ages_sentence_462

The development of a three-field rotation system for planting crops increased the usage of land from one half in use each year under the old two-field system to two-thirds under the new system, with a consequent increase in production. Middle Ages_sentence_463

The development of the heavy plough allowed heavier soils to be farmed more efficiently, aided by the spread of the horse collar, which led to the use of draught horses in place of oxen. Middle Ages_sentence_464

Horses are faster than oxen and require less pasture, factors that aided the implementation of the three-field system. Middle Ages_sentence_465

Legumes – such as peas, beans, or lentils – were grown more widely as crops, in addition to the usual cereal crops of wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Middle Ages_sentence_466

The construction of cathedrals and castles advanced building technology, leading to the development of large stone buildings. Middle Ages_sentence_467

Ancillary structures included new town halls, houses, bridges, and tithe barns. Middle Ages_sentence_468

Shipbuilding improved with the use of the rib and plank method rather than the old Roman system of mortise and tenon. Middle Ages_sentence_469

Other improvements to ships included the use of lateen sails and the stern-post rudder, both of which increased the speed at which ships could be sailed. Middle Ages_sentence_470

In military affairs, the use of infantry with specialised roles increased. Middle Ages_sentence_471

Along with the still-dominant heavy cavalry, armies often included mounted and infantry crossbowmen, as well as sappers and engineers. Middle Ages_sentence_472

Crossbows, which had been known in Late Antiquity, increased in use partly because of the increase in siege warfare in the 10th and 11th centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_473

The increasing use of crossbows during the 12th and 13th centuries led to the use of closed-face helmets, heavy body armour, as well as horse armour. Middle Ages_sentence_474

Gunpowder was known in Europe by the mid-13th century with a recorded use in European warfare by the English against the Scots in 1304, although it was merely used as an explosive and not as a weapon. Middle Ages_sentence_475

Cannon were being used for sieges in the 1320s, and hand-held guns were in use by the 1360s. Middle Ages_sentence_476

Architecture, art, and music Middle Ages_section_21

Further information: Medieval architecture, Medieval art, and Medieval music Middle Ages_sentence_477

In the 10th century the establishment of churches and monasteries led to the development of stone architecture that elaborated vernacular Roman forms, from which the term "Romanesque" is derived. Middle Ages_sentence_478

Where available, Roman brick and stone buildings were recycled for their materials. Middle Ages_sentence_479

From the tentative beginnings known as the First Romanesque, the style flourished and spread across Europe in a remarkably homogeneous form. Middle Ages_sentence_480

Just before 1000 there was a great wave of building stone churches all over Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_481

Romanesque buildings have massive stone walls, openings topped by semi-circular arches, small windows, and, particularly in France, arched stone vaults. Middle Ages_sentence_482

The large portal with coloured sculpture in high relief became a central feature of façades, especially in France, and the capitals of columns were often carved with narrative scenes of imaginative monsters and animals. Middle Ages_sentence_483

According to art historian C. Middle Ages_sentence_484 R. Dodwell, "virtually all the churches in the West were decorated with wall-paintings", of which few survive. Middle Ages_sentence_485

Simultaneous with the development in church architecture, the distinctive European form of the castle was developed and became crucial to politics and warfare. Middle Ages_sentence_486

Romanesque art, especially metalwork, was at its most sophisticated in Mosan art, in which distinct artistic personalities including Nicholas of Verdun (d. 1205) become apparent, and an almost classical style is seen in works such as a font at Liège, contrasting with the writhing animals of the exactly contemporary Gloucester Candlestick. Middle Ages_sentence_487

Large illuminated bibles and psalters were the typical forms of luxury manuscripts, and wall-painting flourished in churches, often following a scheme with a Last Judgement on the west wall, a Christ in Majesty at the east end, and narrative biblical scenes down the nave, or in the best surviving example, at Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, on the barrel-vaulted roof. Middle Ages_sentence_488

From the early 12th century, French builders developed the Gothic style, marked by the use of rib vaults, pointed arches, flying buttresses, and large stained glass windows. Middle Ages_sentence_489

It was used mainly in churches and cathedrals and continued in use until the 16th century in much of Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_490

Classic examples of Gothic architecture include Chartres Cathedral and Reims Cathedral in France as well as Salisbury Cathedral in England. Middle Ages_sentence_491

Stained glass became a crucial element in the design of churches, which continued to use extensive wall-paintings, now almost all lost. Middle Ages_sentence_492

During this period the practice of manuscript illumination gradually passed from monasteries to lay workshops, so that according to Janetta Benton "by 1300 most monks bought their books in shops", and the book of hours developed as a form of devotional book for lay-people. Middle Ages_sentence_493

Metalwork continued to be the most prestigious form of art, with Limoges enamel a popular and relatively affordable option for objects such as reliquaries and crosses. Middle Ages_sentence_494

In Italy the innovations of Cimabue and Duccio, followed by the Trecento master Giotto (d. 1337), greatly increased the sophistication and status of panel painting and fresco. Middle Ages_sentence_495

Increasing prosperity during the 12th century resulted in greater production of secular art; many carved ivory objects such as gaming-pieces, combs, and small religious figures have survived. Middle Ages_sentence_496

Church life Middle Ages_section_22

Main articles: Gregorian Reform and Church and state in medieval Europe Middle Ages_sentence_497

Monastic reform became an important issue during the 11th century, as elites began to worry that monks were not adhering to the rules binding them to a strictly religious life. Middle Ages_sentence_498

Cluny Abbey, founded in the Mâcon region of France in 909, was established as part of the Cluniac Reforms, a larger movement of monastic reform in response to this fear. Middle Ages_sentence_499

Cluny quickly established a reputation for austerity and rigour. Middle Ages_sentence_500

It sought to maintain a high quality of spiritual life by placing itself under the protection of the papacy and by electing its own abbot without interference from laymen, thus maintaining economic and political independence from local lords. Middle Ages_sentence_501

Monastic reform inspired change in the secular Church. Middle Ages_sentence_502

The ideals upon which it was based were brought to the papacy by Pope Leo IX (pope 1049–1054), and provided the ideology of clerical independence that led to the Investiture Controversy in the late 11th century. Middle Ages_sentence_503

This involved Pope Gregory VII (pope 1073–85) and Emperor Henry IV, who initially clashed over episcopal appointments, a dispute that turned into a battle over the ideas of investiture, clerical marriage, and simony. Middle Ages_sentence_504

The emperor saw the protection of the Church as one of his responsibilities as well as wanting to preserve the right to appoint his own choices as bishops within his lands, but the papacy insisted on the Church's independence from secular lords. Middle Ages_sentence_505

These issues remained unresolved after the compromise of 1122 known as the Concordat of Worms. Middle Ages_sentence_506

The dispute represents a significant stage in the creation of a papal monarchy separate from and equal to lay authorities. Middle Ages_sentence_507

It also had the permanent consequence of empowering German princes at the expense of the German emperors. Middle Ages_sentence_508

The High Middle Ages was a period of great religious movements. Middle Ages_sentence_509

Besides the Crusades and monastic reforms, people sought to participate in new forms of religious life. Middle Ages_sentence_510

New monastic orders were founded, including the Carthusians and the Cistercians. Middle Ages_sentence_511

The latter, in particular, expanded rapidly in their early years under the guidance of Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153). Middle Ages_sentence_512

These new orders were formed in response to the feeling of the laity that Benedictine monasticism no longer met the needs of the laymen, who along with those wishing to enter the religious life wanted a return to the simpler hermetical monasticism of early Christianity, or to live an Apostolic life. Middle Ages_sentence_513

Religious pilgrimages were also encouraged. Middle Ages_sentence_514

Old pilgrimage sites such as Rome, Jerusalem, and Compostela received increasing numbers of visitors, and new sites such as Monte Gargano and Bari rose to prominence. Middle Ages_sentence_515

In the 13th century mendicant orders—the Franciscans and the Dominicans—who swore vows of poverty and earned their living by begging, were approved by the papacy. Middle Ages_sentence_516

Religious groups such as the Waldensians and the Humiliati also attempted to return to the life of early Christianity in the middle 12th and early 13th centuries, another heretical movement condemned by the papacy. Middle Ages_sentence_517

Others joined the Cathars, another movement condemned as heretical by the papacy. Middle Ages_sentence_518

In 1209, a crusade was preached against the Cathars, the Albigensian Crusade, which in combination with the medieval Inquisition, eliminated them. Middle Ages_sentence_519

Late Middle Ages Middle Ages_section_23

Main article: Late Middle Ages Middle Ages_sentence_520

War, famine, and plague Middle Ages_section_24

Main article: Crisis of the Late Middle Ages Middle Ages_sentence_521

The first years of the 14th century were marked by famines, culminating in the Great Famine of 1315–17. Middle Ages_sentence_522

The causes of the Great Famine included the slow transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age, which left the population vulnerable when bad weather caused crop failures. Middle Ages_sentence_523

The years 1313–14 and 1317–21 were excessively rainy throughout Europe, resulting in widespread crop failures. Middle Ages_sentence_524

The climate change—which resulted in a declining average annual temperature for Europe during the 14th century—was accompanied by an economic downturn. Middle Ages_sentence_525

These troubles were followed in 1347 by the Black Death, a pandemic that spread throughout Europe during the following three years. Middle Ages_sentence_526

The death toll was probably about 35 million people in Europe, about one-third of the population. Middle Ages_sentence_527

Towns were especially hard-hit because of their crowded conditions. Middle Ages_sentence_528

Large areas of land were left sparsely inhabited, and in some places fields were left unworked. Middle Ages_sentence_529

Wages rose as landlords sought to entice the reduced number of available workers to their fields. Middle Ages_sentence_530

Further problems were lower rents and lower demand for food, both of which cut into agricultural income. Middle Ages_sentence_531

Urban workers also felt that they had a right to greater earnings, and popular uprisings broke out across Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_532

Among the uprisings were the jacquerie in France, the Peasants' Revolt in England, and revolts in the cities of Florence in Italy and Ghent and Bruges in Flanders. Middle Ages_sentence_533

The trauma of the plague led to an increased piety throughout Europe, manifested by the foundation of new charities, the self-mortification of the flagellants, and the scapegoating of Jews. Middle Ages_sentence_534

Conditions were further unsettled by the return of the plague throughout the rest of the 14th century; it continued to strike Europe periodically during the rest of the Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_535

Society and economy Middle Ages_section_25

Society throughout Europe was disturbed by the dislocations caused by the Black Death. Middle Ages_sentence_536

Lands that had been marginally productive were abandoned, as the survivors were able to acquire more fertile areas. Middle Ages_sentence_537

Although serfdom declined in Western Europe it became more common in Eastern Europe, as landlords imposed it on those of their tenants who had previously been free. Middle Ages_sentence_538

Most peasants in Western Europe managed to change the work they had previously owed to their landlords into cash rents. Middle Ages_sentence_539

The percentage of serfs amongst the peasantry declined from a high of 90 to closer to 50 percent by the end of the period. Middle Ages_sentence_540

Landlords also became more conscious of common interests with other landholders, and they joined together to extort privileges from their governments. Middle Ages_sentence_541

Partly at the urging of landlords, governments attempted to legislate a return to the economic conditions that existed before the Black Death. Middle Ages_sentence_542

Non-clergy became increasingly literate, and urban populations began to imitate the nobility's interest in chivalry. Middle Ages_sentence_543

Jewish communities were expelled from England in 1290 and from France in 1306. Middle Ages_sentence_544

Although some were allowed back into France, most were not, and many Jews emigrated eastwards, settling in Poland and Hungary. Middle Ages_sentence_545

The Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, and dispersed to Turkey, France, Italy, and Holland. Middle Ages_sentence_546

The rise of banking in Italy during the 13th century continued throughout the 14th century, fuelled partly by the increasing warfare of the period and the needs of the papacy to move money between kingdoms. Middle Ages_sentence_547

Many banking firms loaned money to royalty, at great risk, as some were bankrupted when kings defaulted on their loans. Middle Ages_sentence_548

State resurgence Middle Ages_section_26

Strong, royalty-based nation states rose throughout Europe in the Late Middle Ages, particularly in England, France, and the Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula: Aragon, Castile, and Portugal. Middle Ages_sentence_549

The long conflicts of the period strengthened royal control over their kingdoms and were extremely hard on the peasantry. Middle Ages_sentence_550

Kings profited from warfare that extended royal legislation and increased the lands they directly controlled. Middle Ages_sentence_551

Paying for the wars required that methods of taxation become more effective and efficient, and the rate of taxation often increased. Middle Ages_sentence_552

The requirement to obtain the consent of taxpayers allowed representative bodies such as the English Parliament and the French Estates General to gain power and authority. Middle Ages_sentence_553

Throughout the 14th century, French kings sought to expand their influence at the expense of the territorial holdings of the nobility. Middle Ages_sentence_554

They ran into difficulties when attempting to confiscate the holdings of the English kings in southern France, leading to the Hundred Years' War, waged from 1337 to 1453. Middle Ages_sentence_555

Early in the war the English under Edward III (r. 1327–77) and his son Edward, the Black Prince (d. 1376), won the battles of Crécy and Poitiers, captured the city of Calais, and won control of much of France. Middle Ages_sentence_556

The resulting stresses almost caused the disintegration of the French kingdom during the early years of the war. Middle Ages_sentence_557

In the early 15th century, France again came close to dissolving, but in the late 1420s the military successes of Joan of Arc (d. 1431) led to the victory of the French and the capture of the last English possessions in southern France in 1453. Middle Ages_sentence_558

The price was high, as the population of France at the end of the Wars was likely half what it had been at the start of the conflict. Middle Ages_sentence_559

Conversely, the Wars had a positive effect on English national identity, doing much to fuse the various local identities into a national English ideal. Middle Ages_sentence_560

The conflict with France also helped create a national culture in England separate from French culture, which had previously been the dominant influence. Middle Ages_sentence_561

The dominance of the English longbow began during early stages of the Hundred Years' War, and cannon appeared on the battlefield at Crécy in 1346. Middle Ages_sentence_562

In modern-day Germany, the Holy Roman Empire continued to rule, but the elective nature of the imperial crown meant there was no enduring dynasty around which a strong state could form. Middle Ages_sentence_563

Further east, the kingdoms of Poland, Hungary, and Bohemia grew powerful. Middle Ages_sentence_564

In Iberia, the Christian kingdoms continued to gain land from the Muslim kingdoms of the peninsula; Portugal concentrated on expanding overseas during the 15th century, while the other kingdoms were riven by difficulties over royal succession and other concerns. Middle Ages_sentence_565

After losing the Hundred Years' War, England went on to suffer a long civil war known as the Wars of the Roses, which lasted into the 1490s and only ended when Henry Tudor (r. 1485–1509 as Henry VII) became king and consolidated power with his victory over Richard III (r. 1483–85) at Bosworth in 1485. Middle Ages_sentence_566

In Scandinavia, Margaret I of Denmark (r. in Denmark 1387–1412) consolidated Norway, Denmark, and Sweden in the Union of Kalmar, which continued until 1523. Middle Ages_sentence_567

The major power around the Baltic Sea was the Hanseatic League, a commercial confederation of city-states that traded from Western Europe to Russia. Middle Ages_sentence_568

Scotland emerged from English domination under Robert the Bruce (r. 1306–29), who secured papal recognition of his kingship in 1328. Middle Ages_sentence_569

Collapse of Byzantium Middle Ages_section_27

Main articles: Decline of the Byzantine Empire, Byzantine Empire under the Angelos dynasty, Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty, Byzantine–Ottoman Wars, and Rise of the Ottoman Empire Middle Ages_sentence_570

Although the Palaeologi emperors recaptured Constantinople from the Western Europeans in 1261, they were never able to regain control of much of the former imperial lands. Middle Ages_sentence_571

They usually controlled only a small section of the Balkan Peninsula near Constantinople, the city itself, and some coastal lands on the Black Sea and around the Aegean Sea. Middle Ages_sentence_572

The former Byzantine lands in the Balkans were divided between the new Kingdom of Serbia, the Second Bulgarian Empire and the city-state of Venice. Middle Ages_sentence_573

The power of the Byzantine emperors was threatened by a new Turkish tribe, the Ottomans, who established themselves in Anatolia in the 13th century and steadily expanded throughout the 14th century. Middle Ages_sentence_574

The Ottomans expanded into Europe, reducing Bulgaria to a vassal state by 1366 and taking over Serbia after its defeat at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. Middle Ages_sentence_575

Western Europeans rallied to the plight of the Christians in the Balkans and declared a new crusade in 1396; a great army was sent to the Balkans, where it was defeated at the Battle of Nicopolis. Middle Ages_sentence_576

Constantinople was finally captured by the Ottomans in 1453. Middle Ages_sentence_577

Controversy within the Church Middle Ages_section_28

Main articles: Western Schism, Bohemian Reformation, and Hussites Middle Ages_sentence_578

During the tumultuous 14th century, disputes within the leadership of the Church led to the Avignon Papacy of 1309–76, also called the "Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy" (a reference to the Babylonian captivity of the Jews), and then to the Great Schism, lasting from 1378 to 1418, when there were two and later three rival popes, each supported by several states. Middle Ages_sentence_579

Ecclesiastical officials convened at the Council of Constance in 1414, and in the following year the council deposed one of the rival popes, leaving only two claimants. Middle Ages_sentence_580

Further depositions followed, and in November 1417, the council elected Martin V (pope 1417–31) as pope. Middle Ages_sentence_581

Besides the schism, the Western Church was riven by theological controversies, some of which turned into heresies. Middle Ages_sentence_582

John Wycliffe (d. 1384), an English theologian, was condemned as a heretic in 1415 for teaching that the laity should have access to the text of the Bible as well as for holding views on the Eucharist that were contrary to Church doctrine. Middle Ages_sentence_583

Wycliffe's teachings influenced two of the major heretical movements of the later Middle Ages: Lollardy in England and Hussitism in Bohemia. Middle Ages_sentence_584

The Bohemian movement initiated with the teaching of Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake in 1415, after being condemned as a heretic by the Council of Constance. Middle Ages_sentence_585

The Hussite Church, although the target of a crusade, survived beyond the Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_586

Other heresies were manufactured, such as the accusations against the Knights Templar that resulted in their suppression in 1312, and the division of their great wealth between the French King Philip IV (r. 1285–1314) and the Hospitallers. Middle Ages_sentence_587

The papacy further refined the practice in the Mass in the Late Middle Ages, holding that the clergy alone was allowed to partake of the wine in the Eucharist. Middle Ages_sentence_588

This further distanced the secular laity from the clergy. Middle Ages_sentence_589

The laity continued the practices of pilgrimages, veneration of relics, and belief in the power of the Devil. Middle Ages_sentence_590

Mystics such as Meister Eckhart (d. 1327) and Thomas à Kempis (d. 1471) wrote works that taught the laity to focus on their inner spiritual life, which laid the groundwork for the Protestant Reformation. Middle Ages_sentence_591

Besides mysticism, belief in witches and witchcraft became widespread, and by the late 15th century the Church had begun to lend credence to populist fears of witchcraft with its condemnation of witches in 1484, and the publication in 1486 of the Malleus Maleficarum, the most popular handbook for witch-hunters. Middle Ages_sentence_592

Scholars, intellectuals, and exploration Middle Ages_section_29

See also: Europeans in Medieval China Middle Ages_sentence_593

During the Later Middle Ages, theologians such as John Duns Scotus (d. 1308) and William of Ockham (d. c. 1348) led a reaction against intellectualist scholasticism, objecting to the application of reason to faith. Middle Ages_sentence_594

Their efforts undermined the prevailing Platonic idea of universals. Middle Ages_sentence_595

Ockham's insistence that reason operates independently of faith allowed science to be separated from theology and philosophy. Middle Ages_sentence_596

Legal studies were marked by the steady advance of Roman law into areas of jurisprudence previously governed by customary law. Middle Ages_sentence_597

The lone exception to this trend was in England, where the common law remained pre-eminent. Middle Ages_sentence_598

Other countries codified their laws; legal codes were promulgated in Castile, Poland, and Lithuania. Middle Ages_sentence_599

Education remained mostly focused on the training of future clergy. Middle Ages_sentence_600

The basic learning of the letters and numbers remained the province of the family or a village priest, but the secondary subjects of the trivium—grammar, rhetoric, logic—were studied in cathedral schools or in schools provided by cities. Middle Ages_sentence_601

Commercial secondary schools spread, and some Italian towns had more than one such enterprise. Middle Ages_sentence_602

Universities also spread throughout Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries. Middle Ages_sentence_603

Lay literacy rates rose, but were still low; one estimate gave a literacy rate of 10 per cent of males and 1 per cent of females in 1500. Middle Ages_sentence_604

The publication of vernacular literature increased, with Dante (d. 1321), Petrarch (d. 1374) and Giovanni Boccaccio (d. 1375) in 14th-century Italy, Geoffrey Chaucer (d. 1400) and William Langland (d. c. 1386) in England, and François Villon (d. 1464) and Christine de Pizan (d. c. 1430) in France. Middle Ages_sentence_605

Much literature remained religious in character, and although a great deal of it continued to be written in Latin, a new demand developed for saints' lives and other devotional tracts in the vernacular languages. Middle Ages_sentence_606

This was fed by the growth of the Devotio Moderna movement, most prominently in the formation of the Brethren of the Common Life, but also in the works of German mystics such as Meister Eckhart and Johannes Tauler (d. 1361). Middle Ages_sentence_607

Theatre also developed in the guise of miracle plays put on by the Church. Middle Ages_sentence_608

At the end of the period, the development of the printing press in about 1450 led to the establishment of publishing houses throughout Europe by 1500. Middle Ages_sentence_609

In the early 15th century, the countries of the Iberian Peninsula began to sponsor exploration beyond the boundaries of Europe. Middle Ages_sentence_610

Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal (d. 1460) sent expeditions that discovered the Canary Islands, the Azores, and Cape Verde during his lifetime. Middle Ages_sentence_611

After his death, exploration continued; Bartolomeu Dias (d. 1500) went around the Cape of Good Hope in 1486, and Vasco da Gama (d. 1524) sailed around Africa to India in 1498. Middle Ages_sentence_612

The combined Spanish monarchies of Castile and Aragon sponsored the voyage of exploration by Christopher Columbus (d. 1506) in 1492 that discovered the Americas. Middle Ages_sentence_613

The English crown under Henry VII sponsored the voyage of John Cabot (d. 1498) in 1497, which landed on Cape Breton Island. Middle Ages_sentence_614

Technological and military developments Middle Ages_section_30

One of the major developments in the military sphere during the Late Middle Ages was the increased use of infantry and light cavalry. Middle Ages_sentence_615

The English also employed longbowmen, but other countries were unable to create similar forces with the same success. Middle Ages_sentence_616

Armour continued to advance, spurred by the increasing power of crossbows, and plate armour was developed to protect soldiers from crossbows as well as the hand-held guns that were developed. Middle Ages_sentence_617

Pole arms reached new prominence with the development of the Flemish and Swiss infantry armed with pikes and other long spears. Middle Ages_sentence_618

In agriculture, the increased usage of sheep with long-fibred wool allowed a stronger thread to be spun. Middle Ages_sentence_619

In addition, the spinning wheel replaced the traditional distaff for spinning wool, tripling production. Middle Ages_sentence_620

A less technological refinement that still greatly affected daily life was the use of buttons as closures for garments, which allowed for better fitting without having to lace clothing on the wearer. Middle Ages_sentence_621

Windmills were refined with the creation of the tower mill, allowing the upper part of the windmill to be spun around to face the direction from which the wind was blowing. Middle Ages_sentence_622

The blast furnace appeared around 1350 in Sweden, increasing the quantity of iron produced and improving its quality. Middle Ages_sentence_623

The first patent law in 1447 in Venice protected the rights of inventors to their inventions. Middle Ages_sentence_624

Late medieval art and architecture Middle Ages_section_31

The Late Middle Ages in Europe as a whole correspond to the Trecento and Early Renaissance cultural periods in Italy. Middle Ages_sentence_625

Northern Europe and Spain continued to use Gothic styles, which became increasingly elaborate in the 15th century, until almost the end of the period. Middle Ages_sentence_626

International Gothic was a courtly style that reached much of Europe in the decades around 1400, producing masterpieces such as the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. Middle Ages_sentence_627

All over Europe secular art continued to increase in quantity and quality, and in the 15th century the mercantile classes of Italy and Flanders became important patrons, commissioning small portraits of themselves in oils as well as a growing range of luxury items such as jewellery, ivory caskets, cassone chests, and maiolica pottery. Middle Ages_sentence_628

These objects also included the Hispano-Moresque ware produced by mostly Mudéjar potters in Spain. Middle Ages_sentence_629

Although royalty owned huge collections of plate, little survives except for the Royal Gold Cup. Middle Ages_sentence_630

Italian silk manufacture developed, so that Western churches and elites no longer needed to rely on imports from Byzantium or the Islamic world. Middle Ages_sentence_631

In France and Flanders tapestry weaving of sets like The Lady and the Unicorn became a major luxury industry. Middle Ages_sentence_632

The large external sculptural schemes of Early Gothic churches gave way to more sculpture inside the building, as tombs became more elaborate and other features such as pulpits were sometimes lavishly carved, as in the Pulpit by Giovanni Pisano in Sant'Andrea. Middle Ages_sentence_633

Painted or carved wooden relief altarpieces became common, especially as churches created many side-chapels. Middle Ages_sentence_634

Early Netherlandish painting by artists such as Jan van Eyck (d. 1441) and Rogier van der Weyden (d. 1464) rivalled that of Italy, as did northern illuminated manuscripts, which in the 15th century began to be collected on a large scale by secular elites, who also commissioned secular books, especially histories. Middle Ages_sentence_635

From about 1450 printed books rapidly became popular, though still expensive. Middle Ages_sentence_636

There were around 30,000 different editions of incunabula, or works printed before 1500, by which time illuminated manuscripts were commissioned only by royalty and a few others. Middle Ages_sentence_637

Very small woodcuts, nearly all religious, were affordable even by peasants in parts of Northern Europe from the middle of the 15th century. Middle Ages_sentence_638

More expensive engravings supplied a wealthier market with a variety of images. Middle Ages_sentence_639

Modern perceptions Middle Ages_section_32

See also: Dark Ages (historiography), Medieval studies, and Middle Ages in popular culture Middle Ages_sentence_640

The medieval period is frequently caricatured as a "time of ignorance and superstition" that placed "the word of religious authorities over personal experience and rational activity." Middle Ages_sentence_641

This is a legacy from both the Renaissance and Enlightenment when scholars favourably contrasted their intellectual cultures with those of the medieval period. Middle Ages_sentence_642

Renaissance scholars saw the Middle Ages as a period of decline from the high culture and civilisation of the Classical world. Middle Ages_sentence_643

Enlightenment scholars saw reason as superior to faith, and thus viewed the Middle Ages as a time of ignorance and superstition. Middle Ages_sentence_644

Others argue that reason was generally held in high regard during the Middle Ages. Middle Ages_sentence_645

Science historian Edward Grant writes, "If revolutionary rational thoughts were expressed [in the 18th century], they were only made possible because of the long medieval tradition that established the use of reason as one of the most important of human activities". Middle Ages_sentence_646

Also, contrary to common belief, David Lindberg writes, "the late medieval scholar rarely experienced the coercive power of the Church and would have regarded himself as free (particularly in the natural sciences) to follow reason and observation wherever they led". Middle Ages_sentence_647

The caricature of the period is also reflected in some more specific notions. Middle Ages_sentence_648

One misconception, first propagated in the 19th century and still very common, is that all people in the Middle Ages believed that the Earth was flat. Middle Ages_sentence_649

This is untrue, as lecturers in the medieval universities commonly argued that evidence showed the Earth was a sphere. Middle Ages_sentence_650

Lindberg and Ronald Numbers, another scholar of the period, state that there "was scarcely a Christian scholar of the Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth's] sphericity and even know its approximate circumference". Middle Ages_sentence_651

Other misconceptions such as "the Church prohibited autopsies and dissections during the Middle Ages", "the rise of Christianity killed off ancient science", or "the medieval Christian Church suppressed the growth of natural philosophy", are all cited by Numbers as examples of widely popular myths that still pass as historical truth, although they are not supported by historical research. Middle Ages_sentence_652


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle Ages.