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Early Middle Ages: 500 – 1000
High Middle Ages: 1000 – 1250
Late Middle Ages: 1250 - 1500
Europe in the 6c
Starting Point
 Italy (Roman Empire) fragmented
Commerce very limited
Spain in the hands of the Muslims
Frequent invasions – Eastern nomadic tribes,
Weak rulers
Subsistence agriculture
Limited Literacy
Copied old manuscripts – no new works
Couldn’t understand philosophies/ knowledge
The Dark Ages
New Civilization Emerges in Western Europe
 Middle Ages (aka Medieval Period)
Gradual recovery from Rome’s collapse
Growing interaction with other societies
Spread of religious beliefs
Conversion to Christianity
Some continued to believe in
magic/polytheistic religions
Growth of knowledge for traders/invaders
Tools for new crops
Arabs – math, science, philosophy
Creation of the French Kingdom
Clovis – 496 converts to Christianity
511 unites the Franks
Charles Martel – Carolingian Dynasty
732 Battle of Tours
Charlemagne: 742 to 814
Creates largest empire
since Roman
Restores education
Intellectual activity
gradually restored
Crowned “Holy Roman
Emperor” by Pope Leo III –
connects church to royal
power – regional lords and
alliances still rule
Charlemagne’s Empire
Empire is divided
after his death by
the Treaty of Verdun
– each develops
unique characteristics
Charles the Bald
takes western part
Lothair takes the
central part
Louis the German
takes the eastern
A political, economic, and social
system based on loyalty and
military service.
The Manorial System
 Manorialism – economic relation between a lord
and peasants (serfs)
The Manorial System - Serfdom
Serfs – farming peasants
Lived on self-sufficient manors
Received protection from the lords
Became part of the military
force when needed
Gave part of goods/crops to lord
Low production b/c of technology
Improved with Three-field
Feudal Lords and Monarchies
 “Controlled” all the land and creatures
Gave land (fief) for allegiance
Used land to control vassals
Military elites – could afford horses, weapons,
Kings used feudalism to build power, begin
administrations and bureaucracy
The Road to Knighthood
Started around 7 years old
Lives in Lords Manor
Basic education (reading, writing,
taking care of equipment, animals)
SQUIRE Started around 14 years old
“Internship” with a Knight
Takes care of Knight’s equipment,
horse, and trains with the knight
KNIGHT Around 21 years old
Proven himself – Knighted by Lord
Chivalry: A Code of Honor and Behavior
The Road to Knighthood
Experts at warfare
Compete in Tournaments in peacetime
(jousting, mock battles)
Siege Tower
Battering ram
with Tortoise
The Medieval Catholic Church
 filled the power vacuum left from the
collapse of the classical world.
 monasticism:
 St. Benedict – Benedictine Rule
of poverty, chastity, and
 provided schools for the
children of the upper class.
 inns, hospitals, refuge in times
of war.
 libraries & scriptoria to copy
books and illuminate manuscripts.
 monks  missionaries to the
barbarians. [St. Patrick, St.
The Power of the Medieval Church
 bishops and abbots played a large part in
the feudal system.
 the church controlled about 1/3 of the
land in Western Europe.
 tried to curb feudal warfare  only 40
days a year for combat.
 curb heresies  crusades; Inquisition
 tithe  1/10 tax on your assets given to
the church.
 fight over lay investiture – right to
appoint clergy (Henry IV vs Gregory VII) –
Edict of Worms “solves” issue
Religious Reform and Evolution
 church becomes more secular in 590 with
Gregory I
Early issues include
Priests being married
Lay Investitures
Reforms started with the Benedictines and
enforced by Leo IX and Gregory VII
Dominic begins the Dominican Brotherhood
in the early 1200s (education)
St. Francis of Assisi begins the
Franciscans in the early 1200s (community)
Capetian Dynasty
Hugh Capet takes control when Louis V is
poisoned and dies without an heir in 987
Controlled Paris area, included important
trade routes
Philip II (Philip Augustus) 1180-1223
Saw his father lose much land to
Henry II of England and wanted to
redeem his family
Little success against Henry II or
Richard but very successful against
Tripled his land before he died
Capetian Dynasty
Louis IX – 1226-1270
Know as the “Ideal King”, pious and saintly
Strengthened the central government and
created an appeals court
Philip IV – 1285 – 1314
Increased royal power
Fought with Lords and Church over taxes
(Friday the 13th)
Included the 3rd Estate in the Estates
Capetian rule ends with Charles IV’s death (no
heir) and the beginning of the 100 Years War
Creation of the English Kingdom
Creation of the English Kingdom
Alfred the Great – 871-899
United the “Angles” fighting off Viking
Edward the Confessor – r1042-1066
Reclaims land from Vikings (Saxon mixing)
Dies without an heir
William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy)
1066 Battle of Hastings- defeated Harold
Godwinson for control of England
Claims all the land to be his
House of Plantagenet – Angevin Rule
Henry II – 1154-1189
Took power by peace treaty
Expanded empire – constant war with France
Strengthened royal courts, took tax
collection away from Lords, settled lawsuits,
heard criminal cases, created jury system
Married Eleanor of Aquitaine
House of Plantagenet – Angevin Rule
Richard the Lion-Hearted
King after Henry II – 3rd Crusade
John I – r1199-1215
Lost land to Philip II of France
High taxes caused Lords to revolt
Signed the Magna Carta 1215 to maintain
No taxation without representation
Jury trail
Protection of Law
House of Plantagenet – Angevin Rule
Edward I (Longshanks) – r1272-1307
Begins to regain land – 8th,9th crusade, war
in Wales, Ireland, France, and Scotland
Created parliament – representation for
oHouse of Lords  nobles & clergy.
o House of Commons  knights and
Edward III’s claim to the French thrown begins
the 100 Years War – ends in War of the Roses in
which the Lancaster and York families fight for
power – results in the Tudors taking over
The Crusades
Series of religious (holy) wars, from 1095 to
1291, blessed by the Catholic Church, to restore
Christian access (control) of Jerusalem and other
holy sites in the Middle East
The Crusades
1st Crusade (1095-1099) begins when the Seljuk Turks
cut off access to Jerusalem. Byzantine Emperor Alexis I
asked Pope Urban II for help.
Armies came from several Christian kingdoms but the
majority came from France and Italy.
Campaign was hurt by poor leadership and poor
understanding of environment. It was help by the disunity
of Muslim forces.
Captured Antioch and Jerusalem by 1099 but lost control
by 1144
The Crusades
2nd Crusade (1147-1149) started in an
attempt to retake Jerusalem
Armies mainly composed of French, German,
and Italian
Total failure in the Middle East but inspired
Christians to fight against Muslims in Spain and
The Crusades
3rd Crusade (1187-1192) started in reaction
to the total defeat of the 2nd Crusade and the
power of Saladin, who united the Muslims and
had control of Jerusalem
Largest crusader army – led by kings –
Frederick I (German Kingdoms), Philip II
(France), and Richard the Lion-Hearted
Issues: Frederick drowned on the way to the
Crusades, Philip became upset(?) and went back
home, Richard feared French invasion
Richard fought Saladin to a peace treaty that
allowed Christians into Jerusalem
The Crusades
4th Crusade (1202-1204) started by Pope
Innocent III wanting to take Jerusalem.
Lacked support, mainly Venetians, and lack
Ended by the Venetians sacking Constantinople
in 1204, take the wealth back to Venice
Venice began to grow powerful (opened
Mediterranean trade) and Constantinople never
Rebirth of Europe
Trade routes
New Economic and Urban Vigor
Increased agricultural
Population growth
Trade increased
Desire for luxury goods and
Growth of towns (trade
Literacy increase –
Universities created
Medieval Guilds
Guild Hall
 Commercial Monopoly:
 Controlled membership
apprentice  journeyman  master craftsman
 Controlled quality of the product [masterpiece].
 Controlled prices
Gothic Architectural Style
 Pointed arches.
 High, narrow
 Thinner walls.
 Flying buttresses.
 Elaborate, ornate,
airier interiors.
 Stained-glass windows.
“Flying” Buttresses
Romanesque Architectural Style
 Rounded Arches.
 Barrel vaults.
 Thick walls.
 Darker, simplistic interiors.
 Small windows, usually at the top of the wall.
The End of the Middle Ages: Event 1
Great Schism 1305
Philip IV of France and Pope Boniface VIII fight over
power (naming of bishops)
Philip captures Boniface and puts him on trial in 1303
The Pope escapes but dies “on the run”
Philip forces the French Cardinals elect a French Pope
(Clement V) who moves the Papacy to Avignon, France
Pope Gregory XI dies in 1378 while in Rome. Italians
force the Cardinals to elect an Italian Pope (Urban VI)
but French Cardinals also elect a French Pope (Clement
In 1409, Pisa, Italy elects a 3rd Pope
Solved in 1414 by the Council of Constance – the 3
Popes will resign and a new (united) Pope is elected
(Martin V)
The End of the Middle Ages: Event 2
Hundred Years War 1337-1453
Last Capetian King died without an heir and
King Edward III of England (grandson to the old
king) and Philip of Valois (cousin to the old king)
both claimed the thrown.
England still controls land in France and
Flanders wanted independence from the French
supported England
The war is fought mainly in France with the
English winning most early battles despite being
Reasons – Longbow, policy of no long, drawn
out battles just quick “hits” (kill and steal),
French King John captured and held for
ransom, peasant revolt
The End of the Middle Ages: Event 2
Hundred Years War 1337-1453
Treaty of Troyes 1420 – French King forced to
sign giving thrown to English King Henry V upon
death. Problem – both died in 1422 leaving
Henry V’s infant son to inherit both kingdoms.
French king’s son, Charles VII, decides to keep
Joan of Arc (1412-1432) – In 1429 she helps
(inspires the armies) to victory in the Battle of
Orleans, began the reconquest of northern
She was captured in 1431, Charles VII did
not pay the ransom, she was tried
for heresy and burned at the
stake in 1432
The End of the Middle Ages: Event 2
Hundred Years War 1337-1453
Joan of Arc becomes a symbol of French resistance
and by 1450, the French have taken all the French
land except for the city of Calais.
War ends without treaty, both side just quit fighting
France in 1337
France in 1453
The End of the Middle Ages: Event 3
The Culprits
The Famine of 1315-1317
 By 1300 Europeans were farming almost all
the land they could cultivate.
 A population crisis developed.
 Climate changes in Europe produced three
years of crop failures between 1315-17
because of excessive rain.
 As many as 15% of the peasants in some
English villages died.
 One consequence of
starvation & poverty
was susceptibility to
1347: Plague Reaches
The Symptoms
Septicemic Form:
almost 100%
mortality rate.
From the Toggenburg Bible, 1411
Lancing a Buboe
Medieval Art & the Plague
An obsession with death.
Boccaccio in The Decameron
The victims ate lunch with their
friends and dinner with their
Attempts to Stop the Plague
A Doctor’s
Attempts to Stop the Plague
Self-inflicted “penance” for our sins!
Attempts to Stop the Plague
Pogroms against the Jews
“Jew” hat
“Golden Circle”
obligatory badge
Death Triumphant !:
A Major Artistic Theme
A Little Macabre Ditty
“A sickly season,” the merchant said,
“The town I left was filled with dead,
and everywhere these queer red flies
crawled upon the corpses’ eyes,
eating them away.”
“Fair make you sick,” the merchant said,
“They crawled upon the wine and bread.
Pale priests with oil and books,
bulging eyes and crazy looks,
dropping like the flies.”
A Little Macabre Ditty (2)
“I had to laugh,” the merchant said,
“The doctors purged, and dosed, and bled;
“And proved through solemn disputation
“The cause lay in some constellation.
“Then they began to die.”
“First they sneezed,” the merchant said,
“And then they turned the brightest red,
Begged for water, then fell back.
With bulging eyes and face turned black,
they waited for the flies.”
A Little Macabre Ditty (3)
“I came away,” the merchant said,
“You can’t do business with the dead.
“So I’ve come here to ply my trade.
“You’ll find this to be a fine brocade…”
And then he sneezed……….!
The Mortality Rate
35% - 70%
25,000,000 dead !!!
What were the political,
economic, and social effects of the Black
Political: Social order declined, Lords no longer in control
Economic: Farming and trade decline, populations decline,
towns empty
Society: Church lost prestige and power, family structure