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Chapter 12 The Crisis of the Later Middle Ages Cover Slide
After reading and studying this chapter: Explain the process that brought the Black Death to Europe and how this disease spread throughout Europe in the later middle Ages. Discuss the role of Dante, Chaucer, and Villon in the transition from Latin to vernacular languages and literature. Finally: you should be able to list factors in the demise of the later medieval Catholic Church.
Prelude to Disaster The 1300s began with: –Inflation / price increases –Unusual Cold Weather / mini Ice Age –Bad weather / storms / floods –Crop failures / bad harvests / herd reduction All led to the Great Famine of 1315-1322 –Disease / de-population / fear
The waning of the Middle Ages witnessed disease, war, and death. The Black Death wrought havoc in Europe in the fourteenth century. Poor harvest led to famines in the years 1315—1317 and 1321. Diseases killed many people and animals. Genoese ships brought the bubonic plague to Europe in 1347. The bubonic form of the disease was transmitted by rats; people transmitted the pneumonic form. The disease continued to cause destruction as late as 1700.
The Black Death had many consequences The plague was most disastrous among the poor. The disease caused widespread suffering and devastation. Priests, nuns, and monks were especially vulnerable since they ministered to the sick. The danse macabe and other gloomy artistic motifs reflected the pessimism of the times.
Anatomical Man The Limbourg brothers were commissioned to produce Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, illustrations for each month of the year. Immediately following the calendar is this full-page rendering of Anatomical Man. Scholars assume that the Limbourgs' inclusion of it reflects Charles V's passionate interest in astrology. The miniature purports to illustrate the effect of the stars of the zodiac on the human body. The inscriptions in the corners indicate that human temperaments are affected by the mixture of the traditional four humors, as well as by the conditions of heat and moisture, particularly as they are associated with being either male or female. The front figure represents the feminine, and the figure in the back symbolizes the masculine. An ellipse bearing the signs of the zodiac surrounds the figures. (R.M.N./Art Resource, NY)
The Hundred Years’ War (1337— 1453) added to the gloom. This struggle between England and France added to misery of the age. England’s multifaceted army of warriors and yeoman archers carried the day in the first phase of the war. –Crecy highlighted the new weapons of the English, the longbow and the cannon. –Poitiers (1356) was also an English victory. –Agincourt (1415) was the last major English victory of the war.
The Hundred Years’ War Causes 1259 Treaty of Paris –English King (Duke of Aquitaine) agreed to be a vassal of France –France agreed but did not follow through and wanted Aquitaine so violated the treaty and seized the province King Edward (English) also proposed that he was the rightful heir of the French Throne as the closest living heir of King Phillip of France. –France has a civil war along with the English war to avoid the strengthening of the French king. –Some French barons supported the English etc…
The War Popular –Patriotic in that brought n awareness of people of Nationalism –Clergy preached / supported both sides –Provided an opportunity for poor nobles to become rich and serve / increased opportunities for peasants as well. (wealth and advancement)
The War Medieval warfare changed with technology (The long bow) French lost militarily but won the war in the end –Peasant girl Joan of Arc saved the monarchy –Orleans turned the tide for France –Eventually the English withdrew Social consequences in both countries were long term –Beginnings of Parliament power (money needs) / individual rights –Nationalism in both countries
Joan of Arc played a significant role in the ultimate French victory. She provided inspiration and pride for the French. A symbol of France Because of Joan, the French persisted and drove the English out of France.
English view of Irish Depicting a subject or colonial people as barbaric and uncivilized has long been a way of denigrating and dehumanizing the enemy. In this thirteenth-century miniature showing the English view of the Irish, a king (in a bath) and his courtiers devour horseflesh with their hands, without plates or eating utensils.
The loss of the church’s prestige was symptomatic of the age. The church came under fire because of substantial corruption. Reformers argued for major changes. –John Wyclif attacked papal authority and called for reform of the church. –John Hus spread Wyclif’s ideas to Bohemia.
Execution of Jan Hus Jan Hus, born in Husinec in southern Bohemia (ca. 1369), was tragically burnt at the stake in 1415. During his twelve years as a university lecturer, Hus denounced superstition, the sale of indulgences, and other abuses. The people of Prague seemed to find his denunciations of an over-endowed church appealing. He went into exile where he continued to dispute papal authority. In 1413 the emperor Sigismund urged the calling of a general council to end the schism. Hus was invited and granted safe conduct. Instead he was arrested, his teachings banned, and his books burned. In 1990, the date of his execution was declared a Czech national holiday. (University Library, Prague)
The loss of the church’s prestige was symptomatic of the age. The Babylonian Captivity (1309—1377) was a major source of irritation. –The church became a tool of the French monarchy. –The pope had lived at Avignon since the reign of King Philip the Fair of France. –The Babylonian Captivity badly damaged papal prestige. –Pope Gregory IX moved the papacy back to Rome in 1377.
The Great Schism (1378—1417) Two popes claimed to be legitimate. Nationalism politics evolved –England and France recognized different popes. –The Great Schism weakened the religious faith of many of the faithful. –Brought into doubt the motives of the church leadership –Brought about questioning of Church Government.
The conciliar movement advocated reform by a church council. Church councils with power superior to that of the pope were introduced. Marsiglio of Padua had argued that authority within the church resided with a council not the pope. –Similar to the struggle of the Monarchy at the time The council of Constance (1414—1418) ended the schism.
The Great Schism Ends Both Popes deposed A third Pope chosen but not supported Finally Pope Martin V supported Reformers like Hus dealt with –No reform of the church –New Pope dissolved the Council –Triumphed over the Conciliar Movement Result delayed the reformation a century
The life of the people Marriage usually came at age 16 or 18 for women and later for men. –Legalized prostitution existed in urban areas. –Economic factors usually prompted marriage. –Divorce did not exist in this society.
Prostitute inviting traveling merchant Poverty and male violence drove women into prostitution, which, though denounced by moralists, was accepted as a normal part of the medieval social fabric. In the cities and larger towns where prostitution flourished, public officials passed laws requiring prostitutes to wear a special mark on their clothing and regulated hours of business. They forbade women to drag men into their houses (as we see the prostitute doing in this illustration, as she invites a traveling merchant into her house), and denied business to women with the "burning sickness," gonorrhea. (Bodleian Library, Oxford)
The life of the people The parish was the center of daily life. –Sports such as bull-baiting and bear-baiting, and drunkenness reflected the teeming violence of the age. Fur-collar crime was prolific. –Nobles returning from war resorted to crime. –Extortion and kidnapping by the upper classes were widespread. –Outlaws were sought for protection when the governments failed. (Robin Hood)
Roman de Fauvel illustration Written by members of the French court, Roman de Fauvel is an allegory containing 150 musical compositions ranging from monophonic Gregorian chants to secular motets. The main character is Fauvel, a donkey, whose name is an acronym for six vices-- Flattery, Avarice, Untruthfulness, Variability, Envy, and Laziness. (Bibliotheque nationale de France/The Bridgeman Art Library International)
Schoolmaster and wife teaching Ambrosius Holbein, elder brother of the more famous Hans Holbein, produced this signboard for the Swiss educator Myconius. It is an excellent example of what we would call commercial art--art used to advertise, in this case Myconius's profession. The German script above promised that all who enrolled would learn to read and write. By modern standards the classroom seems bleak: the windows have glass panes but they don't admit much light, and the schoolmaster is prepared to use the stick if the boy makes a mistake. (Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel)
Peasant unrest escalated in this period. The Peasant Revolt of 1381 (England) resulted from the lord’s attempt to freeze wages. –Actually, peasants were better off in this period. –Many revolts were due to rising expectations. The Jacquerie (France) (anti-noble) revolted in France in 1358, 1363, 1380, and 1420. –Most were ruthlessly put down. Similar incidents in Spain and Italy attest to the unrest of the period. –In Italy, the ciompi (workers) revolted.
John Ball This miniature depicts John Ball, a priest of Kent, preaching his radical egalitarianism out- of-doors after Mass. All contemporary writers blamed Ball for fomenting the rebellion of 1381. But the evidence of peasant demands shows that they were limited and local: hunting rights in the woods, freedom from miscellaneous payments, and exemption from special work on the lord's bridges or parks. (Private Collection)
Statue of Ferdinand All governments try to cultivate a popular image. For Ferdinand and Isabella, it was the appearance of piety. Contemporaries, such as the Burgundian sculptor Felipe Bigarny, portrayed them as paragons of Christian piety, as shown in this carved and painted wooden effigy of Ferdinand kneeling in the royal chapter of Granada Cathedral, where he was buried in 1516. (Laurie Platt Winfrey, Inc.)
Tres Rich Heures: February The late Gothic style of manuscript illumination was defined by the Limbourg brothers--Jean, Paul, and Herman--who flourished as artists during the late fourteenth century and the early fifteenth century. They were commissioned by the Duke of Berry to complete two books of hours, a personal book of devotions for laypeople for the calendar year. The last commission they undertook for the duke was Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, begun in 1413. It is, perhaps, the finest example of manuscript illumination ever. The brothers were able to complete illustrations for eleven of the months; another artist completed November. At the top of each calendar page is a two-tiered arch. The outer arch consists of the zodiac sign, the inner arch shows the blue dome of heaven and Apollo, and below the arch is the labor associated with each, as is evident in this snowy February scene. (Victoria & Albert Museum/The Bridgeman Art Library International)
Christine de Pisan Christine de Pisan (1363?-1434?), married at age 15 to a court secretary, came into contact with educated men who introduced her to Latin prose and the works of Petrarch and Boccaccio. At the age of 25, widowed and grieving, she began to write poetry and, later, turned her interest toward the writers of antiquity. She is best remembered for her two extended works on the role of women in society: The Book of the City of Ladies (1405) and The Book of Three Virtues (also known as The Treasury of the City of Ladies). The latter volume was dedicated to Marguerite of Burgundy and established the criteria for women who desired to live in the city. In this manuscript illustration Christine de Pisan writes her Collected Works.
Transformation in literature during this period. A.Dante Alighieri, in The Divine Comedy, portrayed a symbolic pilgrimage through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise. –His work embodies the psychological tensions of the age. –The work contains bitter criticism of some church authorities. B.Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbuy Tales painted a gallery of English people, focusing on their materialistic interests.
Dante’s Inferno In this frontispiece from an early manuscript of Dante's Divine Comedy, Dante, wearing a red robe, is guided by Virgil, in blue, through the agonies of hell. (Bibliotheque nationale de France )
Transformation in literature during this period. C.Francois Villon’s Grand Testament used the language of the lower classes. –He portrayed reality, beauty, and hardship of life on earth. D.Vernacular dialects began to find their way into literature. –The use of vernacular dialects reflected a growing national consciousness.
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