4The Middle Ages: The Myth We think of knights in shining armor, lavish banquets, wandering minstrels, kings, queens, bishops, monks, pilgrims, and glorious pageantry.In film and in literature, medieval life seems heroic, entertaining, and romantic.
5The Middle Ages: The Reality In reality, life in the Middle Ages, a period that extended from approximately the 5th century to the 15th century in Western Europe, could also be harsh, uncertain, and dangerous.
6The Battle of HastingsIn October 1066, a daylong battle known as the Battle of Hastings ended the reign of the Anglo-Saxons and began the Norman Conquest.
7Some Important Historical Events: 1066 Norman Conquest KNOW THIS DATE Old French became language of power, commerce, and religion in EnglandEnd of Old English (looks/sounds very German; the language of Beowulf)French merged with Old English to produce Middle English, the language of Chaucer—close enough to modern English that we can recognize it.William of Normandy (called William the Conqueror), who already controlled northern France, invaded and conquered England in 1066 C.E., with the decisive victory at the Battle of Hastings.
9Some Important Historical Events: Domesday Book commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1087: Census, land register, and income record to create a tax rollCan learn a lot about commerce, absolutely everything that everyone ownedLearn a lot about common names and daily lifeAccording to the Domesday Book, slavery was fairly commonplace.Lists 10% of England’s people as slaves.Germanic tribes also enslaved Slavic neighbors (thus the word slavery).Africans were sold across the Islamic world.Can see original copy in the British Library (a museum of manuscripts)
10The Feudal SystemThe Anglo-Normans brought a new language, French, and a new social system, feudalism, to the country.Feudalism was not just a social system, but also a caste system, a property system, and a military system.
11The Feudal System The basic chain of feudalism was as follows: 1. God 2. Kings3. Nobles (Barons, Bishops, etc.)4. Knights- who did not own land5. Serfs or peasants- who did not own land
12The Three EstatesThe three estates (social classes) in the Middle Ages were Aristocracy (kings and their vassals), Clergy (Those who prayed- priests, monks, nuns, friars, etc.), and the Commons (everyone else- doctors, lawyers, clerks, yeomen, etc).
13KnighthoodThe primary duty of males above the serf class was military service. Boys were trained at an early age to become warriors.After training was complete, the boy was “dubbed” or ceremonially tapped on the shoulder. He was then a knight, had the title or sir, and had full rights of the warrior caste.
14KnighthoodKnighthood was grounded in the feudal ideal of loyalty. Knights had a system of social codes that they were not permitted to break.
15Women in the Middle Ages Women had no political rights because they were not soldiers in a primarily military system.Women were always subservient to men.A woman’s husband or father’s position in the feudal system determined her position.
16ChivalryChivalry was a system of ideals and social codes governing the behaviors of knights and gentlewomen.Chivalry codes included oaths of loyalty to the overlord, observing certain rules of warfare and courtly love.Courtly love was nonsexual.Chivalry brought about an idealized attitude about women, but did not improve their actual position in life.Chivalry gave rise to a new form of literature- romance.
17The Effect of Cities and Towns Eventually, the increasing population in cities and towns made the feudal system close to obsolete.The city classes were lower, middle and upper-middle.
18The CrusadesThe Crusades ( ), a series of wars waged by European Christians against Muslims, were waged during the period.The prize of The Crusades was Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
19Some Important Historical Events: CRUSADES: 8 crusades in total over 200 years—the last 7 failed horribly due to disease, cold, hunger, and battles.Another negative effect from the point of view of the Christian Western Europeans: galvanized Muslims and gave them a stronger foothold/following in the Middle East; the opposite of their goal.1095Pope Urban II called for a holy war against the Muslim Turks who controlled what he saw as the Christian Holy Land of Palestine.Pope said if you died fighting in a crusade, you would go to heaven.
20Some Important Historical Events: CRUSADES,cont.: SOME BENEFITS TO EUROPE:Increased trade and new merchant class.Increase in art and education: Greek language and Plato studied again; philosophy, math.Increase in religious inspiration due to dedication to God; art, architecture.Crusades also greatly contributed to a secular kind of hero-worship of knights (shown in tapestries, tales).
21St. Thomas a BecketThomas a Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in his own cathedral by four knights because he too often sided with the pope instead of the King Henry who had appointed him to the position.Becket’s murder enraged the common people who deemed him a martyr and they lashed out against King Henry which weakened the kings power in his struggle with Rome.
22The Magna Carta The Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215. The Magna Carta was a document that limited the Church’s power.
23The Hundred Years’ WarThe English and French entered into the Hundred Years’ War ( ) because two English kings were claiming they were to take the French throne.This war showed that England was no longer represented by the armor clad knight but by the green clad yeoman. Common people were taking up the fight for their country.
25The Black DeathThe Black Death, or bubonic plague, struck England inThe Black Death was highly contagious and killed approximately one third of the population.The Black Death caused the end of feudalism.
26Plague/Black Death: Took out 54 million 1/3 of population wiped out Defining event(s) of the Middle AgesSpread by fleas which lived on ratsA lack of cleanliness added to their vulnerability: crowded with poor sanitation; ate stale or diseased meat; primitive medicine (people were often advised to not bathe b/c open skin pores might let in the disease).Highly contagious disease nodules would burst around the area of the flea bite.In 1347, Italian merchant ships returned from the Black Sea, one of the links along the trade route between Europe and China. Many of the sailors were already dying of the plague, and within days the disease had spread from the port cities to the surrounding countryside. The disease spread as far as England within a year.
27Some Important Cultural Changes: Flowering of Poetry about Courtly Love2. Peasant Uprisings and Plague (1/3 of population at one point)
28Some Important Cultural Changes: Flowering of Poetry About Courtly Love: For nobles onlyTroubadours (professional singers) sang of courtliness, brave deeds, and Romantic love accompanied by a harp or lute.Courtly love poetry praised an idealized, distant, unattainable lady love (e.g. Beatrice in Dante’s Divine Comedy)Artificial passion with strict rules.For instance, a loved one could be married to someone else.Developed in literature –stories of unrequited love and heroic knights.E.g., Arthurian legends in France; best is Lancelot by Chretien de Troyes about the court of King Arthur, a Celtic chieftain of 6th century Britain who fought the Anglo-Saxon invaders.
29Flowering of Poetry About Courtly Love, cont.:As often seen in lit/art: Told in manner of late Middle Ages with forbidden love, knightly combats, and colorful pageantry.Hearty, masculine culture of early Middle Ages was giving way to a more tranquil, confident, and leisurely society.Over time, a noble’s castle became more of a theater for refined pleasures than a barracks for fighting men.
30Some Important Cultural Changes: Peasant Uprisings & Plague Guilds grew in late middle ages.Craftsmen each had their own guild: ropemakers, armorers, mailmakers, master dyers, stonemasons, weavers, etc.Plague freed many from vassalage and opened up opportunities.Difficult hierarchical training program from apprentice to master and job placement. Functioned as a union of sorts. Guilds became very rich and powerful over time.Origin of freemasons, for instance.
31Common Elements between the Rich and the Poor in the Middle Ages: Subservience to God’s churchChurch played a big role—birth, baptismChurch owned a third of all the land in EuropeChurch played a big role in politics.Belief that great cathedrals should be erectedBelief in God, heaven, and hellAll actions had consequences (good life led to a good experience in heaven).
32Romanesque Architecture: prevalent during 9th-12th century Rounded ArchesBarrel VaultsThick wallsDarker, simplistic interiorsSmall windows usually at the top of the wallCircular Rose Window usually on the West Side
33Rose WindowThe basic round rose window was developed as part of the Romanesque period but developed further and was used in Gothic Architecture.Notice the Romanesque style top left versus the Gothic style bottom left (from the cathedral of Notre Dame). Intricate stone tracery is used in the Gothic style.
34Gothic Architecture: prevalent in W. Europe from 12th – 15th Cen. C.E. Everything reaches to heaven, to GodFeatures:Pointed archesHigh, narrow vaultsThinner wallsFlying buttressesElaborate, ornate, airier interiorsStained-glass windows