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Life and Literature of The Middle Ages Early Middle Ages: 500 – 1000 High Middle Ages: 1000 – 1250 Late Middle Ages: 1250 – 1500.

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Presentation on theme: "Life and Literature of The Middle Ages Early Middle Ages: 500 – 1000 High Middle Ages: 1000 – 1250 Late Middle Ages: 1250 – 1500."— Presentation transcript:


2 Life and Literature of The Middle Ages

3 Early Middle Ages: 500 – 1000 High Middle Ages: 1000 – 1250 Late Middle Ages: 1250 – 1500

4 Middle Ages Middle Ages/Medieval Period: 476 to 1453 A.D. (Also known as the Dark Ages) "Middle Age:” invented by Italian scholars in the early 15th Century. Until this time it was believed there had been two periods in history, that of Ancient times and that of the period later referred to as the "Dark Age.“

5 Medieval Period (Fast Version) Rome attacked in 476 A.D. The beginning of the Middle Ages is often called the "Dark Ages” –Fall of Greece and Rome –Life in Europe during the Middle Ages was very hard. –Very few people could read or write and nobody expected conditions to improve. –Only hope: strong belief in Christianity; heaven would be better than life on earth.

6 In contrast: – The Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa studied and improved on the works of the ancient Greeks –Civilization flourished in sub-Saharan Africa, China, India, and the Americas. Great change by about 1450 –Columbus & America –literacy spread –scientists made great discoveries –artists created work that still inspires us today. –The Renaissance is the beginning of modern history. Medieval Period (Fast Version)

7 Renaissance means “rebirth” –The humanistic revival of classical art, architecture, literature, and learning that originated in Italy in the 14th century and later spread throughout Europe. –The period of this revival, roughly the 14th through the 16th century, marking the transition from medieval to modern times.

8 Middle Ages: General Timeline 476 C.E. Fall of Rome 1066 C.E. Norman invasion of Britain 1306-1321 Dante’s Divine Comedy 1386 C.E. Chaucer begins writing Canterbury Tales 1455 C.E. Printing Press Beowulf Composed sometime between 850 C.E. 900 C.E. 1453 Fall of Byzantine Empire with invasion of Ottoman Turks 306 C.E. Constantine comes to power in Eastern Roman Empire; beginning of Byzantine Empire 1347 Bubonic Plague 450 C.E. Anglo- Saxons invade England 1375-1400 Sir Gawain & Green Knight 1095- 1291C.E. Crusades

9 With the Fall of Rome….. Barbarian tribes were slowly taking over Britain and Western European lands Emperors became more like kings Feudalism: involuntary peasant labor on lands not their own; personal bonds and personal law beginning to replace impersonal law common to large expanses of territory Medieval Guilds the Catholic Church, would provide spiritual and moral direction, as well as leadership and material support, during the darkest times of the early Medieval period.

10 Key Concepts of the Middle Ages Church became deeply involved in government Christianity provided the basis for a first European "identity," unified in a religion common to most of the continent until the separation of Orthodox Churches from the Catholic Church in 1054. Crusades: Popes, kings, and emperors unite and defend Christendom from the perceived aggression of Islam From the 7th century onward, Islam had been gaining ground along Europe's southern and eastern borders.

11 Feudalism Feudalism: system of loyalties and protections during the Middle Ages. As the Roman Empire crumbled, emperors granted land to nobles in exchange for their loyalty. These lands eventually developed into manors. A manor is the land owned by a noble and everything on it. A typical manor consisted of a castle, small village, and farmland.

12 Feudalism Serfs would often have to work three or four days a week for the lord as rent. They would spend the rest of their week growing crops to feed their families. Other serfs worked as sharecroppers. A sharecropper would be required to turn over most of what he grew in order to be able to live on the land.

13 Definition of Feudalism fragmentation of political power –the county is the largest viable political unit fragmented power treated as a private possession –managed by private contracts military force: “knights” –secured by private contracts between individuals –no “national armies”

14 FeudalismFeudalism A political, economic, and social system based on loyalty and military service.

15 The Road to Knighthood KNIGHT SQUIRE PAGE

16 Chivalry: A Code of Honor and Behavior

17 The Medieval Manor

18 Life on the Medieval Manor Serfs at work

19 The Manor based on the fief one or more manors to a fief each manor had a village freemen and serfs provided the economic support for the lord

20 Carcassonne: A Medieval Castle

21 Parts of a Medieval Castle

22 CrusadesCrusades For almost 200 years Western Europe under direction from the Popes attempted to “recapture” the Holy Lands, especially Jerusalem

23 What did the Crusades do? Depopulated parts of Europe Introduced Europe to a more cultured, learned civilization Opened trading routes Introduced Europeans to spices and perfumes Eventually broke the power of the Catholic church (helped to) by ushering in the Renaissance

24 The Church Christianity became the universal faith of almost all of the people of Europe. The Church was often the only way to get an education. –It also allowed poor people to escape a dreary life and possibly rise to power. –Religious workers are called clergy. –In the Middle Ages, the Pope ruled the Christian Church. Other clergy included bishops, priests, nuns, and monks.

25 Catholic Church Most influential and powerful institution in Europe Dictated even the most insignificant details of individuals’ lives Participated in Inquisitions Controlled intellectual thought until the Renaissance Place of power and education

26 Monks Monks: men who lived in monasteries, or small communities of religious workers. –devoted their lives to prayer –Monasteries produced many well-educated men prepared to serve as administrators for uneducated kings and lords. –Monks were responsible for keeping the Greek and Latin “classical” cultures alive. Monks copied books by hand in an era before the printing press. Though few in number, monks played a significant role in the Middle Ages.

27 A Medieval Monk’s Day

28 A Medieval Monastery: The Scriptorium The Scriptorium A Medieval Monastery: The Scriptorium The Scriptorium

29 Illuminated Manuscripts

30 Medieval Guilds Guild Hall First labor unions made up of skilled craftsmen. Guilds are the beginning of the middle class. Commercial Monopoly:  Controlled membership apprentice  journeyman  master craftsman  Controlled quality of the product [masterpiece].  Controlled prices

31 Medieval Guilds: A Goldsmith’s Shop

32 Crest of a Cooper’s Guild

33 Bubonic Plague strikes England 1348 Called the Black Death– estimates about 33.3% of the European population died of the black death. So many people died that there was a shortage of labor which eventually helped to bring about the middle class.

34 The place, Europe, the time 1347, a ship traveling from the Black Sea port of Kaffa docks in Sicily. Aboard this ship was death, though the people did not know it. Over the next 4 years 25 million people or 1/3 of the population of Europe died of this dreaded affliction.

35 The disease was caused by a bacteria known as the Yersinia Pestis. It was transmitted by an insect known as the rat flea.


37 The Disease Cycle Flea drinks rat blood that carries the bacteria. Flea’s gut clogged with bacteria. Bacteria multiply in flea’s gut. Flea bites human and regurgitates blood into human wound. Human is infected!


39 SYMPTOMS OF THE PLAGUE Painful swellings in armpits, neck, and groin called buboes (boo-bows). High fever Blood vessels burst under skin turning it black. Untreated mortality rate- 75%

40 The Symptoms Bulbous Septicemic Form: almost 100% mortality rate.

41 TREATMENT FOR THE PLAGUE (14TH CENTURY) In the 14th century, knowledge of disease was non-existent. They believed it was caused by bad vapors or blood imbalances. The treatment used to ‘cure’ plague would seem bizarre by modern standards. Bathing in human urine. Placing dead animals in the home. Use of leeches or bleeding the individual.

42 TREATMENT FOR PLAGUE TODAY Since the plague is caused by a bacteria, we have a very effective means of treating outbreaks. What type of medication is used to treat most bacterial infections ? ANSWER: Penicillin or Antibiotics

43 HISTORY CHANGED The outbreak of plague and subsequent death of 1/3 of the population of Europe had very profound social and historical consequences. In your notebook, list some of the possible historical changes that occurred as a result of the plague.

44 HISTORY CHANGED POSSIBLE ANSWERS Government halted Loss of labor force Commerce ceased Loss of knowledge Trade was disrupted Religious beliefs altered Food production slowed

45 From the Toggenburg Bible, 1411

46 Lancing a Buboe

47 Medieval Art & the Plague

48 Bring out your dead!

49 Medieval Art & the Plague An obsession with death.

50 Attempts to Stop the Plague A Doctor’s Robe “Leeching”

51 Attempts to Stop the Plague Flagellanti: Self-inflicted “penance” for our sins!

52 Ring Around The Roses, A pocket full of posies, Tisha! Tisha! We all fall down. It is probably from the 1600's and is a reference to the bubonic plague. The "ring" was the rash typical of having the plague. The "posies" were herbs and spices carried to freshen the air from the stench of death. Tisha (later Ashes) is the "tissue" that you held across your mouth to breathe through, although it could be "sneezing". "All fall down" is dying from the plague.

53 Ring around the rosy A pocketful of posies "Ashes, Ashes" We all fall down! Ring-a-Ring o'Rosies A Pocket full of Posies "A-tishoo! A-tishoo!" We all fall Down!

54 A Little Macabre Song “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.”

55 “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.”

56 “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……….!

57 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 disease.

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