Middle Ages: also known as the Medieval Period lasted from 500 –1500 A.D.
Dark Ages: A period of several hundred years during the early Middle Ages (500- 1000 A.D.) when fear, confusion, & chaos spread among the people of Western Europe. People worked the land for protection while trade, education, & the growth of towns declined.
Barbarians: invaders who destroyed the Roman Empire and its well organized political, economic, & social system. Include, the Huns, Angels, Saxons, Vandals, Lombards, Magyars, Vikings, Moors, Visgoths
Vikings: Barbarian tribe from Scandinavia also called the Northmen or Norsemen. Viking means “from the Sea”.
Magyars: Barbarians from Central Asia who conquered Eastern Europe, in particular Hungary.
Moors: Arabs who practiced Islam that conquered Spain & North Africa.
Clovis: King of the Franks who conquered Gaul an converted to Christianity.
Charlemagne: In AD 800 crowned "Holy Roman Emperor”, succeeded in providing law and order, civilization, and Christianity for the 1st time since the fall of Rome.
Feudalism: arrangement between lord, vassal and serf for ownership of land, military service and protection during the Middle Ages.
Noble: a member of the wealthy landowning class, also called lord.
Lord a well-to-do noble who owned a large estate; a lord usually lived in a castle.
Fief: land given by a lord to a vassal in return for military and other services. Advertisement for a fief for sale in 1752 France
Manor: a large piece of land owned by a lord during the Middle Ages, also called an estate.
Vassal: a noble who was given land by a lord in return for military assistance and other services to the lord.
Serf: poor people who worked for lords during the Middle Ages. They worked long hours, were poorly fed and clothed, and were not allowed to leave the manor. They were bound to the land in exchange for protection from their lord.
Knight: a noble who held a high military rank. These men were trained in warfare from a young age. They had to follow the code of chivalry at all times. There were 3 stages of training: 1. Paige 2. Squire 3. Knighthood
Chivalry: A knight’s code: the qualities of a good knight, including bravery, politeness, respect for women, protection of the weak, and fairness to the enemy.
Troubadour: wandering poets who usually wrote about love for a beautiful lady of noble birth, warfare, and battle heroes.
Holy Land: the birthplace of Christianity, the region in the Middle East called Palestine, in particular the city of Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Crusades: a series of expeditions called by the Pope to reclaim the Holy Land from the Muslims Turks between 1096 and 1272. These voyages failed to reclaim the land, but succeeded in increasing trade between Europe and the East.