SEc ret! Top The Middle Ages and the RenaissanceIntroductionI, Ericia, am a spy, a history spy. My friends Randy and Xuanyou are spies too.Once the government sent the three of us on a mission to ﬁnd out about thedifferences between the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. This is our story...After School...One day, we were walking out of school after another day of lessons and ahomework pile when my government!issued iAgent phone rang.“Agents Ericia, Randy and Xuanyou, we need you to ﬁnd out about the differencesbetween the Renaissance and the Middle Ages,” the voice on the other end said.All of us hit our wristwatches, which are actually time travelling devices, at once.The Middle AgesI landed in the mud with a heavy thump. Yuck, it smelt of manure; it was what theserfs used to fertilise their crops. The serfs had a really bad life because theknights bullied them with orders from the lords or vassals they served. In returnthey received a piece of land or ﬁef as they called it. Below is the Feudal System. “Hey! What yer’ doin’ ‘ere?” one of the peasants asked me. “You do know that THEY will beat you if they ﬁnd out you aren’t one of THEIR serfs,” “Huh?” I thought. Oh, right! THEY meant the nobles whose ﬁef this is. These serfs spent their whole lives on this ﬁef until the nobles died. Then other nobles will make them work on their own ﬁefs. It hit all of us in the face when we realised what he was saying.
“Thanks for telling us that!” Xuanyou shouted at him as we all dashed out of thatpiece of ﬁef. We did not want to get beaten by those knights who did the the dirtywork for those mean and rich nobles. As we ran past, we saw a church workernailing a notice on the church door.“There’s not much use, is there, putting up a notice on the church door if only thechurch people can read it. Only a few others like poets can read during thistime!period,” Randy said in between pants as we slowed down to read thenotice.“Wow! That is a lot of information to digest,” I said to my friends. They onlynodded in response, their mouths opening and closing like goldﬁsh as they readthe notice again.“Life must have been real hard on the serfs during the Middle Ages,” Randy saidafter re!reading the notice for about the umpteenth time.“Hey, guys! You know that there are three names for the Middle Ages?” Xuanyousuddenly asked, snapping out of his trance.“Really? Tell us!” I said.
“The Dark Ages was what most people called this time because it was very hard tomake a living then. Those who thought that this period was not so bad called itthe Middle Ages. The rich people wanted it to sound posh so they called it theMedieval Ages, which is Latin for the Middle Ages. In short,Dark Ages = Middle ages = Medieval Ages,” Xuanyou reeled off.“Dude, that was so much information to get at once. You have to tell thegovernment that one when we get back,’’ I told him jokingly. He punched my armin a friendly way and I punched him back. The problem in this time period wasthat everyone hung onto whatever the Church said. Even the King was controlledby the Church, so you could say that the King didn’t rule the country, the Churchdid! Also, trading was only between county and county, not country and country.That is a difference, mind you!“Well, we’re done here. Let’s go to the Renaissance now and then we can comparethe facts!” I said.“1, 2, 3, go!” Randy said and we all pressed our wrist watches at the same time.The RenaissanceAll of us landed in a very nice!looking village. Still, the serfs were not sowell!off either at this time compared to the Middle Ages. The knights also stillbeat the serfs. But the serfs still had more freedom now than during the MiddleAges because a lot people including vassals died due to the Black Death or thePlague. If the serfs’ masters died then the serfs could go and work in othervassals’ ﬁef.(Yes, they still called it a ﬁef during the Renaissance.)“Guys! Everyone is reading in the street, whereas in the Middle Ages only theChurch people and a few others like poets read,” Xuanyou said, as someone whowas thoroughly engrossed in his book walked past. Randy and I nodded inagreement. We looked at the magniﬁcent artworks displayed in the Church andoutside houses.“In the Middle Ages, artists only painted scenes from the Bible. In the Renaissance,they painted other themes such as nature, famous people or scenes from Greekstories,” I said. “History, philosophy and literature became really popular duringthe Renaissance too,”
“We must be in Italy at the time of the Renaissance! Sculpting was also verypopular, it seems!” Randy exclaimed as we passed several statues, including thefamous David by Michelangelo.“Yeah! And now during the Renaissance, there are loads of guilds which consist ofthe moneychangers’ guild, the wool guild, the silk guild, the furriers’ guild andthe butchers’ guild,” I said amazed when I saw the carvings of each of the guilds’coat of arms on the side of a building. Each carving had very ﬁne details and wereintricately decorated.“This building we’re passing looks very familiar! Randy, Ericia! This is the Uffizithat we studied in school, remember? The really famous museum that has all thefamous sculptures and paintings!” Xuanyou practically shouted in his excitement.“Calm down! Take a deep breath and then breathe out. That’s it. All calm now.Anyway, when we studied about it in school, it was a museum and there weren’tany guards or anything there. Here, there are guards around the Uffizi. I did a bitof extra research on the history of the Uffizi and right now in the Renaissance it isthe office (uffici in Italian) of the Grand Duchy,” I told Xuanyou in a really seriousteacher voice. That made all of us laugh.
During the Middle Ages, the Church controlled a lot of things, including the waythe King ruled. During the Renaissance, the Church wasn’t that strong and theKing didn’t let the Church interfere with scientiﬁc investigations. People duringthe Renaissance also started trading in fabrics, tobacco, salt, sugar and otherthings between countries. The clothes in the Renaissance also become fancier andcolourful. A lot of serfs became rich and were educated and eventually ended upbeing artists, poets or musicians! Also, people during the Middle Ages believedthat everything was caused by God. On the other hand, during the Renaissance,people concentrated more on human potential and achievements. In addition, thepeople stopped trusting the Church because of the misleading information (forexample that the Earth was ﬂat) they had told to control the country.“Guys, we’re done here. Now we need to write up the report. Ericia, it’s your turnto write it. The last time, I did it. Next time, it’s Randy’s turn!” Xuanyou said.“OK, let’s go home! 1, 2, 3, GO!” I shouted and the people around me stared atme. I didn’t care because our mission was accomplished! (Well, almostaccomplished. We just needed to write the report then voila! We’re done!) Anyway,we all pressed our wristwatches and started to go back to the present as peoplegasped in amazement to see such an instrument. Oops! Clumsy mistake there. Weshould actually do it secretly. We had accidentally changed history by showing thepeople in the Renaissance our wristwatches. Oh well, as long as we got back hometo our warm soft beds!The Report Middle Ages Renaissance Only the Church and others Even serfs had education like poets were educated Serfs had little freedom Serfs had little freedom L Knights beat up the serfs Knights beat up the serfs i f Richer vassals’ main job was Richer vassals became interested in e ﬁghting in wars and controlling music. Their main job was to be the poor people. educated and hold fun events. The Black Death freed serfs to become musicians, poets etc. or travel/change masters therefore they got more experience
A Poets wrote about nature and the Poets wrote about nature and the cityr cityt Artists stopped painting only scenes Artists only painted Jesus and from the Bible and started painting& scenes from the Bible other themes like Greek storiesL Only people from a higher class Serfs could become artists and poetsi than the serfs could be artistst and poets.er Only the Church people and a History, literature and philosophya few others were educated became popular.t so history,literatureu and philosophy were notr popular.e Everyone believed in God Not everyone believed in God Everyone was Christian Most remained Christian Every scientiﬁc discovery had People tried not to match up scientiﬁcR to be approved by the Church. discoveries with Christian beliefs.e If denied, the discovery wouldl not be recognized.i People focused on human potentialg People focused on God and instead of saying everything wasi the Church. caused by God.on Hardly anybody relied on the Church Everybody trusted in the Church because of the misleading facts (for and hung on to everything they example the earth was ﬂat) they had said. told to control the country. Humanists said that people could The Church said that having fun enjoy life without offending God was a sin.
S There were very few scientists The number of scientists andc and researchers researchers increased because morei discoveries were recogniseden People thought God was the People stopped thinking that God wasc cause for everything the reason for everythinge Every scientiﬁc discovery had to The King didn’t let the church& have an approval from the interfere with the experiments and church. If denied, the investigations.T discovery would not bee recognizedch People focused on God and the People focused on human potentialn Church and achievementsology The knights, vassals/lords and The knights, vassals/lords and the the King were rich. King were rich. The serfs were left with next to The serfs who were educated earned nothing. more money and gradually became rich.Ot Clothes were drab. Clothes were more fanciful, colourfulh Colourful/ fancy clothes were and the fabrics were imported.e not allowed because theyr attracted attention.s Trading was only between Trading in fabrics, tobacco, salt, county and county sugar and other products between countries started. More people became rich from trading