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The Middle Ages


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  • 1. The Middle Ages in Europe: 1000-1500
  • 2. The Middle Ages
    • The Middle Ages were a time of great unrest and great achievement .
    • Early Middle Ages 500-1000 AD
    • High Middle Ages 1000–1300 AD
    • Late Middle Ages 1300–1500 AD
  • 3. What is Middle Age?
    • Middle age is the time after the Classical Age of ancient Greece and Rome and before the Renaissance
  • 4. The 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.
  • 5. The Middle Ages: The Reality
    • In reality, life in the Middle Ages, a period that extended from approximately the 5 th century to the 15th Europe, could century in Western also be harsh, uncertain, and dangerous.
  • 6. The Lord of the Manor
    • For safety and defense, people in the Middle Ages formed small communities around a central lord or master.
  • 7. The Manor
    • Most people lived on a manor, which consisted of the castle (or manor house), the church, the village, and the surrounding farm land.
  • 8.  
  • 9. Self-Sufficiency
    • Each manor was largely self-sufficient, growing or producing all of the basic items needed for food, clothing, and shelter.
    • To meet these needs, the manor had buildings devoted to special purposes, such as:
      • The mill for grinding grain
      • The bake house for making bread
      • The blacksmith shop for creating metal goods.
  • 10. Isolation
    • These manors were isolated, with occasional visits from peddlers, pilgrims on their way to the Crusades, or soldiers from other fiefdoms.
  • 11. The Feudal System
    • Under the feudal system, the king awarded land grants or fiefs to his most important nobles, barons, and bishops, in return for their contribution of soldiers for the king's armies.
  • 12. Nobles and Vassals
    • Nobles divided their land among the lesser nobility, who became their vassals. Many of these vassals became so powerful that the kings had difficulty controlling them.
  • 13. The Magna Carta
    • In 1215, the English barons formed an alliance that forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. It limited the king's powers of taxation and required trials by jury. It was the first time that an English monarch was subject to the law.
  • 14. The Peasants
    • At the lowest level of society were the peasants, also called serfs or villeins.
    • The lord offered his peasants protection in exchange for living and working on his land.
  • 15. Daily Life of Peasants
    • Peasants lived a hard-working simple life.
    • They lived in houses which had thatched roofs resting on timber framework with the spaces filled with mud and straw. There were few, if any windows.
    • Many houses only had one to two rooms, there was little privacy.
    • The hearth in the main room was used to both heat the house and cook the food. The smoke from the fire crept out through the roof.
  • 16. Hard Work & High Taxes
    • Peasants worked hard to cultivate the land and produce the goods that the lord and his manor needed.
    • They were heavily taxed and were required to relinquish much of what they harvested.
  • 17. Bound by law and custom…
    • It is the custom in England, as with other countries, for the nobility to have great power over the common people, who are serfs. This means that they are bound by law and custom to plough the field of their masters, harvest the corn, gather it into barns, and thresh and winnow the grain; they must also mow and carry home the hay, cut and collect wood, and perform all manner of tasks of this kind. -- Jean Froissart, 1395 
  • 18.  
  • 19. MEDIEVAL LIFE Cooperation and Mutual Obligations KING LORDS (VASSALS TO KING) KNIGHTS (VASSALS TO LORDS) Fief and Peasants Military Aid Food Protection Shelter Food Protection Shelter PEASANTS (SERFS) Pay Rent Fief and Peasants Food Protection Shelter Farm the Land Homage Military Service Loyalty
    • Decentralized, local government
    • Dependent upon the relationship between members of the nobility
    • Lord and his vassals administered justice and were the highest authority in their land
    • Agriculture the basis for wealth
    • Lands divided up into self-sufficient manors
    • Peasants (serfs) worked the land and paid rent In exchange for protection
    • Barter the usual form of exchange
  • 20. Women: Household Chores
    • Whether they were nobles or peasants, women held a difficult position in society.
    • They were largely confined to household tasks such as cooking, baking bread, sewing, weaving, and spinning.
  • 21. Hunting & Fighting
    • However, they also hunted for food and fought in battles, learning to use weapons to defend their homes and castles.
  • 22. Other Occupations
    • Some medieval women held other occupations. There were women blacksmiths, merchants, and apothecaries.
  • 23. Midwives, Farmers, & Artists
    • Others were midwives, worked in the fields, or were engaged in creative endeavors such as writing, playing musical instruments, dancing, and painting.
  • 24. Witches & Nuns
    • Some women were known as witches, capable of sorcery and healing. Others became nuns and devoted their lives to God and spiritual matters.
  • 25. The Catholic Church
    • The Catholic Church was the only church in Europe during the Middle Ages, and it had its own laws and large income.
    • Church leaders such as bishops and archbishops sat on the king's council and played leading roles in government.
  • 26. Pope Gregory VII
    • Pope Gregory VII, though unpopular,
    • initiated many reforms for the church.
    • These reforms became known as the Gregorian reforms.
    • Pope Gregory Stated:
    • The Church was founded by God Alone
    • The pope alone can with right be called universal.
    • The pope alone can depose or reinstate bishops
    • The pope’s name alone can be spoken in churches
    • The pope may depose of emperors
    • The pope may be judged by no one
    • The Roman Church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness.
  • 27. Bishops
    • Bishops, who were often wealthy and came from noble families, ruled over groups of parishes called dioceses.
    • Many times, they were part of the feudal system and in exchange for a fief and peasants had to provide homage and military aid to a leige lord.
  • 28. Parish Priests
    • Parish priests, on the other hand, came from humbler backgrounds and often had little education.
    • The village priest tended to the sick and indigent and, if he was able, taught Latin and the Bible to the youth of the village
  • 29. Monasteries
    • Monasteries in the Middle Ages were based on the rules set down by St. Benedict in the sixth century. The monks became known as Benedictines and took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to their leaders.
  • 30.  
  • 31.  
  • 32. Monks
    • Monks were required to perform manual labor and were forbidden to own property, leave the monastery, or become entangled in the concerns of society.
    • Daily tasks were often carried out in silence.
  • 33. Nuns
    • Monks and their female counterparts, nuns, who lived in convents, provided for the less-fortunate members of the community. Monasteries and nunneries were safe havens for pilgrims and other travelers.
  • 34. Monastic Life
    • Monks and nuns went to the monastery church eight times a day in a routine of worship that involved singing, chanting, and reciting prayers from the divine offices and from the service for Mass.
  • 35. The Divine Office
    • The first office, “Matins,” began at 2 AM and the next seven followed at regular intervals, culminating in “Vespers” in the evening and “Compline” before the monks and nuns retired at night.
  • 36. Education
    • Between prayers, the monks read or copied religious texts and music. Monks were often well educated and devoted their lives to writing and learning.
  • 37. The Rise of Universities
    • Medieval Universities got their start as educational guilds
    • The first Medieval University was in Bologna, Italy . The students at the school formed their own guild in 1158.
    • Later came the University of Paris, and then the University at Oxford England
  • 38. Areas of Study
    • Students in medieval universities studied the following subjects
      • Grammar: The proper way to write
      • Rhetoric: Public speaking, learning how to make arguments (debate)
      • Logic: Using reason
      • Arithmetic: Basic Math
      • Geometry
      • Music
      • Astronomy
  • 39. Teaching Style
    • Books were rare and expensive in the Middle Ages. The main method of teaching was by lecture. Teachers would read from books and students would take notes.
    • There were not regular exams given, but when a student applied for a degree, they were given an exam.
  • 40. Medieval Architecture
    • During the 11 th and 12 th centuries there was a boom in architecture and building.
    • Originally buildings were built in a Basilica style which consisted of a rectangular building with a flat wooden roof.
    • Later, Romanesque architecture replaced this flat roof with a rounded arch.
  • 41. Romanesque Architecture
    • Romanesque architecture developed to have some specific traits.
      • Rounded Arches
      • Thick walls with small windows with stone roofs.
    • The dark environment of the church was meant to suggest the power and mystery of God.
  • 42.  
  • 43.  
  • 44. Gothic Architecture
    • Later, changes were made to the Romanesque style which developed a new style known as Gothic Architecture.
    • Gothic architecture developed some distinct characteristics of its own.
      • Vaulted Arches (Pointed)
      • Flying Buttresses
      • Thinner walls and stained glass windows
    • The advancements allowed thinner walls and larger windows, which allowed for these new churches to have much more natural light.
    • The Gothic style was much more serene and self-confident.
  • 45.  
  • 46. Flying Buttresses
  • 47. Pilgrimages
    • Pilgrimages were an important part of religious life in the Middle Ages. Many people took journeys to visit holy shrines such the Canterbury Cathedral in England and sites in Jerusalem and Rome.
  • 48. The Canterbury Tales
    • Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a series of stories told by 30 pilgrims as they traveled to Canterbury.
  • 49. Homes
    • Most medieval homes were cold, damp, and dark. Sometimes it was warmer and lighter outside the home than within its walls.
  • 50. Windows
    • For security purposes, windows, when they were present, were very small openings with wooden shutters that were closed at night or in bad weather. The small size of the windows allowed those inside to see out, but kept outsiders from looking in.
  • 51. Peasants Homes
    • Many peasant families ate, slept, and spent time together in very small quarters, rarely more than one or two rooms. The houses had thatched roofs and were easily destroyed.
  • 52. House Construction
  • 53. Medieval Village
  • 54.  
  • 55.  
  • 56.  
  • 57. Homes of the Wealthy
    • The homes of the rich were more elaborate than the peasants' homes. Their floors were paved, as opposed to being strewn with rushes and herbs, and sometimes decorated with tiles. Tapestries were hung on the walls, providing not only decoration but also an extra layer of warmth.
  • 58.  
  • 59.  
  • 60. Fenestral Windows
    • Fenestral windows, with lattice frames that were covered in a fabric soaked in resin and tallow, allowed in light, kept out drafts, and could be removed in good weather. Only the wealthy could afford panes of glass; sometimes only churches and royal residences had glass windows.
  • 61. The Kitchens of Peasant Homes
    • In simpler homes where there were no chimneys, the medieval kitchen consisted of a stone hearth in the center of the room. This was not only where the cooking took place, but also the source of central heating.
  • 62. The Peasant Diet
    • In peasant families, the wife did the cooking and baking. The peasant diet consisted of breads, vegetables from their own gardens, dairy products from their own sheep, goats, and cows, and pork from their own livestock.
  • 63. Herbs & Pottage
    • Often the true taste of their meat, salted and used throughout the year, was masked by the addition of herbs, leftover breads, and vegetables. Some vegetables, such as cabbages, leeks, and onions became known as "pot-herbs." This pottage was a staple of the peasant diet
  • 64. The Kitchens of Manor Houses
    • The kitchens of manor houses and castles had big fireplaces where meat, even large oxen, could be roasted on spits. These kitchens were usually in separate buildings, to minimize the threat of fire.
  • 65. Sources of Meat
    • Pantries were hung with birds and beasts, including swans, blackbirds, ducks, pigeons, rabbits, mutton, venison, and wild boar. Many of these animals were caught on hunts.
  • 66. Woolen & Linen Clothing
    • Most people in the Middles Ages wore woolen clothing, with undergarments made of linen. Brighter colors, better materials, and a longer jacket length were usually signs of greater wealth.
  • 67. Clothing of the Wealthy
    • The clothing of the aristocracy and wealthy merchants tended to be elaborate and changed according to the dictates of fashion. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, men of the wealthy classes sported hose and a jacket, often with pleating or skirting, or a tunic with a surcoat.
  • 68.  
  • 69. Women’s Clothing
    • Women wore flowing gowns and elaborate headwear, ranging from headdresses shaped like hearts or butterflies to tall steeple caps and Italian turbans.
  • 70.  
  • 71. Monk’s Clothing
    • Most of the holy orders wore long woolen habits in emulation of Roman clothing. One could tell the order by the color of the habit: the Benedictines wore black; the Cistercians and Dominicans, undyed wool or white, and the Franciscans, brown. St. Benedict stated that a monk's clothes should be plain but comfortable and they were allowed to wear linen coifs to keep their heads warm.
  • 72. Nun’s Clothing
    • The Poor Clare Sisters, an order of Franciscan nuns, had to petition the Pope in order to be permitted to wear woolen socks.
  • 73. Peasant Clothing
    • Peasant men wore stockings and tunics, while women wore long gowns with sleeveless tunics and wimples to cover their hair. Sheepskin cloaks and woolen hats and mittens were worn in winter for protection from the cold and rain. Leather boots were covered with wooden patens to keep the feet dry.
  • 74. Outer and Under Garments
    • The outer clothes were almost never laundered, but the linen underwear was regularly washed. The smell of wood smoke that permeated the clothing seemed to act as a deodorant. Peasant women spun wool into the threads that were woven into the cloth for these garments.
  • 75. Fur and Jewelry
    • Fur was often used to line the garments of the wealthy. Jewelry was lavish, much of it imported and often used as security against loans. Gem cutting was not invented until the fifteenth century, so most stones were not very lustrous. Ring brooches were the most popular item from the twelfth century on.
  • 76. Love Conquers All
    • Chaucer's prioress in the Canterbury Tales wore a brooch with the inscription Amor vincit omnia (Love conquers all), not a particularly appropriate slogan for a nun.
  • 77. Laws Governing Jewelry
    • Diamonds became popular in Europe in the fourteenth century. By the mid-fourteenth century there were laws to control who wore what jewelry , and knights were not permitted to wear rings. Sometimes clothes were garnished with silver, but only the wealthy could wear such items.
  • 78. Health & Hygiene
    • As the populations of medieval towns and cities increased, hygienic conditions worsened, leading to a vast array of health problems.
  • 79. The Black Death
    • During the 13 th century the middle ages had reached a high point, the population had grown and there was an explosion of learning and culture.
    • The 14 th century would bring about many changes in medieval Europe.
    • Europe had become overpopulated and people were beginning to feel the effects of that overpopulation.
    • Prior to the plague, there was a famine from 1315 to 1322 which killed off about 10% of Europe’s population.
  • 80.
    • The Spread of the Black Death
  • 81. Medicine
    • Medical knowledge was limited and, despite the efforts of medical practitioners and public and religious institutions to institute regulations, medieval Europe did not have an adequate health care system. Antibiotics weren't invented until the 1800s and it was almost impossible to cure diseases without them.
  • 82. Myths and Superstitions
    • There were many myths and superstitions about health and hygiene as there still are today. People believed, for example, that disease was spread by bad odors. It was also assumed that diseases of the body resulted from sins of the soul. Many people sought relief from their ills through meditation, prayer, pilgrimages, and other nonmedical methods.
  • 83. Four Humors
    • The body was viewed as a part of the universe, a concept derived from the Greeks and Romans. Four humors, or body fliuds, were directly related to the four elements.
      • Fire: yellow bile or choler
      • Water: phlegm
      • Earth: black bile
      • Air: blood.
    • These four humors had to be balanced. Too much of one was thought to cause a change in personality--for example, too much black bile could create melancholy.
  • 84. Bloodletting
    • Medicine was often a risky business. Bloodletting was a popular method of restoring a patient's health and "humors." Early surgery, often done by barbers without anesthesia, must have been excruciating.
  • 85. Medical Treatment
    • Medical treatment was available mainly to the wealthy, and those living in villages rarely had the help of doctors, who practiced mostly in the cities and courts. Remedies were often herbal in nature, but also included ground earthworms, urine, and animal excrement.
  • 86. Remedies
    • Many medieval medical manuscripts contained recipes for remedies that called for hundreds of therapeutic substances--the notion that every substance in nature held some sort of power accounts for the enormous variety of substances.
  • 87. Lay Medical Judgments
    • Many treatments were administered by people outside the medical tradition. Coroners' rolls from the time reveal how lay persons often made sophisticated medical judgments without the aid of medical experts. From these reports we also learn about some of the major causes of death.
  • 88. Surgery
    • Performed as a last resort, surgery was known to be successful in cases of breast cancer, fistula, hemorrhoids, gangrene, and cataracts, as well as tuberculosis of the lymph glands in the neck (scrofula). The most common form of surgery was bloodletting; it was meant to restore the balance of fluids in the body.
  • 89. Vernacular Literature
    • The universal language of medieval civilization was Latin.
    • Latin was the language of Rome and was a common language which could be used in churches and at Universities.
      • A common language at universities allowed students from many different countries to be able to understand the teachings there.
  • 90. Vernacular
    • The vernacular was the language of the common people.
      • This included Spanish, French, English, and German.
    • People began to produce literature in their own languages.
      • The most popular form of vernacular literature in the 12 th century was troubadour poetry, which was mostly love stories about life at court between knights and ladies of the court.
  • 91. Arts & Entertainment
    • Art and music were critical aspects of medieval religious life and, towards the end of the Middle Ages, secular life as well. Singing without instrumental accompaniment was an essential part of church services. Monks and priests chanted the divine offices and the mass daily.
  • 92. Troubadours
    • Troubadours were usually travelling poets and musicians who would go from court to court telling their stories of courtly love.
  • 93. Chanson de Geste
    • Another popular type of vernacular literature was the Chanson de Geste. The Chanson de Geste was heroic epic poetry.
    • A popular work of this type was the Song of Roland.
      • This work, in French, tells the story of a battle between a Muslim army and Charlemagne.
  • 94. Musical Instruments
    • Some churches had instruments such as organs and bells. The organistrum or symphony (later known as a hurdy gurdy) was also found in churches. Two people were required to play this stringed instrument--one to turn the crank and the other to play the keys.
  • 95. Drama
    • Medieval drama grew out of the liturgy, beginning in about the eleventh century. Some of the topics were from the Old Testament (Noah and the flood, Jonah and the whale, Daniel in the lion's den) and others were stories about the birth and death of Christ.
  • 96. Costumes
    • These dramas were performed with costumes and musical instruments and at first took place directly outside the church. Later they were staged in marketplaces, where they were produced by local guilds.
  • 97. Town Life
    • After 1000, peace and order grew. As a result, peasants began to expand their farms and villages further into the countryside. The earliest merchants were peddlers who went from village to village selling their goods.
  • 98. Peddlers
    • As the demand for goods increased--particularly for the gems, silks, and other luxuries from Genoa and Venice, the ports of Italy that traded with the East--the peddlers became more familiar with complex issues of trade, commerce, accounting, and contracts.
  • 99. Businessmen
    • They became savvy businessmen and learned to deal with Italian moneylenders and bankers. The English, Belgians, Germans, and Dutch took their coal, timber, wood, iron, copper, and lead to the south and came back with luxury items such as wine and olive oil.
  • 100. Tradesmen
    • With the advent of trade and commerce, feudal life declined. As the tradesmen became wealthier, they resented having to give their profits to their lords.
  • 101. Boroughs
    • Arrangements were made for the townspeople to pay a fixed annual sum to the lord or king and gain independence for their town as a "borough" with the power to govern itself. The marketplace became the focus of many towns.
  • 102. Town Governments
    • As the townspeople became "free" citizens, powerful families, particularly in Italy, struggled to gain control of the communes or boroughs. Town councils were formed.
  • 103. Guilds
    • Guilds were established to gain higher wages for their members and protect them from competitors. As the guilds grew rich and powerful, they built guildhalls and began taking an active role in civic affairs, setting up courts to settle disputes and punish wrongdoers.
  • 104. Joining a Guild
    • There was a process to becoming a member of a guild.
    • The first step was to be an apprentice : A young boy, around the age of 10, would go and work for a craftsman without pay to help learn the craft.
    • Later apprentices became journeymen , who worked for a wages for craftsmen
  • 105. The Masterpiece
    • For a journeyman to become a master craftsman, he had to complete a Masterpiece .
    • This was their audition for the guild to determined if their work made the qualified enough to join the guild and start their own business.
    • Then they could become a Master Craftsman and own their own business.
  • 106. The Merchant Class
    • The new merchant class included artisans, masons, armorers, bakers, shoemakers, ropemakers, dyers, and other skilled workers.
  • 107. Masons
    • Of all the craftsmen, the masons were the highest paid and most respected. They were, after all, responsible for building the cathedrals, hospitals, universities, castles, and guildhalls.
  • 108. Apprentices
    • Masons learned their craft as apprentices to a master mason, living at lodges for up to seven years. The master mason was essentially an architect, a general contractor, and a teacher.
  • 109. The First Companies
    • The population of cities swelled for the first time since before the Dark Ages. With the new merchant activity, companies were formed. Merchants hired bookkeepers, scribes, and clerks, creating new jobs.
  • 110. The Printing Press
    • Printing began in 1450 with the publication of the Bible by Johannes Gutenberg. This revolutionized the spread of learning. Other inventions of the time included mechanical clocks, tower mills, and guns.
  • 111. The Birth of the Renaissance
    • The inventions of Leonardo da Vinci and the voyages of discovery in the fifteenth century contributed to the birth of the Renaissance.
  • 112. Urban Life
    • Few serfs were left in Europe by the end of the Middle Ages, and the growing burgher class became very powerful. Hard work and enterprise led to economic prosperity and a new social order. Urban life brought with it a new freedom for individuals. 
  • 113. The End of Middle Ages
    • The Renaissance
    • As a result of the Crusades in part, the M. Ages ended & the Renaissance began. The start of this new era varied from place to place starting in Italian city-states in the AD 1300s.
    • It was characterized by a renewed interest in classical (Greek/Roman) ideas & for great works of art in painting, sculpting, music & literature.
  • 114. The End of Middle Ages
    • Decline of Feudalism and manorialism
    • Growth of stronger central governments
    • Growth of cities
    • Renewed interest in education and trade
    • Stronger kings started challenging the Catholic Church
  • 115. References