Introduction to the Middle Ages Ms. Malloff’s Social Studies 8 Class
The Middle Ages were the period between ancient and modern times in western history .
Before the Middle Ages, western Europe was part of the Roman Empire . After the Middle Ages, western Europe included the Holy Roman Empire, the kingdoms of France and Germany , and a number of smaller states.
The Middle Ages were also known as the “Medieval” period, from the Latin words “medium” (middle) and “aevum” (ages). Sometimes, the Middle Ages are incorrectly called the “Dark Ages’ because little that was written at that time came down to us.
The history of the Middle Ages extends from the end of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance . Historians today don’t give exact dates for the end of the Roman Empire, because it lasted over a period of several hundred years. 400 A.D. is the start of the Medieval period, and 1450 is the approximate end.
By that time, the Roman Empire was so weak that barbarian tribes were able to conquer it. The Germanic way of life gradually combined with the Roman way of life to form the new one , which we call medieval.