High Middle Ages Characteristics Main events Art and knowledge

High Middle Ages

Period of the European Middle Ages that goes from the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire to the beginning of the Crusades. Characteristics of the High Middle Ages

The High Middle Ages is the period of the European Middle Ages that goes from the dissolution of the Carolingian Empire , in 843, to the beginning of the Crusades in 1100 .

It was characterized by the coexistence in tension, although also in a relative balance, of 3 great politically and ideologically differentiated spaces: Latin Christian Europe, in which a political, social and economic system known as feudalism prevailed ; the Byzantine Empire , a continuation of what had been the Old Eastern Roman Empire , and the Muslim space , also called Islam , which from the emergence of this religion had expanded from the Arabian peninsula to the west, to occupy a large part from the Mediterranean, and east to India.

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Characteristics of the High Middle Ages

The main characteristics of the High Middle Ages were the following:

  • When this materialized, the disintegration of the royal power that had dominated much of the territory during the existence of the Carolingian Empire began in Europe . The highest political authority, which were the kings, were giving power to the nobles by delegating to them the defense of their territories against the invasions that occurred during the 9th century.
  • The European territory was characterized by the formation of the economic, social and political system, known as feudalism .
  • The monarchies were weakened, however, they refused to renounce their prerogatives. This situation produced tensions between the different political actors (monarchy and nobility) throughout the entire period.
  • The Byzantine Empire maintained its unity, although it was losing sectors of its territory in the hands of the Muslims and suffered invasions also from the Russian peoples. During the rule of the Macedonian emperors (867-1056) it reached a remarkable splendor. In this period the differences with the papacy deepened that would end in the Great Schism or Schism of East and West, that is, the definitive separation between the Roman Catholic Church led by the Pope and the Orthodox Church, led by the Patriarch of Constantinople.
  • Islam formed a unit in constant economic and cultural expansion, although it was politically divided into 3 great caliphates: the Umayyad of Córdoba (present-day Spain), the Fatimí of Cairo (Egypt) and the Abbasi of Baghdad (present-day Iraq). Characteristics of the High Middle Ages
  • Towards the end of the period, especially in Italy and Germany, cities began to grow and secure their independence from feudal power. For this they had the support of the kings, who saw in the cities an opportunity for an alliance against the feudal lords.

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Main events of the High Middle Ages

The main events of the High Middle Ages can be arranged in the following:

Date Event
909 Cluny Abbey was founded and construction began on the monastery that would become the model for monastic life in Europe.
912-961 The Omyad emirate of Córdoba reached its maximum development under the government of Abderramán III.
927 The unification of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms resulted in the formation of the kingdom of England.
962 Otto I, king of Germania, created the Holy Roman Empire .
987 Hugo Capet, King of the Franks, started the Capetian dynasty, one of the most important in Europe and fundamental to the emergence of the French State.
1018 The Byzantine Empire conquered the Bulgarian Empire.
1054 There was a schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Byzantine Church.
1066 The Normans invaded England.
1073 The Investiture Complaint was started, which pitted the Holy Roman Empire against the papacy.
1095 Pope Urban II summoned the first crusade to regain the Holy Land from Muslim rule.
1098 The Order of the Cistercian was founded, of great influence in Christendom .

Art and knowledge

Culture had a strong development in the field of Islam . During the High Middle Ages, Islamic cultural splendor reached all areas of knowledge, from philosophy, the arts, and medicine, to geography and mathematics.

In Christian Europe, knowledge remained in the hands of monastic monks . Existing books were preserved and copied in their libraries.

Scientific knowledge of the time in the realm of Christianity was summarized in the so-called liberal arts : grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music.

Towards the eleventh century, the expansion of the power of the Church favored the construction of churches and monasteries. Then the Romanesque style emerged , manifested especially in the architecture that spread throughout Europe. Romanesque painting and sculpture were subordinate to architecture.

In literature and poetry the subject of courtly love arose which idealized a style of loving relationship between gentlemen and ladies. This style was spread by the troubadours. Characteristics of the High Middle Ages

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