Stage of European history that is understood between the Ancient Age and the Modern Age. The Middle Ages are called the stage of European history that begins with the dissolution of the Western Roman Empire, in the year 476, and concludes, according to different authors, with the invention of the printing press in 1440; with the taking of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, or with the arrival of the Europeans in America , in 1492. Middle ages timeline from 450 to 1450
This period encompasses more than ten centuries and extends between the Ancient Age and the Modern Age . Middle ages timeline from 450 to 1450
The concept of the Middle Ages was created by the European humanists of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries , who thought in their time as a Renaissance of Greco-Roman antiquity. Between that so-called classical antiquity and its time, that of Humanism and the Renaissance, there was an intermediate age that was despised by the influence that the Christian Church had exerted in all fields of knowledge.
Stages of the Middle Ages
To facilitate its study, specialists divide the Middle Ages into 3 stages :
- Early Middle Ages or Late Antiquity (476–843) : this extends from the overthrow of the last Western Roman emperor to the division of the Empire of Charlemagne.
- High Middle Ages (843-1100) : during this period feudalism , a political and socioeconomic system based on relationships of personal fidelity ,took shape. Middle ages timeline from 450 to 1450
- Late Middle Ages (1100-1492) : this stage began with the Crusades and was characterized by the resurgence of cities and the appearance of a new social group: the bourgeoisie .
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Main characteristics of the Middle Ages
The main characteristics of the Middle Ages were the following:
- Political: the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea were disputed by three great centers of power: the Romano-Germanic kingdoms, the Muslim caliphates and the Byzantine Empire . Despite the reunification attempts of the Byzantine emperors (such as Justinian) and the German kings (such as Charlemagne), the Mediterranean basin remained fragmented throughout the Middle Ages.
- Religious : the Christian Church, headed by the Bishop of Rome or Pope, was very powerful and had great influence in all aspects of political, social and economic life. The prevailing system of thought was theocentrism , a way of thinking that considered God as the only source of true knowledge.
- Social : slavery, characteristic of antiquity, was replaced by serfdom. Thus a class society was formed consisting of the monarchy, the feudal or religious nobility and the peasants, who could be serfs or free. The serfs had to pay tribute in products to their feudal lord. Middle ages timeline from 450 to 1450
- Economic : the main productive activities were agriculture and livestock. Most of the population lived in the fields and worked the land with ox-drawn plows. Between 476 and 1100, commerce did not have much development. People consumed what they produced and traded products with their neighbors. After the Crusades, Italian merchants began to bring various products from China and India, such as silk fabrics, porcelain, jewelery encrusted with precious stones, and spices to flavor food.
- Demographic : the diet of the European population was very inadequate. Being poorly nourished, people caught all kinds of diseases. Epidemics and great plagues were very common and used to kill millions of people. Therefore, life expectancy was very low. Middle ages timeline from 450 to 1450
Main events of the Middle Ages Middle ages timeline from 450 to 1450
Among the main events of the Middle Ages, are the following:
- Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula (711) : Muslims crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and destroyed the Germanic kingdom of the Visigoths. They remained in the Iberian Peninsula for almost 8 centuries, until the destruction of the Moorish kingdom of Granada in 1492.
- Coronation of Charlemagne as Emperor of the West (800) : At the end of the 8th century, a king of the Germanic people of the Franks, Charlemagne, built a great empire in Western Europe. At Christmas 800 he was crowned emperor by Pope Leo III.
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- Signing of the Treaty of Verdun (843) : after fratricidal struggles, Charlemagne’s grandsons divided the Empire of the Franks and thus the kingdoms of France, Lotharingia and Germania arose.
- Coronation of Otto I as Emperor of the West (962) : after stopping the invasion of Asian horsemen (the Magyars), the king of Germania Otto I was crowned as Emperor of the West. Thus arose the Holy Roman Empire , which lasted until 1806. Middle ages timeline from 450 to 1450
- Norman Conquest of England (1066) : During the 9th and 10th centuries, the Normans or Vikings invaded Europe, looting fields, cities and monasteries. In 1066, William the Conqueror, a Norman duke established in northern France, crossed the English Channel, defeated the Anglo-Saxons, and seized England. Middle ages timeline from 450 to 1450
- Crusades (1095-1291) : the Papacy summoned nine military expeditions to fight the Muslims of the Eastern Mediterranean, who had occupied Jerusalem, where the Holy Sepulcher of Jesus Christ was.
- 100 Years War (1337-1453) : there the English and French fought for the lands that the kings of England possessed in France. In that war Joan of Arc stood out, a French peasant who defeated the English.