Events & Eras of the Middle Ages
By Melissa Snell, About.com Guide
General Overviews and Introductions
Whether you're ready to tackle the entire Middle Ages or simply interested in an introduction to the whole period, start here.
The Early Middle Ages
Sometimes called the Dark Ages, sometimes known as Late Antiquity, the early medieval era overlaps the period of time in which the western Roman Empire as a governmental entity declined and disappeared. Generally considered to last until the end of the first millennium, the Early Middle Ages witnessed the Carolingian Empire, the Iconoclastic Controversy, Viking raids, and the birth and rapid expansion of Islam in Northern Africa and Spain.
The Norman Conquest
In Britain, the invasion of England by William the Conqueror and the end of Anglo-Saxon dominance marked a significant turning point from the early medieval era to the High Middle Ages.
- Conquest - Background, Invasion and Aftermath
- William the Conqueror
- Harold Godwinson - Last Anglo-Saxon King
- The Bayeux Tapestry
- Norman Conquest Resources
There may be no aspect of the Middle Ages as misunderstood and misused as the Crusades. Beginning in the eleventh century and lasting several hundred years, this series of religious wars affected Europe's relations with eastern nations, influenced European culture and society, and sparked the creation of knightly orders.
- Crusades Basics - What You Need to Know
- Top General Crusades History Books
- Dark Legacy - The Origins of the First Crusade
- The Knights Templar: Warrior Monks
- The Knights Hospitaller - Defenders of Sick and Injured Pilgrims
- General Map for the Era of the Crusades
- People of the Crusades
The Black Death
The Black Death, also known as the Black Plague, the Great Mortality and the Pestilence, was the specific incidence of plague that struck Europe in the mid-14th century. No single event in all of medieval history affected so many lives.
- What You Need to Know about the Black Death
- The Great Mortality: Causes, Course and Effects of the Black Death
- Death Defined - Black Death Causes and Symptoms
- Map Series: The Spread of the Black Death through Europe
- The Diabolical Black Death Quiz
- How to Avoid the Plague
In the late 13th century an extraordinary movement of art, literature and philosophy began in Italy. The great works produced there would influence movements in other parts of Europe and Britain. Considered an "age" in itself by some scholars of the subject, the Renaissance would leave an indelible mark on the artistic sense of all who came after it.
- The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
- Review of Humanists and Reformers
- Review of Worldly Goods
- Renaissance Art and Architecture
- Renaissance Drama, Literature and Poetry
- Renaissance Music
- Topics in Renaissance Studies
- Renaissance Primary & Secondary Sources
- Societies for Renaissance Studies
- Renaissance Journals
Timelines, Chronologies and Dynastic Tables
Timelines are extremely useful reference tools that help place past events in the flow of history and let students discover what else was going on in the world when a particular event took place.