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Events & Eras of the Middle Ages


The Medieval Era, depending on how you define it, spans events from as early as the fourth century up through the seventeenth. It is often broken into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages and includes numerous wars and crusades, the horrific plague known as the Black Death, and the remarkable movement of art, literature and philosophy that has come to be known as the Renaissance. These sections are presented chronologically to give you a general picture of the progression of the events and eras of Medieval times.
  1. General Overviews and Introductions
  2. The Early Middle Ages
  3. The Norman Conquest
  4. The Crusades
  1. The Black Death
  2. The Renaissance
  3. Timelines, Chronologies and Dynastic Tables

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.

The Crusades

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.

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.

The Renaissance

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.

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.

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