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People & Places of the Middle Ages

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Find biographies of significant individuals, information about cultural groups, and histories of specific places during the Middle Ages in the resources presented here.
  1. Who's Who
  2. Africa
  3. Asia
  4. The British Isles: England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales
  5. Byzantium, or the Eastern Roman Empire
  6. The Carolingian Empire
  7. Europe
  1. France
  2. The Iberian Peninsula: Spain & Portugal
  3. Italy
  4. Japan
  5. The Mongols
  6. Russia
  7. Vikings and Scandinavian History

Who's Who

Use this resource to find basic information about important or interesting individuals of the Middle Ages. Each entry explains who the person was and what he is known for and includes significant dates and important facts. For more information, be sure to investigate the links or books provided.

Africa

Recent research has given us a greater understanding of Africa's medieval past. At various times, some African societies equalled or surpassed European nations in culture, education and wealth. Still, compared to other parts of the world there is little scholarly information available. Hopefully, that will change as more research is conducted.

Asia

Most medieval studies focus on Europe, but important events took place in eastern nations during the European Middle Ages, some of which would have an impact on western history. For organizational purposes, Asia includes the Arabian peninsula and everything east of the Urals and the Caspian Sea. If a region in Asia (such as Japan) is not covered here, it's because it has its own section elsewhere on this page.

The British Isles: England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales

For English-speaking nations of the modern world, British history is extremely significant in the formation of our cultures and systems of government, and a great deal of information is available on the subject, both on the web and off. However, it's interesting to note that England and her neighbors played a lesser role in international politics through the Middle Ages.

Byzantium, or the Eastern Roman Empire

Before the great Roman Empire came to an end, it was divided (and reunited) several times into eastern and western portions. After the western empire dissolved in the late fifth century, the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, continued as a cohesive entity. Its influence on Europe was at times subtle; its preservation of ancient learning was undeniably significant.

The Carolingian Empire

The first truly powerful state in Europe to follow the fall of western Rome was the Carolingian empire, called that after Charlemagne (Charles the Great, or Carolus Magnus). Charlemagne's predecessors as well as his successors would also be called Carolingians. These resources offer information on these early European leaders, the advances they made and the lands they conquered and governed.

Europe

The idea of a "middle" age originated with European scholars examining their own history; so, while many significant things happened all over the world during this time frame, "Medieval" history usually focuses on Europe. These resources look at Europe as a whole as well as regions within Europe. Remember, if a region in Europe (such as France) is not covered here, it's because it has its own section elsewhere on this page.

France

The nation of France undwerwent great changes through the Middle Ages. Look here for background on French history, biographies of notable medieval French historical figures, and other topics of interest concerning medieval France.

The Iberian Peninsula: Spain & Portugal

The borders between territory controlled by Spain and Portugal fluctuated through the Middle Ages. These resources explore various aspects of the cultures that flourished on the Iberian Peninsula in medieval times.

Italy

The Italian Peninsula had a dynamic history through the Middle Ages. These resources offer information on the people and events of Italy's medieval past as well as the Renaissance that began in its most economically successful cities.

Japan

Medieval Japan had a feudal society that lasted longer than the European Middle Ages. Japan also boasts castles from the medieval era and some wonderful artwork as well as superbly-crafted weaponry.

The Mongols

The Mongols were fierce nomadic warrior tribes whose skill with and understanding of horses were unsurpassed in their time. They once ruled much of Asia, collected tribute from Russia and at one point threatened European stability. In the thirteenth century, they even conquered China.

Russia

Russia's history through the Middle Ages involves contact with both European and Asian cultures, making Russia uniquely its own.

Vikings and Scandinavian History

The fearsome raiders and plunderers known as Vikings came from Norway, Sweden and Denmark and made their mark on a Europe that was struggling after the collapse of the western Roman Empire. Back home in Scandinavia they were farmers and craftsmen; on the high seas and along the coasts and rivers of the continent, they were not only raiders but merchants and colonists. Scandinavian explorers went as far as Iceland, Greenland, Russia, and even the Americas.

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