Facts about the Middle Ages for each letter of the alphabet
Click on highlighted word for more information.
There were several styles of ARCHITECTURE in Europe during the Middle Ages. Gothic architecture flourished during the high and late medieval period. The Orient had several styles of architecture. The architecture of the Middle East came from many traditions.
ART in the Middle Ages included illumination, and stained glass, and Icons were called "The Windows of Heaven". Byzantine Art was the name given to the art in very early Middle Ages. The Dark Ages Art were followed by the Medieval Art ending with Renaissance Art.
During the Middle Ages, ASIA had far surpassed the West in the development of warfare, communication, and science. Ceramics and porcelain production flourished in Vietnam. Click HERE for a timeline of Asia.
During the Middle Ages, AUSTRALIA was inhabited by Aborigines. For a timeline of Australia, The origin of BELLS is unknown, but they were used throughout the world during the Middle ages. During this time the use of bells was steeped in superstition.
In the 14th century, many people around the world were devastated by the bubonic plague - The BLACK DEATH. The people in Eastern Europe had little contact with other people so it did not reach them. Another illness was Dancing Mania also known as St. Vitus Dance. There were many health problems during the Middle Ages and medical knowledge was limited. Herbs were often used to treat medical conditions.
CATHEDRALS were an important part of the Middle Ages. Unique stave churches were built. The name derives from the buildings' structure of post and lintel construction, a type of timber framing where the load-bearing posts are called stafr in Old Norse and stav in modern Norwegian. Most of the surviving stave churches are in Norway.
During the Middle Ages, all of the CLOTHING was made by hand. The traditional Japanese kimono evolved during the Middle Ages. The spinning wheel evolved from ancient times and was greatly improved during the Middle Ages. There were several types of shoes and different methods for making them.
During the Middle Ages, the CRUSADES were an attempt to regain the Holy Land.
FOOD in the Middle Ages changed less across Europe than they did in the briefer early modern period that followed. In Europe, what people ate depended a lot on how rich they were. In India, scientists developed sweet oranges and worked out how to dry sugar cane juice into sugar crystals, and sugar technology spread first to Central Asia, then to West Asia, and finally reached Europe in the 1200s AD. In Central Asia, scientists developed lemons and carrots, and these, too, crossed West Asia to be grown in Europe for the first time in the 1200s AD. Fish was an important part of the diet in the Middle Ages. Tomatoes were first cultivated in South America. Because hosts were not obliged to provide guests with any kind of eating utensils, guests carried their own knives that were used for both eating and fighting. Much of the Orient used chopsticks. The fork came to Europe from Italy. There was a variety of sweets during the Middle Ages. Special food was prepared for holidays and feasts.
FEUDALISM was a new type of government in Europe, Japan, & China during the Middle Ages.
Guilds were established in Europe by working men of particular trades.
The HUNDRED Years' War was the name given to the campaign and battles between the French and English from 1337 to 1453.
The INQUISITION was a judicial process for the apprehension and trial of heretics.
Many INVENTIONS were made throughout the world during the Middle Ages. The invention of the printing press was the greatest invention of all time. Technology during the Middle Ages was often practical and used natural resources.
Kingdoms of Africa
Kingdoms of England
Kingdoms of Cathay
Kingdoms of Europe
Kingdom of France
Kingdom of Granada
Kingdoms of Iberia
Kingdoms of India
Kingdoms of the Middle East
Kingdoms of Portugal - This is the only Kingdom which continues as a separate country today.
KNIGHTS were soldiers who fought on horseback. There were also Women who were knights. The main job of the Knights Templar was to defend the roads used by pilgrims, and maintain castles and troops in the Holy Land.
Medieval LEGENDS and myths were a blend of fact and fiction. They included Unicorns, dragons, Pegasus, fairies, and gargoyles. One of the best known legends is about Camelot. The Chinese had many legends and tales. There were many mythical plants in the Medieval World.
The Middle Ages saw the beginnings of a rebirth in LITERATURE. This was a very important time in the history of books. Many women were philosphers and writers. The Book of Kells was written during the Middle Ages.
During the Middle Ages, MONEY consisted of metal coins and varied from place to place. The value of the coin depended on which type of metal it was made from. The most valuable coins were gold then silver, and then copper. A Bill of Exchange was often used as money. Pictures of Comets called "hairy stars" were often used on coins.
Medieval MUSIC was the ancestor of most later western music. Musicians and minstrels in the middle ages played their music from memory. A minstrel was a professional entertainer who sang songs that told a story. Music outside the church was not written down and did not survive. During the Middle Ages, the organ developed into three different types of instruments. Listen to the sounds of some Medieval instruments.
A PILGRIMAGE during the Middle Ages included traveling to a sacred place often to cure ills. St. James was called "The Field of Stars" and was a place of worship for Medieval pilgrims. Bringing home a souvenier was an important part of a pilgrimage. Fa-hsien was one of China's greatest pilgrims. Pilgrims who were unable to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem went to a pilgrimage site and walked a labryinth.
Queen Sondok - Korea
Queen Melisende - Jerusalem
Empress Wu Chao - China
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There were several types of SPORTS during the Middle Ages. Most of them were intended to increase the fighting skills of men. Lower Class men were required to practice archery by law! The really big sporting events were the Tournaments and the Jousts. Fishing was a popular and a variety of methods was used.
TROUBADOURS were poets and minstrels and often nobles who composed poems and songs and performed them for their courts.
During the Middle Ages, WOMEN had a variety of roles, wife, mother, peasant, artisan, and nun, as well as some important leadership roles, such as abbess or queen regnant. The very concept of "woman" changed in a number of ways during that time and several forces influenced women's roles. CLICK HERE for information about famous women in the Middle Ages.