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Middle Ages Summary

There are many events, empires, dynasties, and religions that were present in the middle
ages. One of the religions was Christianity. Christianity was big in many places. It spread a lot in
the Roman Empire during the Pax Romana. The Pax Romana was a time of peace in the Roman
Empire which allowed people to travel without harm which allowed Christians to spread the
word in peace. Constantine, who was the Roman Emperor at the time, had a bunch of Christian
Bishops under him who created an edict, called the Edict of Milan, which granted complete
tolerance to all religions, but Christianity would benefit the most. Christianity also had big
impact due to the fact that the Roman Catholic Church amassed large amounts of landholdings
and emerged as a powerful political force.
There was also the Franks. The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes who
lived in the lower and middle Rhine in the 3rd century AD. The Salian Franks formed a kingdom
on Roman-held soil between the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers in what is now Belgium and
the Netherlands. The Franks leader was Charles Martel. Charles Martel was a Frankish
statesman and military leader who, as Duke and Prince of the Franks and Mayor of the Palace,
was de facto ruler of Francia from 718 until his death. Martel is considered to be the founding
figure of the European Middle Ages. Although Martel never assumed the title of king, he divided
Francia, like a king, between his sons Carloman and Pepin. The Franks had a major battle called
the Battle of Tours. The Battle of Tours was fought in an area between the cities of Poitiers and
Tours, in north-central France, near the village of Moussais-la-Bataille, about 20 kilometres (12
mi) northeast of Poitiers. The Franks were victorious. 'Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi was killed, and
Charles subsequently extended his authority in the south. Later Christian chroniclers and pre20th century historians praised Charles Martel as the champion of Christianity, characterizing the
battle as the decisive turning point in the struggle against Islam, a struggle which preserved
Christianity as the religion of Europe. Another leader of the Franks was Charlemagne.
Charlemagne was a medieval emperor who ruled much of Western Europe. He became king of
the Franks, a Germanic tribe in present-day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and
western Germany. He was succeeded by his only son to survive him, Louis the Pious, after
whose reign the empire was divided between his three surviving sons according to Frankish
tradition. These three kingdoms would be the foundations of later France and the Holy Roman
By the fifth century monasteries had been established all over the populated world.
During the Middle Ages, these monasteries became oases of peace and order, providing food,
clothing, and shelter. The monasteries kept the flame of Christianity alive during a difficult
period of European history. Both the male and female adherents of the monastic life performed
important functions. They ministered to the poor and sick, and they welcomed travelers. The

monks spent hours laboriously copying and painting the most important sacred works into
beautifully illuminated manuscripts.
Another major event in the Middle Ages was the decline of the Roman Empire.Nobody
knows how the Roman Empire actually collapsed but they believe it collapsed due to lost of
leaders, major battles, and political instability.
Another big event was The Migration Period, also known as the period of the barbarian
invasions. It was a period of intensified human migration in Europe from about 376 to 800 AD
during the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages.
The Byzantine Empire, sometimes known as the Eastern Roman Empire, was the
predominantly Greek-speaking continuation of the eastern half of the Roman Empire during Late
Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Its capital city was Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul),
originally founded as Byzantium. During most of its existence, the empire was the most
powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. Both "Byzantine Empire" and
"Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm; its
citizens continued to refer to their empire as the Roman Empire or Romania (), and to
themselves as "Romans".
There were also Justinian and the Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia is a former Greek
Orthodox patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul,
Turkey. From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox
cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it
was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. Justinian I sometimes
known as Justinian the Great, was a Byzantine (East Roman) emperor from 527 to 565. During
his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of
the historical Roman Empire.
The EastWest Schism is the medieval division of Chalcedonian Christianity into Eastern
(Greek) and Western (Latin) branches, which later became commonly known as the Eastern
Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively. The EastWest Schism is the
larger and more lasting of the two schisms to which the term "Great Schism" is applied (the other
being the Western Schism).
Feudalism and manorialism (or manorial system) were the key characteristics of the
Middle Ages. Both terms refer to a landholding system in medieval Europe and were closely
related, however, they were two distinct systems with several important differences.The most
important difference between feudalism and manorialism was their concept. The first was a
political and military institution, while the manorial system was an economic organization of a
feudal estate. It lacked the military character of feudalism that based on a system of fiefs
according to which the land was held by a vassal from his lord in return for political allegiance
and military service.

The political and geographical entity governed by the Muslim Ottoman Turks. Their
empire was centered in present-day Turkey, and extended its influence into southeastern Europe
as well as the Middle East. Europe was only temporarily able to resist their advance: the turning
point came at the Battle of Varna in 1444 when a European coalition army failed to stop the
Turkish advance. Only Constantinople (Istanbul) remained in Byzantine hands and its conquest
in 1453 seemed inevitable after Varna. The Turks subsequently established an empire in Anatolia
and southeastern Europe which lasted until the early twentieth century.
Interactions between Muslims and Jews and Christians. An ecclesiastical tribunal
established by Pope Gregory IX circa 1232 for the suppression of heresy. It was active chiefly in
northern Italy and southern France, becoming notorious for the use of torture. In 1542 the papal
Inquisition was re-established to combat Protestantism, eventually becoming an organ of papal
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting
in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1346
53. Although there were several competing theories as to the etiology of the Black Death,
analysis of DNA from victims in northern and southern Europe published in 2010 and 2011
indicates that the pathogen responsible was the Yersinia pestis bacterium, probably causing
several forms of plague.
The name the Hundred Years War has been used by historians since the beginning of the
nineteenth century to describe the long conflict that pitted the kings and kingdoms of France and
England against each other from 1337 to 1453. Two factors lay at the origin of the conflict: first,
the status of the duchy of Guyenne (or Aquitaine)-though it belonged to the kings of England, it
remained a fief of the French crown, and the kings of England wanted independent possession;
second, as the closest relatives of the last direct Capetian king (Charles IV, who had died in
1328), the kings of England from 1337 claimed the crown of France.
Justinian sometimes known as Justinian the Great, was a Byzantine (East Roman)
emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire's greatness and
reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire. A still more resonant aspect of
his legacy was the uniform rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis, which is still the
basis of civil law in many modern states.
Magna Carta was a charter issued by King John at Runnymede, near Windsor, England,
on 15 June 1215. Originally an attempt to negotiate a peace between the unpopular King and a
group of rebel barons, overseen by the Archbishop of Canterbury, it promised the protection of
church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice and
limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons.
Neither side stood behind their commitments and it was annulled by Pope Innocent III, leading to
civil war. At the end of the 16th century, however, there was an upsurge in interest in Magna
Carta. Lawyers and historians at the time believed that there was an ancient English constitution,

going back to the days of the Anglo-Saxons, that protected individual English freedoms. They
argued that the Norman invasion of 1066 had overthrown these rights, and that Magna Carta had
been a popular attempt to restore them, making the charter an essential foundation for the
contemporary powers of Parliament and legal principles such as habeas corpus.
Africa and Asia
Islam also spread through Africa and Asia. There were Muslims taking over the Holy
Land and Turkey through crusades. The crusades were a series of military expeditions promoted
by the papacy during the Middle Ages, initially aimed at taking the Holy Land for Christendom.
The Holy Land had been in the hands of the Muslims since 638, and it was against them that the
crusades were, at least nominally, directed. Expansionism along with desire for adventure,
conquest and plunder seem to have been at least as influential in attracting Christians to the cause
as any desire to restore Christ's supposed patrimony. There was interactions with Hinduism. An
aspect of the cultural life of Islamic India that demands special consideration is the nature of the
interaction of faith and practice that took place between Islam and Hinduism. There are,
however, a variety of factors involved that make the study of this interaction exceedingly
complex and prevent any very assured conclusions being attained. One is simply the lack of
evidence, for the religious movements of medieval India have left few records. Then there is the
uncertainty at times whether a pattern of behavior and belief in both religions has a common
origin in one, or if it grew up independently in both cultures. There was also more specifically
spread of Islam in Africa. Islam spread to North Africa in the 7th century and over the next
hundred years spread through the Sahara and to sub-Saharan Africa via trade routes. Islam
spread to Africa overland across the Sahara and to the east coast of Africa via the Indian Ocean
trade complex. Trade across the Sahara was centered on the gold and salt trade while trade from
the east coast of Africa centered on the trade of enslaved people.
Another event was the Mongol Invasion. Mongolian warrior and ruler Genghis Khan
created the largest empire in the world, the Mongol Empire, by destroying individual tribes in
Northeast Asia. The First Battle of Kiev was the German name for the operation that resulted in a
very large encirclement of Soviet troops in the vicinity of Kiev during World War II. It is
considered the largest encirclement of troops in history. The operation ran from 7 August to 26
September 1941 as part of Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. In
Soviet military history, it is referred to as the Kiev Defensive Operation , with somewhat
different dating of 7 July 26 September 1941.
There were also the crusades. The crusades were a series of military expeditions
promoted by the papacy during the Middle Ages, initially aimed at taking the Holy Land for
Christendom. The concept of a crusade was developed in the eleventh century partially as a
result of organised Christian forces fighting Muslims in Sicily and Spain. The spark that set off
the Crusades was struck in the East, when the Byzantines first confronted a new Muslim force,
the Seljuk Turks. The Seljuk Turks were originally an Asian horde which, like the Huns of

earlier times, had penetrated far into the West. By the eleventh century the Seljuk Turks
controlled much of the Levant.
One of the dynasties was the Tang dynasty. Its purpose was to expand the Chinese territory.
Spread of Buddhism through trade networks to Japan, Korea, and Vietnam increased greater
social mobility and movement to cities. Decline in the status of women including the beginning
of binding the feet of upper class girls.
Buddhism also spread as well. Buddhism spread in China for religious reasons.
Buddhism also attracted interest because of its morals or teachings and its promises of a better
life. Buddhism spread due to political reasons. The leaders of the Tang Dynasty made Buddhism
a big part of life in China. Emperor Taizong gave money to monasteries, sent representatives to
India to collect Buddhist texts, and had Buddhist paintings and statues built across China.
Economic factors helped Buddhism to spread in China. The traders and merchants who were
involved with trade on the Silk Road helped to spread Buddhist teachings as they traveled. In
China, Buddhist monasteries (religious communities) conducted banking services and loaned
farmers money. Merchants gave their money and goods to monasteries for safe-keeping, making
the monasteries like banks and warehouses. Wealthy people often donated their money or land to
monasteries as well, making those communities major landholders with a lot of power and
influence. Social factors also played a role in the spread of Buddhism. Buddhist temples and
monasteries provided medical care, ran schools and mills, pressed oil, and provided seeds to
farmers in need.
Another dynasty was the Song Dynasty. Printing, paper money, porcelain, tea,
restaurants, gunpowder, the compassthe number of things that Chinese of the Song Dynasty
(A.D. 960-1280) gave to the world is mind-boggling. This vibrant period in Chinese history was
marked by economic prosperity and remarkable technological innovation.
Sikhism, or known in Punjabi as Sikhi, is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th
century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, by Guru Nanak and continued to
progress through the ten successive Sikh gurus (the eleventh and last guru being the holy
scripture Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhism can be found predominantly in the Punjab region of India
but Sikh communities exist on every inhabited continent, with the largest immigrant population
being in Canada, with slightly more than in the United Kingdom. There are approximately 23.8
million Sikhs in the world.
The chaos of invasion and frequent warfare also resulted in victorious parties taking
slaves throughout Europe in the early Middle Ages.St. Patrick, himself captured and sold as a
slave, protested against an attack that enslaved newly baptized Christians in his "Letter to the
Soldiers of Coroticus". As a commonly traded commodity, like cattle, slaves could become a
form of internal or trans-border currency. Slavery during the Early Middle Ages had several
distinct sources.

Around the fifth century, thanks to the availability of the camel, Berber-speaking people
began crossing the Sahara Desert. From the eighth century onward, annual trade caravans
followed routes later described by Arabic authors with minute attention to detail. Gold, sought
from the western and central Sudan, was the main commodity of the trans-Saharan trade. The
traffic in gold was spurred by the demand for and supply of coinage. The rise of the Soninke
empire of Ghana appears to be related to the beginnings of the trans-Saharan gold trade in the
fifth century.
To Arabic-speaking people, sharia means the moral code and religious law of a prophetic
religion. The term "sharia" has been largely identified with Islam in English usage.
Both Sunni and Shia Muslims share the most fundamental Islamic beliefs and articles of
faith. The differences between these two main sub-groups within Islam initially stemmed not
from spiritual differences, but political ones. Over the centuries, however, these political
differences have spawned a number of varying practices and positions which have come to carry
a spiritual significance.