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508–509 Greg Gawlowski/Lonley Planet Images

Caerphilly Castle in
South Wales, United Kingdom

A.D. 500 A.D. 825 1150 1475

A.D. 496 c. A.D. 800 1095 1346
King Clovis Feudalism First Black Death
becomes a begins in Crusade arrives in
Catholic Europe begins Europe
Chapter Preview Chapter Overview Visit for a preview
Between A.D. 500 and 1500, Europe was ruled by warriors of Chapter 15.
much like those in early Japan. Despite constant fighting,
Europeans made advances in their culture. European ideas
about government and religion still shape our lives today.
View the Chapter 15 video in the World History:
Journey Across Time Video Program.

The Early Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, Western Europe built a new civilization based on
Christian, Roman, and Germanic ways.

Government weakness and the need for safety led to the rise of feudalism.

Kingdoms and Crusades

As the kingdoms of England and France established parliaments, Russia’s
rulers laid the foundations for its government.

The Church and Society

Religion in medieval Europe helped to shape European culture.

The Late Middle Ages

Disease and war took the lives of millions of people in the late Middle Ages.

Sequencing Information Make this foldable to help you sequence important

events that occurred in medieval Europe.

Step 1 Fold two sheets of Step 2 Turn and fold the Reading and Writing
paper in half from top to four pieces in half from top As you read the chapter,
bottom. Cut each in half. to bottom. write the important
events and dates that
Cut along occurred in medieval
the fold lines. Europe on each section
of your time line.

Step 3 Tape the ends

of the pieces together
(overlapping the edges
slightly) to make an Pieces of tape
accordion time line.


Just Ask
Answering questions about what you have read is one way to show
what you know, but asking thoughtful questions about the topic can
often show even greater understanding. How do you learn to ask great
1. Use question starters such as who, what, when, where, how, and why.
2. Do more than just read the words on the page—think deeply about
the concepts. For example, ask questions such as “What would have
happened if . . .?”
Read the following passage from Section 5, and look at the questions
that follow.

Charles, the prince who ruled southern France,

wanted to take back the north. In 1429 a French
peasant girl named Joan was brought to him. She
told him that her favorite saints had urged her to
free France. Joan’s honesty persuaded Charles to
let her go with a French army to Orléans. Joan’s
faith stirred the soldiers, and they took the city.
—from page 557

Here are some questions you might ask about

the above paragraph:
s t u d ying lik • What did Joan say to persuade Charles to let
Ma k e ons
. C r e a t e questi her ride with the army?
game find
d t h e n read to n • How did Joan’s faith stir the soldiers?
an o your ow
e r s t • Why did Joan believe saints wanted her to free
question France?
• What happened to Joan after the French took
the city?
Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain/Giraudon, Paris/SuperStock

Ask and Answer Read to Write

Write a What If
Read this passage about the Black Death. paragraph based on
your reading. For
example, what if Joan
had become Queen of
France, or what if fleas
A terrible plague, known as the Black carried the Black Death
Death, swept across Europe and today? Add lots of
Asia. A plague is a disease that details as if you were
answering questions
spreads quickly and kills many peo- others might ask about
ple. Most scientists think the Black your What If ideas.
Death was bubonic plague—a dis-
ease caused by a type of bacteria car-
ried by fleas. These fleas infested
black rats, and in the Middle Ages,
these rats were everywhere.
—from page 554

Create three questions based

on the above paragraph.
Remember that not all ques-
tions have answers.

As you read the chapter, look for

answers to section headings that are
in the form of questions. For the other
sections, turn the headings into ques-
tions that you can answer as you read.

The Early
Middle Ages
What’s the Connection? Meeting People
After the fall of Rome came a Clovis (KLOH • vuhs)
period called the Middle Ages, or Charles Martel (mahr • TEHL)
medieval times. It is a fitting name Charlemagne (SHAHR • luh • MAYN)
for the period that lies between Otto I (AH • toh)
ancient and modern times. Gregory the Great

Focusing on the Building Your Vocabulary

• Geography influenced where fjord (fee • AWRD)
medieval Europeans settled and what
they did. (page 513) missionary (MIH • shuh • NEHR • ee)
• The Franks, Angles, and Saxons of (EHK • skuh • MYOO • nuh • KAYT)
Western Europe built new societies
concordat (kuhn • KAWR • DAT)
and defended them against Muslims,
Magyars, and Vikings. (page 514)
Reading Strategy
• The Catholic Church spread Organizing Information Create a
Christianity through Western Europe. table to show the major accomplish-
(page 519) ments of medieval leaders.
Leader Major Accomplishments
Locating Places
Aachen (AH • kuhn)
Scandinavia (SKAN • duh • NAY• vee • uh)
Holy Roman Empire

A.D. 500 A.D. 800 1100

A.D. 496 A.D. 800 c. 1050
King Clovis Charlemagne is Most people in
becomes crowned by pope Western Europe
Aachen HOLY ROMAN Catholic are Catholic

512 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

The Geography of Europe Now that Rome no longer united peo-
ple, Europe’s geography began to play a
Geography influenced where medieval more important role in shaping events.
Europeans settled and what they did. Europe is a continent, but it is also a very
Reading Focus If you wanted to go sledding large peninsula made up of many smaller
or swimming, where would you go? Your answer peninsulas. As a result, most of Europe lies
will be based partly on geography. Read to learn within 300 miles (483 km) of an ocean or
how geography shaped life in Europe during the Middle sea. This encouraged trade and fishing and
Ages. helped Europe’s economy to grow.
Rivers also played an important role in
The Roman Empire had united all the Europe. The Rhine, Danube, Vistula, Volga,
land surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Seine, and Po Rivers made it easy to travel
When the last Roman emperor in the West into the interior of Europe and encouraged
fell from power in A.D. 476, that unity was people to trade.
lost. Western Europe was divided into The seas and rivers provided safety as
many kingdoms as wave after wave of well as opportunities for trade. The English
Germanic invaders swept south and west, Channel, for instance, separated Britain and
conquering large areas of Europe. Ireland from the rest of Europe. As a result,

Europe’s Geography and People c. A.D. 500

0 500 mi.

0 500 km
Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection 60°N

W e s Scots


E North
tic Peo

S Sea


Angles Ba
Volga R

ns S
ito Angles Slavs
Br Saxons


Saxons Franks Od V ist Avars


e ul
Burgundians r


Britons Franks

Se Vandals
OCEAN Vandals,ine Burgundians CARP Avars Huns
Alans, R . s AT Ostrogoths Ostrogoths Ca
n HI Alans
Sueves dia ds Sueves AN sp
gun bar Slavs ia
BurA L P S Lom Huns n

Sueves PYR Po R. Ostrogoths Se


EN Visigoths Visigoths
Basques EES .
40°N Da n u b e R Black Sea
Visigoths Ostrogoths


Following the fall of the Western Roman

Visigoths Empire, many different peoples lived
Alans, throughout Europe.
Sueves Mediterranean Sea 1. Which peoples lived in the British Isles?
0° 20°E
2. Where, in general, did the Franks settle?
Find NGS online map resources @
Germanic Kingdoms c. A.D. 500 The Germanic Kingdoms
0° North The Franks, Angles, and Saxons of
°N N
Western Europe built new societies and defended
Angles & them against Muslims, Magyars, and Vikings.
Saxons R Saxons
Reading Focus Have you ever moved to a new place?
ne R

ATLANTIC ei Franks
S . What adjustments did you have to make? Read to learn
OCEAN Burgundians R. Alemanni-Lombards how the Germanic peoples who invaded Europe had to
Basques LP
adjust to the lands they occupied.
Sueves PYR Po R.
EN an
D ub
e R. After Rome fell, Western Europe was
Visigoths Rome divided into many kingdoms. These king-
doms developed different societies based
M on their locations. The Visigoths in Spain
0 500 mi. Vandals ite and the Ostrogoths in Italy were close to the
Carthage Se rra
0 500 km
a n ea center of the old Roman Empire. As a result,
Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection they adopted many Roman ways. People
farther from Rome held on to more of their
0° 20°E
Germanic traditions.
In Britain as the empire began to
Germanic kingdoms developed in Europe weaken, Roman culture declined quickly.
after the Western Roman Empire fell. In the A.D. 300s, the Roman legions in
1. Which were the largest Germanic
kingdoms? Britain began heading home to fight
2. What geographic features helped the Germanic invaders. By the early A.D 400s,
Ostrogoths to hold Italy? the Romans had pulled out of England.
Soon the Angles and Saxons invaded
Britain from Denmark and Germany. In
people there were sheltered from the many time, they became the Anglo-Saxons.
wars fought on Europe’s mainland. They When the Angles and Saxons conquered
were able to develop their own distinct southeastern Britain, they pushed aside the
ways of life. Within Europe, wide rivers like people living there. These people were
the Rhine also kept people separated and called the Celts (KEHLTS). Some Celts fled
enabled different cultures to develop. north and west to the mountains. Others
Europe also has many mountain ranges. In went to Ireland. Scottish, Welsh, and Irish
the east, the Carpathians cut off what is now people today are descendants of the Celts.
Ukraine and Russia from southeast Europe. In
the middle, the Alps separated Italy from cen- Who Were the Franks? During the A.D. 400s,
tral Europe. To the southwest, the Pyrenees a Germanic people called the Franks set-
isolated Spain and Portugal. The mountains, tled the area that is now France. In A.D. 496
like the rivers, made it difficult for one group King Clovis (KLOH • vuhs) of the Franks
to rule all of Europe and encouraged the became a Catholic. This won him the sup-
development of independent kingdoms. port of the Romans living in his kingdom.
Identify What did Europe’s Before long, nearly all of the Franks
seas and rivers provide for its people? became Catholic.

514 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

After Clovis died, his sons divided the Europe, and Christianity remained Western
kingdom among themselves. Later, their Europe’s major religion.
sons divided these kingdoms even further. When Charles Martel died, his son
These kings often fought over land. While Pepin (PEH • puhn) became mayor of the
they fought, the nobles under them took palace. With the help of the pope and most
over many royal duties. The most impor- Frankish nobles, Pepin became the new
tant of these nobles was called the “mayor king of the Franks. When a Germanic group
of the palace.” By A.D. 700, the mayors were called the Lombards threatened the pope,
giving out land, settling disputes, and fight- Pepin took his army into Italy and defeated
ing their own wars. them. He donated the land he had con-
Of all the mayors, the most powerful quered to the pope. The pope ruled these
was Charles Martel (mahr • TEHL). He lands as if he were a king, and they became
wanted to unite all the Frankish nobles known as the Papal States.
under his rule. The Catholic Church wanted
to restore order in the lands of the Western Who Was Charlemagne? After Pepin
Roman Empire and was willing to support died, his son Charles became king. Like his
Germanic rulers who were Catholic. The father, Charles went to the aid of the pope
pope—the head of the Catholic Church— when the Lombards tried to regain their ter-
offered his support to Charles Martel. ritory. He also invaded eastern Germany
First, however, Europe had to be kept and defeated the Saxons living there. He
Christian. In A.D. 711 a Muslim army from ordered them to convert to Christianity. He
North Africa conquered Spain. Later, Muslim then invaded Spain and gained control of
forces invaded southern France. In A.D. 732 the northeastern corner from the Muslims.
Charles Martel led the Franks against the By A.D. 800, Charles’s kingdom had
Muslims. He defeated them at the Battle of grown into an empire. It covered much of
Tours. This stopped the Muslim advance into western and central Europe. Charles’s

The Crowning of Charlemagne

In A.D. 800 the pope

crowned Charlemagne
“Emperor of the
Romans,” officially
creating a new Roman
Empire. How large
was Charlemagne’s
empire in A.D. 800?

Scala/Art Resource, NY
The Frankish Kingdom c. A.D. 500–800 In

10°E 0° 10°E
N North
S Anglo-
Rhine Saxons

Aachen KEY
Fr Clovis’s kingdom
Paris Added by Martel and Pepin


. Da
Added by Charlemagne
Tours b e R.


ire R

A ards

o mb
Basques R E N ri


SPAIN Rome a


The Frankish kingdom expanded ean
Se a
greatly under Charlemagne’s rule.
1. Under whose reign did the Franks 0 500 mi.
conquer part of Italy?
0 500 km
2. Who controlled Spain while the Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection
Franks ruled much of Western
A bronze statue of Charlemagne

conquests earned him the name of laws, he set up courts throughout the
Charlemagne (SHAHR • luh • MAYNE), or Charles empire. Nobles called counts ran the courts.
the Great. To keep the counts under control,
The pope was impressed with Charlemagne sent out inspectors called
Charlemagne. On Christmas day in A.D. 800, “the lord’s messengers” to make sure the
Charlemagne was worshiping at the church counts conducted their duties properly.
of St. Peter in Rome. After the service, the Unlike other earlier Frankish rulers,
pope placed a crown on Charlemagne’s head Charlemagne believed in education. He had
and declared him the new Roman emperor. tried late in life to learn to write
Charlemagne was pleased but also con- and wanted his people to be educated too.
cerned. He did not want people to think the He asked a scholar named Alcuin (AL • kwuhn)
pope had the power to choose who was to start a school in one of the royal palaces.
emperor. Alcuin trained the children of government
Charlemagne made Aachen (AH • kuhn) officials. His students studied religion, Latin,
the capital of his empire. To uphold his music, literature, and arithmetic.

516 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Giraudon/Art Resource, NY
ame king of the
Charles the Great (Charlemagne) bec
orced many different
Franks at age 29. He married and div
women and had at least 18 children.
son. He studied many
Charlemagne was an intelligent per
omy. He could speak
subjects and especially enjoyed astron
and Latin. He also could
many languages, including German
d, the king’s historian and
read but had trouble writing. Einhar
to keep tablets under
scribe, wrote that Charlemagne “used
rs he might accustom
his pillow in order that at leisure hou
he began these efforts so
his hand to form the letters; but as
late in life, they met with ill success.”
n that the Franks
Charlemagne was disappointed to lear
of Britain and Ireland. In
were not as educated as the people
A.D. 782 he arranged Charlemagne
for several famous
The Pala tine Cha pel at scholars to come to
“No one shall . . . be
Charlem agne’s palace in Aac hen
his capital in Aachen
and create a school in
the royal palace. During kept back from the
his reign, schools right path of justice
opened throughout his
empire, and many
by . . . fear of the
people were educated. powerful.”
—Charlemagne, as quoted in
“The World of Charlemagne”

e of
Charlemagne realized the importanc
education. He arranged reading and
of school
lessons for his people. What types
programs does our government fun

(t)Ali Meyer/CORBIS, (b)Vanni/Art Resource, NY
Invasions of Europe c. A.D. 800–1000
40°E 60°E 80°E
0 500 mi.
Settlements and 0 500 km
invasion routes: Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection
Magyars N
North Sea


London GERMANY Aral Sea

Normandy Se

FRANCE Caspian
HUNGARY Sea Viking
N ITALY Black Sea ships
Rome Constantinople

A number of different groups
AFRICA Mediterranean Sea invaded and settled in early
medieval Europe.
0° 20°E 1. Which group invaded England?
2. Which group settled the area
of Hungary?

Europe Is Invaded After Charlemagne

died in A.D. 814, his empire did not last has a long, jagged coastline. It has many
long. His son Louis was not a strong leader, fjords (fee • AWRDS), or steep-sided valleys
and after Louis died, Louis’s sons divided that are inlets of the sea. The Viking people
the empire into three kingdoms. lived in villages in the fjords. They were
These three kingdoms were weakened known as the Norsemen, or “north men.”
further by a wave of invaders who swept Scandinavia has little farmland. This
across Europe in the A.D. 800s and A.D. 900s. forced the Vikings to rely on the sea for
From the south came Muslims, who raided food and trade. They became skilled sailors
France and Italy from Spain and North and built sturdy boats called longboats.
Africa. From the east came the Magyars, a These boats could survive the rough
nomadic people who had settled in Hungary. Atlantic and also navigate shallow rivers.
From Scandinavia (SKAN • duh • NAY • vee • uh) In the A.D. 700s and A.D. 800s, the
came the Vikings, whose raids terrified all of Vikings began raiding Europe, probably
Europe. because their population had grown too big
Scandinavia is in northern Europe. to support itself at home. The word viking
Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are all part comes from their word for raiding. They
of Scandinavia today. Much of Scandinavia robbed villages and churches, carrying off

518 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Private Collection/Bridgeman Art Library
grain, animals, and anything else of value.
They even conquered part of western
The Rise of the Catholic Church
France. This area was named Normandy, The Catholic Church spread Christianity
after the Norsemen who ruled it. through Western Europe.
Reading Focus Do you have a goal you would devote
The Holy Roman Empire The raids by your life to reaching? Read to learn the goals of the
Muslims, Magyars, and Vikings helped Catholic Church in the early Middle Ages.
to destroy the Frankish kingdoms. In the
A.D. 900s, the eastern Frankish kingdom, Both religion and geography played an
which became known as Germany, was important role in shaping life in Europe. By
divided into many tiny states ruled by the time the Western Roman Empire col-
counts, dukes, and other nobles. In A.D. 911 lapsed, Christianity had become the official
a group of these nobles tried to unite religion of Rome. After the Roman govern-
Germany by electing a king. The king did ment fell apart, the Roman Catholic Church
not have much power, however, because began to play an important role in the growth
the nobles wanted to remain independent. of a new civilization in Western Europe.
One of the stronger kings of Germany
was Otto I (AH • toh). He fought the Magyars Why Were Monks Important? At the
and sent troops into Italy to protect the pope. time Rome fell, much of northwest Europe
To reward Otto for his help, the pope was not yet Christian. One exception was
declared him emperor of the Romans in Ireland. In the A.D. 400s, a priest named
A.D. 962. Otto’s territory, which included Patrick traveled to Ireland, where he spread
most of Germany and northern Italy, became the Christian message and set up churches
known as the Holy Roman Empire. and monasteries. For several hundred years,
Most of the emperors of the
Holy Roman Empire were not
very powerful. Two of the
strongest ones, Frederick I and
Frederick II, tried to unite north-
ern Italy and Germany under a
single ruler with a strong central
government in the 1100s and
1200s. The popes fought against
these plans because they did not
want the emperor to control
them. They banded together
with Italy’s cities to resist the
emperors’ forces. As a result,
both Germany and Italy
remained divided into small
kingdoms until the 1800s. Pope Gregory I helped spread Christianity in a number
of ways. Here he is shown teaching boys the songs that
Explain Who became known as Gregorian chants. Which area of
were the Vikings, and why did they northwest Europe had accepted Christianity before the
raid Europe? fall of the Western Roman Empire?

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 519

Hulton/Getty Images
page created
Monks eating by monks
together in a The monastery at Mont St. Michel in France is a beautiful
monastery work of architecture that took several hundred years to
complete. How did monasteries help local people in Europe?

Irish monks played an important role in well as works of Roman and Greek writers.
preserving Roman learning and passing it The literary efforts of these monks helped
on to the people of Europe. to preserve the Latin language.
Patrick’s success inspired others, includ- Over time, monasteries began to play a
ing Pope Gregory I, or Gregory the Great. role in Europe’s politics. Monks took a vow
Gregory I was pope from A.D. 590 to A.D. of poverty, wore simple clothes, and ate sim-
604. He wanted all of Europe to become ple food, but their monasteries could make
Christian, and he asked monks to become money. Each monastery produced goods
missionaries (MIH • shuh • NEHR • eez)—people and owned land, and over time many of
who are sent out to teach their religion. them became wealthy. The leader of a
In A.D. 597 Gregory sent 40 monks to monastery is called an abbot (A • buht), and
southern Britain to teach Christianity. The many abbots became involved in politics.
monks converted Ethelbert, ruler of the They served as advisers to kings and acted
kingdom of Kent. Ethelbert allowed the as rulers of the lands near their monasteries.
missionaries to build a church in his capital
city of Canterbury. Meanwhile, Irish monks Why Is Gregory VII Important? The
brought Christianity to northern Britain. By growing role of abbots and other Church
A.D. 800, monks were spreading Christianity leaders in politics caused many arguments
throughout Europe. Most people in Western over who was in charge. Kings wanted
Europe had become Catholics by 1050. Church leaders to obey them, while the
Monasteries played an important role in pope claimed he could crown kings.
medieval Europe. Monks schooled people, In 1073 Gregory VII was elected pope.
provided food and rest to travelers, and He wanted to stop nobles and kings from
offered hospital care for the sick. They interfering in Church affairs. He issued a
taught carpentry and weaving and devel- decree, or order, forbidding kings from
oped better methods of farming. They also appointing high-ranking Church officials.
helped to preserve knowledge. The pope’s decree angered Henry IV, the
Many monasteries had scriptoria, or writ- Holy Roman emperor. For many years, the
ing rooms, where monks made copies of Holy Roman emperor had appointed bish-
important works. The monks copied ops in Germany. Without them, Henry IV
Christian writings, including the Bible, as risked losing power to the nobles.

520 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

(l)Abbey of Montioliveto Maggiore, Sienna/E.T. Archives, London/SuperStock, (c)Jim Zuckerman/CORBIS, (r)Ronald Sheridan/Ancient Art & Architecture Collection
Henry refused to obey Gregory. He choose bishops, but only the emperor could
declared that Gregory was no longer pope. give them jobs in the government. This deal,
Gregory then stated that Henry was no longer called the Concordat of Worms, was signed
emperor. He excommunicated (EHK • skuh • in the city of Worms. A concordat (kuhn •
MYOO • nuh • KAY • tuhd) Henry. This means to KAWR • DAT) is an agreement between the
exclude a person from church membership. pope and the ruler of a country.
Catholics believed that if they were excom- By the time Innocent III became pope in
municated, they could not go to heaven. 1198, the Catholic Church was at the
When the German nobles defended the height of its power. Innocent was able to
pope, Henry backed down. He traveled to control kings. If a ruler did not obey,
Italy and stood barefoot in the snow outside Innocent would excommunicate him or
the pope’s castle asking to be forgiven. issue an interdict (IHN • tuhr • DIHKT) against
Gregory forgave Henry, but the German the ruler’s people. An interdict forbids
nobles still chose a new king. When Gregory priests from providing Christian rituals to a
accepted the new king as emperor, Henry group of people. The pope hoped that by
went to war. He captured Rome and named a using an interdict, local people would pres-
new pope. Gregory’s allies drove out Henry’s sure their ruler to obey.
forces, but the dispute was not resolved.
In 1122 a new pope and the German Contrast How did Gregory
king finally agreed that only the pope could VII and Henry IV disagree?

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What Did You Learn?

Reading Summary 1. What happened at the Battle
of Tours, and why is the battle
4. Analyze How did
Charlemagne demonstrate
Review the significant? his support for education?
• During the Middle Ages, Europe’s
geography affected where people 2. Why were monasteries impor- 5. Describe Imagine you live in
lived, their ways of life, and their tant to medieval Europe? central Europe in medieval
relations with other people. times. Prepare a poster that
Critical Thinking
describes the Vikings and the
• The Angles and Saxons invaded 3. Summarizing Information dangers they pose to your
Britain, the Franks created an Draw a diagram like the one town.
empire in Western Europe, and below. Use it to describe the
the Saxons created a German role of monks in medieval 6. Asking
kingdom that became the Holy Europe. Questions Henry IV “stood
Roman Empire. barefoot in the snow” to gain
the pope’s forgiveness. If
• Monks helped spread Christianity you were asked to interview
throughout Europe, and the Henry IV about this experience,
Catholic Church became strong what three questions would
in the early Middle Ages. you ask?

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 521

What’s the Connection? Locating Places
In the last section, you read Venice (VEH • nuhs)
how the Vikings spread fear and Flanders (FLAN • duhrz)
destruction throughout Europe.
During the Middle Ages, villagers and Building Your Vocabulary
townspeople looked to nobles to feudalism (FYOO • duhl • IH • zuhm)
protect them. vassal (VA • suhl)
fief (FEEF)
Focusing on the knight (NYT)
• Feudalism developed in Europe in
serf (SUHRF)
the Middle Ages. It was based on
landowning, loyalty, and the power guild (GIHLD)
of armored knights on horseback.
(page 523) Reading Strategy
Compare and Contrast Complete a
• Knights followed a code of chivalry Venn diagram like the one below
and lived in castles, while peasants showing the similarities and
lived in simple houses and worked differences between serfs and slaves.
hard all year long. (page 526)
• Increased trade led to the growth
of towns and cities and the rise of
Serfs Slaves
guilds and city governments.
(page 528)

A.D. 800 1000 1200
ENGLAND c. A.D. 800s c. 1100 c. 1200
Bruges HOLY ROMAN Feudalism Flanders and Guilds are
FRANCE EMPIRE begins in Europe Italy trade widespread
goods regularly in Europe

522 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

What Is Feudalism? new way of organizing society that would
eventually spread across most of Europe.
Feudalism developed in Europe in the When Charlemagne’s empire collapsed,
Middle Ages. It was based on landowning, loyalty, Western Europe lost its last strong central
and the power of armored knights on horseback. government. Landowning nobles became
Reading Focus What would it be like to live in a coun- more and more powerful. They gained the
try where the government has fallen apart? Read to right to collect taxes and to enforce laws on
learn how the fall of Charlemagne’s government their estates. When invaders spread ruin
changed life for people in the Middle Ages. throughout Europe, the peasants, or farm-
ers, could not rely on kings. Instead, they
When Charlemagne’s grandfather, looked to nobles for protection.
Charles Martel, needed an army to fight During the A.D. 800s, this shift of power
the Muslims invading France, he began from kings to nobles led to a new social
giving estates—large farms—to nobles order known as feudalism (FYOO • duhl • IH •
willing to fight for him. The nobles used zuhm). Under feudalism, landowning
the resources generated by the estates to nobles governed and protected the people
obtain horses and weapons. Although in return for services, such as fighting in a
Martel did not realize it, he was using a noble’s army or farming the land. By A.D.
1000, the kingdoms of Europe
were divided into thousands of
feudal territories. Some of these
territories were large, but most
were very small, smaller even
Kings and queens than the city-states of Greece and
Sumeria. At the center of each,
however, was not a city but a
noble’s castle, or fortress.

Lords and ladies The Role of Vassals and Knights

Feudalism was based on ties of
loyalty and duty among nobles.
Nobles were both lords and vas-
sals. A vassal (VA • suhl) was a
noble who served a lord of
higher rank. In return, the lord
protected the vassal.
The tie between a lord and
his vassal was made known in a
Peasants public ceremony. The vassal put
and serfs his hands together and placed
them between the hands of his
Under feudalism each level of society had duties to the lord. Then the vassal swore “to
groups above and below it. Which group in the diagram keep faith and loyalty to you
served as vassals to the lords and ladies? against all others.”

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 523

A vassal showed his loyalty by serving earlier chapter, Japan had a similar system
in his lord’s army. In return for the vassal’s between A.D. 800 and 1500. Powerful
military service, a lord granted his vassal nobles owed only a loose loyalty to the
land and permission to rule the people who Japanese emperor. The nobles in turn relied
lived on it. This grant to a vassal was on samurai. Like knights, the samurai
known as a fief (FEEF). owed loyalty to their lords and provided
These vassals were knights (NYTS), or military service for them. Also like knights
warriors in armor who fought on horse- in Europe, the samurai wore armor and
back. Up until the A.D. 700s, nobles in fought on horseback.
Western Europe mostly fought on foot.
They wore coats of mail—armor made from What Was the Manorial System? The
metal links—and carried swords and lands of the fiefs of the Middle Ages were
shields. In the A.D. 700s, a new invention, called manors. The lords ruled the manor,
the stirrup, made it possible for an armored and peasants worked the land. Some peas-
man to sit on a horse and charge while ants were freemen, who paid the noble for
holding a lance, a long heavy spear. Knights the right to farm the land. They had rights
would charge enemies, spearing them with under the law and could move whenever
their lances. From the A.D. 700s to the 1200s, and wherever they wished.
armored knights on horseback were the Most peasants, however, were serfs
most powerful soldiers in Europe. (SUHRFS). Serfs could not leave the manor,
Europe was not the only place with a own property, or marry without the lord’s
feudal society. As you remember from an approval. Lords even had the right to try

A Medieval Manor
A medieval manor usually consisted of the lord’s
manor house or castle, the surrounding fields, and
a peasant village. While minor knights or nobles
would own only one manor, more powerful lords
In the spring, serfs planted crops such as
might own several. A powerful lord would spend summer wheat, barley, oats, peas, and beans.
time at each of his manors during the year. Crops planted in the fall included winter wheat
What duty did lords have to their serfs? and rye. Women often helped in the fields.

serfs in their own court. Serfs were not than a year, he or she was considered free.
enslaved, however. Lords could not sell By the end of the Middle Ages, serfs in
the serfs or take away the land given to many kingdoms were also allowed to buy
serfs to support themselves. Lords also their freedom.
had a duty to protect their serfs, providing
them the safety they needed to grow How Did Farming Improve? During the
crops. Middle Ages, Europeans invented new
Serfs worked long hours on the lord’s technology that helped increase the amount
land and performed services for the lord. of crops they could grow. Perhaps the most
They spent three days working for the lord important was a heavy wheeled plow with
and the rest of the week growing food for an iron blade. It easily turned over Western
themselves. They also had to give a portion Europe’s dense clay soils.
of their own crops to the lord and pay him Another important invention was the
for the use of the village’s mill, bread oven, horse collar. The horse collar made it possi-
and winepress. ble for a horse to pull a plow. Horses could
It was not easy for serfs to gain their pull plows much faster than oxen, allowing
freedom. One way was to run away to the peasants to plant more crops and produce
towns. If a serf remained in a town for more more food.

Castles were built in a variety of forms and
were usually designed to fit the landscape.

Village churches often had no
benches. Villagers sat on the floor
or brought stools from home.

Serf’s Home
Serfs had little furniture. Tables were
made from boards stretched across
benches, and most peasants slept
on straw mattresses on the floor.
Europeans also found new ways to har-
ness water and wind power. Europe’s
Life in Feudal Europe
many rivers powered water mills that Knights followed a code of chivalry and
ground grain into flour. Where rivers were lived in castles, while peasants lived in simple houses
not available, windmills were used for and worked hard all year long.
grinding grains, pumping water, and cut- Reading Focus Have you heard the phrase “knight in
ting wood. shining armor”? Read to learn why these words apply to
Peasants also learned to grow more food how a knight acts as well as how he dresses.
by rotating crops on three fields instead of
two. The rotation kept soil fertile. One field During the Middle Ages, nobles were
was planted in fall and another in spring. the most powerful people in Europe. Great
The third field was left unplanted. The lords had much more wealth and land than
three-field system meant that only one- ordinary knights. However, their belief in
third, rather than one-half, of the land was the feudal system united lords and knights
unused at any time. As a result, more crops in defending their society.
could be grown. Greater food production
allowed the population to expand. How Did Nobles Live? Knights followed
certain rules called the code of chivalry
Explain How could a noble (SHIH • vuhl • ree). A knight was expected to
be both a lord and a vassal? obey his lord, to be brave, to show respect to
women of noble birth, to honor
the church, and to help people. A
knight was also expected to be
honest and to fight fairly against
his enemies. The code of chivalry
became the guide to good behav-
ior. Many of today’s ideas about
manners come from the code of
When noblemen went to war,
their wives or daughters ran the
manors. This was no small job
because manors had many offi-
cials and servants. Keeping track
of the household’s accounts took
considerable skill. The lady of a
manor also had to oversee the
storing of food and other supplies
needed to run the household.
The center of the manor was a
Nobles celebrated special occasions with large castle. At first, castles were built
feasts, which included many courses of meats, fruits, of wood. Later, they were built of
and vegetables. What were the wife’s duties when a stone. A castle had two basic
nobleman went off to war? parts. One was a human-made or

526 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Scala/Art Resource, NY
A Medieval Castle
Castles were built to withstand attack during
times of war. They were often constructed on
high ground or surrounded by moats to make
attacks more difficult. What was the central
building of the castle called?

naturally steep-sided hill called a motte castles with thicker walls, more towers,
(MAHT). The bailey was an open space next finer furniture, and richer decoration.
to the motte. High stone walls encircled the
motte and bailey. The keep, or central build- What Was Peasant Life Like? The homes of
ing of the castle, was built on the motte. peasants were much simpler. They lived in
The keep had a number of stories. The wood-frame cottages plastered with clay.
basement housed storerooms for tools and Their roofs were thatched with straw. The
food. On the ground floor were kitchens houses of poorer peasants had a single room.
and stables, and above the ground floor Better cottages had a main room for cooking
was a great hall. Here the people of the and eating and another room for sleeping.
household ate and sometimes slept, and the Peasants worked year-round. They har-
lord of the castle held court and received vested grain in August and September. In
visitors. Smaller rooms opened off the great October they prepared the ground for win-
hall. They included chapels, toilets, and ter crops. In November they slaughtered
bedrooms with huge curtained beds. livestock and salted the meat to keep it for
In the later Middle Ages, nobles owned winter. In February and March, they
more jewelry, better clothes, and exotic plowed the land for planting oats, barley,
spices. They also built more elaborate peas, and beans. In early summer they

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 527

weeded the fields, sheared the sheep, and
tended small vegetable gardens.
Trade and Cities
Peasants took a break from work and Increased trade led to the growth
went to church on Catholic feast days. They of towns and cities and the rise of guilds and city
celebrated more than 50 feast days each governments.
year. The most important were Christmas Reading Focus What effect would a new shopping
and Easter. On feast days and at Sunday mall have on your community? Read to learn how the
worship, the village priest taught them the growth of trade and the rise of cities changed the way
basic elements of Christian belief. people lived and worked in medieval Europe.
Peasant women worked in the fields
and raised children at the same time. They When the Roman Empire collapsed,
also gathered and prepared their family’s almost all trade in Western Europe came to
food. Each day they mixed bread dough an end. Bridges and roads fell into disre-
and baked it in community ovens. Bread pair. Law and order vanished. Money was
was a basic staple of the medieval diet. no longer used. Most people spent their
Peasant bread was dark and heavy. entire lives in the tiny villages where they
Peasants ate it with vegetables, milk, nuts, were born and knew almost nothing about
and fruits. Sometimes they added eggs or the rest of the world.
meat, and they often had ale to drink. By 1100, feudalism had made Europe
Identify What was the safer, and new technology enabled people
code of chivalry? to produce more food and goods. Nobles

Medieval City Life

This scene shows a market

in a medieval town. Which
area became the center of
trade for northern Europe?

A mayor of London from the early 1200s

528 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

(l)Scala/Art Resource, NY, (r)Guildhall Library, Corporation of London, UK/Bridgeman Art Library
repaired bridges and roads, arrested ban-
(l)Archivo Iconografico, S.A./CORBIS, (r)Ancient Art & Architecture Collection

dits, and enforced the law. As a result, trade

Web Activity Visit and
As trade increased, towns grew larger, click on Chapter 15—Student Web Activity to
and several cities became wealthy from learn more about the Middle Ages.
trade. For example, the city of Venice (VEH •
nuhs) in Italy built a fleet of trading ships. It
became a major trading center by A.D. 1000.
Venice and other Italian cities began trading this trade, the counts of Champagne in
with the Byzantine Empire and soon became northern France began holding trade fairs.
the center of trade in the Mediterranean. Northern European merchants exchanged
Meanwhile, towns in Flanders (FLAN • furs, tin, honey, and wool for cloth and
duhrz)—which today is part of Belgium— swords from northern Italy and silks, sugar,
became the center of trade for northern and spices from Asia.
Europe. This area was known for its woolen During the early Middle Ages, people
cloth. Merchants from England, Scandinavia, bartered, or traded goods for other goods.
France, and the Holy Roman Empire met As trade increased, demand for gold and
there to trade their goods for wool. Flemish silver coins rose. Slowly, people began
towns such as Bruges and Ghent became cen- using money again to pay for goods.
ters for making and trading cloth. Merchants set up trading companies and
By 1100, Flanders and Italy were banks to manage the sale of goods and the
exchanging goods regularly. To encourage use of money.

A stained glass window showing the arms,

or symbol, of a blacksmiths’ group

This illustration from a medieval book

shows glassblowers at work. What were
some of the items exchanged at trade fairs? CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 529
How Were Cities Governed? Towns were ized guilds (GIHLDZ), or business groups. By
often located on land owned by lords. This 1200, tanners, carpenters, bakers, and
meant the towns were under their control. almost every other type of craftspeople had
However, townspeople needed freedom to guilds. The rise of towns and guilds created
trade. They wanted to make their own laws a new middle class in medieval Europe.
and were willing to pay for the right to People in the middle class were not lords,
make them. In exchange for paying taxes, vassals, or serfs. They did not own land, but
people in towns were granted certain basic they did have some wealth and freedom.
rights by their lords. These included the Craft guilds set standards for quality in
right to buy and sell property and the free- products. They decided how goods were to
dom from having to serve in the army. be made and set the prices at which the fin-
Over time, medieval towns set up their ished goods were sold. Guilds also decided
own governments. Only males who had who could join a trade and the steps they
been born in the city or who had lived had to follow to do so.
there for a certain length of time were citi- A person could become an apprentice
zens. In many cities, these citizens elected around the age of 10. An apprentice learned
the members of a city council. The council a trade from a master craftsperson who pro-
served as judges, city officials, and law- vided room and board but no wages. After
makers. Candidates from the wealthiest five to seven years of service, the apprentice
and most powerful families were usually became a journeyman and worked for
able to control the elections so that only wages. To become a master, a journeyman
they were elected. had to produce a masterpiece—an outstand-
ing example of the craft.
Crafts and Guilds Trade encouraged man-
ufacturing. People produced cloth, metal- What Was City Life Like? Medieval
work, shoes, and other goods right in their cities had narrow, winding streets. Houses
houses. Over time, these craftspeople organ- were crowded against one another, and the

A street in France dating

back to medieval times

Medieval streets were narrow and often

contained wastewater and garbage. Why
was fire a major threat in medieval cities?

530 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

(l)akg-images, (r)Ronald Sheridan/Ancient Art & Architecture Collection
second and third stories
were built out over the
streets. Candles and fire-
places were used for light
and heat, and the houses
were built mostly of wood.
As a result, medieval cities
could be destroyed rapidly This painting shows a medieval woman spinning
wool as her husband warms himself by the fire.
once a fire started. What were some responsibilities of women in
The cities were often dirty and smelly. medieval cities?
Wood fires in people’s homes and shops
filled the air with ashes and smoke. helped their husbands in their trades. Some
Brewers, dyers, and poor people who could women developed their own trades to earn
not afford wood burned cheap coal, pollut- extra money. Sometimes when a master
ing the air even more. Butchers and tanners craftsperson died, his widow carried on his
dumped blood and other animal wastes trade. As a result, women in medieval
into the rivers. Because of the pollution, towns could lead independent lives. In fact,
cities did not use the rivers for drinking many women became brewers, weavers,
water but used wells instead. and hatmakers.
City women ran their households, pre- Analyze In what ways do
pared meals, raised their children, and you think the shift from a barter system to a
managed the family’s money. Often they money system changed medieval Europe?

Study CentralTM Need help with the

material in this section? Visit

What Did You Learn?

Reading Summary 1. What was a vassal? 4. Summarize Explain the shift
2. Describe the system of crop of power from kings to nobles
Review the
rotation used in the later during the Middle Ages.
• Under feudalism, Europe was
divided into thousands of territo- Middle Ages, and explain how it 5. Cause and Effect How did
ries owned by nobles with the increased the amount of food an increase in trade lead to the
lands worked by serfs. being grown. growth of towns and cities?
Critical Thinking 6. Conclude What were guilds,
• During the Middle Ages, nobles 3. Compare and Contrast and why were they important?
lived in large castles, while serfs Draw a chart to compare the 7. Creative Writing Write a For
lived in small wood cottages. duties and obligations of lords, Sale advertisement for a
knights, and serfs. medieval castle. Describe the
• As medieval trade increased, castle’s rooms and surround-
towns grew and craftspeople Lords Knights Serfs ings, including the manor and
organized guilds. its residents.

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 531

Giraudon/Art Resource, NY
Feudalism: Good or Bad?
Feudalism was the major social and political order in medieval
Europe. It developed as power passed from kings to local lords.

Feu d a lism helped restore ads.
ow- • ridges and ro
bro u g h t to gether two p Lord s re p aired b
and vassals.
The lords arrested band
s: lo rd s Their knights e it
erful gro u p
turn for milit
ary law, and mad
la n d in re enforced the
gave vassals Feudalism w
as a help on roads.
se rv ices . safe to travel assals,
and oth er owing efited lords, v
E u ro p ea n s for the foll eu d a lism b en
to Western • F a
. Lords gained
reasons: ni- and peasants
rotect commu ghting force in
• Feudali sm h el p ed p
arfare dependable fi ed
iolence and w Vassals receiv
fro m th e v their vassals. e.
t after the fall
r th ei r military servic
that broke ou rong la n d fo
e protected b
m e a n d th e collapse of st Peasants wer ilt
nment in Wes
rd s. T h e lord also bu
central gover th ei r lo
grain and bla
alism secured mills to grind
Europe. Feud society and k
ept nd woodwork
Weste rn E u ro p e’s smith shops a
invaders. e tools.
out powerful shops to mak and
onies, oaths,
• Feudal cerem ed lords and
contracts requ
faithful and
vassals to be
eir duties to
to carry out th
ese kinds
each other. Th
and rituals
of agreements
ape the
later helped sh
of Western
not allow
• Feudalism did rganization
one person or
to become too
ared among
Power was sh

Serfs working
the land
532 532
ong lords.
to many wars am
ted Western
Feudalism protec
ide invaders,
Europe from outs
Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

g peace to a
but it did not brin
region. r
often placed thei
• Lords or vassals r-
s over the inte
personal interest al
they ruled. Feud
ests of the areas ei r
ete power in th
lords had compl
uld make harsh
local areas and co
r vassals and
demands on thei
t treat people
• Feudalism did no move up in
equally or let them
a serf was
so ci et y. A person born as a
nobles often
su pp os ed to remain a serf, just
rd received specia
served as
knights. person born a lo
t earning it.
treatment withou ere
os t pe as an ts w ere serfs. They w
• M ’s
ps . no t allo w ed to leave their lord
grou k three or
many people and Eu ro pe an la nd s. Serfs had to wor
st ep to yment
This was the first rn m en t, fo ur da ys each week as a pa
d go ve s for allowing
ideas about limite righ ts . to th e lords or vassal
d ci vi l
constitutions, an themselves on
them to farm for
rfs were restricted
other days. The se
Bad? t always w or k as in movement an
d even daily
es because they co
uld not
Feudalism did no d ac tiv iti ission.
in re al life as it it did in theory, an leav e the la nd without perm
wel l y.
oblems for societ
it caused many pr and
Fe ud alis m prov ided some unity

areas, but it often
security in local
strength to unite
did not have the
Checking for Understanding
co un tr ie s. Sm all 1. Do you think feudalism helped
larger regions or d no t or hurt Western Europe’s
ts co ul
feudal governmen ild in g development?
ts, such as bu
afford big projec s, 2. Is there any way feudal lords
s, or fleets of ship
aqueducts, sewer could have worked their lands
ig ht be ne fit so ci ety. without using serfs?
that m ra l
no st ro ng ce nt 3. Imagine what your life would
• Because there was rce laws fairly, have been if you were born into
government to en , a feudal society. Write at least
e force, violence
it was easy to us three brief diary entries. Describe
lie s to ge t on e’ s way. This led your daily life as a lord, vassal, or
serf and your relationship with
the other two groups. Your entries
should show feudalism as either
good or bad.

and Crusades
What’s the Connection? Locating Places
In the last section, you read Normandy (NAWR • muhn • dee)
about how Western Europeans lived Kiev (KEE • EHF)
during the Middle Ages. This section Moscow (MAHS • koh)
describes the political changes that
took place while people went about Meeting People
their daily lives. William the Conqueror
King John
Focusing on the Philip II (FIH • luhp)
• England developed a system in which
Saladin (SA • luh • DEEN)
the king’s power was shared with
Parliament. (page 535)
Building Your Vocabulary
• French kings called the Capetians grand jury
conquered lands held by the English trial jury
in western France and set up France’s
clergy (KLUHR • jee)
first parliament. (page 538)
• After the Mongols destroyed the Reading Strategy
Kievan state, the rulers of Moscow Cause and Effect Complete a
built a new Russian state headed by a diagram to show the causes and
czar. (page 539) effects of the Crusades.
• European crusaders captured Causes Effects
Jerusalem but were later driven out
by the Muslims. (page 541)

Moscow A.D. 900 1150 1400

RUSSIA c. A.D. 871 1095 1480
FRANCE EMPIRE Kiev Alfred becomes Pope Urban II Ivan the
Clermont England’s king calls the First Great ends
SPAIN Crusade Mongol rule


534 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

England in the Middle Ages Anglo-Saxon kings who came after him
Tom Lovell/National Geographic Society Image Collection

were weak rulers.

England developed a system in which
the king’s power was shared with Parliament. Who Was William the Conqueror? In the
Reading Focus Do you know anyone who has had to A.D. 900s, the Vikings conquered part of
go to court or has served on a jury? Read to learn how western France across the English Channel
these institutions began in medieval England. from England. This region came to be called
Normandy (NAWR • muhn • dee), after the
In section one, you learned that Vikings, or Norsemen, who ruled it. By the
Germanic peoples called the Angles and middle of the A.D. 1000s, Normandy was
Saxons invaded Britain in the early ruled by William, a descendant of the
A . D . 400s. They took over much of the Viking ruler who had conquered
country from the Celts and set up many Normandy. William was also a cousin of
small kingdoms. In the late A.D. 800s, King Edward of England.
Vikings attacked Britain. King Alfred of When Edward died, a noble named
Wessex, later known as Alfred the Great, Harold Godwinson claimed England’s
united the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and throne. However, William believed that he,
drove away the Vikings. Alfred’s united not Harold, should be king of England. In
kingdom became known as “Angleland,” 1066, William and his army of knights
or England. landed in England. They defeated Harold
Alfred ruled England from A.D. 871 to and his foot soldiers at the Battle of
A.D. 899. He founded schools and hired Hastings. William was then crowned king
scholars to rewrite Latin books in the of England and became known as William
Anglo-Saxon language. However, the the Conqueror.

This painting of the Battle of Hastings shows Norman knights on

horseback led by William the Conqueror attacking the English foot
soldiers. What area did William rule before he attacked England?

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 535

At first the Anglo-Saxons resisted Under William’s rule, officials and nobles
William’s rule. He had to find a way to stop spoke French. Ordinary Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon revolts and to control his own still spoke their own language, which later
soldiers. He did so by giving land to his became English. They also learned
Norman knights. Then he made them new skills from Norman weavers and
swear loyalty to him as ruler of England. other artisans. The Normans, in turn, kept
William wanted to know all about his many of the Anglo-Saxons’ government
new kingdom. So he took the first census in practices. For example, they depended
Europe since Roman times. This census was on local officials, called sheriffs, to keep
known as the Domesday Book. It counted order. As more and more Normans and
people, manors, and farm animals. Anglo-Saxons married, their ways of
The Normans who ruled England doing things merged into a new English
brought Europe’s customs to England. culture.

The Jury System

A modern jury
The right to a jury trial in England was
granted in the Magna Carta, but jury trials began
in Europe about 50 years earlier. For each case,
12 jurors were chosen. In some villages, the
same jurors were chosen again and again
because of their wisdom or status. Jurors
were always men. The jury decided
whether the accused was guilty or

In the United States, citizens

are chosen at random for possible
jury duty. Some states have reduced
the number of jurors from 12 to 10, 8,
or 6. Juries usually decide a verdict and
sometimes decide a sentence. What is the
disadvantage of choosing the same people to
serve on juries again and again?
A medieval court

536 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

(l)Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, NY, (r)John Neubauer/PhotoEdit
Henry II and the Common Law The
power of the English king increased under
Henry II. Henry ruled England from 1154 to
1189. Henry used the law courts to increase Magna Carta
his power. He set up a central court with This excerpt from
trained lawyers and judges. Then he the Magna Carta
describes the right
appointed circuit judges, who traveled
to a trial by jury:
across the country hearing cases. He also
“No free man shall
established common law, or law that was be taken, impris-
the same throughout the whole kingdom. oned, disseised
Henry set up juries to handle arguments [seized], outlawed,
over land. In time, two kinds of juries devel- banished, or in any
oped. The grand jury decided whether peo- way destroyed, nor
ple should be accused of a crime. The trial will We proceed
against or prosecute
jury decided whether an accused person him, except by the
was innocent or guilty. lawful judgment of
his peers and by the
What Was the Magna Carta? Henry’s law of the land.”
son John became king of England in 1199. —Magna Carta
King John raised taxes in England and
punished his enemies without trials. Many
English nobles resented the king’s power. King John signing the Magna Carta
They refused to obey him unless he agreed
to guarantee certain rights.
The nobles met with King John at a Why do you think this part of the Magna
meadow called Runnymede in 1215. There Carta is important?
they forced John to sign a document of
rights called the Magna Carta, or the Great
Charter. The Magna Carta took away some
of the king’s powers. He could no longer from different parts of England. Their
collect taxes unless a group called the job was to advise him and help him
Great Council agreed. Freemen accused of make laws. This gathering, called the
crimes had the right to fair trials by their Parliament, was an important step toward
peers, or equals. Habeas corpus was intro- representative government. At first,
duced, which protects a person from being Parliaments were made up of two knights
imprisoned indefinitely without a trial. from every county, two people from every
The Magna Carta also stated that the king town, and all high-ranking nobles and
and vassals both had certain rights and church officials. Later, Parliament divided
duties. The Magna Carta was important into two houses. High-ranking nobles and
because it helped to establish the idea that church officials met as the House of Lords.
people have rights and that the power of Knights and townspeople met as the
the government should be limited. House of Commons.
In the 1200s, another English king, Explain How did the Magna
Edward I, called for a meeting of people Carta affect the king’s power?

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 537

Ronald Sheridan/Ancient Art & Architecture Collection
The Kingdom of France Philip ruled from 1180 to 1223. When
he took the throne, England’s king ruled
French kings called the Capetians con- parts of western France. Philip went to
quered lands held by the English in western France war against England and conquered most
and set up France’s first parliament. of these territories. As a result, French
Reading Focus Has a poll ever been taken in your kings gained more land and became more
class? Read to find out how one French king found out powerful.
what his people were thinking. Philip IV, called Philip the Fair, ruled
from 1285 to 1314. In 1302 he met with rep-
In A.D. 843 Charlemagne’s empire was resentatives from the three estates, or
divided into three parts. The western part classes, of French society. The first estate
eventually became the kingdom of France. was the clergy (KLUHR • jee), or people who
In A.D. 987 Frankish nobles chose Hugh had been ordained as priests. Nobles made
Capet to be their king. Hugh was the first of up the second estate, and townspeople and
the Capetian (kuh • PEE • shuhn) kings of peasants were the third estate. This meeting
France. The Capetians controlled the area began the Estates-General, France’s first
around Paris (PAR • uhs), the capital. Many parliament. It was the first step in France
French nobles had more power than the toward representative government.
kings did. This began to change when Describe How did King
Philip II (FIH • luhp) became king of France. Philip II bring power back to French kings?

Europe c. 1160
20°W 10°W 0° 10°E 20°E 30°E 40°E



lt i





KINGDOM 0 500 mi.



EMPIRE 0 500 km
i ne R.

S Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection




OF 40°

Da n u b e R

Black Sea
OF Corsica TIN

M Mediterranea SICILY
TE n Sea
RY Sicily In 1160, feudal Europe was fragmented
into many small kingdoms and states.
1. What kingdoms controlled lands that
today belong to France?
2. Who controlled lands that today
belong to Spain?
538 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe
Eastern Europe and Russia Ibn Fadlan
After the Mongols destroyed the
Kievan state, the rulers of Moscow built a new
Describes the Rus
Russian state headed by a czar. In A.D. 921, the Muslim official Ibn Fadlan
encountered the Rus while visiting a settle-
Reading Focus Why do you think some of the cities ment on the Volga River.
in your state grew large while others stayed small? Read
“I have seen the Rūs as they
to learn how the cities of Kiev and Moscow grew to came on their merchant
become the centers of large Slavic states. journeys and encamped by
the [Volga River]. I have
About A.D. 500, a people called the Slavs never seen more perfect
organized villages in Eastern Europe. Each physical specimens, tall as
village was made up of families related to date palms, blonde and
each other. The villagers shared their land, ruddy; they wear neither
[coats] nor caftans [long
animals, tools, and seeds. Each family built shirts], but the men wear a
its house partly underground. This kept the garment which covers one
family warm during the cold winters. side of the body and leaves
In time, the Slavs divided into three major a hand free. . . . They build
big houses of wood on the Statue of a
groups: the southern, western, and eastern Rus leader
Slavs. The southern Slavs became the Croats, [Volga] shore, each holding ten
to twenty persons more or less.”
Serbs, and Bulgarians. The western Slavs
—Ibn Fadlān, Risāla
became the Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks. The
eastern Slavs became the Ukrainians (yoo •
KRAY • nee • uhnz), Belorussians (BEH • loh • RUH •
shuhnz), and Russians (RUH • shuhnz). Of what occupation are the Rus that Ibn
Fadlan describes?
By A.D. 600, the eastern Slavs controlled
the land between the Carpathian Moun-
tains and the Volga River. In the early
Middle Ages, the eastern Slavs created The main ruler was the Grand Duke of
farmland by chopping down the forests and Kiev. Local princes, rich merchants, and
then burning the trees to fertilize the soil. landowning nobles called boyars (boh •
They planted barley, rye, and flax. YAHRZ) helped him govern.
The rulers who came after Oleg
What Was the Kievan Rus? In the late increased the size of the Kievan Rus. In
A.D. 700s, Vikings began moving into the time, it reached from the Baltic Sea in the
Slavs’ territory from the north. Over time, north to the Black Sea in the south. It
the Vikings became rulers of the Slavs. The stretched from the Danube River in the
Slavs called their Viking rulers the Rus. west to the Volga River in the east.
Over time, the Vikings and Slavs intermar- The growth of the Kievan Rus attracted
ried and blended into one people. missionaries from the Byzantine Empire.
Around A.D. 900, a Viking leader named One Rus ruler, Vladimir, married the
Oleg created a Rus state around the city of Byzantine emperor’s sister. He became an
Kiev (KEE • EHF). Called the Kievan Rus, this Eastern Orthodox Christian and declared
state was really a group of small territories. his people Eastern Orthodox.

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 539

Jim Brandenburg/Minden Pictures
Growth of Moscow
Alexander Nevsky, the
KEY Slavs of Novgorod defeated
ARCTIC Moscow, 1300 the Swedes and Germans.
W E OCEAN Acquisitions:
For his help in defending
Land added by 1340
Land added by 1389 lands controlled by the
Land added by 1425 Mongols, the Mongol khan
Land added by 1462
Land added by 1505 rewarded Nevsky with the
0 200 miles
title of grand duke.
0 200 kilometers
Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection
The Rise of Moscow As the Slavs recovered
from the damage caused by the Mongols, the
Lake Ustyug
Lake Onega city of Moscow (MAHS • koh) began to grow.
Moscow was located at the crossroads of sev-
Vologda eral important trade routes. Alexander
Novgorod Galich
Nevsky’s son Daniel and his descendants
l g a R. became grand dukes of Moscow.

Volokolamsk Moscow The dukes of Moscow married women
Kasimov from the ruling families in other Slavic
30°E Tula 40°E 50°E
towns. They also fought wars to expand
Moscow’s territory. Moscow became even
more important when it became the head-
quarters for the Russian branch of the
Located along trade routes, the city of Eastern Orthodox Church. When Ivan I, the
Moscow grew in power and in area. Grand Duke of Moscow from 1328 to 1341,
1. Describe the territory acquired by Moscow
was given permission to collect taxes for the
by 1462.
2. By what year had Moscow acquired Mongols, Moscow grew even greater.
territory bordering on the Arctic Ocean? In 1462 Ivan III, known as Ivan the
Great, became the grand duke. He married
Sophia, the niece of the last Byzantine
Kiev Falls to the Mongols About 1240, the emperor. Afterward, Ivan began living in
Mongols swept into the Kievan Rus. The the style of an emperor. He had architects
Slavs called the Mongols “Tatars” because build fine palaces and large cathedrals in
one of the Mongol tribes was the Tata peo- the Kremlin—the fortress at the center of
ple. The Mongols destroyed nearly all the Moscow. He even began calling himself
major cities and killed many people. czar. Czar was a shortened version of
The only major city of the Kievan Rus Caesar. In Russian, czar means “emperor.”
that was spared was the northern city of Ivan III lived up to his title. In 1480 he
Novgorod. Nonetheless, Novgorod’s rulers finally ended Mongol rule over Moscow’s
as well as other Russian rulers, had to pay territory. Then he expanded his territory to
tribute to the khan, the Mongol leader, and the north and west. When Ivan III died in
accept the Mongols as their rulers. 1505, the Russians were well on the way
Although Novgorod had been spared toward building a vast empire.
by the Mongols, it faced attacks from the Cause and Effect Why
west by Germans and Swedes. Led by was Alexander Nevsky important?

540 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

The Crusades the Muslims. The pope explained why the
crusade was needed:
European crusaders captured
Jerusalem but were later driven out by the Muslims. Jerusalem is the navel [center] of
Reading Focus Have you ever put all your energy the world. . . . This is the land
into making something important happen? Read to which the Redeemer [Jesus] of
learn why Europeans thought capturing the city of mankind illuminated by his
Jerusalem was important. coming. . . . This royal city,
situated in the middle of the
During the Middle Ages, the Byzantine world, is now held captive by his
Empire in the East came under attack. In enemies. . . . It looks and hopes
1071 an army of Muslim Turks defeated the for freedom; it begs unceasingly
Byzantines and seized control of most of the that you will come to its aid.
Byzantine lands in Asia Minor. —Pope Urban II,
The Byzantine emperor did not have as quoted in The Discoverers
enough money or troops to drive out the
Turks. In desperation, he asked the pope to As the pope spoke, the excited crowd cried
help him defend his Christian empire out, “It is the will of God, it is the will of
against the Muslim invaders. God.” The Crusades had begun.
In 1095 Pope Urban II spoke before a
large crowd in eastern France. He asked
Early Victories Several thousand soldiers
on horseback and as many as ten thousand
Europe’s lords to launch a crusade, or
on foot headed east. Many of them wore a
holy war, against the Muslim Turks. He
red cross on their clothes as a sign of their
urged them to capture Jerusalem and free
obedience to the pope’s call.
the Holy Land where Jesus had lived from
In 1098 the First Crusade captured
Antioch in Syria. From there, the crusaders
entered Palestine, reaching Jerusalem in
1099. After a bloody fight, they stormed
the city, killing Muslims, Jews, and
Christians alike.

In the painting above, Pope Urban II calls

for a crusade against the Muslims. At right,
the crusaders attack Jerusalem with siege
towers and catapults. What was the pope’s
goal for the crusade?

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 541

(l)Archivo Iconografico, S.A./CORBIS, (r)Robert W. Nicholson/National Geographic Society Image Collection
The Crusades 1096–1204 In
20°W 0° 60°N 20°E 40°E

W North Christian lands, c. 1100
E Sea Muslim lands, c. 1100
S First Crusade, 1096–1099
ENGLAND Second Crusade, 1147–1149
London Rh
HOLY Third Crusade, 1189–1192


0 500 mi.

OCEAN Caspian
0 500 km
FRANCE Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection
Clermont Venice
N Genoa
Marseille Pisa D a n u b e R.
Black Sea

Me Cyprus
dite Crete Tyre
n Se a Acre


le R.
Crusaders from all across Europe traveled

overland and by sea to fight in the Holy Land.

1. From what port cities did warriors on the First
Crusade leave to travel to the Holy Land?
2. Describe the route of the Third Crusade.

Medieval painting of a battle during the Crusades

Having driven the Muslims from the regain the lost lands. This Second Crusade,
region, the crusaders created four states: the however, was a total failure.
Kingdom of Jerusalem in Palestine, the In 1174 a Muslim named Saladin (SA •
county of Edessa and the principality of luh • DEEN) became ruler of Egypt. He united
Antioch in Asia Minor, and the county of Muslims and declared war against the
Tripoli where Lebanon is located today. Christian states the crusaders had built.
These four states were surrounded by Saladin proved to be a brilliant commander.
Muslims and depended on the Italian cities He defeated the Christians and captured
of Genoa, Pisa, and Venice for supplies. Jerusalem in 1187.
The Muslims fought back, however, and The fall of Jerusalem led to the Third
in 1144 they captured Edessa. In response, Crusade. Emperor Frederick of the Holy
European rulers sent another crusade to Roman Empire, King Richard I of England,

542 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Scala/Art Resource, NY
(known as Richard the Lion-Hearted), and Six more crusades were launched over
King Philip II of France gathered their the next 60 years, but they achieved very lit-
armies and headed east to fight Saladin. tle. Gradually, the Muslims conquered all of
The Third Crusade had many problems. the territory they had lost to the First
Frederick drowned crossing a river. The Crusade. In 1291, a bit more than 200 years
English and French arrived by sea and cap- after the First Crusade had set out, the last
tured a coastal city but were unable to push Christian city fell to Muslim forces.
inland. After Philip went home, Richard The Crusades affected Europe in two
secured a small territory along the coast. He ways. They increased trade between
then agreed to a truce after Saladin prom- Europe and the Middle East, and they
ised that Christian pilgrims could travel to helped break down feudalism. Nobles who
Jerusalem in safety. joined the Crusades sold their lands and
Around 1200, Pope Innocent III called freed their serfs. This reduced their power
for a Fourth Crusade. Merchants from and helped kings build stronger central
Venice used the crusade to weaken their governments. Kings also began taxing the
trading rival, the Byzantine Empire. They new trade with the Middle East. These
convinced the crusaders to attack taxes helped them build stronger kingdoms
Constantinople, the Byzantine capital. For in Western Europe.
three days, the crusaders burned and looted Compare and Contrast
the city. The attack shocked Western What did the First Crusade accomplish? What did
Europeans and weakened the Byzantines. the Third Crusade accomplish?

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What Did You Learn?

Reading Summary 1. What is the significance of the
Battle of Hastings?
4. Evaluate What was the
importance of the Magna
Review the
2. What groups developed from Carta?
• The English king granted rights to
his people in the Magna Carta the three major divisions of 5. Summarize Describe the
and established a parliament. Slavs in Eastern Europe? development of England’s
Parliament, and discuss its
• French kings regained French ter- Critical Thinking
role in changing government.
ritories from the English and, like 3. Organizing Information
the English, created a parliament. Draw a chart to list the kings 6. Explain Why did cities such
of England and France and as Venice flourish as a result of
• Russia had its beginnings in the the Crusades?
territories of the Kievan Rus and their achievements.
Moscow. 7. Expository Writing Write an
King/Country Achievements essay describing how the
• West Europeans launched cru- Crusades affected feudalism.
sades to capture Jerusalem and
Palestine from the Muslims.

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 543

Church and Society
What’s the Connection? Building Your Vocabulary
Kings and popes had a powerful mass
effect on the lives of medieval heresy (HEHR • uh • see)
people, as did religion. In this section, anti-Semitism
you will learn how religion in (AN • tih • SEH • muh • TIH • zuhm)
medieval Europe shaped its culture. theology (thee • AH • luh • jee)
Focusing on the (skuh • LAS • tuh • SIH • zuhm)
• The Catholic Church played an vernacular (vuhr • NA • kyuh • luhr)
important role in medieval Europe
and used its power to uphold its
teachings. (page 545) Reading Strategy
Organizing Information Complete
• Church and government leaders a Venn diagram to show the similarities
supported learning and the arts in and differences between Romanesque
medieval Europe. (page 549) and Gothic cathedrals.

Locating Places
Bologna (buh • LOH • nyuh)
Romanesque Gothic
Meeting People Cathedrals Cathedrals
Francis of Assisi
(FRAN • suhs uhv uh • SIHS • ee)
Thomas Aquinas
(TAH • muhs uh • KWY • nuhs)

SCANDINAVIA 1200 1250 1300

HOLY 1209 1233 c. 1267
FRANCE ROMAN Francis of Catholic Church Thomas Aquinas
EMPIRE Assisi founds sets up the begins writing
Rome Franciscan order Inquisition Summa Theologica


544 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Religion and Society many new farming techniques that helped
Europeans grow more crops.
The Catholic Church played an impor- The most famous Cistercian monk was
tant role in medieval Europe and used its power to Bernard of Clairvaux (klar • VOH). Bernard
uphold its teachings. helped promote the Second Crusade. He
Reading Focus Have you ever noticed how many also advised the pope and defended the
things in society have been influenced by religion? poor against the rich.
What examples can you give? Read to learn about the Many women entered convents
important role religion played in the lives of people liv- between A.D. 1000 and 1200. Most of them
ing in the Middle Ages. were from noble families. They included
widows and women unable or unwilling to
Between 1050 and 1150, a strong wave of
marry. Women who were scholars found
religious feeling swept across Western
convents ideal places for study and writing.
Europe. As a result, more monasteries were
Most educated women in medieval
built, and new religious orders, or groups
Europe were nuns. One famous woman
of priests, monks, and nuns, were started.
was Hildegard of Bingen (HIHL • duh • GAHRD
New Religious Orders The Cistercian (sihs • uhv BIHNG • uhn). She headed a convent in
TUHR • shuhn) order was founded in 1098. Germany and composed music for the
Cistercian monks farmed the land as well as Church. Her work is remarkable because at
worshiped and prayed. They developed that time, men wrote most church music.

This religious painting from the wall of a church in Italy depicts the pope
and other Christian leaders, a number of saints, and Jesus ruling over all.
How did Cistercian monks aid European society? 545
Scala/Art Resource, NY
Christianity to the people. In addition,
The Franciscan the Franciscans helped the poor and
Way of Life served as missionaries.
Francis of Assisi recorded instructions A Spanish priest named Dominic
for living in the Franciscan order. This de Guzmán founded another group of
passage is about the nature of love. friars called the Dominicans. The
Domincans’ goal was to defend
“Blessed that friar who loves his brother as
much when he is sick and can be of no use to Church teachings. Dominican friars
him as when he is well and can be of use to spent years in study so they could
him. Blessed that friar preach to well-educated people.
who loves and respects
his brother as much when The Role of Religion Throughout
he is absent as when he is
medieval Western Europe, daily life
present and who would
not say anything behind revolved around the Catholic
his back that he could not Church. Priests ran schools and hos-
say charitably [nicely] to pitals. They also recorded births, per-
his face.” formed weddings, and conducted
—Francis of Assisi, as burials. On Sundays and holy days,
quoted in “Admonitions”
people went to mass—or the Catholic
Francis of Assisi worship service.
During mass, medieval Christians
took part in Church rituals called
sacraments. The most important
Does Francis of Assisi think that love for
another person should be constant, or sacrament was communion, in which
changing? How do you know? people took bread and wine to
remind them of Jesus’ death on the
cross for their sins. Only clergy could
give people the sacraments.
Until the 1200s, most people in religious Many Christians also prayed to saints.
orders stayed in their monasteries separate Saints were holy men and women who had
from the world. They lived a simple life of died and were believed to be in heaven.
prayer and hard work. In the 1200s, several Their presence before God enabled the saints
new religious orders were created. The men to ask favors for people who prayed to them.
in these religious orders were called friars. Of all the saints, Mary, the mother of
Friar comes from a Latin word for “brother.” Jesus, was the most honored. Many churches
Friars were different from monks. They were named for her. Several French churches
did not stay in their monasteries. Instead, carried the name Notre Dame, or “Our Lady,”
they went out into the world to preach. Friars in honor of Mary.
lived by begging. They could not own prop- Some people tried to make a connec-
erty or keep any personal wealth. tion to the saints by touching relics. Relics
The first order of friars was founded by were usually bones or personal belongings
Francis of Assisi (FRAN • suhs uhv uh • SIHS • of saints. People believed that relics had
ee) in 1209. These friars became known as special powers, such as the ability to heal
Franciscans. They lived in towns and taught the sick.

546 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Scala/Art Resource, NY
Medieval Christians also believed that heresy was a crime against God. The
God blessed pilgrims, or religious travelers Inquisition’s job was to try heretics, or peo-
who journeyed to holy places. The holiest ple suspected of heresy.
place was Jerusalem in the Middle East. People brought before the Inquisition
were urged to confess their heresy and to
What Was the Inquisition? The Catholic ask forgiveness. When they confessed, the
Church was very powerful in medieval Inquisition punished them and then
society, and most of its leaders wanted allowed them to return to the Church.
everyone to accept the Church’s teachings. People who refused to confess could be tor-
Church leaders feared that if people tured until they admitted their heresy.
stopped believing Church teachings, it Those who did not confess were considered
would weaken the Church and endanger guilty. The Inquisition turned them over to
people’s chances of getting into heaven. political leaders, who could execute them.
Using its power, the Church tried to put
an end to heresy (HEHR • uh • see), or reli- How Were the Jews Treated? Church
gious beliefs that conflict with Church leaders persecuted Jews as actively as they
teachings. At first, it tried to stop the spread punished heretics. Many Europeans hated
of heresy by sending friars like the Jews for refusing to become Christians.
Dominicans to preach the Church’s mes- Others hated them because many Jews
sage. Then, in 1233, the pope established a were moneylenders who charged interest.
court called the Inquisition (IHN • kwuh • ZIH • At that time, Christians believed charging
shuhn), or Church court. To Church leaders, interest was a sin.

This painting shows an accused heretic being questioned by the

Inquisition. What happened to people who refused to confess to the

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 547

Borromeo/Art Resource, NY
Jewish Expulsions c. 1100–1500
0° 0 500 mi. 20°E

0 500 km
Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection


Sea c S LITHUANIA Polotsk
Ba Vitebsk

Vilna Minsk
Hamburg 096–1192

1 Grodno
Amsterdam Gomel

1 4 95
50° Posen Bialystok
92 Antwerp Kalisz Lodz Pinsk
a in
1182 GERMAN Lublin Kiev
m N STATES Lvov Zhitomir

W Strasbourg AUSTRIA 1 3 48 Tarnopol

E 1
142 48 UKRAINE

13 9 16

1322 Milan CRIMEA
Venice Trieste
Genoa Belgrade
Black Sea

Livorno Nis


8 Skopje


Salonica KEY
Some of the areas from
Aegean which the Jews were
Corfu Sea expelled between 1050
the expulsion of
wing Jews in 14 and 1650
F r o m Spai n f o llo 92
Some of the towns in
which Jews found refuge
from persecution
Mediterranean Sea Crete

During the Middle Ages, many Jews were driven

from their homes in Western Europe, sometimes
from areas where their families had lived for communities known as ghettos. Jews also
generations. lost the right to own land and to practice
1. From where did many of the Jews who moved certain trades. This was why many of them
to Eastern Europe come? had to become peddlers and moneylenders,
2. Where did many of the Jews expelled from
Spain settle? jobs that Christians despised.
Beginning in the 1100s, European rulers
began driving out their Jewish subjects.
When disease or economic problems England expelled Jews in 1290. France
hurt society, people blamed the Jews. Jews expelled groups of Jews several times.
became scapegoats—people who are Some German cities also forced Jews to
blamed for other people’s troubles. Hatred leave. Many of these Jews settled in Poland
of Jews is known as anti-Semitism (AN • tih • and other Eastern European countries.
SEH • muh • TIH • zuhm). Over the years, the Jews of Eastern Europe
Anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages took established thriving communities based on
horrible forms. Christian mobs attacked their religious traditions.
and killed thousands of Jews. Governments Contrast How did the
made Jews wear special badges or clothing. main goal of the Franciscans differ from the main
In some places, Jews had to live in separate goal of the Dominicans?

548 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Medieval Culture result, Church leaders and wealthy mer-
chants and nobles paid to build large new
Church and government leaders sup- churches called cathedrals. The new
ported learning and the arts in medieval Europe. cathedrals were built in either the
Reading Focus What are the most important parts of Romanesque ( ROH • muh • NEHSK) style or
American culture today? Read to learn about the kinds the Gothic style.
of things that made up the culture of medieval Europe. Romanesque churches were rectangular
buildings with long, rounded roofs called
As strong governments arose, people in barrel vaults. These roofs needed huge pil-
medieval Europe felt safer. As a result, lars and thick walls to hold them up.
trade, banking, and businesses prospered. Windows let in little light because they
A good economy meant more money to were small and set back in the thick walls.
support learning and the arts and to pay for Gothic cathedrals had ribbed vaults and
new churches and other buildings. pointed arches instead of rounded barrel
vaults. This allowed Gothic churches to be
Medieval Art and Architecture Europe taller than Romanesque churches. Gothic
experienced a building boom in the churches also used flying buttresses. These
A.D. 1000s and 1100s. Architecture is one stone supports were built onto the cathe-
way a society shows what is important to dral’s outside walls. They made it possible
its culture. In the Middle Ages, religion was to build churches with thinner walls and
an important part of life and society. As a large stained glass windows.

Medieval Church Architecture

Early Christian churches (above) were often rectan-

gular with flat roofs, like some Roman buildings.
Romanesque churches (top right) had rounded barrel
vault ceilings, eliminating the flat roof. Gothic cathe-
drals, such as St. Etienne in Bourges (right), used fly-
ing buttresses on the exterior to hold up the tall
ceiling inside. Who paid for cathedrals to be built?

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 549

(l)Ancient Art & Architecture Collection, (tr)akg-images/Schutze/Rodemann, (br)SuperStock
Who Was Thomas Aquinas? Beginning in
the 1100s, a new way of thinking called
scholasticism (skuh • LAS • tuh • SIH • zuhm)
began to change the study of theology.
Followers used reason to explore questions
of faith. A Dominican friar and priest
named Thomas Aquinas (TAH • muhs uh •
KWY • nuhs) was scholasticism’s greatest
champion. He is best known for combining
This medieval art shows students in a university Church teachings with the ideas of
classroom. What were some of the subjects
studied in medieval universities? Aristotle.
Europeans had forgotten about Aristotle
Stained glass windows were picture after Rome fell and his works had been lost.
Bibles for Christians who could not read. In the 1100s, however, Muslim and Jewish
The pieces of stained glass often formed scholars reintroduced Aristotle to Europe
scenes from Jesus’ life and teachings. They using copies of his books that had been pre-
also let in sunlight, which came to symbol- served in Muslim libraries. Aristotle’s ideas
ize the divine light of God. upset many Christian thinkers because he
used reason, not faith, to arrive at his con-
The First Universities Two of the first clusions about the meaning of life.
European universities were in Bologna (buh • In the 1200s, Thomas Aquinas wrote
LOH • nyuh), Italy, and Paris, France. Masters, several works explaining that Aristotle
or teachers, were also teaching at Oxford, would have agreed with many Christian
England by 1096. Oxford University was teachings. About 1267, Aquinas began writ-
founded in 1231. ing Summa Theologica, or a summary of
Universities were created to educate and knowledge on theology. In this book,
train scholars. They were like the guilds that Aquinas asked hard questions such as
trained craftspeople. In fact, university “Does God exist?”
comes from a Latin word for “guild.” In Aquinas wrote about government as
medieval universities, students studied well as theology, with an emphasis on the
grammar, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, idea of natural law. People who believe in
and astronomy. Students did not have books natural law think that there are some laws
because books were rare before the European that are part of human nature. These laws
printing press was created in the 1400s. do not have to be made by governments.
University students studied their subjects Aquinas claimed that natural law gave
for four to six years. Then a committee of people certain rights that the government
teachers gave them an oral exam. If the stu- should not take away. These included the
dents passed, they were given their degree. right to live, to learn, to worship, and to
After obtaining a basic degree, a student reproduce. Aquinas’s writings on natural
could go on to earn a doctor’s degree in law, law have influenced governments to the
medicine, or theology (thee • AH • luh • jee)— present day. Our belief that people have
the study of religion and God. Earning a doc- rights can partly be traced to the ideas of
tor’s degree could take 10 years or more. Thomas Aquinas.

550 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Photo ©Bildarchiv Preussicher Kulturbesitz
his family’s castle
Thomas Aquinas was born in 1225 in
parents, Countess Theodora
between Rome and Naples, Italy. His
noble families. At age
and Count Landulf of Aquino, were from
Cassino, a Benedictine
five, Aquinas began school at Monte
abbot. Monastic schools
monastery where his uncle was the
jects, including grammar,
required students to learn many sub
sic. When he was older,
speech, mathematics, science, and mu
Aquinas studied at the University of
around 1244, against
Aquinas joined the Dominican friars
inican, he studied in
the wishes of his family. As a new Dom
the Great). Both Aquinas
Paris under Albertus Magnus (Albert Thomas Aquinas
as of Aristotle.
and Albertus greatly admired the ide
studying, teaching, and
Aquinas spent the next few decades
other cities in France and
writing. He lived in Paris, Rome, and
about the Bible, groups
“The happy man in this
Italy and taught theology. He wrote
within the Church, and the ideas of
philosophers. Summa life needs friends.”
s combines Aristotle’s —St. Thomas Aquinas,
Theologica best explains how Aquina ma
. He beg an writing his Sum Summa Theologiae
ideas with those of the Church th.
on it until his dea
Theologica around 1267 and worked
el to France to attend
In 1274 the pope asked Aquinas to trav the French
was not in good health, he set out for
the Council of Lyons. Even though he in a
am e very sick alo ng the way . Aqu inas wanted to live out his last days
city. He bec , where he
tery, so he was tak en to a Cis terc ian abbey in the town of Fossanova
died on March 7, 1274.
his lifetime, and as
Aquinas’s ideas were respected during
important. His writings
time passed they became even more
an Catholic Church. He
influenced governments and the Rom
was made a saint in 1323.

The writings of Thomas Aquinas infl
g time after
governments and religions for a lon
or leaders
his death. Which present-day writers
do you think have ideas that will infl
people for centuries to come?
Monte Cassino
(t)Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, Robert Lee Memorial Collection, gift of Sarah C. Blaffer/Bridgeman Art Library, (b)The Art Archive/Dagli Orti
Medieval Literature During the Middle example of a heroic epic is the Song of
Ages, educated people throughout Europe Roland, written in French about 1100.
generally spoke or wrote in Latin. The In the Song of Roland, a brave knight
Church used Latin in its worship and daily named Roland fights for Charlemagne
affairs. University teachers taught in Latin, against the Muslims. Roland sounds his horn
and serious authors wrote in that language. for Charlemagne to help him, but it is too late:
In addition to Latin, each region had its
own local language that people used every The Count Rollanz [Roland],
day. This everyday language is called the with sorrow and with pangs,
And with great pain sounded his
vernacular (vuhr • NA • kyuh • luhr). The vernac-
olifant [horn]:
ular included early versions of Spanish, Out of his mouth the clear blood
French, English, Italian, and German. leaped and ran,
During the 1100s, new literature was About his brain the very temples
written in the vernacular. Educated people cracked.
enjoyed vernacular literature, especially Loud is its voice, that horn he
troubadour (TROO • buh • DOHR) poetry. These holds in hand;
poems were about love, often the love of a Charlès [Charlemagne] hath heard,
knight for a lady. where in the pass he stands,
And Neimès [a commander] hears,
Another type of vernacular literature
and listen all the Franks.
was the heroic epic. In heroic epics, bold
knights fight for kings and lords. Women —Song of Roland
seldom appear in this literature. An early Explain What is natural law?

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material in this section? Visit

What Did You Learn?

Reading Summary 1. What is theology? 4. Summarize How did the
2. What is vernacular language, and Inquisition treat the people
Review the
what were common vernacular brought before it?
• In the Middle Ages, new religious
orders developed to spread languages in medieval times? 5. Analyze How did Christian
Christianity. Nonbelievers and beliefs result in a resettlement
Critical Thinking
people of other faiths were of Jews? Where did many Jews
3. Compare and Contrast settle in the Middle Ages?
mistreated. Draw a Venn diagram like the
• In medieval Europe, a number of one below. Use it to describe 6. Explain What were Thomas
universities opened, large the similarities and differences Aquinas’s beliefs related to
Christian churches known as between Cistercians, government?
cathedrals were built, and Franciscans, and Dominicans. 7. Persuasive Writing Write a
European languages developed. letter to a medieval university
Cistercians Franciscans telling them why you would
like to become a student there.
Dominicans Be sure to discuss the subjects
you would like to study.

552 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Late Middle Ages
What’s the Connection? Meeting People
In previous sections, you learned Joan of Arc
about the politics, religion, and Isabella of Castile
culture of much of medieval Europe. Ferdinand of Aragon
In this section, you will find out
about the disasters and conflicts of Building Your Vocabulary
the late Middle Ages. plague (PLAYG)
Reconquista (RAY • kohn • KEES • tuh)
Focusing on the
• A terrible plague, known as the Black Reading Strategy
Death, swept through Europe in the Summarizing Information Complete
1300s, killing millions. (page 554) a table like the one below showing the
path of the Black Death in Europe and
• Western Europe was devastated by Asia.
war in the 1300s and 1400s as
England and France fought each Time Period Affected Areas
other, and Spain and Portugal fought
against the Muslims. (page 557)
Locating Places
Crécy (kray • SEE)
Orléans (AWR • lay • AHN)

1300 1400 1500

London 1346 1429 1492
Paris The Black Death Joan of Arc The Spanish defeat
Orl´eans arrives in Europe inspires the the Muslims and
French expel the Jews

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 553

The Black Death The Black Death probably began some-
where in the Gobi, a desert in central Asia.
A terrible plague, known as the Black It had been around for centuries, but in the
Death, swept through Europe in the 1300s, killing 1300s, it began to spread farther and more
millions. quickly than ever before. Scientists are still
Reading Focus Have you ever been given a shot to not sure why this happened.
prevent the flu or to protect you from another disease? Historians believe the Mongol Empire
Read to learn what happened in Europe before modern was partly responsible for the plague
medicine could control contagious diseases. spreading so fast. The empire covered all
the land from Eastern Europe through cen-
The Middle Ages in Europe reached a tral Asia to China. The Mongols opened up
high point during the 1200s. In the 1300s, trade between China, India, the Middle
however, disaster struck. A terrible plague East, and Europe. They encouraged the use
(PLAYG), known as the Black Death, swept of the Silk Road and other trade routes.
across Europe and Asia. A plague is a dis- By the early 1300s, more goods were
ease that spreads quickly and kills many being shipped across central Asia than ever
people. Most scientists think the Black before. This made it possible for the Black
Death was bubonic plague—a disease Death to spread rapidly, as caravans
caused by a type of bacteria carried by fleas. infested with rats carried it from city to city.
These fleas infested black rats, and in the The first outbreak took place in China in
Middle Ages, these rats were everywhere. 1331. It erupted there again in 1353. The

The Black Death in Asia

Sarai 1346 60°E 0 1,000 mi. Detail from a
Astrakhan Aral 1,000 km medieval painting
Sea Mercator projection
Black Lake representing the
Sea Samarkand Issyk 1346–1339 Beijing Black Death
N Caspian
W E 1353
S Persian TIBET
Gulf TURKISTAN Hangzhou 30°N


Makkah Chittagong PACIFIC

Red 1340s
Arabian South
Sea Sea China
EQUATOR Borneo 0°
KEY Sumatra
Sea trade routes INDIAN
Land trade routes OCEAN Java
Areas of plague 90°E In120°E
the 1300s, the Black Death spread quickly
1346 Date of breakout through Asia and then into Europe.
1. When did the Black Death arrive in the
Arabian Peninsula?
2. Based on this map, how do you think the
Black Death was spread through Asia?

554 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain/Giraudon, Paris/SuperStock
disease killed between 40 and 60 million As many as 19–38 million Europeans—
people, cutting China’s population nearly nearly one out of every two people—died
in half. The disease appeared in India in the of the Black Death between 1347 and 1351.
1340s and reached Makkah, deep inside The death of so many people in the
Muslim lands, in 1349. In the meantime, it 1300s turned Europe’s economy upside
also spread to Europe. down. Trade declined and wages rose
The Black Death appeared in Europe in sharply because workers were few and in
1346 at the city of Caffa on the Black Sea. demand. At the same time, fewer people
The city had been under attack by Mongols meant less demand for food, and food
when the plague erupted. The Mongols, prices fell.
with their troops dying, called off the Landlords found they had to pay work-
attack. In anger they also threw bodies of ers more and charge lower rents. Some
infected soldiers into the city. peasants bargained with their lords to pay
Caffa was a trade colony controlled by rent instead of owing services. This meant
Italian merchants from the city of Genoa. that they were no longer serfs. In this way,
Their ships carried the plague to Sicily in the plague, like the Crusades, helped to
October 1347. From there it spread into weaken the feudal system and change
Europe. By the end of 1349, it had spread European society.
through France and Germany and had Identify How many
arrived in England. By 1351, it had reached Europeans died of the plague between 1347
Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and Russia. and 1351?

The Black Death in Europe Motion


N Stockholm
Se a

W Edinburgh North Novgorod

E European Population A.D. 1300–1500


Population (in millions)

London L¨ubeck Danzig 80

Frankfurt Krak´ow Kiev 60

ATLANTIC Paris Nuremburg
OCEAN Vienna 40
Milan Venice Caffa
Genoa Belgrade
Marseille Florence 20
Lisbon Toledo Da
n u b e R.
Black Sea
Rome Constantinople
Barcelona 0

C´ordoba Sardinia Naples 40°N 1300 1350 1400 1450 1500

0° Me d i t e r r a n e a Year
0 500 mi. n
Tunis ea Sicily

0 500 km
Azimuthal Equidistant projection Crete Cyprus

Spread of disease: By 1353, the Black Death had affected
by 1347 by 1351 most of Europe.
by 1349 by 1353 1. Where in Europe had the Black Death
Partially or totally spared spread by 1347?
Seriously affected 2. By what year had the Black Death reached
areas on the Baltic Sea?
the village
of Arc—was born January 6, 1412, in
Jeanne d’Arc—better known as Joan en she was 13,
was the youngest of five children. Wh
of Domremy in eastern France. Joan
visions of sain ts tell ing her to atte nd church and to be a good person.
she began having ability to
sed , the voices beg an telling her to speak with Charles VII about her
As time pas Charles spoke
p France . Aft er thre e atte mp ts, she was finally allowed to see the leader.
hel d Joan was a
doctors and priests. All of them believe
with Joan and had her questioned by
good person and was telling the trut
wit h the Fre nch arm y to the city of Orléans, which was surrounded
Joan was sen t es on
lish . Eve ryw here she we nt, Joa n carried a banner with religious pictur
by the Eng ops, giving
n tho ugh she did not hav e a we apon, she rode at the front of the tro
it. Eve on their side.
The troops came to believe God was
them directions and encouragement. eated the
and better than ever before. They def
Inspired by Joan, they fought harder them out
English at Orléans and began driving
of France.
“Courage! Do In 1430 Joan said the saints revealed
to her
late May, she
not fall back.” that she would soon be captured. In
d with heresy
—Joan of Arc was seized by the English and charge
s uniform she
and improper dress—for the soldier’
found guilty
wore as army commander. Joan was
es, she
and told that if she admitted her crim
she had
would not be executed. She insisted
ed on
done nothing wrong and was execut
May 30, 1431. Almost two decades
nd Joan
an investigation into the matter fou
innocent of all charges. In 1920 she
made a saint by the Roman Cathol

n though
Joan was tried and found guilty, eve
She was
many people felt she was innocent.
trial. What
also denied many rights during her
in the
prevents this from happening today
Joan of
Arc on
United States?

A. Woolfitt/Woodfin Camp & Assoc./PictureQuest


A Troubled Continent The Hundred Years’ War

N 0°

Western Europe was devastated by W

war in the 1300s and 1400s as England and S
English lands c. 1400
France fought each other, and Spain and Portugal French lands c. 1400
fought against the Muslims. English victory
Reading Focus Have you ever had a hero you French victory

looked up to? Read to learn what happened when a

young peasant girl became a hero to the French people. 50°N London
Agincourt 1415
The plague was not Europe’s only prob- Channel
English Cr´ecy
lem in the late Middle Ages. The English 0 200 mi. 1450 1346
Paris Seine R
and French went to war with each other, 0 200 km Orl´eans

Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection Loire R . 1429
while the Spanish and Portuguese fought to
drive out the Muslims who had conquered ATLANTIC
them centuries before. OCEAN

oˆ n e R.
The Hundred Years’ War In Section 3, you

learned that William of Normandy became
king of England in 1066, although he still
ruled Normandy. French kings wanted to
drive the English out of Normandy. English The major battles of the Hundred Years’
War took place in what is today France.
kings claimed a right to the land, and in
1. Where was the final battle fought?
1337 the English king Edward III declared 2. Who won the battle of Crécy?
himself king of France. This angered the
French even more. War began, and it lasted
for over 100 years. Orléans (AWR • lay • AHN). Joan’s faith stirred
The first major battle of the Hundred the soldiers, and they took the city.
Years’ War took place at Crécy (kray • SEE) Shortly after, with Joan at his side, Charles
after Edward invaded France. English archers was declared king. A few months later, how-
defeated the French army and forced the ever, the English captured Joan. They handed
French king to give up some of his kingdom. her over to the Inquisition, which had her
Under a new king, however, the French burned at the stake. She later became known
slowly won back their land. Then in 1415 as Joan of Arc.
Henry V of England went on the attack. The French finally defeated the English
England’s archers again won the battle and in 1453. The king had spent almost all of his
left the English in control of northern France. money, but the war strengthened French
feelings for their country. French kings used
Who Was Joan of Arc? Charles, the prince that spirit to develop a strong government.
who ruled southern France, wanted to take The Hundred Years’ War also took a toll
back the north. In 1429 a French peasant girl on the English and their economy. In addi-
named Joan was brought to him. She told tion, a civil war known as the Wars of the
him that her favorite saints had urged her Roses, broke out among the nobles over
to free France. Joan’s honesty persuaded who should be king. The winner, Henry
Charles to let her go with a French army to Tudor, became King Henry VII.

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 557

Spain and Portugal Fight the Muslims In 1469 Princess Isabella of Castile mar-
During the Middle Ages, Muslims ruled ried Prince Ferdinand of Aragon. Within 10
most of Spain and Portugal. These two years, they became king and queen and
lands make up the Iberian Peninsula. Most joined their lands into one country called
of the peninsula’s people, however, were Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella wanted all of
Christians. Some were also Jews. Spain to be Catholic. They turned first to
The Muslims developed a rich culture in the Jews. To escape persecution, some Jews
Spain and Portugal. They built beautiful became Christians. Ferdinand and Isabella,
mosques and palaces, such as the Alham- however, believed many still secretly prac-
bra in the southern kingdom of Granada. ticed Judaism. So they set up the Spanish
They also founded schools where Muslims, Inquisition.
Jews, and Christians studied together. Most The Spanish Inquisition tried and tortured
Christians, however, opposed Muslim rule. thousands of people charged with heresy. In
Their struggle to take back the Iberian 1492 Ferdinand and Isabella told Jews to con-
Peninsula was called the Reconquista (RAY • vert or leave Spain. Most left the country.
kohn • KEES • tuh), or “reconquest.” Next the king and queen turned to the
By the 1200s, the Christians had set up Muslims. In 1492 Spain’s armies conquered
three kingdoms: Portugal in the west, Castile Granada. Ten years later, Muslims had to
in the center, and Aragon on the convert or leave. Most left Spain for North
Mediterranean coast. Over the next 200 Africa.
years, the Muslims slowly lost ground, until Cause and Effect What
all that remained was Granada in the south. caused the Hundred Years’ War?

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material in this section? Visit

What Did You Learn?

Reading Summary 1. How was the Black Death
4. Analyze How did the
Hundred Years’ War affect the
Review the
2. Who was Joan of Arc, and what countries involved?
• A plague, known as the Black
Death, killed millions of people in role did she play in the 5. Summarize Describe the his-
Europe and Asia and greatly Hundred Years’ War? tory of Spain and Portugal dur-
changed Europe’s economy and ing the Middle Ages.
Critical Thinking
society. 3. Understanding Cause and 6. Conclude Do you think the
Effect Draw a diagram like removal of the Jews and
the one below. Fill in some of Muslims from Spain was a wise
• Wars between England and
the effects of the Black Death policy? Explain your answer.
France weakened those countries’
economies, and Spain became a on Europe. 7. Asking
united Catholic country. Questions Write three ques-
Black tion that Charles might have
Death asked Joan of Arc to determine
if he would support her efforts.

558 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Study anywhere, anytime!
Download quizzes and flash cards
Section The Early Middle Ages to your PDA from

Vocabulary Focusing on the

fjord • Geography influenced where medieval Europeans settled and what they did. (page 513)
excommunicate • The Franks, Angles, and Saxons of Western Europe built new societies and defended them
concordat against Muslims, Magyars, and Vikings. (page 514)
• The Catholic Church spread Christianity through Western Europe. (page 519)

Section Feudalism
Vocabulary Focusing on the
feudalism • Feudalism developed in Europe in the Middle Ages. It was based on landowning, loyalty, and
vassal the power of armored knights on horseback. (page 523)
• Knights followed a code of chivalry and lived in castles, while peasants lived in simple
serf houses and worked hard all year long. (page 526)
guild • Increased trade led to the growth of towns and cities and the rise of guilds and city
governments. (page 528)

Section Kingdoms and Crusades

Vocabulary Focusing on the
grand jury • England developed a system in which the king’s power was shared with Parliament. (page 535)
trial jury • French kings called the Capetians conquered lands held by the English in western France
and set up France’s first parliament. (page 538)
• After the Mongols destroyed the Kievan state, the rulers of Moscow built a new Russian
state headed by a czar. (page 539)
• European crusaders captured Jerusalem but were later driven out by the Muslims.
(page 541)

Section The Church and Society

Vocabulary Focusing on the
mass • The Catholic Church played an important role in medieval Europe and used its power to
heresy uphold its teachings. (page 545)
theology • Church and government leaders supported learning and the arts in medieval Europe.
scholasticism (page 549)

Section The Late Middle Ages

Vocabulary Focusing on the
plague • A terrible plague, known as the Black Death, swept through Europe in the 1300s, killing
Reconquista millions. (page 554)
• Western Europe was devastated by war in the 1300s and 1400s as England and France
fought each other, and Spain and Portugal fought against the Muslims. (page 557)

Review Vocabulary 10. What was the result of increased trade?
Match the word in the first column with its Section 3 • Kingdoms and Crusades
definition in the second column. 11. What changes in England and France
___ 1. fief a. worked their own were steps toward representative
land and a lord’s land government?
___ 2. serf b. the study of religion 12. Which groups were at war with each
and God other in the Crusades? For what were
___ 3. concordat they fighting?
c. people ordained as
priests Section 4 • The Church and Society
___ 4. clergy 13. How did the Catholic Church use its
d. land granted to a
power to uphold its teachings?
___ 5. heresy 14. Why did learning and the arts flourish in
e. agreement between
medieval Europe?
the pope and the
ruler of a country Section 5 • The Late Middle Ages
___ 6. theology 15. What was the Black Death, and how did it
f. a belief different from
change Europe?
Church teachings
16. Which European nations were at war dur-
Review Main Ideas ing the 1300s and 1400s?
Section 1 • The Early Middle Ages
7. Which peoples invaded Europe in the
Middle Ages? Critical Thinking
8. How did the Catholic Church affect 17. Cause and Effect What improvements in
medieval Europe? farming led to an increase in the produc-
Section 2 • Feudalism tion of food?
9. What was the basis for wealth and power 18. Compare What did Alfred the Great and
in medieval Europe? William the Conqueror succeed in doing?

Questioning Just Ask

19. Read the passage from page 525. Write six questions that you might ask about it. Use a dif-
ferent question starter for each question: who, what, when, where, how, and why.
During the Middle Ages, Europeans invented new technology
that helped increase the amount of crops they could grow. Perhaps
the most important was a heavy wheeled plow with an iron blade.
It easily turned over Western Europe’s dense clay soils.
To review this skill, see pages 510–511.

560 CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe

Self-Check Quiz To help prepare for the
Geography Skills Chapter Test, visit
Study the map below and answer the follow-
ing questions.
24. Using Your Discuss as a class
20. Place On which river was the battle of
why the events of medieval Europe
Orléans fought?
occurred. Then choose one major event
21. Interaction Which rival do you think had from your foldable, and write a paragraph
an advantage at the point shown on the that predicts how history would have been
map? Consider the battles, amount of land different if that event had not occurred.
held, natural advantages, and so on.
22. Location Why were most battle sites near
the English Channel?
Using Technology
25. Modeling Do research to find out more
about the parts of a manor and its general
Hundred Years’ War layout. (For example, you know that the
castle of the lord and lady was at the cen-
ter of the manor.) Then work with your
E classmates to create a computer drawing
KEY S 0°
or model of a manor.
English lands c. 1400
French lands c. 1400
English victory
Linking Past and Present
French victory
26. Comparing Describe how present-day
universities compare to medieval ones,
50°N London
such as those in Bologna, Paris, and
Agincourt 1415 Oxford. In your description, explain what
Channel it would be like to have to learn without
English Cr´ecy
0 200 mi.
1346 the use of books.
Paris Seine R
0 200 km Orl´eans

Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection Loire R . 1429

oˆ n e R.

King Louis IX asked the following of

his vassals.
“All vassals of the king are bound to appear
before him when he shall summon them,
and to serve him at their own expense for
forty days and forty nights, with as many
Read to Write knights as each one owes.”
23. Script Writing Suppose you are living in —King Louis IX, “Legal Rules for Military Service”
a small medieval town. Suddenly, the peo-
ple of your town begin dying from the
plague. You and your family have to
decide whether to stay in the town or 27. Did knights directly serve the king
leave. Write a dialogue between you, fam- and appear when he called them?
ily members, and perhaps some neighbors. 28. What do you think happened if the
The dialogue should give the advantages king needed the vassals and knights
and disadvantages of both actions and for more than 40 days and nights?
should show the family reaching a decision
about what to do.

CHAPTER 15 Medieval Europe 561

Comparing Medieval
Compare civilizations of the
Middle Ages by reviewing the
information below. Can you
see how the peoples of these Chapter 12
Chapter 13
civilizations had lives that Chapter 14
were very much like yours? Chapter 15

China in the Medieval Medieval Medieval

Middle Ages Africa Japan Europe
Cha pt e r 12 Chapt er 13 Chap t er 14 C hap te r 15
Where did these
civilizations • Mainland of East
• West Africa;
Southern Africa;
• Islands off coast
of East Asia
• Northwestern
Europe and
develop? East Africa Mediterranean

• Taizong, ruled • Ibn Battuta, • Prince Shotoku, • Charlemagne,

Who were A.D. 627–649 A.D. 1307–1377 A.D. 573–621 ruled
some important • Empress Wu, ruled • Mansa • Murasaki Shikibu, A.D. 768–814

people in these A.D. 684–705 Musa, ruled

A.D. 1312–1337
c. A.D. 973–1025 • William the
Conqueror, ruled
• Kublai Khan, ruled • Minamoto
civilizations? A.D. 1271–1294 • Sunni Ali, ruled Yoritomo,
A.D. 1066–1087

A.D. 1464–1492 A.D. 1147–1199 • Thomas Aquinas,

• Zheng He, A.D. 1225–1274
A.D. 1371–1433 • Queen Nzinga, • Ashikaga Takauji,
ruled A.D. 1305–1358 • Joan of Arc,
c. A.D. 1623–1663 A.D. 1412–1431

• Farming villages • Farming • Farming villages

Where did most and towns along villages; on estates
of the people major rivers trading
centers, such • Fishing and farm-
located on
plains; trading
live? as Timbuktu ing villages in centers in Italy
and Kilwa coastal plains area and Flanders

China in the Medieval Medieval Medieval
Middle Ages Africa Japan Europe
Cha pt e r 12 Chapt er 13 Chap t er 14 C hap te r 15
What were
these people’s • Confucianism,
• Traditional
African religions,
• Shintoism,
• Roman Catholic
with small
beliefs? Buddhism Christianity,
numbers of Jews
and Muslims

• Ruled by kings, • Emperors ruled • Feudal territories

What was their close advisers, in name but united into
government and local officials power held
by military

like? leaders
• Emperors ruled
with the help of
selected by

• Chinese: • Many languages • Japanese:

What was their symbols and different Chinese • Many languages
language and standing for
objects are
writing systems,
but much
standing for
derived from
Latin and
writing like? combined to knowledge ideas as well as Germanic
represent passed on by oral symbols
ideas history representing

• Civil service • Produced • Developed ideas

What based on merit; tradition of based on
contributions invented
moveable type,
dance, music,
harmony with
nature; produced
did they make? gunpowder, and and sculpture martial arts
the compass • Developed
universities and

• The Chinese • Early Africans • Medieval

How do these invented fire- passed on Europeans passed
changes affect works, the
compass, and
musical traditions
that led to jazz, • Japanese warriors
on Christian ideas
and a system of
me? Can you printed books rap, gospel, developed martial
arts, such as judo

add any? reggae

and karate

(cw from top) Scala/Art Resource, NY, Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY, Vanni/Art Resource, NY, Private Collection, Paul Freeman/Bridgeman Art Library, Seattle Art Museum/CORBIS, The British Museum,
London/Bridgeman Art Library, CORBIS