MU1711 Jan 11
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The Medieval Era
“Medieval” - means 'between' (Classical antiquity and Renaissance)
–1000-year period called the “Middle Ages”
The 'Dark Ages':
–After Rome fell, war and poverty took over in many parts of Europe, leading
to a decline in education eg. Ability to read Greek, do mathematics
–Cultural decline in the West
Information preserved in the Monasteries
–Beginning in the 5th century, individual Christians would retreat to the desert
on their own to become hermits
–Lead by St. Anthony of Egypt
–Groups of hermits dedicated to a Christian life formed monasteries
–Scriptoria (room) in monasteries preserved much of Western culture for
centuries while war waged around them. Monks wrote and copied cultural
information for preservation.
–Preserve literature, culture and music
Skellig Michael (8th-12th c.)
–Beehive huts preserved literature, philosophy, math while the various wars
happened in Europe.
–Missionaries sent to bring it back to Europe
Charlemagne (742-814 AD)
–King of the Franks, then crowned by Pope Leo III on Christmas day 800 AD
–Ruled most of the Germanic/Italian lands as the “Holy Roman Emperor”
–In use in France by the Normans from about 900 AD
–Instituted in England by William the Conqueror from 1066 AD onward
–Time for leisure activities and art in a secular society
–Concepts of chivalry (from “chevalier”) and “courtly love” were born
–Troubadours and Minnesinger culture contributed to this way of life.
The 11th and 12th centuries
–First musical books with full notation appear
–First of a series of Crusades begin in 1096
–Cultural mixing and travel brought new awareness of other cultures
–In the 12th century, Europe experienced a small “renaissance” through trade
and exposure to the Islamic world.
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