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THE MIDDLE AGES FROM A-Z
The Middle Ages lasted from the 5th through the 15th century throughout the world.
Sometimes it is called Midieval Times.
Facts about the Middle Ages for each letter of the alphabet
Click on highlighted word for more information.
A IS FOR AFRICA, ARCHITECTURE, ART, ASIA, & AUSTRALIA
AFRICA remained a mystery to the rest of the world during the Middle Ages, but many civilizations flourished there. At various times, some African societies equalled or surpassed European nations in culture, education, and wealth.
There were several styles of
ARCHITECTURE in Europe during the Middle Ages. The
Orient had several styles of architecture. The architecture of the
Middle East came from many traditions.
ART in the Middle Ages included
illumination, and stained glass.
Icons were called "The Windows of Heaven".
During the Middle Ages,
ASIA had far surpassed the West in the development of warfare, communication, and science. Ceramics and porcelain production flourished in Vietnam.
The origin of
BELLS is unknown, but they were used throughout the world during the Middle ages. During this time the use of
bells was steeped in superstition.
In the 14th century, many people around the world were devastated by the bubonic plague - The
BLACK DEATH. The people in Eastern Europe had little contact with other people so it did not reach them. There were many
health problems during the Middle Ages and medical knowledge was limited.
Herbs were often used to treat medical conditions.
C IS FOR CASTLES, CATHEDRALS, CLOTHING, & CRUSADES
CASTLES were built throughout the world during the Middle Ages. Windsor Castle is said to be the oldest and largest castle in the world.
Burg Eltz Castle is one of the best perserved medieval castles in Europe.
During the Middle Ages, all of the
CLOTHING was made by hand. The traditional
Japanese kimono evolved during the Middle Ages. The
spinning wheel evolved from ancient times and was greatly improved during the Middle Ages.
During the Middle Ages, the
CRUSADES were an attempt to regain the Holy Land.
D IS FOR DARK AGES
DARK AGES describes the early Middle Ages in Europe, but they were anything but dark in other parts of the world. During this time, the
Mayans were the most technologically advanced people on earth and devised an elaborate calendar, built great cities, produced beautiful art, and charted stars and planets. The Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa studied and improved on the works of the ancient Greeks. Civilization flourished in sub-Saharan Africa, China, and India.
E IS FOR EASTERN EUROPE, EMPIRES, & EUROPE
EASTERN EUROPE was somewhat isolated from the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages and developments occurred more slowly.
There were many EMPIRES throughout the world during the Middle Ages.
During the Middle Ages,
Europe went through many changes.
F IS FOR FAIRS, FOOD, & FEUDALISM
FAIRS were some of the most colorful events in the Middle Ages. They were held once a year but lasted weeks sometimes months.
Renaissance Fairs & Festivals are held throughout the United States.
FOOD depended on the class of the individual.
Fish was an important part of the diet in the Middle Ages.
Tomatoes were first cultivated in South America. Only the rich used eating
utensils. Much of the Orient used
chopsticks. The fork came to Europe from Italy.
Chocolate comes from the fruit of the cocoa bean and was used in South and Central during the Middle Ages America sometimes as money. Special food was prepared for
holidays and feasts.
FEUDALISM was a new type of government in Europe, Japan, & China during the Middle Ages.
G IS FOR GAMES, & GUILDS
A wide variety of
GAMES were played during the Middle Ages. The game of
golf is believed to have started in Scotland. The game of
chess tells much about the way people lived in medieval times.
Games during the Middle Ages were often centered around particular times of the year. Many types of
toys were available during the Middle ages and were
similar to what we have today.
Guilds were established in Europe by working men of particular trades.
H IS FOR HERALDRY, HORSES, & HUNDRED YEARS WAR
Heraldry began in the early Middle Ages of Europe to help the knights and foot soldiers identify each other during battle.
Horses were used for warfare, tournaments, farming, and transportation during the Middle Ages.
Hundred Years War was the name given to the campaign and battles between the French and English from 1337 to 1453.
I IS FOR INDIA, INQUISITION, ISLAMIC WORLD, & INVENTIONS
India during the Middle Ages holds many mysteries, treasures, and legends.
The Inquisition was a judicial process for the apprehension and trial of heretics.
inventions were made throughout the world during the Middle Ages. The invention of the
printing press was the greatest invention of all time.
Technology during the Middle Ages was often practical and used natural resources.
The Islamic World had a great influence in the areas of science and learning during the Middle Ages and brought the
arabic numerals to Europe.
J IS FOR JESTERS, JOUST, & JUGGLERS
Jesters in European courts provided physical comedy and had their own type of
clothing. Chinese Jesters were men of wisdom.
During the Middle Ages, a
Joust was a clash between two knights who tried to unhorse each other.
Jugglers in the Middle Ages went by several different names and provided entertainment. Many jugglers used
Portugal - This is the only Kingdom which continues as a separate country today.
Knights were soldiers who fought on horseback. There were
Women who were also knights. The main job of the
Knights Templar was to defend the roads used by pilgrims, and maintain castles and troops in the Holy Land.
L IS FOR LANGUAGE, LEGENDS, & LITERATURE
Each area of the world had its own
language during the Middle Ages. The
English language developed during this time. Latin was the official language in Western Europe.
Mail in the Middle Ages was a type of strong flexible armour - not a means of communication. Communications were accomplished by hand-delivering messages.
Middle East had many independent states during the Middle Ages.
The kind of
used in the Medieval World varied from place to place. Paper money was first used in China in the 9th century. A
Bill of Exchange was often used as money.
Comets called "hairy stars" were often used on coins.
music was the ancestor of most later western music. Musicians and minstrels in the middle ages played their music from memory.
A minstrel was a professional entertainer. Music outside the church was not written down and did not survive. During the Middle Ages, the
organ developed into three different types of instruments. Listen to the
sounds of some Midieval instruments.
ORIENT had great civilizations during the Middle Ages. The
Silk Road linked the Orient with the Roman Empire and influenced the culture of
China, Central Asia, and the West.
Marco Polo is probably the most famouse Westerner who traveled on the Silk Road. The traditional Chinese theater was a singing and dancing performance.
P IS FOR PACIFIC ISLANDS, PILGRIMAGE, & POPULATION
During the Middle Ages, the
Pacific Islands were settled by Polynesians and included New Zealand, the islands off the coast of Chile, and the Hawaiian Islands.
PILGRIMAGE during the Middle Ages included traveling to a sacred place often to cure ills. St. James was called "The Field of Stars" and was a place of worship for Medieval pilgrims. Bringing home a souvenier was an important part of a pilgrimage. Fa-hsien was one of China's greatest pilgrims.
Pilgrims who were unable to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem went to a pilgrimage site and walked a
POPULATION of the Medieval world is difficult to determine. The
population of an area was often determined by its climate, economy, and available land. Many of the people in Medievel Europe were considered
Q IS FOR QUEENS & QUIZZES
There were many QUEENS during the Middle Ages and some of them were rulers.
Christian RELIGION was the only religion in Europe.
India was home to several religions. The Islam Religion originated in Arabia during the Middle Ages. Religion was an important part of
RENAISSANCE Era began towards the end of the Middle Ages and was a time of changes in cultural and intellectual life.
Art became more true to life.
Through the Middle Ages,
RUSSIA had contact with both European and Asia cultures, making it uniquely its own.
S IS FOR SOUTH AMERICA & SPORTS
SOUTH AMERICA had several independent civilizations during the Middle Ages, and the
Incas were the largest Native American society.
Several SPORTS were played during the Middle Ages. A
tournament was a sport only for nobles but many people watched.
Fishing was a popular and a variety of methods was used.
T IS FOR TRAVEL & TROUBADOURS
TRAVEL throughout the Medieval World was slow, uncomfortable, and usually dangerous. A two-wheeled cart was often the mode of transportation.
TROUBADOURS were poets and minstrels and often nobles who composed poems and songs and performed them for their courts.
WESTERN EUROPE began to experience great change at the end of the fourteenth century.
Several types ofWINDMILLS were used during the Middle Ages, and thousands of watermills were built cross Europe.
WOMEN in the Middle Ages had a variety of roles. More info about
women in the Middle Ages.
X IS FOR XMAS
XMAS is an abbreviation for Christmas. In the Middle Ages, the
Christmas season lasted from the beginning of December to the beginning of February. Throughout the Medeival World, people had many
holidays and religious festivals. The
Feast of Fools began on the first day of the year.
Y IS FOR YEAR 1000 - Y1K
Y1K caused concern during the Middle Ages. The
Year 1000 was a time of change, and many things were happening throughout the
Z IS FOR ZOOS
Before there were
ZOOS, a collection of animals in the Medieval World was called a menagerie.
Zoos helped to keep records of the exploration of the new world. Under Medieval law, animals could be tried and sentenced for crimes, just as though they were people. Cats were not common pets in the Middle Ages.
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