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.
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.
- During the Middle Ages, AUSTRALIA was inhabited by Aborigines.
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.
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.
CATHEDRALS were an important part of the Middle Ages. In Norway unique
stave churches were built.
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.
- The term 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.
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.
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.
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.
- The 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.
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 puppets.
Many parts of the Medieval World had kingdoms.
Kingdoms of Africa
Kingdoms of Cathay
Kingdoms of Europe
Kingdoms of the Far East
Kingdom of France
Kingdom of Granada
Kingdoms of India
Kingdoms of the Middle East
Kingdoms of Portugal - This is the only Kingdom which continues as a separate country today.
- Knights were soldiers who fought on horseback. There were 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.
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.
legends and myths were a blend of fact and fiction. They included
Unicorns, dragons, pegasus, fairies, and
gargoyles. One of the best known legends is about
Camelot. The Chinese had many legends and tales. The were many
mythical plants in the Medieval World.
- The Middle Ages saw the beginnings of a rebirth in literature. This was a very important time in the history of books. Many women were philosphers and writers. The Book of Kells was written during the Middle Ages.
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.
- Medieval music was the ancestor of most later western music. Musicians and minstrels in the middle ages played their music from memory. A minstrel was a professional entertainer. 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.
- North America was inhabited by a variety of people during the Middle Ages. MesoAmerica had several civilizations in what is now Mexico. Among them were the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Mayans who flourised during the Middle Ages. Many Indian Tribes lived in what is now the United States and Canada. Among them were the Mound Builders and the Ancestral Puelboans.
- The 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.
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
- The 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 Paupers.
There were many QUEENS during the Middle Ages and some of them were rulers.
Queen Sondok - Korea
Queen Melisende - Jerusalem
Empress Wu Chao - China
Quizzes about the Middle Ages
Quiz about women in the Middle Ages.
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.
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.
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.
- The first UNIVERSITIES were established during the Middle Ages. The al-Azhar University is the oldest university in the world. Heloise was one of the most famous female scholars of the Middle Ages. The best-known scholar was Saint Thomas Aquinas.
VIKINGSwere men from Scandinavia who became seamen and warriors.
- The VOYAGES of Henry the Navigator began the great age of exploration. Marco Polo wrote about his travels to the Orient. The voyages of Christopher Columbus opened the door to the New World.
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.
- 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.
- Y1K caused concern during the Middle Ages. The Year 1000 was a time of change, and many things were happening throughout the world.
- 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.