The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early , High , and Late Middle Ages .
The medieval art of the Western world covers a vast scope of time and place, over 1000 years of art in Europe, and at times the Middle East and North Africa. It includes major art movements and periods, national and regional art, genres, revivals, the artists' crafts, and the artists themselves. Art historians attempt to classify medieval art into major periods and styles, often with some difficulty.
Unsourced material may be challenged or removed. Find sources: "Middle Ages" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (January 2014) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message) The Middle Ages were a period of about a thousand years in European history. They started around the year 476 CE when the Western Roman Empire ended, and continued until around the time Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492.
Medieval cuisine includes foods, eating habits, and cooking methods of various European cultures during the Middle Ages, which lasted from the fifth to the fifteenth century. During this period, diets and cooking changed less than they did in the early modern period that followed, when those changes helped lay the foundations for modern ...
- Strategy and tactics
Medieval warfare is the European warfare of the Middle Ages. Technological, cultural, and social developments had forced a severe transformation in the character of warfare from antiquity, changing military tactics and the role of cavalry and artillery. In terms of fortification, the Middle Ages saw the emergence of the castle in Europe, which then spread to the Holy Land.
Vegetius, De re militari, preface to book 3. Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus wrote De re militari possibly in the late 4th century. Described by historian Walter Goffart as "the bible of warfare throughout the Middle Ages", De re militari was widely distributed through the Latin
In Europe, breakdowns in centralized power led to the rise of several groups that turned to large-scale pillage as a source of income. Most notably the Vikings, Arabs, Mongols, Huns, Cumans, Tartars, and Magyars raided significantly. As these groups were generally small and needed to move quickly, building fortifications was a good way to provide refuge and protection for the people and the wealth in the region. These fortifications evolved throughout the Middle Ages, the most important form bei
The medieval knight was usually a mounted and armoured soldier, often connected with nobility or royalty, although knights could also come from the lower classes, and could even be enslaved persons. The cost of their armour, horses, and weapons was great; this, among other things, helped gradually transform the knight, at least in western Europe, into a distinct social class separate from other warriors. During the crusades, holy orders of Knights fought in the Holy Land. The light cavalry consi
Weapons Medieval weapons consisted of many different types of ranged and hand-held objects
The practice of carrying relics into battle is a feature that distinguishes medieval warfare from its predecessors or early modern warfare and possibly inspired by biblical references. The presence of relics was believed to be an important source of supernatural power that served both as a spiritual weapon and a form of defence; the relics of martyrs were considered by Saint John Chrysostom much more powerful than "walls, trenches, weapons and hosts of soldiers" In Italy, the carroccio or carro
Medieval communes in the European Middle Ages had sworn allegiances of mutual defense (both physical defense and of traditional freedoms) among the citizens of a town or city. These took many forms and varied widely in organization and makeup.
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- How hunts were conducted
Throughout Western Europe in the Middle Ages, humans hunted wild animals. While game was at times an important source of food, it was rarely the principal source of nutrition. Hunting was engaged by all classes, but by the High Middle Ages, the necessity of hunting was transformed into a stylized pastime of the aristocracy. More than a pastime, it was an important arena for social interaction, essential training for war, and a privilege and measurement of nobility.
Hieratic formalized recreational hunting has been taking place since Assyrian kings hunted lions from chariots in a demonstration of their royal nature. In Roman law, property included the right to hunt, a concept which continued under the Frankish Merovingian and Carolingian monarchs who considered the entire kingdom to be their property, but who also controlled enormous royal domains as hunting reserves. The biography of the Merovingian noble Saint Hubert recounts how hunting could become an o
One of the striking things about Medieval Hunting is its devotion to terminology. All aspects of the hunt - each different animal to be hunted, in each year of its development, each of its body parts, each stage of the chase, each feature of the hounds' behaviour - had its separate term. Knowledge and extension of this terminology became a courtly fashion in the 14th century in France and England.
English and French accounts agree on the general makeup of a hunt—they were well-planned so that everyone knew his role before going out. The hunt par force required each participant to have a specific role. If someone slipped in his role, not only could he easily get lost, but it put the rest of the group in danger by exposure. Many nobles hunted par force, for a multitude of reasons, but above all because it was considered the purest and noblest form of hunting. The ritual of the hunt ...
The weapons used for hunting would mostly be the same as those used for war: bow, crossbow, lance or spear, knife and sword. Bows were the most commonly used weapon. Although the crossbow was introduced around the time of the First Crusade, it was not generally used for hunting until the second half of the 15th century. Cudgels were used for clubbing small game in particular by women who joined the hunt. "Boar spears" were also used. With the introduction of handheld firearms to hunting in the 1
Most of the larger, wild mammals could be hunted. Different animals were valued for different qualities; both in the hunt itself, and in the meat and the fur they produced.
Medieval theatre encompasses theatrical performance in the period between the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century and the beginning of the Renaissance in approximately the 15th century. Medieval theatre covers all drama produced in Europe over that thousand-year period and refers to a variety of genres, including liturgical drama, mystery plays, morality plays, farces and masques. Beginning with Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim in the 10th century, Medieval drama was for the most part v
Medieval music was composed and, for some vocal and instrumental music, improvised for many different music genres (styles of music). Medieval music created for sacred (church use) and secular (non-religious use) was typically written by composers, except for some sacred vocal and secular instrumental music which was improvised (made up on-the-spot).