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Vocab: Medieval Backgrounds and the Renaissance

Holy Roman Empire
2nd century C.E. – unified Mediterranean basin w/ common language, culture, road network, economy, aqueducts
Causes of decline: barbarism (invasion), expansionism, Christianity (new religion) – “weakened the spirit” of the Roman Empire
476 C.E.: last Western emperor deposed (classic date of collapse of Roman empire)
St. Benedict
Born into wealth, became spiritual hermit, attracted followers, founder of first monastery (Monte Casino) – 520 C.E.
Benedictine Rule
Book written by St. Benedict with rules about how monks should live a Christian life
Basis of Western monasticism

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Monte Casino
1st monastery – founded by St. Benedict
Top of hill for protection; livestock, slaves, necessities
land given to a vassal from his lord in exchange for specified terms of service (usually loyalty, soldiers, etc.)
a free warrior who places himself under a lord, accepting the terms of loyal service, fighting in times of war and counseling in times of peace
an oath of allegiance/loyalty sworn by a vassal to his lord
the grant of a fief by a vassal to a subordinate who becomes his vassal
a new code of behavior that refined the manners of knights and nobles and adapted them to life in a noble household
a peasant who was personally free, but bound to the lord of a manor and worked the land of the manor.
moldboard plow
agricultural innovation developed in manioralism
three-field system
1 spring field, 1 fall field, 1 fallow field
rise of universities
a form of argument, or dialectic, developed in the Middle Ages, particularly with Abelard and Thomas Aquinas.
Moses Maimonides
Psychologically/spiritually lost
Divine Comedy
-Written by Dante, THE medieval poem of personal spiritual exploration
-Dante climbs Mt. Purgatory along w/ sinners (but not mortal sinners) – working towards paradise
Seeing God (very psychedelic) at the end
-Biblical, Italian, philosophy, classic mythology, theology, science, astronomy all incorporated into a poem – excellent representation of knowledge of the Middle Ages
-Commedia – go from darkness to light, eventually called Divine Comedy
-Ultimately meant as a spiritual allegory (symbolic story) of the soul’s journey to salvation – what the people of the times were most concerned with
-Everything on Earth interpreted symbolically, life on Earth only a shadow/stepping stone to afterlife
terza rima
style of Western European architecture and art developed after 1000; characterized by rounded arches, massive walls, and simple ornamentation.
style of Western European architecture and art developed in the 12th century (1100s); characterized by pointed arches, vaulting, and elaborate ornamentation
flying buttresses
Provide support and resistance for building and outward weight/thrust, distribute load, helpful for storms
Allowed inner walls to be cut out/remodeled/ outfitted with stained glass
Chartres Cathedral
Chartres, France
Center of town, massive
Best preserved Medieval Gothic church
Spires – different b/c made at different times (always working on it)
Book of the illiterate – peasants could interpret symbols within church
Cruciform shape
Avignon Exile
1309-1377: Pope Clement V – papacy relocates to Avignon (southern France) for 70 yrs, expand bureaucracy, influenced by French rulers
–>Reduced papal prestige (corruption evident, Pope under control of French monarchy in Avignon)
Great Schism
-Major split of the Church in the period of 1378-1417, in which two (eventually 3) popes fought over the rule of the Church.
-Italians want papacy in Rome, French want Avignon → great divide (schism)
2 popes elected by Italian & French – conflict (eventually 3 people) – harmful for church
⇒ Loss of unity amongst princes and peoples
⇒ Worsened financial crisis
bubonic plague
14th century – “Black Death”
-Pandemic (universal disease) that overcame all of Europe
-Merchant ships sailing from East carry rats infected with bacillus pestis (rodent disease)
-Outbreak starts in Messina, Sicily and moves north for 3 years
-Incubation of 2-3 days
-Symptoms: chills, high fever, headache, vomiting, swelling in lymph nodes of groin
-Spread from human to human through coughing
-Death in 90% of all cases, 1/3 – ½ of all population dead → demographic collapse
One Hundred Year’s War
War between France & England 1338-1453
Not fought continually, but in phases
3 periods:
1338-1360 – initial English victories
1369-1415 – France strikes back, followed by stalemate
1415-1453 – England invades, Joan of Arc revives France, France wins
conciliar movement
-Advocates of the authority of General Councils, rather than the papacy, in the Roman Church (especially active in the 1400s)
-People thought general council should rule Church, wanted new Church constitution
⇒ Third rival pope created in Pisa
⇒ Between 1414-18, one Roman pope heads the church
canon law
regulates Church principles; in accord with their interpretation of the Bible; socially – no divorce; Church’s legal code evolved to answer all disputes; only unified legal system
Latin prayers chanted at certain times
self-contained/sufficient religious community (not safe to go out in Middle Ages)
German word for “spirit of the times”
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc – peasant, heard God, led French army to victory, captured & burned at the stake
Battle of Crécy
1346, N. France – French unorganized, British fired down into them
First war where destruction of property (attrition) used as strategy – destroyed farmland
Battle of Poitiers
1356 – near Poitiers (fields of Beauvoir & Maupertuis)
“Black Prince” King John (Philip’s son) used axe to break press
chase to gates of Poitiers
many casualities & injuries (horse & men) Poitiers closed doors & did not open
even more dominant English victory
Peace of Brétingy
English victories, Black Death/Plague & exhaustion –> Peace of Brétingy – 1360 – English received Calais, larger Aquitaine; Edward renounced claim to French crown
Medici family
Characterized certain trends: became wealthy through trade b/c Italy prosperous b/c geographical position; dominant in Florence (birthplace of Renaissance); gave rise to powerful politicians/pope; patrons of art that expressed their values; member of emerging noble class

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Vocab: Medieval Backgrounds and the Renaissance
Holy Roman Empire 2nd century C.E. - unified Mediterranean basin w/ common language, culture, road network, economy, aqueducts Causes of decline: barbarism (invasion), expansionism, Christianity (new religion) - "weakened the spirit" of the Roman Empire 476 C.E.: last Western emperor deposed (classic date of collapse of Roman empire)
2021-02-24 03:21:21
Vocab: Medieval Backgrounds and the Renaissance
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