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Medieval

Literally 'middle age,' a term that historians of use for the time period between about 500 to 1500

Clovis

King of Franks; conquered Gaul; earned support of Gaul and Church of Rome by converting to Chiristianity

Franks

Germanic people who lived and held power in Gaul. By 511 the Franks had united into one kingdom and they controlled the largest and strongest parts of Europe

Battle of Tours

732 AD Christians defeat Muslim invaders and stop the spread of Islam into Europe

Charlemagne

Frankish king who conquered most of Europe and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in the year 800

Charles Martel

Frankish commander for the battle of Tours

Vikings

Scandinavian peoples whose sailors raided Europe from the 700's through the 1100's

Magyars

An ethnic group centered in present-day Hungary

Feudalism

An economic and political system based on relationships between various social classes with the monarch at the top and peasants at the bottom

Vassal

A lord who was granted land in exchange for service and loyalty to a greater lord

Feudal contract

Exchange of pledges between lords and vassals

Fief

Grant of land in a feudal contract

Knight

a European noble who served as a mounted warrior

Tournament

a series of jousts between knights contesting for a prize

Common law

a body of rulings made by judges that become part of a nation's legal system

Troubadour

a traveling poet and musician of the Middle Ages

Commerce

the buying and selling of goods

Serf

Unfree peasant

Sacrament

one of the Christian ceremonies in which God's grace is transmitted to people

Benedictine Rule

Set of rules that govern monk's lives

Secular

non-religious

Papal Supremacy

The claim of medieval popes that they had authority over all secular rulers

Canon Law

laws made by the church

Excommunication

Exclusion from the Roman Catholic Church as penalty for refusing to obey Church law

Interdict

excommunication of an entire town, region, or kingdom

Friar

A medieval European monk who traveled from place to place preaching to the poor

St. Francis of Assisi

Italian saint who founded the Franciscan order of friars; treated all creatures, including animals, as spiritual brothers and sisters; born to wealthy merchant family and willingly gave up a life of comfort

St. Dominic

He founded the Dominicans who were dedicated to combating heresies

Charter

a written grant of rights and privileges by a ruler or government to a community, class of people, or organization

Capital

money for investment

Partnership

a group of merchants who joined together to finance a large-scale venture that would have been too costly for any individual trader

Tenant farmer

someone who would pay rent to a lord to farm part of the lord's land

Middle class

the class ranked between nobles and peasants in medieval society

Guild

a medieval association of merchants or artisans who cooperated to uphold standards of their trade and to protect their economic interests

Apprentice

a person who works for an expert in a trade or craft in return for training

Journeyman

a person who has learned a particular trade or craft but has not become an employer, or master

Barbarians

A person belonging to a tribe or group that is considered uncivilized

Roman Catholic Church

the Christian church headed by the pope in Rome

Pope

the bishop of Rome and supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church

Monarch

A ruler, such as a king or queen

Manor

a large estate, including farmland and villages, held by a lord

Divine right of kings

the belief that God gives monarchs the right to rule

Noble

a person of high rank by birth or title

Hierarchy

a system of organizing people into ranks, with those of higher rank having more power and privileges

Chivalry

the medieval knight's code of ideal behavior, including bravery, loyalty, and respect for women

Salvation

the Christian belief in everlasting life with God after being forgiven of sins

Bubonic plague

a deadly contagious disease also called the Black Death with was caused by bacteria and spread by fleas

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