The period in western European history between the fall of Roman Empire and the fifteenth century.
Sea-Going Scandinavian raiders who disrupted coastal areas of Europe from the eighth to eleventh centuries; pushed across the Atlantic to Iceland, Greenland, and North America.
System of economic and political relations between landlords and their peasant laborers during the Middle Ages; involved a hierarchy of reciprocal obligations that exchanged labor for access to land.
Peasant agriculture laborers within the manorial system.
Heavy plow introduced in northern Europe during the Middle Ages; permitted deeper cultivation of heavier soils.
One-third of land left unplanted each year to increase fertility
King of the Franks; converted to Christianity ca. 496
Royal house of Franks from eighth to tenth centuries.
Carolingian monarch of Franks; defeated Muslims at Tours in 732.
Carolingian monarch who established large empire in France and Germany ca. 800.
Holy Roman Emperors
Rulers in northern Italy and Germany following break-up of Charlemagne's empire; claimed title of emperor but failed to develop centralized monarchy.
Relationships among the military elite during the Middle Ages; greater lords provided protection to lesser lords in return for military service.
Members of the military elite who received land or a benefice from a lord in return for military service and loyalty.
French dynasty ruling from the tenth century; developed a strong feudal monarchy.
William the Conqueror
Invaded England from Normandy in 1066; established tight feudal system and centralized monarchy in England.
Great Charter issued by King John of England in 1215; confirmed feudal rights against monarchical claims; represented principle of mutual limits and obligations between rulers and feudal aristocracy.
Bodies representing privileged groups; institutionalized feudal principle that rulers should consult their vassals.
Hundred Years War
Conflict between England and France (1337-1453)
Pope Urban II
Called first Crusade in 1095; appealed to Christians to free the Holy Land from Muslim control.
St. Clare of Assisi
Thirteenth-century founder of a women's monastic order; represented a new spirit of purity and dedication to the Catholic church.
Eleventh-century pope who attempted to free church from interference of feudal lords; quarreled with Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV over practice of lay investiture of bishops.
Author of Yes and No; university scholar who applied logic to problems of theology; demonstrated logical contradictions within established doctrine.
Creator of one of the great syntheses of medieval learning; taught at University of Paris author of Summas; believed that through reason it was possible to know much about natural order, moral law, and nature of god.
An organization of north German and Scandinavian cities for the purpose of establishing a commercial alliance
Associations of workers in the same occupation in a single city; stressed security and mutual control; limited membership, regulated apprenticeship, guaranteed good workmanship, discourage innovations; often established franchise within cities.
Plague that struck Europe in the 14th century; significantly reduced Europe's population; affected social structure.