A more feminine point of view in ethics and personal conduct, as compared to feudalism.
Expression by means of symbols to make a more effective generalization or moral commentary about human existence than could be achieved by direct or literal means.
A synthesis of medieval intellect, spirituality, and engineering - in architecture characterized by the pointed arch.
Music employing definite time values and precise meters.
A medieval religious play produced by occupational guilds.Take their meaning from the Latin word meaning "service" or "occupation". The designation probably refers to the production of religious plays by the occupational guilds of the Middle Ages rather than the mysteries of Revelation. Bible stories.
The rejection of religion and religious considerations.
A sculpture or painting of the dead Christ supported by Mary.
"New Art", referring to changes in music occurring in the 14th century.
the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience of and even communion with a supreme being.
Presented a real or fictitious account of the life, miracles, or martyrdom of a saint.
Didactic allegories, which had characters such as lust, pride, sloth, gluttony, or hatred.
bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet. In some cases, rope marks on the wrists have accompanied the wounds on the hands.
specific form of buttressing most strongly associated with Gothic church architecture. the buttress is not in contact with the wall all the way to the ground; so that the lateral forces are transmitted across an intervening space. two key components - a massive vertical masonry block (the buttress) on the outside of the building and a segmental or quadrant arch bridging the gap between that buttress and the wall.
These vernacular songs used set forms and proved easy to listen to and direct in appeal. Some had dance-like triple meter.
Stage where the different areas represented "mansions" or houses. The individual spaces depicted their locations realistically. The text of the play conveyed where the action occurred, and the audience could imagine that locale.
An opening such as a window in a structure.
a term for a cathedral church. derives from the Latin word "domus", meaning house, as a cathedral is the "house of God", or domus Dei.
In architecture, in which structure and exterior design were joined into a form based on the rectangular geometry and emerging from the basic function of the building.
In music, a particular arrangement of chords to indicate the ending of a musical passage.
an artistic genre of late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one's station in life. consists of the dead or personified Death summoning representatives from all walks of life to dance along to the grave, typically with a pope, emperor, king, child, and labourer. They were produced to remind people of the fragility of their lives and how vain were the glories of earthly life.
Has aisles and nave of the same height, unlike the more traditional Gothic style with high naves and lower aisles in order to allow for the clerestory windows in the nave.
the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church.
served as the friend and counsellor both of Louis VI. Suger was the 'designer' of St Denis (and hence the 'inventor' of Gothic architecture). Believed the Church should present the attainment of outward splendor, spectacles offered to God and humankind, and light to lead the dull mind from the material to the immaterial. Light streaming into the Church comprised "Light Divine", a mystic revelation of Gods spirit.
often seen as a significant conflict between Church and state in medieval Europe, was really a conflict over two radically different views of whether secular authorities such as kings, counts, or dukes, had any legitimate role in appointments to ecclesiastical offices such as bishoprics.
In 1140, Abbot Suger, counselor to the King, granted further privileges to the citizens of Saint-Denis. He also started the works of enlargement of the basilica that still exists today, often cited as the first example of Gothic Architecture. The new church was consecrated in 1144.
St. Thomas Aquinas
an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived as a reaction against, or as an agreement with, his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.
is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society. They often depended on grants of letters patent by a monarch or other authority to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and the supply of materials.
A delicate Cathedral, focusing on space rather than stone. Carries its portals up to the full height of their lower section.
St. Francis of Assisi
The son of a cloth merchant. Participated in the war between Assisi and Perugia. A vision told him to return to Assisi and wait for a call to a new kind of knighthood, and devoted himself to solitude and prayer in order to know the will of God. A layman that preached the gospel. Went to mountain retreat of La Verna, he prayed to know how to best please god, Had a vision of the crucifixion, and received the stigmata.
a series of religious expeditionary wars blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church, with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem.
William the Conqueror
known as William the Bastard (Guillaume le Bâtard) because of the illegitimacy of his birth. Invaded and conquered England in 1066, became King, and gave the country greater centralized government.
Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia (Divine Comedy), considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature.
Gave France the prestige of a saint in its royal lineage. Possessed great strength of character and medieval christian virtue. Canonized for washing leper's feet as a great act of spiritual character.
The Divine Comedy
epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative and allegorical vision of the afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church. It helped establish the Tuscan dialect, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.
The cathedral of Notre Dame. A fire destroyed various parts of the church. Many examples of fenestration or windows.
Eleanor of Acquitaine
Ranks as one of the period's most significant rulers. She incorporated codes of conduct and etiquette, and gave rise to a literary form called romance. Promoted chivalry.
courtly love or romance
a medieval European conception of nobly and chivalrously expressing love and admiration. Generally, courtly love was secret and between members of the nobility. It was also generally not practiced between husband and wife.
Joan of Arc
a national heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII. She was captured by the Burgundians, transferred to the English for money, put on trial by the pro-English Bishop of Beauvais, and burned at the stake when she was 19 years old.
a Czech priest, philosopher, reformer, and master at Charles University in Prague. After John Wycliffe, the theorist of ecclesiastical Reformation, he was, before Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, the first actual Church reformer, accepted some of Wycliffe's teachings and rejected others.
an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages. He is generally considered the first in a line of great artists who contributed to the Italian Renaissance. a decisive break with the prevalent Byzantine style and as initiating "the great art of painting as we know it today, introducing the technique of drawing accurately from life, which had been neglected for more than two hundred years.
House of Tudor
a European royal house of Welsh origin that ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including the Lordship of Ireland, later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1485 until 1603. Its first monarch was Henry VII, a descendant through his mother of a legitimised branch of the English royal House of Lancaster. The Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses, which left the House of Lancaster, to which the Tudors were aligned, extinct.
Christine de Pisan
a Venetian-born late medieval author who challenged misogyny and stereotypes starting to develop in the late medieval culture. As a poet, she was well known and highly regarded in her own day; she completed 41 works during her 30 year career (1399-1429), and can be regarded as Europe's first professional woman writer.
The Hundred Years' War
a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France and their various allies for control of the French throne
an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular.
is known for dictating The Book of Margery Kempe, a work considered by some to be the first autobiography in the English language. This book chronicles, to some extent, her extensive pilgrimages to various holy sites in Europe and Asia, as well as her mystical conversations with God. She is honored in the Anglican Communion.
War of the Roses
a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York (whose heraldic symbols were the "red" and the "white" rose, respectively). They were fought in several sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1485, although there was related fighting both before and after this period. The final victory went to a relatively remote Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor, who defeated the last Yorkist king Richard III and married Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth of York to unite the two houses. The House of Tudor subsequently ruled England and Wales for 117 years.
14th-century medieval allegory by Giovanni Boccaccio, told as a frame story encompassing 100 tales by ten young people.
Guillaume de Machaut
a Medieval French poet and composer. He is one of the earliest composers on whom significant biographical information is available. poetry was greatly admired and imitated by other poets, including Geoffrey Chaucer. composed in a wide range of styles and forms. He is a part of the musical movement known as the ars nova.
The Black death ravaged Europe between 1348 and 1350, combination of bubonic and pneumonic, originated in China and spread to Europe by traders. Killed 1/3 of population of Europe.
known as the Father of English literature, is widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages and was the first poet to have been buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. While he achieved fame during his lifetime as an author, philosopher, alchemist and astronomer.
examines the question of Christian salvation by use of allegorical characters, and what Man must do to attain it. The premise is that the good and evil deeds of one's life will be tallied by God after death, as in a ledger book. The play is the allegorical accounting of the life of Everyman, who represents all mankind. In the course of the action, Everyman tries to convince other characters to accompany him in the hope of improving his account. All the characters are also allegorical, each personifying an abstract idea such as Fellowship, (material) Goods, and Knowledge. The conflict between good and evil is dramatized by the interactions between characters.
The Great Schism
formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively.
a collection of stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century. The tales (mostly in verse, leastly in prose) are told as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
derived from the Sino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. Traditionally, a Noh "performance day" lasts all day and consists of five Noh plays interspersed with shorter, humorous kyōgen pieces. However, present-day Noh performances often consist of two Noh plays with one Kyōgen play in between.
the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy. Practices were used also on offenses against canon law other than heresy.
a sculptor of Dutch origin. He was the most important northern European sculptor of his age and is considered a pioneer of the "northern realism" of the Early Netherlandish painting that came into full flower with the work of Jan van Eyck and others in the next generation. He restored the monumental scale and naturalism of the classical era to figural sculpture. His later work is highly emotional, using facial expressions, figural stance, and drapery; this can be particularly seen in the heavy folds of cloth that so many later imitators draped around their figures.
an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher who was known as an early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. His followers were known as Lollards, a somewhat rebellious movement, which preached anticlerical and biblically-centred reforms. The Lollard movement, was a precursor to the Protestant Reformation (for this reason, Wycliffe is sometimes called "The Morning Star of the Reformation"). He was one of the earliest opponents of papal authority influencing secular power.
generally regarded as one of the first great Italian painters to break away from the Italo-Byzantine style, although he still relied on Byzantine models. The art of this period comprised scenes and forms that appeared relatively flat and highly stylized. Cimabue was a pioneer in the move towards naturalism, as his figures were depicted with rather more life-like proportions and shading. Even though he was a pioneer in that move, his Maestà paintings show Medieval techniques and characteristics.