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Early Middle Ages

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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