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Middle Ages

the period between the fall of the Roman Empire in the west (470) and the beginning of the European Renaissance in the 1400s. This period is also known as "Medieval."


Germanic power led by Clovis who held power in the Roman province of Gaul.


a religious community of men (called monks) who have given up their possessions to devote themselves to a like of prayer and worship


of or pertaining to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred


Relating to the Frankish dynasty, founded by Charlemagne's father, that ruled in western Europe from 750 to 987.


when rule of a country or empire passes down through the family from one generation to the next


Also known as Charles the Great, the ruler of the Franks and founder of western Europe after the falls of Rome


in the middle ages, a noble who owned and controlled all activities on his manor


land granted by a lord to a vassal in exchange for loyalty and service


in the middle ages, a noble who usually was given a fief by his lord in exchange for loyalty


in medieval Europe, an armored warrior who fought on horseback


in medieval Europe, peasant bound to the lord's land


In medieval Europe, a large, self-sufficient landholding consisting of the lord's residence (manor house), outbuildings, peasant village, and surrounding land.


pay a tenth of one's income, especially to the church


Knightly qualities such as valor fairness, courtesy, respect for women, and protection of the poor


under feudalism, a series of martial activities such as jousts designed to keep knights busy during peacetime and help prepare for war.


a traveling performer who wandered from place to place in France, Italy, and Spain, singing songs and reciting poems abou th echivalrous deeds of knights


(n.) members of Christian holy orders (Though the villagers viewed the church rectory as quaint and charming,who lived there regarded it as a mildewy and dusty place that aggravated their allergies.


An efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed through the work of the Holy Spirit. There are seven sacraments.

Canon Law

The law of the Roman Catholic church. Originally a loose collection of papal decrees and edicts from church councils about the rules and practice of the faith, canon laws became a means through which the papacy asserted its authority over the church and medieval society.

Holy Roman Empire

a Germanic empire located chiefly in central Europe that began with the coronation of Charlemagne as Roman emperor in a.d. 800

Lay Investiture

the feudal ceremony of investiture performed by a person who is not a member of the clergy

Germanic peoples

people who lived along borders of Rome and learned Roman ways, became allies. ex, Visigoths, Ostrogoths


Germanic tribe that established rule in Rome after the collapse of empire; controlled lands in southern Gaul; ultimately defeated by other Germanic tribes, assimilating into culture of area


The Visigoths first emerge as a distinct people during the fourth century, initially in the Balkans, where they participated in several wars with Rome. A Visigothic army under Alaric I eventually moved into Italy and famously sacked Rome in 410.


Came from Germany; invaded Rome with Saxons


a germanic people that conquered England and merged with the Angles to become Anglo-Saxons

Frankish kingdom

franks became an organized and powerful kingdom. began feudalism in europe. (important ruler was charlemagne)


Early Frankish king; converted Franks to Christianity c. 496; allowed establishment of Frankish kingdom.

Merovingian dynasty

a Frankish dynasty founded by Clovis I that reigned in Gaul and Germany from about 500 to 750

Arian Christianity

A 4th cent. heresy that taught that jesus wasn't made of the same substance as his father, and had therefore been created


Nation that is forced to shoulder heavy reparations and sole responsibility for conflict


weregeld was a person's value in monetary terms, which was paid by a wrongdoer to the family of the person who had been injured or killed.


an ancient form of trial in which an accused person cold call 11 people to swear to their belief in his innocence


a means of determining guilt in Germanic law; it was based on the idea of divine intervention; all involved a physical trial of some sort for example using red hot irons


Church leaders who are the sucessors of the Apostles. Bishops recieve all 3 orders of the sacrament of Holy Orders

bishop of Rome

Roman Emperor picks pope, St. Benedict is the first. he says monastiscism needs to withdraw from society, makes monks copiers.


The head of the Roman Catholic Church

Gregory I

"Gregory the Great"; broadened the authority of the papacy, or pope's office, beyond spiritual role; papacy became secular power involved in politics

Papal States

A group of territories in central Italy ruled by the popes from 754 until 1870. They were originally given to the papacy by Pepin the Short and reached their greatest extent in 1859. The last papal state—the Vatican City—was formally established as a separate state by the Lateran Treaty of 1929.

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