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William the Conqueror

Norman king in 1066 he defeated Harold, the Anglo-Saxon king, to become the first Norman king of england

Common law

a legal system based on custom and court rulings


a body of citizens sworn to give a true verdict according to the evidence presented in a court of law

Magna Carta

This document, signed by King John of Endland in 1215, is the cornerstone of English justice and law. It declared that the king and government were bound by the same laws as other citizens of England. It contained the antecedents of the ideas of due process and the right to a fair and speedy trial that are included in the protection offered by the U.S. Bill of Rights


King of England who raised taxes and punished his enemies without a trial. He is best known for being forced to sign the Magna Carta.

Due Process of Law

a process by which the government must treat accused persons fairly according to rules established by law


representative law making body whose members are elected or appointed.

Louis IX

King of France; made royal courts dominant over feudal courts; declared only king could mint coins; banned private warfare; weakened feudal ties; made into a saint for his chivalrous behavior

Hugh Capet

Elected as King of France put to throne because of his weakness; made throne hereditary; Capetians had an unbroken succession for 300 years; effective beauracracy

Henry II

King of England; Broadened the system of royal justice, laying basis for English common law; began jury system

Edward I

King of England; Strengthened power of Parliament

Philip Augustus

King of France; used paid middle-class officials; granted charters; organized army; created a national tax

Philip IV

King of France; argued with Pope Boniface VIII, set up the estates general

Domesday Book

A record of all the property and holdings in England commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1066 so he could determine the extent of his lands and wealth

Thomas Becket

the archbishop of Canterbury, close friend of Henry who later opposed his attempt to bring Church/clergy into royal court system. Murdered by Henry's knights, then declare a saint by the Church

Holy Roman Empire

Empire of west central Europe from 962 to 1806, comprising present-day Germany and neighboring lands

Henry IV

King of Germany who became Holy Roman Emperor, opposed the pope on the issue of lay investiture, he is excommunicated and ends up begging the pope for forgiveness

Gregory VII

Pope who attempted to free the Church from interference of feudal lords; quarreled with the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV over the practice of lay investiture.

Lay investiture

the appointment of religious officials by kings or nobles who are not clergy

Frederick Barbarossa

The Holy Roman Emperor who clashed with the pope over the appointment of the clergy. Known as "the red beard"; attempted to conquer Lombardy (Italy) and unite the German princes, but the popes did not approve of this and forced him to surrender

Pope Innocent III

A Pope who claimed papal supremacy over all rulers; launched the Albigensian crusade


A series of wars in which Christians battled Muslims for control of lands in the Middle East

Holy Land

Jerusalem and other places in Palestine that are significant to Jews, Christians, and Muslims

Pope Urban II

Pope who called for the first Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem from the Muslims


Powerful Muslim ruler during the Third Crusade, defeated Christians at Hattin took Jerusalem

Richard I

The king of England who led the third Crusade. Also known as "Lion Heart"


The effort by Christian leaders to drive the Muslims out of Spain, lasting from the 1100s until 1492

Ferdinand and Isabella

This was the king and queen of Spain who took over the Catholic Spain and started the Spanish Inquisition


a former tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church created to discover and suppress heresy


a medieval philosophical and theological system that tried to reconcile faith and reason

Thomas Aquinas

Italian theologian and Doctor of the Church who is remembered for his attempt to reconcile faith and reason in a comprehensive theology


the everyday speech of the people (as distinguished from literary language)

Dante Alighieri

an Italian poet famous for writing the Divine Comedy that describes a journey through hell and purgatory and paradise

Geoffrey Chaucer

English poet who wrote the Canterbury Tales about a group of pilgrims traveling to St. Thomas Becket's tomb

Gothic Style

type of European architecture that developed in the Middle Ages, characterized by flying buttresses, ribbed vaulting, thin walls, and high roofs

Flying Buttresses

stone support on the outside of a building that allowed builders to construct higher walls and leave space for large stained-glass windows


the process of decorating a written manuscript with pictures or designs

Black Death

the epidemic form of bubonic plague experienced during the Middle Ages that killed about one third of the population


Outbreak of rapid-spreading disease


An epidemic that is geographically widespread


a general and progressive increase in prices


division; split


powerful 6 feet long weapon that shoots arrows; essential to the victory of the English in the Hundred Years' War

Joan of Arc

French heroine and military leader inspired by religious visions to organize French resistance to the English and to have Charles VII crowned king

Hundred Years War

the series of wars between England and France, 1337-1453, in which England lost all its possessions in France except Calais.


the monotheistic religion of Muslims founded in Arabia in the 7th century and based on the teachings of Muhammad


Founder of Islam, considered the greatest prophet in Islam


The holiest city of Islam; Muhammad's birthplace


City in western Arabia to which the Prophet Muhammad and his followers emigrated in 622 to escape persecution in Mecca


the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution 622; regarded as the beginning of the Muslim Era


a black stone building in Mecca that is shaped like a cube and that is the most sacred Muslim pilgrim shrine


The holy book of Islam


Muslim house of worship


a pilgrimage to Mecca, performed as the fifth pillar of Islam


a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral or spiritual or political goal

Five pillars of Islam

five acts of worship required of all Muslims

Declaration of faith

1st pillar of Islam; "There is no God but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God"

Daily Prayer

2nd pillar of Islam; pray five times a day, ritual washing, face Mecca

Alms for the Poor

3rd pillar of Islam; giving charity to the poor; Tax or donation

Fast during Ramadan

4th pillar of Islam; cannot eat from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan


body of Islamic law that includes interpretation of the Quran and applies Islamic principles to everyday life

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