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Early Middle Ages, Late Middle Ages, Renaissance, Africa, China/Korea/Japan, Americas

Middle Ages

The historical period from around 500 A.D. up to around 1450 A.D. between the fall of Rome and the birth of the Renaissance

Dark Ages

term for the roughly 200-year period in Greek history that followed the final collapse of the Mycenaean civilization in the 12th century BC


king of the Franks who unified Gaul and established his capital at Paris and founded the Frankish monarchy


early teaching of the church that was heretical by saying that Jesus was not God but created by God


Italian monk who founded the Benedictine order about 540 (480-547)


a religious community of men who have given up their possessions to devote themselves to a life of prayer and worship; religious communities isolated from the rest of society


the superior of a community of monks

Gregory I

Pope who helped reform the church and started a form of prayer known as Gregorian chant.

Charles Martel

the Frankish commander for the battle of Tours. He defeated the Muslimsin the Battle of Tours, allowing Christianity to survive throughout the Dark Ages. He in a way started Feudalism by giving land to his knights that served for him.

Battle of Tours

Battle in 732 in which the Christian Franks led by Charles Martel defeated Muslim armies and stopped the Muslim advance into Europe


Defeats the Lombards in battle and gives the conquered land to the Pope. (Papal State), Charles Martel's son and first king to have the pope's blessing


King of the Franks who conquered much of Western Europe, great patron of literature and learning

Pope Leo

pope who crowned Charlemagne in 800 AD


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


a powerful family or group of rulers that maintains its position or power for some time


Scandinavian pirates who plundered the coasts of Europe from the 8th to 10th centuries.

Leif Ericson

The Viking explorer believed to be the first European to reach the New World (in about 1000 AD).


a political system in which nobles are granted the use of lands that legally belong to a king in return for loyalty and military service


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


in the middle ages, a noble who usually was given a fief by his lord in exchange for loyalty, a knight who promised to support a lord in exchange for land


the ceremonial act of clothing someone in the insignia of an office


a piece of land held under the feudal system


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


(Middle Ages) a person who is bound to the land and owned by the feudal lord


Muslim ruler conquered Jerusalem and sparked the 3rd Crusade

Pope Urban II

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

King John

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.

Magna Carta

the royal charter of political rights given to rebellious English barons by King John in 1215

The Hundred Years War

war between France and England for the French throne that continued from 1337 to 1453, and introduced the use of new weapons

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


a series of military expeditions in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries by Westrn European Christians to reclain control of the Holy Lands from the Muslims


states whose populations share a sense of national identity, usually including a language and culture


a period of European history, lasting from about 1300 to 1600, during which renewed interest in classical culture led to far-reaching changes in art, learning and views of the world

Leonardo da Vinci

Italian painter and sculptor and engineer and scientist and architect


Italian Renaissance artist that painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling and sculpted the statue of David.

Statue of David

the first European sculpture of a large, free standing male nude since ancient times, Michelangelo. (1501. Renaissance.)

Sistine Chapel

A Catholic church in Vatican City, Italy. Its ceiling was painted by the Renaissance artist Michelangelo.

Mona Lisa

A painting by Leonardo da Vinci of a woman with a mysterious smile. It is now of the most readily recognized paintings in the world.


the doctrine emphasizing a person's capacity for self-realization through reason

printing press

A mechanical device for transferring text or graphics from a woodblock or type to paper using ink. Presses using movable type first appeared in Europe in about 1450. See also movable type.


"Father of Humanism." studied classical Greek and Latin. introduced emotion in "Sonnets to Laura"


An African state that developed along the upper reaches of the Nile c. 100 B.C.E.; conquered Egypt and ruled it for several centuries.


a republic in West Africa on the Gulf of Guinea: Gold Coast


Axum was a trading center and a powerful ancient kingdom in northern present-day Ethiopia.

King Ezana

Axumite ruler, invaded and conquered Kush around A.D. 350; burned Meroe to the ground; made Christianity official religion of Aksum

Trans-Saharan Route

traders from the north would travel to Ghana to trade gold/salt on this route

gold trade

Gold and salt made up trade and wealth in the African kingdoms because the Europeans wanted gold, and the Africans needed salt


the ancient indigenous religion of Japan lacking formal dogma; characterized by the veneration of nature spirits and ancestors

Zen Buddhism

school of Mahayana Buddhism asserting that enlightenment can come through meditation and intuition rather than faith


"The way of Nature"- retreat to nature, keeping life simple, sticking to the essentials, advancing science and technology


a group of many islands in a large body of water


a member of an American Indian people of Yucatan and Belize and Guatemala who had a culture (which reached its peak between AD 300 and 900) characterized by outstanding architecture and pottery and astronomy


group from the north that invaded central Mexico; were first wandering warriors; built their capital city at Tenochtitlan; increased their power until they dominated central Mexico; built causeways, pyramids, marketplaces, and palaces; adopted many customs from other cultures; used chinamapas for farming; militaristic society; known for human sacrifice and dedication to the sun god; ended when conquered by Spanish explorers in the 1500s


a member of the small group of Quechuan people living in the Cuzco valley in Peru who established hegemony over their neighbors to create the great Inca empire that lasted from about 1100 until the Spanish conquest in the early 1530s

Chichen Itza

originally a Mayan city, conquered by the Toltecs in 1000 and ruled by Toltec dynasties

Macchu Picchu

This was a major city in the Inca Empire in high altitude. The city was built around 1450 and was discovered only in 1911. It is believed to have been a major religious center.


Aztec capital city (now the site of Mexico City)

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