The middle ages not classical antiquity and not the renaissance
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The Middle Ages – not classical antiquity and not the Renaissance. In Great Britain ~450 (fall of Rome) – 1485 (Tudors). Middle English vs. Medieval Literature.

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The middle ages not classical antiquity and not the renaissance

The Middle Ages – not classical antiquity and not the Renaissance

In Great Britain

~450 (fall of Rome) – 1485 (Tudors)


Middle english vs medieval literature

Middle English vs. Medieval Literature

  • In Britain, “medieval literature” is composed between ~ 500 AD and 1485 in Old English, Latin, Anglo-Norman French, Middle English, or any Celtic language

  • Middle English literature is written in Middle English (about 1250-1500)

    • We’ll do a very few “not-Middle English” pieces.


Western europe religion and language

Western Europe: religion and language

Medieval

Roman Catholicism

with pockets of pagans that slowly succumb to Christianity

with Muslims in Spain

with Jews throughout

Latin is language of diplomacy and all academic fields

Classical Antiquity

  • Mostly Paganism; Christianity emerges at end of Antiquity; Judaism persists as a small sect.

    • Greek and Roman gods

    • Monotheists rare in antiquity

  • Latin is language of rule & conquest; Greek of literature & New Testament & trade


Western europe religion and language1

Medieval

Roman Catholicism

with pockets of pagans that slowly succumb to Christianity

with Muslims in Spain

with Jews throughout

Latin is language of diplomacy and all academic fields

Renaissance

Protestant Reformation

more than one way to be a Christian

all other (witchcraft; Muslim, Jewish, other Christian) rites persecuted

Latin slowly replaced by vernacular

Greek gains status

Western Europe: religion and language


Western europe social organization

Western Europe: social organization

Classical Antiquity

  • City states in conflict in early antiquity; Roman empire after 1st C

  • Two social classes

    • Powerful warrior ruling class;

    • Slaves

    • Tiny mercantile middle class

  • Little Social Change

Medieval

  • Local rule, as in

    • cities

    • dukedoms

    • tiny kingdoms

  • Hierarchical social structure

    • power of kings more ceremonial than actual

    • nobility holds power

  • Little mobility

    • between places

    • between social classes


Western europe social organization1

Medieval

Local rule, as in

cities

dukedoms

tiny kingdoms

Hierarchical social structure

power of kings more ceremonial than actual

nobility holds power

Little mobility

between places

between social classes

Renaissance

Nation states formed from formerly independent locales

divine right of kings empowers royals

nobility loses power

growing middle class of merchants, doctors, lawyers, clergy, etc.

More mobility

between places

between social classes

Western Europe: social organization


Western europe literature

Western Europe: literature

Classical Antiquity

  • literary forms

    • classical epic poetry

    • lyrics and erotic love poetry

    • philosophical dialogues and speculations

    • myths

    • Bible

    • explanations of natural phenomena

  • Almost no one reads

Medieval

  • literary forms

    • Germanic warrior epic poetry

    • ballads, poems, songs

    • romances--courtly love tales

    • frame tales

    • religious drama

    • saints’ lives

  • More literate than ancient world


Western europe literature1

Medieval

literary forms

epic poetry

ballads, poems, songs

romances--courtly love tales

frame tales

religious drama

saints’ lives

More literate than ancient world

Renaissance

New literary forms

sonnet

letter

secular drama

political, reformatory. theological tracts

nonfiction prose

novel

fictional prose

More literate than medieval world

Western Europe: literature


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