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Europe’s Transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance: 1300-1550. Woodcut of Dance of Death by Michael Wolgemut (1493). Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci (1505). I. The Black Death. Also known as the Bubonic Plague or The Pestilence Started spreading across Europe in 1347/1348.

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Europe’s Transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance: 1300-1550


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    1. Europe’s Transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance: 1300-1550 Woodcut of Dance of Death by Michael Wolgemut (1493) Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci (1505)

    2. I. The Black Death • Also known as the Bubonic Plague or The Pestilence • Started spreading across Europe in 1347/1348

    3. A. Arrival in Europe and Spread • Genoese ships brought the plague to Italy in 1347. --ships carried all sorts of cargo and unwittingly fleas, rats, and the plague   • From there it spread to southern Germany, France, and then England in 1348. --disease moves northward

    4. Map of Black Death

    5. B. Pathology (the study & diagnosis of disease) 1. Fleas often living on black rats bore what is typically referred to as the bubonic plague.

    6. 2. Poor sanitary conditions and lack of bathing facilitated the spread of the disease. --“Watch out down below!” --Overcrowding common --Fleas & lice common

    7. Bubous 3. The appearance of a single boil was followed by bleeding under the skin, vomiting of blood, and death. --Could be transmitted by coughing or sneezing as well as flea bite Septicemic Form (Victim’s have blackened skin):almost 100% mortality rate

    8. The Disease Cycle Flea drinks rat blood that carries the bacteria. Bacteria multiply in flea’s gut. Human is infected! Flea bites human and regurgitates blood into human wound. Flea’s gut cloggedwith bacteria.

    9. Medieval doctors had no way of coping with the plague. --They didn’t know what caused it or how to cure it --Some prescribed bloodletting using leeches or making small cuts

    10. C. Spread of the Disease 1. Black rats mostly stayed in cities, so the disease was concentrated there. 2. In England perhaps one-third of the population died—in some Italian cities more than one-half. 3. The plague reached Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Russia.

    11. a. The Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio (1331-1375) witnessed and wrote about the plague in his book, The Decameron. The following statement sums up the speed at which the plague spread. The victims ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors.

    12. D. Care • Many believed the plague was caused by poisoned or “corrupted” air. --Strong-smelling substances were used in an effort to stop the spread of the disease. --Some thought perhaps loud sounds like church bells or cannons might help

    13. 2. Many thousands of Jews were killed by people looking for a scapegoat. Savoy Burning alive of Jewish people --The mass murder of Jews, called pogroms, occurred throughout Europe. --Rumors spread that claimed the Jews were responsible for the plague and were using it to kill Christians in an attempt to dominate the world

    14. a. What the response of the Catholic Church to the Pogroms? • Pope Clement VI reigned during the Plague. • During the Plague he stayed in Avignon supervising • sick care, burials, and the pastoral care of the dying. • He condemned the persecution of the Jews stating • those who blamed the plague on the Jews had been • "seduced by that liar, the Devil." He issued a religious • order to stop the violence. • He said the Jews did not cause the plague. He said it • was “the result of an angry God striking at the • Christian people for their sins.” • He accused some of those leading the pogroms of • hoping to escape debts that they owed to Jewish • moneylenders • He urged clergy to take action to protect Jews. Pope Clement VI

    15. 3. Many people believed the plague was a sign of God’s anger. • God must be punishing them for terrible sins so the best thing to do was to ask for forgiveness, pray, make donations to the church, and try to live a better life

    16. E. Social, Economic, & Cultural Consequences 1. Priests often took great risks to minister to the sick and had a high mortality rate. --many people fled the cities, but priests, monks, and nuns stayed to care for the sick --Up to two-thirds of the monks and priests of England died. The church replaced the priests with young, inexperienced men.

    17. 2. Church officials sanctioned unorthodox measures in the emergency, such as laymen administering confession and the blessing of the sick for those close to death --The plague killed so many people and priests that the church could no longer perform Last Rites (ceremony for sick & dying). --Pope Clement VI granted remission of sins to all who died of the plague. --The pope also allowed people to confess their sins to one another, "even to a woman." --This gave new power to women in the church.

    18. 3. Guilds accepted many new members, often unrelated to old guild members. • High death rate forced guilds to do this.

    19. 4. The plague caused profound pessimism a. Family members abandoned family members b. The Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio (1331-1375) witnessed and wrote about the plague in his book, The Decameron. In his introduction, he describes the sometimes shocking way people in Florence behaved during the plague: Tedious were it to recount, how citizen avoided citizen, how many neighbors was scarce found any that showed fellow feeling for another, how kinsfolk held aloof, and never met…nay, what is more, and scarcely to be believed, fathers and mothers were found to abandon their own children untended, unvisited, to their fate, as if they had been strangers.

    20. c.Stopped performing customary death rites --fear of infection lead to the dead being buried in mass graves d. Agnolodi Tura of an the Italian city state of Siena wrote the following: Trenches were dug, very broad and deep, and into these the bodies were thrown, and covered with a little earth; and thus layer after layer until the trench was full; and then another trench begun. And I…with my own hands buried five of my children in a single trench;… And no bells rang, and nobody wept no matter what his loss, because almost everyone expected death.

    21. e. People become numb to death “Bring out your dead” scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    22. f. Flagellants --some extremists joined groups which whipped themselves with iron spikes as penance for their and society’s sins in the belief that the Black Death was God’s punishment for humanity’s wickedness --They would go through the streets beating themselves with whips to “pay” for these sins.

    23. f. Flagellants

    24. G. Medieval Art & the Plague Obsessed with death.

    25. Ring Around the Rosey “Ring Around the Rosey” is a nursery rhyme thought to be about the plague. --Roseyrefers to the round, red rashes on plague victims. --Posies (flowers) were thought to clean the air. --Ashes refers to the burning of the bodies. --Falling down refers to dying. • The UK version goes: • Ring a ring o'roses • A pocketful of posies • ah-tishoo,ah-tishoo • We all fall down. • The US version is sung: • Ring around the rosey • Pocket full of posies • Ashes, ashes • They all fall down

    26. Mortality RateMortality Rate 35% - 70% 25,000,000 dead !!!

    27. 5. New colleges were endowed to deal with the shortage of priests and the decay of learning. 6. The plague did help solve the overpopulation problem. 7. When Europe began to recover from the plague, fewer workers were available which allowed peasants and urban workers to demand more freedom or higher wages for their labor.

    28. 8. Some peasants escaped to the cities which lead to the growth and importance of towns, the weakening of the manorial system, and the reduction of the power of the feudal lords 9. By traumatizing medieval society and the church, the plague ultimately contributed to the Reformation.

    29. II. The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) --116 years of fighting between England and France --This war is going on at the same time as the Black Death which started in 1347 --Most of the fighting takes place in France

    30. A. Causes • In 1328 French barons denied the claim of English King Edward III to the French throne and chose Philip VI of Valois as king. --Edward had a claim to the throne through his mother --Barons invented a law which said that a woman or her son could not rule France Philip VI Edward III

    31. 2. French Land Belonging to British Kings --A longer standing issue was the status of lands within France that belonged to English kings. --Edward was actually a vassal of Philip’s, holding sizable French territories as fiefs from the king of France [it went back to the Norman conquest].

    32. 3. Conflict Over Flanders • Wool industry. • Flanders wants its independence from French control. • Asks England for help. The ‘dagger’ pointing at the ‘heart’ of England!

    33. 4. A Struggle for National Identity • France was NOT a united country before the war began. • The French king only controlled about half of the country.

    34. 5. At first Edward accepted the decision, butin 1337 Edward decides to make a play for the French throne. --First, there was the Flanders issue. --Second, Phillip VI invaded the lands that Edward controlled in France and tried to take them from him.

    35. B. The Course of the War • At Crécy (1346), Poitiers(1356), and Agincourt (1415), the English longbowmen were instrumental in defeating the French. • English almost always outnumbered, but they had the longbow! • Its arrows had more penetrating power than a bolt from a crossbow. • Could pierce the armor of a knight at 200 yards! • A longbow could be fired more rapidly. 6 arrows per minute.

    36. Height of English Dominance

    37. C. Joan of Arc and France’s Victory

    38. C. Joan of Arc and France’s Victory • In 1429, the French peasant girl Joan of Arc claimed divine inspiration and helped turn the tide in favor of the French. --raised the English siege at Orleans and ten days later Charles VII, the dauphin, was crowned king at Reims.

    39. 2. She was captured by the English, tried, and executed on charges of witchcraft in 1432. • She instantly became a symbol of French resistance. • Despite Joan’s capture, the French advance continued.

    40. 3. The war ended in 1453 with the English holding only the port of Calais in France.

    41. D. Costs and Consequences 1. The war was costly for both sides. --For the French they suffered a huge loss of life, much of their farmland was ruined, trade was disrupted, and high taxes made citizens very unhappy. --The war was very expensive for the English. Having to maintain an overseas army bankrupted the government. And knights who normally did the governing at home were off at war and this lead to the breakdown of order at home

    42. 2. To pay for the war, Edward III had to negotiate almost constantly with the barons in Parliament, thus strengthening the institution. --representative assemblies became a habit --House of Lords—barons and bishops --Commons—knights --Commons got the king to agree to a parliamentary statue in 1341 which said that all nonfeudal levies had to have parliamentary consent, essentially the king could not tax without Parliament’s consent

    43. 3. The war promoted the growth of nationalism in both countries which will eventually lead to fall of feudalism in both countries. --nationalism—feeling of unity and identity that binds together a people; pride in one’s country --before the war more allegiance to lord of the manor, but now that loyalty is shifting to the king and country

    44. III. Challenges to the Church A. The Babylonian Captivity (1309-1376) and the Great Schism (1377-1417) 1. From 1309–1376 the popes resided in Avignon, France, under control of the French monarchy. --This hurt the pope’s authority and independence --Also, popes here generally lived in luxury and didn’t focus on spiritual matters. The masses begin to question his authority. --In the absence of the papacy, the Papal states in Italy lacked stability and good government. --Pope Gregory XI brought the Papal Court back to Rome, but he died shortly after. Roman citizens demanded an Italian Pope be chosen who would remain in Rome.

    45. 2. Pope Gregory XI returned Papal Court to Rome but died shortly after. The next pope, Urban VI angered a number of cardinals with his tactless manner and they returned to France and chose a different Pope, Clement VII, who would reside in Avignon. vs Urban VI in Rome Clement VII in Avignon Will the real pope please stand up?

    46. The Great Schism: 1378-1417

    47. B. The Conciliar Movement • Conciliarists believed reform could be achieved through periodic councils representing all Catholic people. --Believed he should share his power with a council

    48. 2. The English scholar John Wyclif (We-Cliff) (1330-1384) argued that there was no scriptural foundation for the pope’s temporal power. He also argued that all Christians should read the Bible for themselves. --English translation of the bible came about from his ideas --His followers were called Lollards --Precursor of Reformation

    49. 3. The cardinals of Avignon and Rome summoned a council at Pisa in 1409 that deposed both popes and elected a third, but the old popes refused to step down. So What?