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The Middle Ages

The Middle Ages . Let’s get medieval!. Vocabulary. Feudalism – A political and economic system based on the relationship of lord to servant Monasticism – A way of life in which a higher level of religious experience is pursued by living together in a small community

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The Middle Ages

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  1. The Middle Ages Let’s get medieval!

  2. Vocabulary • Feudalism – A political and economic system based on the relationship of lord to servant • Monasticism – A way of life in which a higher level of religious experience is pursued by living together in a small community • Codex – Parchment papers bound together between hard covers • Trope – Elaborations on texts that were commonly used during Catholic mass • Monophony – Music with one melodic line (One sound) • Polyphony – Music with multiple melodic lines (Many sounds) • Strophic – Songs with several stanzas that are sung to the same melody

  3. Vocabulary • Troubadours – Traveling poets/musicians • Chivalry – A more feminine code of conduct and ethics • Allegory – A story that uses symbols and figurative language to represent a spiritual message • Mystery play – A religious play performed by occupational guilds • Secularism – The rejection of religion and religious considerations • Romance – Literary form containing long narratives about knights and ladies

  4. The Middle Ages • The Middle Ages, or Medieval Period, spans the time between the fall of the Roman empire(c400C.E.) and the beginning of the Renaissance (c1450C.E.) • Virtually every part of life during the Middle Ages was influenced heavily by religion • Society functions under the Feudal system • Feudal communities develop around the amount of land the lords owned and farmed • During the latter part of the Middle Ages, the rise of a Middle Class leads to industrialization and the rebirth of cities

  5. Important Events of the Middle Ages • The Rise of Charlemange • Created the first centralized government in Europe since the fall of Rome • The Crusades • Series of holy wars to drive the Muslims out of sacred areas like Jerusalem • The Hundred Years War • A lengthy series of battles over territory in France between the French and the English • Also contained the exploits of Joan of Arc • Rise of the Middle Class • Development of merchants and trade guilds created a wealthier type of citizen that narrowed the gap between nobles and peasants

  6. Important Events of the Middle Ages • Universities • Had no official buildings or classrooms. Consisted of groups of scholars who sought knowledge for the sake of knowledge • Spanish Inquisition • A group of Catholics who persecuted Jews and others that they believed to be in league with Satan in order to get them to repent and convert to Christianity. • The Inquisition often used torture as a means of achieving this goal • The Black Plague • Plague epidemic that swept through Europe and killed nearly 1/3 of the entire population

  7. Important Events of the Middle Ages • Industrialization • Advancements in textile manufacturing, metalworking, and printing developed to fulfill the rising demand for products and helped the young Middle Class develop • The Gutenberg Printing Press • The first printing press with movable type greatly increased the speed books could be produced and made education much more available to the population • Rise of Chivalry • A reaction to the masculine dominance of feudalism. • A code of conduct that was developed to emphasize service, manners, and morality for knights and nobles. • Also brought about the concept of “courtly love”

  8. The Medieval Church • Initially focused on the presence of the devil and the fear of being sent to Hell • This cultivated a kind of fascination with demons and the devil in the arts, especially theatre • During the High Middle Ages a shifting of focus occurred that emphasized the Virgin Mary and the newborn Christ child • This transition occurred alongside the development of Chivalry and is reflected in Gothic style art

  9. Feudalism • The Feudal system granted political and military power to a wealthy landowner • Landowners comprised the nobility during this time (dukes, counts, etc.) • Knights would swear oaths of allegiance to the landowners that would exchange food and shelter for military service • Serfs or peasants would also be in service to the landowner • A serf was not permitted to be educated and had to serve the landowner in exchange for food and shelter • The life of a serf was bound to the land and they would have to serve whomever owned the land at the time

  10. Feudalism • Feudal lords owned large amounts of farm land which formed the base of the feudal community • Agriculturally based communities existing of the landowner and the servants • Fighting among feudal lords for land and money was constant • The system associated power with land so landowners constantly sought to gain more land and power through violence

  11. Monasticism • In an effort to rid themselves of the temptations of the world, people sought solitude to devote themselves to their faith • These people founded Monasteries • Functioned as small farming communities • Daily life was devoted to serving God in some way • Monks were also educated enough to read and write • Monasteries became the outposts of charity during the Middle Ages

  12. Shift in Social Order • During the transition from the Early Middle Ages into the High Middle Ages, there was a shift in the social order of Europe • A group of entrepreneurs helped usher in advancements in industries such as mining, metallurgy, and printing • The Gutenberg Press greatly changed the way books were made and directly impacted education throughout the world • This growth of industry led to the emergence of a Middle Class to narrow the gap between nobles and peasants

  13. Shift in Social Order • Growing industry also helped to revive cities in place of the feudal farming communities • The economic growth of society helped reestablish the power of medieval kings as they developed centralized governments to make laws and tax the people • Universities grew out of the monastery system and became places of learning for those who wished to gain knowledge for the sake of knowledge • Early universities didn’t have official buildings or classrooms • They met wherever they could gather to hear lectures • Discussion of Class Structure

  14. Chivalry • As a feminine response to the overtly masculine nature of feudalism, the concept of Chivalry emerged in the 12th century • Chivalry emphasized a code of behavior for knights and nobles that focuses on courtly traditions • A chivalrous knight was skilled in battle, loved and served a Lady from afar, showed compassion and mercy to the downtrodden • Chivalry also introduces the idea of “courtly love” which became the focus of the literary form of romance

  15. Secularism • A rejection of religion and religious considerations • The growth of Secularism comes as a result of learning and the growing distance between religion and politics • What secularism ultimately represents is a shifting of focus away from religion to the material world we live in • Secular arts become more prominent and appreciated during the High Middle Ages

  16. Painting • Christian painting during the early Middle Ages served several purposes • Reflection of belief in another life • Aiding rites of the Church • Depicting and recording Christian history • Christians began to develop Manuscript Illuminations (Images that correlate to the text of the Bible) • Illuminations were made possible by the introduction of the codex (early form of book)

  17. Painting

  18. Painting • The Gothic Style developed during the latter part of the Middle Ages in the area around Paris, France • Characteristics of Gothic style include: • Beginnings of three-dimensionality • Use of space to give images mobility • Expression of spirituality • Reflecting the more feminine aspects of Chivalry and the refocusing of the Medieval Church, Gothic paintings focus on the Virgin Mary

  19. Architecture • The most prominent and expressive style of architecture during the Middle ages was the Gothic style • Gothic architecture is characterized by • Use of windows • Pointed arches • Flying buttresses • The pointed arches and flying buttresses helped to distribute the weight of the stone used in building the cathedrals in a way that allowed more windows to be added to the structure • This gave Gothic structures more interior light than previous churches

  20. Architecture • The most well known and established form of Gothic architecture is the Gothic Cathedral • One of the most famous Gothic cathedrals is the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France • The name “Notre Dame” means “Our Lady” which is a reference to the Virgin Mary

  21. Notre Dame Cathedral

  22. Theatre • An early form of Church drama was the trope • Tropes were simple illustrations of the texts that were read during mass. • On special occasions tropes would be performed in various sections of the church and viewers would walk around the church in a cycle to see the various scenes of a story • Mystery Plays • During the High Middle Ages, drama emerged that featured Bible stories performed by occupational guilds.

  23. Theatre • Staging for plays during the Middle Ages began inside the church • Eventually, theatre moved outside of the churches and into the town square • Stages were rectangular in shape and meant to be viewed from either of the sides • One of the most prominent features of Medieval staging was the hellmouth • This was the place where the sinners were cast or dragged into Hell • Hellmouths became very intricate and were the most impressive special effects of the early stage

  24. Theatre

  25. Theatre • In northern parts of Europe, stages would be built onto wagons that would travel through the city like a parade • Each wagon would feature a different stage with actors performing a different scene in one play

  26. Theatre • Everyman • The most famous play that remains from the Middle Ages is Everyman • Everyman is an allegory (story with a religious message that is revealed through figurative language and symbol • The play itself is a morality play • A morality play teaches a religious lesson through the use of allegory

  27. Theatre • Everyman cont. • In the play, Death comes to take Everyman to his final judgment. Along the way Everyman tries to convince other characters whose names are qualities that people can possess (Fellowship, Kindred, Good deeds, etc.) • Good Deeds is the only one who agrees to travel with Everyman but he is weak from neglect and cannot travel • Everyman then performs penance(an act to absolve him of sins) and Good Deeds is revived and travels with Everyman until the very end. • The allegory here is that if every man performs penance and asks for the forgiveness of God, their good deeds will stay with them until the final judgment.

  28. Music • Music during the Middle Ages falls into two categories • Sacred – Religious • Secular – Non-religious • By the year 500CE a strong body of monophonic music called plainchant had emerged for use in church services • Plainchant is often called Gregorian Chant because of the influence that Pope Gregory I had on the selection of the melodies and chants used in the church • Plainchant uses a single melodic line that is sung • Most plainchant involves reading from texts that were regularly used during the Catholic Mass • The Kyriewas typically the first one to be sung • Kyrie is a prayer for mercy upon the congregation

  29. Music • Polyphony emerged between the 8th and 10th centuries • Songs that contained more than one melodic line • Secular music became more prominent in the 11th century • Songs that were sung in the language of the common people as opposed to the Latin used in church services helped increase the popularity of these songs • Most songs were strophic (several stanzas sung to the same melody) and featured love as a prominent theme

  30. Music • Around the Mediterranean coast of France, Spain, and Italy a new class of performer emerged: the Troubadour • Troubadours were poets and musicians who performed for courts and played a variety of instruments • Some of the instruments troubadours used • Harp • Viols or Fiddles • Flutes • Trumpets • Drums

  31. Dance • Dance during the Middle Ages was very limited by the Medieval Church • Most likely this was due to the pagan use of dance in religious ceremonies • Early dances were comprised of ring dances where participants danced within a circle • More formal dance presentations were performed in courts • Most dances were reactions to the frightening world that the people were living in • This lead to the introduction of the Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) which sometimes featured Death as a character in the dance • Another ring dance from the Middle Ages is the tarantella • This dance was performed in order to heal the victims of spider bites (Specifically tarantula bites) • It would be used later as a courtship dance • Tarantella Dance

  32. Literature • During the Middle Ages we find examples of both Sacred and Secular literature • Sacred literature involved stories of a religious nature with some kind of religious message at their core • Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales contains several stories that are told by the principal characters while they journey to the tomb of Thomas a Becket in Canterbury. • Each character’s story reveals something about who they are and what they value • Chaucer’s work was very ambitious but remains unfinished because of his death • Another piece of religious literature is the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri • Dante’s work describes the journey of a soul after death • The DivineComedy is told using an allegory

  33. Literature • Most secular literature from the Middle Ages comes in the form of legends • One of the most well known legends of the Middle Ages is Beowulf • Beowulf is the oldest document to be written in the English language (Although it is written in Old English) • The story of Beowulf contains several adventures including Beowulf’s battle with the monster Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon

  34. Beowulf (Old English)

  35. Literature • Secular writing also manifests itself in the form of the Romance • Romance grew as a literary form alongside the rise of Chivalry and typically featured the adventures of knights • Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morted’Arthuris one of the most well known medieval romances • Mallory gathered the various stories of the legendary King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table

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