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    Vocab: Medieval Backgrounds and the Renaissance

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    Holy Roman Empire
    2nd century C.E. – unified Mediterranean basin w/ common language, culture, road network, economy, aqueducts
    Causes of decline: barbarism (invasion), expansionism, Christianity (new religion) – “weakened the spirit” of the Roman Empire
    476 C.E.: last Western emperor deposed (classic date of collapse of Roman empire)
    St. Benedict
    Born into wealth, became spiritual hermit, attracted followers, founder of first monastery (Monte Casino) – 520 C.E.
    Benedictine Rule
    Book written by St. Benedict with rules about how monks should live a Christian life
    Basis of Western monasticism
    Monte Casino
    1st monastery – founded by St. Benedict
    Top of hill for protection; livestock, slaves, necessities
    fief
    land given to a vassal from his lord in exchange for specified terms of service (usually loyalty, soldiers, etc.)
    lord
    vassal
    a free warrior who places himself under a lord, accepting the terms of loyal service, fighting in times of war and counseling in times of peace
    homage
    an oath of allegiance/loyalty sworn by a vassal to his lord
    subinfeudation
    the grant of a fief by a vassal to a subordinate who becomes his vassal
    chivalry
    a new code of behavior that refined the manners of knights and nobles and adapted them to life in a noble household
    serf
    a peasant who was personally free, but bound to the lord of a manor and worked the land of the manor.
    moldboard plow
    agricultural innovation developed in manioralism
    three-field system
    1 spring field, 1 fall field, 1 fallow field
    rise of universities
    scholasticism
    a form of argument, or dialectic, developed in the Middle Ages, particularly with Abelard and Thomas Aquinas.
    Aristotle
    Aquinas
    Moses Maimonides
    Dante
    Psychologically/spiritually lost
    Divine Comedy
    -Written by Dante, THE medieval poem of personal spiritual exploration
    -Dante climbs Mt. Purgatory along w/ sinners (but not mortal sinners) – working towards paradise
    Seeing God (very psychedelic) at the end
    -Biblical, Italian, philosophy, classic mythology, theology, science, astronomy all incorporated into a poem – excellent representation of knowledge of the Middle Ages
    -Commedia – go from darkness to light, eventually called Divine Comedy
    -Ultimately meant as a spiritual allegory (symbolic story) of the soul’s journey to salvation – what the people of the times were most concerned with
    -Everything on Earth interpreted symbolically, life on Earth only a shadow/stepping stone to afterlife
    terza rima
    vernacular
    Romanesque
    style of Western European architecture and art developed after 1000; characterized by rounded arches, massive walls, and simple ornamentation.
    Gothic
    style of Western European architecture and art developed in the 12th century (1100s); characterized by pointed arches, vaulting, and elaborate ornamentation
    flying buttresses
    Provide support and resistance for building and outward weight/thrust, distribute load, helpful for storms
    Allowed inner walls to be cut out/remodeled/ outfitted with stained glass
    Chartres Cathedral
    Chartres, France
    Center of town, massive
    Best preserved Medieval Gothic church
    Spires – different b/c made at different times (always working on it)
    Book of the illiterate – peasants could interpret symbols within church
    Cruciform shape
    Avignon Exile
    1309-1377: Pope Clement V – papacy relocates to Avignon (southern France) for 70 yrs, expand bureaucracy, influenced by French rulers
    –>Reduced papal prestige (corruption evident, Pope under control of French monarchy in Avignon)
    Great Schism
    -Major split of the Church in the period of 1378-1417, in which two (eventually 3) popes fought over the rule of the Church.
    -Italians want papacy in Rome, French want Avignon → great divide (schism)
    2 popes elected by Italian & French – conflict (eventually 3 people) – harmful for church
    ⇒ Loss of unity amongst princes and peoples
    ⇒ Worsened financial crisis
    bubonic plague
    14th century – “Black Death”
    -Pandemic (universal disease) that overcame all of Europe
    -Merchant ships sailing from East carry rats infected with bacillus pestis (rodent disease)
    -Outbreak starts in Messina, Sicily and moves north for 3 years
    -Incubation of 2-3 days
    -Symptoms: chills, high fever, headache, vomiting, swelling in lymph nodes of groin
    -Spread from human to human through coughing
    -Death in 90% of all cases, 1/3 – ½ of all population dead → demographic collapse
    One Hundred Year’s War
    War between France & England 1338-1453
    Not fought continually, but in phases
    3 periods:
    1338-1360 – initial English victories
    1369-1415 – France strikes back, followed by stalemate
    1415-1453 – England invades, Joan of Arc revives France, France wins
    conciliar movement
    -Advocates of the authority of General Councils, rather than the papacy, in the Roman Church (especially active in the 1400s)
    -People thought general council should rule Church, wanted new Church constitution
    ⇒ Third rival pope created in Pisa
    ⇒ Between 1414-18, one Roman pope heads the church
    canon law
    regulates Church principles; in accord with their interpretation of the Bible; socially – no divorce; Church’s legal code evolved to answer all disputes; only unified legal system
    hymns
    Latin prayers chanted at certain times
    monastery
    self-contained/sufficient religious community (not safe to go out in Middle Ages)
    zeitgeist
    German word for “spirit of the times”
    Joan of Arc
    Joan of Arc – peasant, heard God, led French army to victory, captured & burned at the stake
    Battle of Crécy
    1346, N. France – French unorganized, British fired down into them
    First war where destruction of property (attrition) used as strategy – destroyed farmland
    Battle of Poitiers
    1356 – near Poitiers (fields of Beauvoir & Maupertuis)
    “Black Prince” King John (Philip’s son) used axe to break press
    chase to gates of Poitiers
    many casualities & injuries (horse & men) Poitiers closed doors & did not open
    even more dominant English victory
    Peace of Brétingy
    English victories, Black Death/Plague & exhaustion –> Peace of Brétingy – 1360 – English received Calais, larger Aquitaine; Edward renounced claim to French crown
    Medici family
    Characterized certain trends: became wealthy through trade b/c Italy prosperous b/c geographical position; dominant in Florence (birthplace of Renaissance); gave rise to powerful politicians/pope; patrons of art that expressed their values; member of emerging noble class

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