Home » Medieval

Medieval architecture – Gothic and Romanesque – Europe

By | 2017-09-26T21:57:22+00:00 September 26th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Cloister at Moissac (ca. 1100 AD, southern France) The first part of the Middle Ages saw very little building of anything but houses in northern Europe, as people struggled to adjust to the fall of Rome. People built some small churches here and there in the Visigothic, Vandal, and Merovingian kingdoms, but not much else. Nearer to the Mediterranean Sea, however, people [...]

High Middle Ages – 800 AD to 1100 AD

By | 2017-09-10T23:31:02+00:00 September 10th, 2017|History, Medieval|

Lewis chessmen, carved in walrus ivory in the 1100s AD, probably in Norway, and found in Scotland About 1000 AD, the world's climate got a few degrees warmer. This small climate change caused many other changes. In North America, Tuniit people moved south from the Arctic into Greenland. But then the Inuit wiped them out. The Inuit were probably trading [...]

Medieval stained glass, eyeglasses, and modern glass

By | 2017-09-05T15:25:18+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Medieval, Modern, Science|

Islamic glass (probably Iraq, 800s AD, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York) By the 1100s, glass-making was expanding again from West Asia; there were glassworks further east at Kuva in Central Asia (modern Uzbekistan). Glass-making also moved westward: by 1000 AD, Venice was a growing center of glass manufacturing. In northern Europe, glassmakers figured out how to make glass [...]

Heloise and Abelard – Middle Ages in Europe

By | 2017-09-05T02:42:54+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Heloise and Abelard The story of Peter Abelard and his wife Heloise is one of the saddest love stories of Western history. Abelard, who was born in 1079 AD, came to Paris as a young man and taught classes at the new Christian church school there. (This was just a few years after the Norman Conquest). Abelard [...]

Visit Italy with kids! Sights to see

By | 2017-09-03T22:11:12+00:00 September 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval, Romans|

Leaning Tower of Pisa Visiting Italy with kids is a blast, because Italians are very friendly to other people's children and everyone will always be talking to your kids, helping you out, making them laugh, and generally helping you have a good time. Don't be too suspicious - relax and enjoy the attention! [...]

Who was Rashi? Jewish history – Middle Ages

By | 2017-08-24T15:49:10+00:00 August 24th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Troyes, France Shlomo Yitzhaki, or Shlomo son of Yitzak, was a Jewish man born in Troyes, France, in 1040 AD. This was when the Capetian kings ruled France. Shlomo was an only child, and his father home schooled him. When Shlomo was a teenager, his father died. Shlomo got married at 17, but soon he left [...]

Jews in Medieval Europe – History

By | 2017-08-24T12:02:04+00:00 August 24th, 2017|History, Medieval, Religion|

Jewish money-lenders in medieval France The Middle Ages in Europe were a difficult time for the Jews. Many Jews lived in Western Europe between about 1000 and 1500 AD, but all the rulers were Christians, and almost all the people who had any power were Christians. These Christians thought Jews were different and strange. They suspected Jews of [...]

Medieval Hanukkah – Jewish holidays

By | 2017-08-24T11:55:10+00:00 August 24th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Arch of Titus: Roman soldiers carry off the big menorah from the Second Temple in Jerusalem (70 AD, but the arch was built in the 80s AD) In 70 AD, after the First Jewish Revolt, the Roman emperor Titus destroyed the Second Temple. Titus plundered the menorah along with other treasures from the Temple. He brought it back to [...]

What is purgatory? History of Christianity

By | 2017-08-23T10:09:52+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

A demon torturing a sinful bishop and a king (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, 1200s AD) In the early days of Christianity, people pretty much thought that at the Last Judgment you went to Heaven if you had been good or you went to Hell if you had been bad and that was that. This [...]

St. Nicholas – Christian saints

By | 2017-08-22T17:27:09+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Medieval, Religion, Romans|

Nicholas hands the purses through the window to the poor girls (Chartres Cathedral, about 1200 AD) St. Nicholas is a Christian saint who is one source for the idea of Santa Claus. According to the story, Nicolas was born in the Roman Empire (in modern Turkey) about 270 AD. This was a time when a lot of people were [...]