Europe

Home » Europe

Medieval architecture – Gothic and Romanesque – Europe

By |2018-04-24T08:21:21+00:00September 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 [...]

What is plate tectonics? Earthquakes and volcanoes

By |2018-04-18T09:54:07+00:00September 21st, 2017|Geology|

The world as seen from space (flattened out) When you look at a map of the world, it seems as though it was always like that - North America on top of South America, Europe north of Africa, Australia off at the bottom right. But really all of the dry land on Earth moves around like floating shapes about 60 miles [...]

West Asian economy – Safavids and Ottomans

By |2018-04-25T23:04:52+00:00September 11th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

A man making paper West Asia entered the 1500s AD in a very powerful position in world trade. Iran, together with the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan and the Mughal Empire, dominated the Silk Road, and the Silk Road was at the center of world trade. Small factories with hundreds of employees - slave or free - made high-quality steel, knotted wool carpets, paper, glass dishes and silver vases, and [...]

Colonization timeline – 1500 AD to modern times

By |2018-04-18T23:56:02+00:00September 10th, 2017|Africa, History, When|

Tenochtitlan under attack (painted in the 1600s) Beginning about 1500 AD, Europeans took advantage of new advances in sail technology to invade and take over most of the world beyond Europe. Their colonization had disastrous effects for the people they conquered. The Europeans began by sailing down the Atlantic coast of Africa. They went around Africa to India. And [...]

Heloise and Abelard – Middle Ages in Europe

By |2017-09-05T02:42:54+00:00September 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 [...]

Stone Age Italy – the history of Italy

By |2018-04-25T10:12:11+00:00September 3rd, 2017|History|

Stone Age rock art from Val Camonica, in northern Italy. Neanderthals in Italy By around 200,000 years ago, there were a few early humans living in Italy. We know about them from their flint axes, and from one of their villages that has been excavated west of Rome at Torrimpietra. These were not modern humans, though, but [...]

Etruscan art – Italy before the Romans

By |2018-04-25T08:59:08+00:00August 31st, 2017|Art, Northern Europe|

Apollo of Veii (ca. 520 BC) Etruscan art is in some ways a lot like Greek art of the same time, because the Etruscans admired the Greeks very much and imitated a lot of their art (and bought a lot of art from the Greeks as well). But there are also some interesting differences. [...]

Etruscan architecture – Early Italy

By |2018-04-24T23:33:17+00:00August 26th, 2017|Architecture, Religion|

Etruscan temple at Veii - a reconstruction The Etruscans, about 700 BC, were the first people in northern and central Italy to build big buildings out of stone. They learned from the Greeks and the Phoenicians to build big stone temples for their gods. Not many Etruscan temples survive. This is probably because some of them were built out of [...]

Who was Rashi? Jewish history – Middle Ages

By |2018-04-12T00:08:10+00:00August 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 |2018-04-18T23:33:48+00:00August 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 [...]