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Italy in the High Middle Ages

By |2018-04-21T13:20:50+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Matilda of Canossa (ca. 1100 AD) By about 900 AD, the Holy Roman Emperors started to lose power over Northern Italy. The Counts of Canossa controlled most of Northern Italy: Florence, Pisa, Siena, Genoa. Around the year 1000 AD, a new city called Venice, in Northern Italy near Greece, became very rich by trading along the Silk Road. Venice was supposedly under the [...]

Who were the Visigoths? Early Middle Ages

By |2018-04-09T10:31:12+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Gold coin minted by King Euric,with the name of the Roman Emperor on it The Visigoths established a kingdom for themselves within the collapsing Roman Empire in 418 AD. They took over most of south-western France (Aquitaine), a very fertile area where many Romans lived. The Visigoths at first acted more or less as representatives of the Roman government. They [...]

Byzantine pottery – Middle Ages

By |2017-08-01T08:08:24+00:00August 1st, 2017|Art, Medieval|

(Metropolitan Museum, New York) After the fall of the western part of the Roman Empire, the remaining part of the Roman empire in West Asia and Egypt kept on using Roman red pottery. But by around 700 AD, after Heraclius, Byzantine potters began to make tin-glazed pottery, just like in the neighboring Umayyad empire. This glazed pottery looked a lot like [...]

Medieval art history – Europe

By |2017-08-01T07:56:10+00:00August 1st, 2017|Art, Medieval|

A Late Antique ivory carving Roman art, German art, and Islamic art mixed together in Europe in the Early Middle Ages to create a new form, which we call medieval art. Art historians divide medieval art into Early Medieval, Romanesque, and Gothic art. But these types of art looked different in different places, and in the hands of [...]

Early Gothic architecture

By |2018-04-10T22:59:12+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Early Gothic architecture: Notre Dame of Paris (1160s AD) What came after Romanesque? After the Romanesque period in architecture, around 1100 AD, architects in western Europe gradually started to build Christian churches and palaces in the Gothic style. The easiest difference to see between the two styles is that while Romanesque churches have round arches, Gothic churches have pointed arches. [...]

Aachen – Palatine Chapel – Charlemagne

By |2017-07-29T18:08:15+00:00July 29th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Aachen cathedral (begun 792 AD) One of the first ambitious buildings in Western Europe after the fall of Rome was Charlemagne's chapel at his capital of Aachen (now in northern Germany) about 792 AD. Charlemagne thought of himself as re-creating the Roman Empire. He wanted to build an impressive church that would show that he was a very [...]

From honey to sugar – History of Honey

By |2017-06-22T13:03:48+00:00June 22nd, 2017|Food|

Beehives in Europe, about 1400 AD All through antiquity, honey kept on being very important as a sweetener, a preservative, and a medicine throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia. Wax was used for candles and to seal things. But by around 350 AD, Indian scientists figured out how to make cane sugar into lump [...]

Egypt under Islamic rule

By |2017-06-14T23:54:36+00:00June 14th, 2017|Africa, Egypt, History, Islam|

Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, Egypt (900s AD) With the rise of the new religion of Islam, the Arabs started a new empire centered on Syria. Soon the Arabs conquered Egypt, too. So, just like the Assyrians and the Persians, now West Asian Arabs ruled Egypt. Gradually most Egyptians converted from Christianity to Islam (the [...]

Ming Dynasty Chinese art – Medieval China

By |2018-10-15T20:22:30+00:00June 5th, 2017|Art, China|

Ming Dynasty Chinese art Ming emperors unify Chinese art After the Mongols were thrown out of China, and the Chinese emperors took over again in the Ming Dynasty of the late 1300s AD, the Ming emperors wanted to build up Chinese nationalism. Instead of being part of the huge Mongol Empire, now China [...]