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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 [...]

Northern France with kids!

By |2018-04-20T08:20:20+00:00August 15th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Amiens labyrinth In northern France, drive first from Paris to Bayeux to see the Bayeux Tapestry. There are good audioguides for both adults and kids. Going through all the panels of the tapestry is as interesting as reading comic strips! If you have time, the next day check out Mont St. Michel. It's a great Romanesque [...]

Roger Bacon – Medieval science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:21+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Science|

Roger Bacon's diagram of a human eye Roger Bacon was born in England maybe about 1210 AD. It was late in the reign of King John. (That's the one in Robin Hood.) England was just beginning to get richer from raising and selling high quality wool cloth on the Silk Road. In addition, a warmer climate - the Medieval Warm period - was making [...]

Thomas Aquinas – Dominican monk

By |2018-04-24T09:23:15+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Philosophy|

Naples, with Mount Vesuvius in the background Like Ibn Rushd and Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas was a great thinke who tried to figure out the relationship between science and religion. But unlike Ibn Rushd and Maimonides, Aquinas was a Christian. Thomas Aquinas was born in southern Italy, at his father's castle, in 1224 or 1225 AD. It was just after the death of Francis [...]

Medieval universities in Europe

By |2017-08-04T09:21:20+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval|

Medieval university With the fall of Rome, the universities of northern Europe closed too. The end of Mediterranean trade meant that nobody could afford to get an advanced education anymore. In Europe, there were only small schools run by the Catholic church. Or independent scholars gave public lectures and tutored private students. Or there [...]

St. Germain des Pres – Paris

By |2018-04-15T16:50:50+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

St. Germain des Pres (Paris, 1000 AD) In 542 AD, the Merovingian king Childebert (Clovis' son) was fighting the Visigoths in Spain when he heard that the people of Saragossa were praying to St. Vincent to save them. Childebert decided not to fight people under the protection of a Christian saint, and the people were so grateful to be [...]

Sainte Chapelle – Paris – Conciergerie

By |2017-07-31T10:08:19+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Sainte Chapelle, in Paris The Sainte Chapelle was (and is) a beautiful little church or chapel in France, on the island in the middle of the city of Paris. King Louis IX, also known as Saint Louis, and his mother, Queen Blanche of Castile, built it between 1241 and 1248 AD (before Louis left on the Seventh Crusade). King [...]

Before Notre Dame – St. Etienne

By |2017-07-31T09:26:37+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Notre Dame of Paris (1160s AD) In the time of the Romans, about 100 AD, the city council of Paris built a temple. They dedicated it to the Roman god Jupiter. The temple was on the island in the middle of Paris, the Ile de la Cité. In fact, it was right where the cathedral of Notre Dame stands today. When [...]

Inside Notre Dame – Paris, France

By |2017-07-31T09:26:25+00:00July 31st, 2017|History|

Notre Dame of Paris nave After they had pretty much finished the nave of Notre Dame of Paris, the builders worked on the crossing. Then they started on the apse. They finished the apse in 1182 AD, and the nave in 1196. Then they began working on the transept. But they soon ran out of money to [...]