Norman England

1066 and all that... well, the Norman kings consolidated the English monarchy, that's fo' so'.


In 911, Viking leader Rollo and the king of France came to a feudal agreement. In return for Viking loyalty, they could lettle in Northern France, in Normandy. 150 years later, the Duke of Normandy would cross the Channel and defeat Harold, King of England, and claim the throne himself!




The powerful Plantagenet king Henry II married Eleanor of Aquatine and became Duke of the realm, much to the chagrin of the king of France, Philip II Augustus. Henry held court at Chinon Castle in France to hold the territory. Under Henry the notions of precedence and due process came into English Common Law.  

The Cleopatra of the Middle Ages, Eleanor courted two of the most important men in Western Europe, then held court of her own in France, where she taught manners and civilized behavior to girls and women, her own "finishing school" as it were. In the 1180s, Henry kept her under house arrest because he was suspicious that she was trying to get their son Richard, the future Richard I the Lionheart, to take out his dad and become king a little earlier than he should.




The brave crusader was the first son of Henry and Eleanor, and covered his name and the crown with honor by fighting Saladin against the odds in the 3rd Crusade. After the truce with the Muslims, he returned home but was intercepted in Vienna and kidnapped and ransomed, cleaning out England's treasury, already strained to pay for the crusade. His brother, John, would not fare so well at home as Richard did abroad. John ruled in Richard's absence but mismanaged money, leading to the Robin Hood legend that made the poor happy to think about- steal from rich managers of our money and give it back to us the taxpayer- sounds like Americans today! Richard went to fight some French nobles in his holdings in Aquitaine and died in 1199.

Even though he was daddy's favorite while mommy supported Richard, King John Lackland (because he lost the Aquitaine to Philip II of France) wasn't as strong a king as daddy or brother Richard. In 1215 John was "asked nicely," or rather, "requested and required" by a coalition of nobles of the land to sign the Magna Carta, ceding some royal power to the brand new Parliament (parle=French for talk), which is the ancestor of the US Congress.

KING JOHN (13th)




This is the king who ordered the castles be built in Wales to secure English holdings there, as seen in David MaCaulay's Castle, where he invested Lord Kevin with Aberwaveryn. In real life, he had Canaervon and Conway built, and because he subjugated the last independent Welsh leaders, he got the title Prince of Wales, which every English monarch has retained from then till now. Back in London, Common Law under Edward came to include trial by jury and habeas corpus (you must have the body!) i.e.: you can't arrest someone without charging them with a crime.

Scottish freedom fighter immortalized in the movie Braveheart. Resisted English incursion into Scotland by defeating them at the Battle of Stirling, but only temporarily. Eventually, he was defeated at Falkirk after being betrayed by a Scottish nobleman and executed. Later, England would absorb Scotland into Great Britain. In 2014 the last vote occurred and Scotland only barely voted to remain as part of the UK and not an independent country once again. Similar votes happen in Quebec and Puerto Rico, among other places





The Bayeux Tapestry depicts things before and after the Battle of Hastings, in which William

conquered England and became king. The conservator of the Tapestry says this about it:

The Bayeux tapestry is one of the supreme achievements of the Norman Romanesque ... Its survival almost intact over nine centuries is little short of miraculous ... Its exceptional length, the harmony and freshness of its colors, its exquisite workmanship, and the genius of its guiding spirit combine to make it endlessly fascinating.




A page from the Domesday Book, initiated by William as a census to see what he had just conquered (L).

In 2066, will the British celebrate the millenniem of William by celebrating their new rulers?

 Who knows! Right: a page from the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.





Henry II and Eleanor in their older years as portrayed in The Lion in Winter




Henry is frustrated when his three boys, his wife and the King of France, seem to be plotting against him

So can he even trust his French mistress Alays these days?




Eleanor of Acquitaine started a "court of love" here, teaching chivalry, manners and

polite love to people at Poitiers, France; it was also a real court- Eleanor's daughter listened

to actual people having domestic problems and act as a judge and jury! Historical fiction book (r).




The tombs of Queen Eleanor and King Henry II at Fontevraud Abbey near Chinon in Anjou, France

King of England buried in France? Well, that part of France was England during Angevin times!




The Magna Carta

King John signing the Magna Carta- a big moment in the history of lawmaking




 A commerative coin issued on the 750th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta,

ancestor of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights; orignal Magna Carta (right)




Robin Hood and his Merry Men in Sherwood Forest. Practicing banditry, they stole

from the rich and gave to the poor, allegedly




Medieval London- London Bridge




Capetian France

The last Carolingian died in 987- what happened next?



Less than 200 years after Charlemagne, the realm shrank to just the island in the middle of the River Seine in Paris, the Ile de France. Nice place, but c'mon. Autonomous dukes ruled the rest of France. Hugh Capet founded a long running dynasty.




He was the first to be called King of France instead of King of the Franks or Holy Roman Emperor. He had a falling out with Henry II of England and tried to break up the Angevin realm by visiting Henry's court at Christmastime, and sowing discord and intrigue between him, his (estranged) wife Eleanor, and his sons- and he would be successful in part, for the power and sovereignty of the French king got stronger, while the English Plantagenet kings surrendered part of their authority to the barons at the signing of the Magna Carta. This document set the countries on different political courses... When Philip called John Lackland in a summons to Paris, he refused, and Philip declared John's lands in England forfeit, so John allied with his cousin Welf Otto IV but lost against Philippe in the Battle of Bouvines. Later, Philip went on the 3rd Crusade and had a huge wall built around Paris before he left... just in case!



Crowned at 12, St. Louis was called that because he effected the reinstitution of Provence and other areas to France from the Angevins, and because he did everything in his life in the service of Christian values. He punished gambling and blasphemy, he invested in getting relics of Christ from the Holy Land and displaying them for the people, he tried to convert Jews living in France, and banned trial by ordeal. He told that the king was the final arbiter in an unfair trial, and issued that there would be a presumption of innocence in all the realm. He is the only canonized King of France, dying on a crusade to the Holy Land.





Philip had it out with Pope Boniface VIII over his move to tax church officals and property in France. The pope issued a papal bull that that "formulated a claim to absolute world supremacy," and had the old pope kidnapped! Though he got free later, Boniface died soon after, and Philip managed to get his boy, a Frenchman and Archbishop of Bordeaux, elected new pope. They agreed that after a millennium in Rome, it was about time to move the Vatican to France! Avignon was chosen to play host to a huge new papal residence, which still stands today, because Philip bought the whole town! The popes lived there for 70 years. Philip got mean with the German crusading order call the Knights Templar, whom he had arrested of heresy of all things. Their property in France was confiscated (surprise, surprise) and the Grandmaster of the order was burned at the stake. Ironically, Philip IV was called, "The Fair."




Medieval France after the Angevins and Capetians: a great example of the feudal system at work




Capetian coat of arms




Victory for Philip II and French royal power at Bouvines, but I don't see many bovines do you?

Ha ha ha get it? Bovines? Anyway Philip II and his successors strengthened the French crown




Medieval Paris, home of the Capetian kings, while the rest of the country was divided into feudal sectors




Elements of a medieval manor. While the kings were getting stronger, what about peasants?




Peasant Life in Medieval France


These brothers painted a book called The Very Rich Hours of the Duke de Berry. Berry is a duchy in Central France, and amazingly, the original book has survived. It depicts peasant life in each month of the year, along with nobles visiting the duke's court.





The Very Rich Hours: Life on a Medieval Manor

January                                                     February




March                                                             April




May                                                              June




July                                                          August




September                                                 October



November                                                  December




Chivalric Code

Ever wonder why some people have so many manners and others so few?

Today, that kind of love where the dude will do anything for the chick, including walk 500 miles

and slay the dragon for her, is a throwback to medieval chivalric romance which actually taught that was normal




The chick was supposed to pine for her knight when he was away, and sew up

his uniforms when they were torn and tattered- she was supposed to actually miss him




Chivalry was a code of conduct followed by medieval knights and it is a foundation that modern moral opinions are founded on. It covers many aspects of a man's life regarding how he behaves in the presence of others.

Battle Chivalry - A knight followed strict rules as to what was proper behavior in battle. The chivalric code covered such things as when he fought and how he fought. Some examples of how a knight would behave would be to battle only when necessary or at his kings request and to only use as much force as necessary. It made jousting tournaments, for example, not as deadly because the victor would not kill the loser. This way knights could establish rank and prestige without maiming or killing each other.

Some negative views of battle according to the rules of chivalry: Some weapons and techniques were considered dishonorable such as the dagger and the arbalest. A knight would not use these weapons because they were not knightly. A dagger was considered the weapon of a sneaky assassin and an arbalest was a brutal weapon of the untrained because it was fired at a distance with no danger to the person firing. Both were considered dishonourable. A knight's code of chivalry demanded that he face his enemy openly and honestly - medieval battles were a "let the best man win" situation. Today we call this attitude "sportsmanship."

Chivalry toward other people - One of the most important aspects of chivaly was that it defined how a knight behaved toward other people and other knights. The modern day salute, both military and civilian, is derived from the chivalric action of tipping open the helmet guard. Chivalric code bound knights to respect each other and to show this respect when they met they would raise their right hand and lift their visors so they could see each others face and show that combat was not their intention. As armor faded from popular use the salute took the place of the visor tipping. The civilian remnant of this is the handshake, which is derived from the chivalric display of extending the empty right hand thus showing the other knight that you are not wielding a weapon and that you harbor no bad intentions.

Religion, belief in God, and a higher purpose - One of the most powerful aspects of chivalry was it's unyielding following of the tenets of the Christian religion. A knight was bound to follow and uphold God above all else, and the greatest thing a knight could achieve was recognition from the pope and the church as a "defender of the faith." When Pope Urban II called on knights to bring the Holy Land back into Christendom, civalry helped inform them as to why that was a moral necessity.




Singers and Bards: Troubadours and Minstrals

Youtube Trubadour                     Youtube Minstrals

 "Mom, I'm going to be a troubadour when I grow up". Try that one and see how it works.




Holy Roman Empire (Germany and Italy)

They say it wasn't holy, or Roman, or an empire. Then what was it? A German Confederation?


The First German Reich was the Holy Roman Empire, reborn after 150 years, when Otto I the Great was crowned

in the manner of Charlemagne- it would come to encompass 300 provinces each with its own coat of arms




The shifting borders of the German Empire over the 800 years of its existence




EMP. OTTO I - 900s

If the Capetians claimed to be heirs to Charlemagne in France, Otto the Great had a claim as well, maybe a better one. After all, he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope at Aachen, Charlemagne's capital, establishing a link to the Carolingians. Otto subdued the Northern Italians by force and by dynastic right, by marrying the widow of the king of Italy while he was there, and the Slavs of the east. He stopped the Magyars too, giving himself a great name.



Remember me, I ask, I am Adelaide, and I lived at a strange time in Italy. The north was tied to France, while a Norman kingdom appeared in the south, and in the center were the Papal States. City-states, meanwhile, like Venice and Genoa, were poised to become centers of trade and banking. My husband Lothair II died and I asked Otto the Great for help against the new rulers. Otto defeated him and united Northern Italy to the Empire, which I was happy about. He then married me and I was even happier.


ROBERT GUISCARD - 11th century

My name was Robert Guiscard, remember me? I was born exactly 1,000 years ago, and I led the Norman conquest of Southern Italy. The pope then made me legit by investing me with the titles Count of Apulia and Calabria, and Duke of Sicily. I think he wanted me to be a mercenary for him, which kind of worked. I set up court at Palermo, Sicily, and made it an artistic and philosophical center.




German Holy Roman Emperor

He got into an argument with pope Gregory VII which started the Investiture Contest. It began when Gregory decided to end lay investiture, and Heinrich called for him to be defrocked from the papacy. Gregory excommunicated Heinrich, and the peasants were upset with their emperor, who had to humble himself and visit the pope in the winter. A "Journey to Cannosa" proverbially means to admit defeat. Heinrich confessed his sins to the pope, as a parishoner would to his priest, and was given a penance. But he saved his throne in the process!



POPE GREGORY VII - (12th century)

Remember me, I am Pope Gregory VII, and I locked horns with Emperor Heinrich IV over investiture of clergy, because it is obvious that the church should have that right alone. It is not a secular matter. While Heinrich's confession did save his throne, after I lifted his excommunication, his nobles had had a taste of greater power without him, and were more apt to scheme against him. This helped keep Germany a bunch of principalities until the 19th century, instead of a unified kingdom. I was made a saint not for this, however, but because I battled simony and enforced the tradition of celebacy amongst the men of the cloth. Our zeal is for God and none other, especially carnal passions.

Following the Investiture situation, Hohenstaufen Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa will be careful to enumerate specific powers for the emperor and base it on Justinianian's Corpus of Civil Law, while at the same time emphasizing the 'Romanness' of the law- and the empire! This comprehensive list included public roads, tariffs, coining, collecting punitive fees, and the investiture, the seating and unseating of office holders. These rights were now explicitly rooted in Roman Law, a far-reaching constitutional act. He did battle in Northern Italy, and would die on the way to the Third Crusade because his horse slipped into a river and he was wearing his heavy armor.




Like his father, Friedrich II did battle in Italy to keep it under control, and even moved there for awhile, long enough to found the first modern university at Bologna, in order to train state officials. He was known as Stupor Mundi, Wonder of the World, because he was so smart. While he lost to Philip II Augustus of France at the Battle of Bouvines, he directed the Teutonic Knights to convert Prussia in Eastern Europe, some of the last non-Christian Europeans. Despite this, the pope excommunicated him in 1245 because of his aggression in Italy, and he died a short time later, and royal authority in Germany with him until the rise of the Habsburgs.




The placement of bishops and abbots is what fueled the Investiture conflict- a conflict between church and state-

until the Concordat of Worms said the emperor would invest church officials with their temporal jurisdication.

Still, no caesaropapism in the west, no Divine Right of Kings (and no totalitarianism either).


Pope Calixtus II wrote: I, bishop Calixtus, servant of the servants of God, do grant to thee beloved son, Henry-by the grace of God august emperor of the Romans-that the elections of the bishops and abbots of the German kingdom, who belong to the kingdom, shall take place in thy presence, without simony and without any violence; so that if any discord shall arise between the parties concerned, thou, by the counsel or judgment of the metropolitan and the co-provincials, may'st give consent and aid to the party which has the more right. The one elected, moreover, without any exaction may receive the regalia from thee through the lance, and shall do unto thee for these what he rightfully should. But he who is consecrated in the other parts of the empire (i.e. Burgundy and Italy) shall, within six months, and without any exaction, receive the regalia from thee through the lance, and shall do unto thee for these what he rightfully should. Excepting all things which are known to belong to the Roman church. Concerning matters, however, in which thou dost make complaint to me, and dost demand aid, I, according to the duty of my office, will furnish aid to thee. I give unto thee true peace, and to all who are or have been on thy side in the time of this discord

Heinrich V wrote: In the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity, I, Henry, by the grace of God august emperor of the Romans, for the love of God and of the holy Roman church and of our master pope Calixtus, and for the healing of my soul, do remit to God, and to the holy apostles of God, Peter and Paul, and to the holy catholic church, all investiture through ring and staff; and do grant that in all the churches that are in my kingdom or empire there may be canonical election and free consecration. All the possessions and regalia of St. Peter which, from the beginning of this discord unto this day, whether in the time of my father or also in mine, have been abstracted, and which I hold: I restore to that same holy Roman church. As to those things, moreover, which I do not hold, I will faithfully aid in their restoration. As to the possessions also of all other churches and princes, and of all other lay and clerical persons which have been lost in that war: according to the counsel of the princes, or according to justice, I will restore the things that I hold; and of those things which I do not hold I will faithfully aid in the restoration. And I grant true peace to our master pope Calixtus, and to the holy Roman church, and to all those who are or have been on its side. And in matters where the holy Roman church shall demand aid I will grant it; and in matters concerning which it shall make complaint to me I will duly grant to it justice.




The Palace of the Normans in Palermo, Sicily, where Robert Guiscard and his successors, especially

Friedrich II Hohenstaufen, ruled from. Friedrich wrote a book on falconeering and is often pictured with one




At this time, the citizens of Florence decided to build a great Palazzo Vecchio to celebrate the increasing prosperity of the city

its Romanesque, crenelated facade also served to keep the magistrates safe from the rival clan out of power- civic patriotism




Or you can do what the people of San Gimignano near Florence did: fortify the city with a bunch of towers!

The Guelfs represented the patricians and the Ghibellines the plebeians- that's an old story!




The Hanseatic League

Silk Road? Indian Ocean? In medieval Europe it was the Baltic Sea that enouraged free exchange

Carta Marina 1550: The Hanseatic League was an economic bund of, at its height, 50 cities give or take. It was a free trade zone

in which German merchants could exchange goods freely without fear of government intervention- "town air breaths free"



 C   I   t   I   e   s       o   f      t   h   e      H   a   n   s   a



Lubeck- capital of Wendish-Pomeranian Circle, original founding city, 13th centuiry

Hamburg- original founding city, 13th century

Luneburg- joined in 13th century

Wismar- joined in 13th century

Rostock- joined in 13th century

Stralsund- joined in 13th century

Stettin- joined in 13th century, became chief port in Pomerania

Kolberg- joined in 13th century











Visby- Swedish town on Gotland, joined in 13th century, status recinded in 1470 and Lubeck razed its churches in 1525.

Stockholm- joined 13th century, council was half German burghers

Brunswick- capital of Saxon-Thuringian-Brandenburg Circle

Bremen- joined 13th century

Magdeburg- joined 13th century

Danzig- joined 14th century, capital of Prussian-Livonian Circle

Elbing- joined 14th century

Thorn- joined 13th century

Konigsberg- joined 14th century

Riga- joined 13th century

Reval- joined 13th century






Cologne- capital of Rhine-Westphalian-Netherlands Circle until 15th century Anglo-Hanseatic War when it was hit with sanctions (Verhanst) for having supported England. But in 1669 the last Hanseday was held, in Lubeck, and the remaining members arrived, including Cologne

Dortmund- became capital after Cologne lost it

Groningen- Part of Friesland

Munster- joined in 13th century












Novgorod- joined 15th century and became the easternmost point of the Hansa, and a principal kontore, closed by Ivan III in 16th century

Bergen- joined 14th century to become a principal kontore until razed by accidental fire in 15th century

Bruges- became a principal kontore in 14th century and lost it in 15th when seaway to the city silted up

London- the Steelyard here became a principal kontore in 14th century (which will lead to the Anglo-Hansa war in the 15th century)

Antwerp- benefited from Bruges' seaway silting up despite Antwerp's not allowing the League's merchants special privilages

King's Lynn- the only surviving Hansa building in England is the warehouse constructed in 1475

Malmo- Sweden's other Hanseatic city was ideally located on the southern end of the country

Kaunas- in Lithuania joined in 1441, fifty years after traders first arrived to secure the possibility

Pskov- joined in the 14th century




The kontor at Antwerp- equivalent to the emporium at Calicut as a center of trade




Goods are offloaded at Brugge, "Hansezeit" means "time of the Hansa"




Hanseatic townhouses were homes of the burghers and merchants involved in the trade




The only remaining vestige of the Hanseatic League in England is this warehouse




Leaving port- notice the kinds of goods changing hands and the discussion about price

Also notice the "grain arm" which is used to drop the grain onto the ships from above by wheel




The biggest grain arm of them all- at Danzig in Poland, where enormous amounts of

wheat was harvested and sent up the Vistula River to the Baltic port, and sent all 'round




Economics: Trade Guilds


Guild Hall is a leftover from the medieval era in England- it was a meetingplace for trade guilds




A mark of the glaser guild in Germany, equivalent to a contractor's pickup truck

saying they are licensed and to only hire licensed contractors like themselves




Dutch guild of the Stalmeesters, the drapers of cloth- now they look high quality

After some time however, the guilds became antithetical to innovation and sought to suppress

competition from non-guild members, like unions in the later 20th century, which are their descendents




Are these guild values? Would you want the people you work with to embody them?




Medieval Town Occupations


  1. Academic – a scholar or sage — astrologer, cartographer, historian, philosopher, etc.
  2. Architect – a master builder
  3. Ascetic – a hermit or wandering monk
  4. Barber  – a doctor, surgeon, bloodletter, dentist, and haircutter
  5. Barrister – a lawyer
  6. Bureaucrat – a local functionary, servant to some more powerful political figure
  7. Engineer – a builder of roads, bridges, castles, fortifications, and siege engines
  8. Herald – an announcer and deliverer of news on behalf of a lord
  9. Monk/Nun – a lay cleric devoted to prayer and spirituality
  10. Scribe – skilled in taking dictation or copying documents

Lesser Nobility

  1. Adventurer – a minor scion of a noble house who’s chosen to wander the world
  2. Dilettante – a minor scion of a noble house who dabbles in various interests
  3. Diplomat – a representative of his house in dealings with other noble houses
  4. Knight – a well-trained warrior, skilled with sword and lance
  5. Minister – a political figure appointed by the ruler to govern a specific area or to oversee a domain; also lesser but important officials, such as a reeve or judge
  6. Page – a very young noble beginning his training to be a knight
  7. Squire – a young noble progressing on the path to knighthood, perhaps herself a capable warrior


  1. Armorer
  2. Artist – a painter of portraits
  3. Baker
  4. Blacksmith
  5. Bookbinder
  6. Bowyer
  7. Brewer – a maker of beer and ale
  8. Bricklayer – a laborer skilled in the building of walls and ducts
  9. Butcher
  10. Candlemaker or Chandler
  11. Carpenter – an elite tradesman, skilled in math as well as woodworking
  12. Cartwright – a maker and repairer of carts and wagons
  13. Clothier – a garment-maker
  14. Cobbler or Shoemaker – makes and mends shoes
  15. Cook
  16. Cooper – a barrel-maker
  17. Dyer – a maker of inks, paints, dyes, and stains
  18. Engraver
  19. Furrier
  20. Glassblower
  21. Goldsmith or Silversmith
  22. Hatter
  23. Innkeeper or Tavern-keeper
  24. Jeweler
  25. Joiner – a maker of furniture
  26. Leatherworker
  27. Locksmith
  28. Mason
  29. Merchant
  30. Moneylender
  31. Potter
  32. Shipwright – a builder of ships
  33. Tax Collector
  34. Tinker – a traveling craftsman who repairs tin pots and other small items, often also a peddler
  35. Torturer
  36. Trader – by land or by sea
  37. Vintner – a maker of wines
  38. Weaver

The Working Class

  1. Boatman – travel by lake or river
  2. Coachman – driver of a coach
  3. Farmer
  4. Fisherman
  5. Gravedigger
  6. Groom – one who tends animals
  7. Herdsman – a keeper of livestock
  8. Hunter or Trapper
  9. Messenger
  10. Miller
  11. Miner
  12. Painter or Limner
  13. Peddler – an itinerant merchant of goods
  14. Ratcatcher
  15. Sailor
  16. Seamstress
  17. Servant – maid, butler, attendant, steward, etc.
  18. Stevedore – one who loads and unloads goods from sailing ships or caravan


  1. Bodyguard
  2. Bounty Hunter
  3. Forester – a ranger or game warden, often empowered to act as law enforcement within the forest
  4. Gatekeeper or Toll Keeper
  5. Jailer
  6. Mercenary or Soldier
  7. Watchman

Scoundrels and the Underclass

  1. Bandit, Mugger, or Thug – steals by force; often part of a gang of thieves
  2. Beggar
  3. Burglar – steals by breaking and entering
  4. Fence – finds buyers for stolen goods, may serve as a pawnbroker
  5. Gambler
  6. Pickpocket or Cutpurse – steals by stealth
  7. Procurer – streetwise specialists in finding whatever their client might be looking for
  8. Prostitute
  9. Slaver
  10. Smuggler – moves stolen or illegal goods
  11. Wanderer – a “barbarian” nomad, drifter, or rover


  1. Acrobat
  2. Actor
  3. Clown
  4. Dancer
  5. Fortune-teller – might well have real power in a fantasy world
  6. Juggler
  7. Minstrel
  8. Prestidigitator – stage magician
  9. Storyteller1





Last names come from the Middle Ages too. They usually reflect 1) a job one of your medieval ancestors had, i.e.: Smith = a blacksmith, meaning someone who made metal objects into usable items, 2) who they were related to, i.e.: John's son = Johnson, 3) where an ancestor was from, i.e.: Baskerville, 4) a characteristic of the person, i.e.: Durant, meaning enduring in Old English. If your last name is English, you may find it in this index: http://surnames.behindthename.com/names/usage/english

If you last name is not English or Anglicized somewhere along the way, you can still look it up on another language's index. Ivanovich is Russian for Johnson, for example, which is Johannsen in German.




Scholasticism and Universities

The very oldest are underlined in orange - "The university is a European institution; indeed, it is the European institution par excellence. There are various reasons for this assertion. As a community of teachers and taught, accorded certain rights, such as administrative autonomy and the determination and realisation of curricula (courses of study) and of the objectives of research as well as the award of publicly recognised degrees, it is a creation of medieval Europe, which was the Europe of papal Christianity."




European Universities in Order of Appearance

Medieval              Early Modern

Modern            WWI to WWII            Postwar Era





Oxford, 1167

Paris, 1170

Cambridge, 1209

Montpellier, 1205

Northampton, 1261

Toulouse, 1229

Glasgow, 1451

Orleans, 1235

Aberdeen, 1495

Angers, 1250

Dublin, 1311

Avignon, 1303

St. Andrews, 1411

Grenoble, 1339

Glasgow, 1451

Perpignan, 1350

Aberdeen, 1495

Marseilles, 1409

Edinburgh, 1582

Poitiers, 1431

Trinity Dublin, 1592

Caen, 1432

Strathclyde, 1796

Bordeaux, 1441

Lampeter, 1822

Nantes, 1460

Durham, 1832

Bourges, 1464

London, 1836

Nimes, 1539

Belfast, 1845

Reims, 1548

Cork, 1845

Nice, 1559

Galway, 1845

Nancy, 1572

Manchester, 1851

Aix, 1603

Aberystwyth, 1872

Strassburg, 1621

Nottingham, 1881

Besancon, 1691

Dundee, 1881

Dijon, 1722

Liverpool, 1883

Rennes, 1735

Cardiff, 1883

Auvergne, 1805

Bangor, 1884

Lyon, 1808

Birmingham, 1900

Rouen, 1808

Leeds, 1904

Lille, 1808

Sheffield, 1905

Tours, 1969

Bristol, 1909

Limoges, 1970

Swansea, 1920

Amiens, 1970

Reading, 1926

Pau, 1972

Leicester, 1957

Le Mans, 1972

Brighton, 1961

Chambery, 1979

Colchester, 1961


Newcastle, 1963


York, 1963


Canterbury, 1964


Hull, 1964


Lancaster, 1964


East Anglia, 1964


Exeter, 1964


Coventry, 1964


Bradford, 1966


Uxbridge, 1966


Stirling, 1967


Buckingham, 1983


Kingston, 1992


East London, 1992






Bologna, 1088

Vienna, 1365

Padua, 1222

Heidelberg, 1386

Naples, 1224

Cologne, 1388

Salerno, 1231

Erfurt, 1389

Siena, 1246

Wurzburg, 1402

Macerata, 1290

Leipzig, 1409

Rome, 1303

Rostock, 1419

Perugia, 1308

Trier, 1454

Camerino, 1336

Greifswald, 1456

Pisa, 1343

Ingolstat, 1459

Pavia, 1361

Mainz, 1476

Ferrara, 1391

Tubingen, 1476

Turin, 1404

Wittenberg, 1502

Catania, 1444

Marbug, 1527

Genoa, 1471

Konigsberg, 1544

Venice, 1477

Jena, 1557

Messina, 1548

Braunsberg, 1568

Milan, 1555

Helmstedt, 1575

Gregorian Rome, 1556

Graz, 1585

Ancona, 1562

Giessen, 1607

Thomae Rome, 1577

Paderborn, 1614

Palermo, 1578

Salzburg, 1620

Malta, 1592

Altdorf, 1622

Sassari, 1617

Osnabruck, 1629

Cagliari, 1620

Bamberg, 1648

Urbino, 1671

Kiel, 1652

Modena, 1772

Duisburg, 1654

Bari, 1923

Innsbruck, 1668

Trieste, 1924

Linz, 1674

Trento, 1962

Halle, 1693

Aquila, 1964

Breslau, 1702

Calabria, 1968

Fulda, 1732

Udine, 1978

Gottingen, 1733

Verona, 1982

Erlagen, 1742

Nicosia, 1989

Bonn, 1777


Munster, 1780


Stuttgart, 1781


Berlin, 1810


Neuchatel, 1909


Frankfurt, 1914


Hamburg, 1919


Saarbrucken, 1948


Ruhr, 1962


Salzburg, 1962


Regensburg, 1962


Dortmund, 1962


Dusseldorf, 1965


Konstanz, 1966


Ulm, 1967


Hohenheim, 1967


Mannheim, 1967


Bielefeld, 1969


Klagenfurt, 1970


Augsburg, 1970


Bremen, 1971


Kassel, 1971


Bayreuth, 1972


Essen, 1972


Siegen, 1972


Oldenberg, 1973


Passau, 1973


Hildesheim, 1973


Luneberg, 1989


Potsdam, 1991


Magdeberg, 1993


Flensberg, 1994





Salamanca, 1218

Leuven, 1425

Valladolid, 1241

Basel, 1459

Mercia, 1272

Leiden, 1575

Lisbon, 1290

Franeker, 1585

Lleida, 1297

Utrecht, 1636

Barcelona, 1450

Harderwijk, 1647

Zaragoza, 1474

Nijmegen, 1655

Majorca, 1483

Liege, 1816

Alcala, 1499

Ghent, 1817

Valencia, 1500

Zurich, 1833

Seville, 1505

Bern, 1834

Toledo, 1521

Brussels, 1834

Campostela, 1526

Geneva, 1872

Granada, 1531

Amsterdam, 1877

Osuna, 1549

Fribourg, 1890

Evora, 1558

Lausanne, 1890

Estella, 1565

Mons, 1973

Ovedio, 1574

Rotterdam, 1973

La Laguna, 1701

Maastricht, 1975

Madrid, 1836

Antwerp, 2003

Bilbao, 1886


Porto, 1911


Mercia, 1915


Cordoba, 1962


Badajoz, 1969


Malaga, 1971


Santander, 1971


Alicante, 1978


Leon, 1979


Cadiz, 1979


Vigo, 1990


Jaen, 1993






Uppsala, 1477

Krakow, 1364

Copenhagen, 1479

Wilno, 1578

Tartu, 1632

Zamosc, 1594

\Turku, 1640

Lwow, 1661

Lund, 1666

Warsaw, 1816

Oslo, 1811

Poznan, 1919

Stockholm, 1877

Lublin, 1920

Reykjavik, 1911

Kaunas, 1922

Riga, 1919

Marie Curie, 1945

Aarhus, 1934

Lodz, 1945

Bergen, 1958

Torun, 1945

Gothenberg, 1964

Katowice, 1968

Oulu, 1958

Bialystok, 1969

Umea, 1965

Kielce, 1969

Tampere, 1966

Bydgoszcz, 1969

Jyvaskyla, 1966

Gdansk, 1970

Odense, 1966

Klaipeda, 1991

Tromso, 1968

Opole, 1994

Roskilde, 1972

Bialystok, 1997

Aalborg, 1974

Olsztyn, 1999

Lapland, 1979

Rzeszow, 2001

Akureyn, 1987

Zielona Gora, 2001





Pecs, 1367

Prague, 1348

Budapest, 1395

Bratislava, 1465

Kolozsvar, 1872

Olomouc, 1570

Debrecen, 1912

Kosice, 1657

Szeged, 1921

Presov, 1665

Veszprem, 1951

Pardubice, 1950

Corvinus, 1990

Zilina, 1953


Trnava, 1965


Ceske Budejovice, 1991


Ostrava, 1991


Plzen, 1991


Matej Bel, 1992





Constantinople, 1361

St. Petersburg, 1724

Belgrade, 1808

Moscow, 1755

Ljubljana, 1810

Kazan, 1804

Corfu, 1823

Kharkov, 1804

Iasi, 1860

Kiev, 1834

Bucharest, 1864

Odessa, 1864

Zagreb, 1869

Czernowitz, 1875

Sofia, 1888

Vladivostok, 1899

Tibilisi, 1918

Saratov, 1909

Cluj-Napoca, 1919

Mogilev, 1913

Yerevan, 1920

Rostov, 1916

Timisoara, 1920

Nizhny Novgorod, 1916

Salonika, 1925

Perm, 1917

Chisinau, 1940

Dniepopetrovsk, 1917

Craiova, 1947

Smolensk, 1918

Skopje, 1949

Voronezh, 1918

Sarajevo, 1949

Irkutsk, 1918

Tirana, 1957

Samara, 1920

Tuzla, 1958

Yekitarinburg, 1920

Novi Sad, 1960

Minsk, 1921

Patras, 1964

Brzesc, 1945

Nis, 1965

Yakutsk, 1956

Piraeus, 1966

Ufa, 1957

Pristina, 1969

Mahachlaka, 1957

Ioannia, 1970

Vladimir, 1958

Veliko Turnovo, 1971

Novosibirsk, 1959

Brasov, 1971

Gomel, 1961

Plovdiv, 1971

Donestsk, 1955

Thrace, 1973

Krasnoyarsk, 1969

Crete, 1973

Vladikavkaz, 1969

Podgorica, 1973

Krasnodar, 1970

Rijeka, 1973

Altai Krai, 1973

Split, 1974

Omsk, 1975

Banja Luka, 1975

Izhevsk, 1975

Maribor, 1975

Chelyabinsk, 1976

Kragujevac, 1976

Grodno, 1978

Mostar, 1977

Volgograd, 1980

Aegean, 1984

Samara, 1989

Zadar, 2002

Grozny, 1995

Pula, 2006

Kurgan, 1995




Kievan Rus and the Mongol Yoke

There were about 13 Rus tribes in the 9th century, at varying degrees of peacefulness with each other in their large land. The furthest east of any European people, the Russians were the last wave of the great Indo-European migrations. They moved north, as opposed to far west, following all the big rivers, the Volga, the Don and the Neva... and lived especially along the Dniper River in what is now Ukraine. Kiev was the center of early Russain culture, along with Novgorod 700 miles to the north. Rurik was a Viking commander who led a crew down the river to Kiev in 862, and the Russians asked the Vikings, who they called Varangians, if they would stay and if Rurik would be their king and settle their feuds, an offer to which he agreed.


OLGA - 900s

Olga, Rurik's daughter, was baptized into Christianity after 911 when Byzantium and Kievan Rus made contact with each other. The Russian Primary Chronicle says Oleg and Olga are Varangian names, which makes sense, as the Varangians had not yet been Slavicized. They are so famous though, that today many Russians have old Norse names such as these.

Remember me, Olga's grandson Vladimir I the Great. I, like most of my countrymen, were very impressed with the Byzantine culture. I sent out scouts to Jewish communities, to the Catholic Christian capital of Rome, to Muslim communities, and to the Orthodox Christian capital of Constantinople. My scouts were most impressed with Constantinople. Hagia Sophia's dome seemed to be levitating on its great base, as the sun shone through the many windows. I met with the Byzantine emperor, Basil II, and told him we were potentially a great people. He already knew we were fearsome. We put together a diplomatic marriage and alliance. I would marry his daughter and we Russians would convert to Christianity. Kiev would become the seat of a bishop, subject to the Patriarch of Constantinople. It was a great day for our culture, consisting of the Icon and the Axe, as James Billington's famous book called it.

VLADIMIR I the Great - 900s



I succeeded Vladimir I. Big shoes to fill, and I did. Under me, Kiev experienced what I like to think of as a golden age, we built the great churches in the city and in Novgorod. We built kremlins around them, and monestaries. I worked on a good code of laws, blending Byzantine law (Justinian's Code), with Slavic common law, which we had been using in our forests for centuries. When I died, my sons disagreed and split up Kievan Rus, each ruling a part. After me, Vladimir II Monomakh and a couple others tried to reunite everything, but it didn't happen. The land is big after all, and feudal dukes always like their sovereignty. Novgorod was doing well on its own, having joined the Hanseatic League, but the rest of us in that time were in retrograde. Things got worse, of course, in the 13th century, because the Tartars came. What's a Tartar? Well, that's what us in the Slavic countries call Mongols! Wayne State University in Detroit had Tartars as the team name for 70 years, until in 1999 the students were like, "man, what the heck is a Tartar anyway?" And they changed it to Wayne State Warriors. Boring. Tartars was unique. Maybe they should have looked it up? Their peers 50 years ago knew what a Tartar was...


The Tartars came by twice. Once under Genghis Khan, who came and left, then under his grandson Batu Khan, who came and stayed, establishing the Khanate of the Golden Horde. Russian princes could still have nominal control, but had to pay taxes. That is when I, Alexander Nevsky, lived. As Russians were hit from the east by the Tartars, I had to fight people from the west: Swedes at the Neva River and the Germans Teutonic Knights on a huge lake that was frozen. Youtube: Battle on the Ice Prokofiev to see the battle depicted in early Russian film and hear some good music.

Some people have names like the Great, or like William of Normandy, the Bastard (then the Conqueror), or like Tiglath Pilesar III who was "King of the Universe." Okay that is the coolest name, but I had the second coolest name: Kalita (Moneybags). What did I do with my deep pockets? I bought off the Mongol Horde to keep them out of my area as much as possible. I also paid Mongol mercenaries to pester my enemies and subjugat them to me, so that I got to become Grand Prince of Russia. Was I technically a tool of the Mongols? Probably, but still, what I did was set up a new title to assume, and as time went on, the Russian Grand Prince of Moscow would be someone who we could rally around to throw off the Mongol Yoke. Money talks. Moneybags makes it happen.



DMITRI DONSKOI, 14th century

Remember me, Dmitry Donskoy, Grand Prince of Moscow and grandson of Ivan I Kalita. The seeds my grandfather planted, I began to harvest. The feeling... under the banner of Christ, my Boyars, Russian nobles and their men, took to the field at Kulikovo against the Golden Horde. Unbeknownst to the Mongols, we were serious. We wanted them out and defeated them in 1380. The Golden Horde split up into principalities, such as the Crimean Tartars and Khanate of Kazan. And we still would have to fight for independence for many years, but it was a start. Under my decendents Ivan III the Great and Ivan IV the Terrible, we will have our day.




Varangians arrive at Novgorod- 9th century




Amber was one of the great commodities here- the Amber Road started in Poland and the Baltic states and ended in Venice




In Amber may be the secret to reviving extinct species- if their DNA is inside of mosquitoes that got trapped in Amber!




Kievan Rus began in the 900s when Crown Prince Vladimir converted

to Christianity in Kiev and 12 Slavic tribes united under him. Vikings helped ease

the transition into civilization- they pirated down the Don river and met the Ruski.




Russian delegations were sent out to Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and Orthodox cities to help Vladimir decide

on a religion. Jews were too weak. Muslims too strict. Catholics had problems in Rome, but the Orthodox

Patriarchs of Constantinople dazzled the delegation with Hagia Sophia, and the Russians became Orthodox Christian

This is St. Sophia, named after the original, in Kiev today (L) along with another church called St. Andrews




Kiev had monestaries and churches built and became part of Christendom




St. Michael's church complex in Kiev




The other center of early Rus was Novgorod- this is its thousand year old kremlin




Kremlin of Vieliki Novgorod with the St. Sophic cathedral, built by Vladimir I




Monument of ancient Rus in Novgorod, called "The Millennium of Russia"




Kiev today: a brand new cathedral for the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic syncretic church




Medieval Literature

The real quest for the Holy Grail, the cup that Jesus drank from during the Last Supper, occurred during the time of King Arthur: four knights including Sir Lancelot are on the quest, and the spiritual side of medieval life is shown here. To approach Christ, one must have grace and be ready to be repentant. To approach the cup of Christ, one must have the moral clarity to understand the true fullness of Christian teaching and love. Some say that this book is so valuable, that the reader by reading it approaches the Holy Grail herself!

Traditional European, 12th century

Pierre Abelard, 12th century

 Like the later Romeo and Juliet and Cyrano d'Bergerac, this is one love stories that has stood the test of time. Abelard is a teacher in love with his student, who returns this love. Her name is Heloise and she becomes pregnant because, "So intense were the fires of lust that bound me to you that I set those wretched, obscene pleasures which we blush even to name above God as above myself." Aha. Well, easy to say, right? But then there is a public scandal and the two must separate. What happens? Abalard becomes a monk and Heloise retreats to an Abbey. Yet their love knew no bounds and the letters they sent each other for their entire lives, far from being some base writing, instead shows us the heights of what love really is at its most profound- and also shows us in our 'lust-on-the-run' age that eternal love IS possible and even, one of life's most precious (and rare) surprises.

The legendary Germanic story from the Middle Ages, the Nibelungenlied is the basis for many modern adaptations: The Lord of the Rings being one of them. Its a murder story as well as a moral tale, with the main character, Seigfried the knight, making a deal with King Gunter: if he wins the beautiful princess Brunhild for Gunter, Gunter will give him his royal sister Kriemhild as a wife. He wins but is murdered by Hagan, a vassal of the King. Kriemhild now exacts revenge upon the killers. Courtly behaviors and feudal style blood vendettas are presented here. Magic rings, an invisible cloak and other items are used. At the end, a surprise! Who is the real hero?

Traditional German, 13th century

Dante Aligheri, 13th century


Up in the top ten of the all time greatest books, The Divine Comedy spans three epic poems: The Inferno (hell), The Purgatorio (purgatory) and The Paradiso (heaven). The work documents Dante's visits to these places, and he tells us what he sees there. He meets Virgil, Roman writer of the Aeneid, and Beatrice, an old love who is now dead. Like when scrooge is wisked away to different places by the Ghosts of Christmas, Dante is shown all of these places and describes the tortures of hell, and in a hilarious twist: finds a lot of his enemies on Earth there! Most of his friends likewise, are in Purgatorio or Paradiso. The worst layers of Hell are the below the better ones. So, murderers are in the depths but homosexuals, suicides, moneylenders and such are in the first layers. In all, this great work is great because it gives hope to the hopeless, eventual finding of places of joy and peace, and finally: the story itself tells the tale of how Dante became lost in the 'Wood of Error,' having lost his way in the forest. The journey is a symbolic rite for him to get his life in perspective and back on the right track through this adventure- from the depths of dispair to the glory of hope and eternal life.

At the end of the 1300s, some travelers in England are going to make a pilgrimage to Canterbury, where the grave of St. Thomas Becket, a beloved archbishop that was murdered in the late 1100s, is. This funny group entertains itself with stories 'tales' along the tough path across the country (remember, no pavement yet!)- and the result is the great book, 'The Canterbury Tales.' It is a grand tour of the values and morals, wit and fun of the people of late Medieval England. Here we have the famous 'Knights Tale' and many other interesting adventure stories, some comic, some poignant, all intensly human. Also, regular people are featured- remember that most medieval stories were about the noblility- here it is the commoner that finds some time in print!

Geoffery Chaucer, 14th century

The Canterbury Tales

Jean Froissart, 14th century

The leading historian of the late Middle Ages, Chronicles delivers a facinating panorama of an amazing age. Froissart writes from a French perspective, and takes us from castle to castle, cathedral to cathedral and from the court of the French King to first hand descriptions of jousting tournaments, battles (The 100 Years War was going on against England) and great parties and feasts of the nobility. On the left we see Froissart presenting his finished book to his feudal Count. All in all, this is one of the most famous history books ever written, with the focus on France and England, but even though the subjects are limited to these countries, the detail in the book is exciting. The reader feels like she is visiting Western Europe seven hundred years ago and is witnessing the famous events and people of the time.




 Medieval Thought


St. Anslem in 1077, who would later become Archbishop of Canterbury, always knew Christians had faith in the existence of God. But he wanted to prove it using rational argument too, with logic. He imagines himself discussing the following: Anselm: “Do you agree that if God existed he would be the greatest thing that there could be, that than which nothing greater can be thought?” Fool: Yes. Anselm: And do you agree that ‘that than which nothing greater can be thought’ exists in your mind?” Fool: Yes, in my mind- but not in reality. Anselm: But would you agree that something that exists in reality as well as in the mind is greater than something that exists in the mind alone?” Fool: Yes, I suppose so- an ice cream in my hand is better than one that’s just in my imagination. Anselm: “So if ‘that than which nothing greater can be thought’ exists only in the mind, it is less great than if it existed also in reality?” Fool: That’s true. The being that really exists would be greater. Anselm: “So now you are saying that there is something greater than ‘that than which nothing greater exists’?” Fool: That doesn’t even make sense. Anselm: “Exactly. And the only way around this contradiction is to admit that God (that than which nothing greater exists), does exist- both in thought and reality.” Q: Do you agree with Anselm’s ontological argument?

ST. ANSELM, 11th century


Averroes in 1186 lived in Al-Andalus as a qadi (Islamic judge). He read Aristotle and applied his philosophy to Islam. If Muslims accept that the Quran is true, but parts of it are demonstrably false, the text must be a poetic truth and must be interpreted using philosophical reasoning. This he argued meant philosophy and Islam are not incompatible. He argued humans do not have immortal souls, but humanity is immortal through a shared intellect, which may last forever, but you and I will perish when our bodies die. Q: Do you think most Muslims viewed Averroes with admiration or with suspicion? Why?

In 1190 Maimonides thought we anthropomorphize God too much- give him human traits when he is far beyond us. Do not take the Torah (Old Testament) as literal truth and think God is even a corporeal thing. Maimonides used negative theology to argue what God is by arguing what he is not. First of all he has no attributes. He is not good or powerful. This is because an attribute is either accidental or essential. If you are sitting, have long brown hair and a long nose, those are accidental attributes. You would still be “you” essentially if you were standing, had red hair and a small nose. Being human, a rational moral animal, is what you are essentially. God has no such accidental attributes. What about essence? Essential attributes define, but Maimonides argued God is undefinable. Ergo, God has no attributes at all. We can say “God is a creator,” because this states what God does, rather than a thing that God is. We cannot say what he is. Q: Do you agree?



St. Thomas Aquinas (13th century)

Probably the greatest medieval philosopher and greatest Christian teacher since Jesus, St. Thomas wrote, alone, a magesterial work of life and values. He was the most powerful mind of his time, and turned it on understanding the mind of God. He had access to the best library in the world, in Paris, and here digested all the most complex and mentally tiring books imaginable, processing them and finally emerging after many years with the Summa Theologica, 'Summation of Theology' that contains most precise elements of all aspects of Christian life. He tells us the nature of God, reconciles Aristotle and Plato with the Bible, discusses angels, the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of the devil. He tells us why people are responsible for their own actions, and ends with a explanation of the co-eternal trinity. The secret of life? God wants man to learn about nature, himself, and grow. Much like what a parent wants for their children.

 Medieval Thought Continued

MORE MEDIEVAL THOUGHT                 PHILOSPHY SHORTIES VI                          NAME ____________________

Thomas Aquinas in 1291 wondered if the universe had always existed, or if it had been created at a certain point in time. He combined classical philosophy and Christianity into scholasticism, the idea that Christians have a duty to study nature with science and observation because God is happy when they do, because they are studying his great Creation. Aquinas read Aristotle, who argued the universe always existed, was eternal, and had always been changing and moving. Movement and change do not come from nowhere, and there was never a time without motion. Thus, there is no First Cause, like Plato thought and as Christians would also hold to be true 400 years later, as they read in Genesis 1:1 that God created the universe from nothing. Aristotle was simply wrong, based on their faith in the Bible. But could Aquinas prove it by applying reason? He knew Aristotle said the infinite is what has no limit, like an infinity of numbers has no limit because there is always the possibility of adding “1” to each new highest number. But he said actual infinity is impossible. However, Aquinas recalled that Christians believe human souls are immortal, and live on when the body dies. So there may be an actual infinity of souls. In the battle of Aristotle vs. the Bible, both win. The world did have a beginning, but God created it in such a way that it existed eternally. God could have made the universe without humans, and then made them.


Science and Invention

ROGER BACON, 13th century

ROGER BACON, 13th century

WILLIAM OF OCKHAM, 14th century

WILLIAM OF OCKHAM, 14th century


MEDIEVAL SCIENCE                                                       SCIENCE SHORTS                          NAME ____________________

Roger Bacon of Hippo sa



Other New Inventions

Just before mechanization 100 years ago, champion plowman contests were held

The Heavy Plow allowed better furrows to be dug on a bigger scale, thanks Middle Ages!





Modern John Deere tractor doing the work of men and animals 1,000 years ago

The 3-Field System, meanwhile, increased food production as it was

 found a field produces more when it rests once every three years




Important Church Officials

POPE URBAN II (11th century)

Responded to the call of the Byzantines and preached the First Crusade.



He preached the 2nd Crusade in 1146 to repulse the Muslims, who had attacked the Crusader States in the Holy Land under General Saladin.


ABBOT SUGER (12th century)

A kind of king-maker, Suger (Soo-zhay) aided Capetian kings from his Basilica of St. Denis in Paris, and helped rally knights for the 2nd Crusade with St. Bernard. But more than that, he invented the Gothic style of architecture, which would become the dominant style of the late middle ages all over Europe.


GISLEBERTUS (12th century)

Not many medieval artists signed their work, but one of the greatest of them did. Gilsebertus did. He carved images into the marble on the sides of church buildings, and, for example, underneath the one on the right, which may be an image of the artist himself, it says, "Gislebertus did this!"


THOMAS BECKET (12th century)

After Henry II of England had an argument with Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury and the highest church official in England, over whether a clergyman could be charged in a royal court, he got mad. Becket said "No" and Henry said "Yes." Later, Henry grumbled that he "wished someone would get rid of that pestky bishop!" and some of his knights took it seriously. They went to Canterbury and assassinated Becket, causing an uproar. Henry apologized... but the deed was done.


POPE INNOCENT III (13th century)


ST. DOMINIC (13th century)


ST. FRANCIS (13th century)





New Christian Orders in the 1200s

At Cluny Abbey in France, the Cluniac reform movement aimed to cleanse the church of corruption




The Benedictine Order emphasized education and learning then... as well as today




The Franciscan Order emphasized the vow of poverty, charity and service to the needy then... as well as today




Holy Orders for women included becoming Benedictine nuns dedicated to education like monks were




The Crusades

 Another cycle of Muslim vs. Christian violence

Cycle I: Arab Muslims attack Byzantine Province of Palestine and conquer it (600s)

Cycle II: Byzantines counterattack to take it back and fail (600s)

Cycle III: Seljuk Turk Muslims attack Byzantine Provinces in Anatolia and take them (1000s)

Cycle IV: Byzantines ask Catholic Europe to help take back these lands, Crusades begin (1100s-1300s)


1092: Pope Urban II calls for a Crusade to take back the Holy Land at the Council of Clermont, France




Father Peter the Hermit leads a group of ragtag, illiterate peasants that don't even know where Jerusalem is on a Peoples' Crusade

The peasants become a mob looking for weapons and a fight- they make a stop off in Metz, France at a wealthy Jewish community




...they do battle with the Jewish community because many had no money and because they were enraged at the Jews for charging interest

(not okay in Christianity)- while Godfrey of Bouillon said, "Avenge the blood of the crucified by shedding Jewish blood."

When the peasants got to the Byzantine Empire, they fought people in Belgrade for food, and Byzantine troops had to stop them...

The Byzantines ferried them across to Turkish Anatolia where they were cut to pieces by the Seljuk army




Now a more knightly army comes, numbering 35,000 under Baldwin of Bologne, and makes it to the Holy Land

The Crusaders lay seige to Jerusalem in 1099, assaulting the walls on three sides




The Crusaders won the First Crusade, capturing Jerusalem in 1099 (note the Dome of the Rock in the background)




Crusader graffiti? Many couldn't write, so they etched crosses into the Church of the Holy Sepulchure saying "I was here"




Crusader States were carved out of the Middle East, which is why there are European castles in Israel and Syria!




Second Crusade: Muslim hero General Saladin defeats Crusaders and retakes most of Holy Land after many battles




Saladin accepts the Crusader surrender of Jerusalem in 1187





The Third Crusade was the Kings' Crusade: Richard the Lionheart, Philip II of France and

Friedrich Barbarossa of Germany all depart to win Jerusalem once and for all- but Friedrich died

when his horse lost its balance crossing a river and pulled him down in his armor...  Richard and Philip II

fight Saladin to a draw in 1192 and they decide to compromise- Muslim control city, but allow Christians to visit


--See the other Crusades in Week 15, Renaissance and Reconnaissance--



Next: Medieval Castles



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