284855 medieval

Middle Ages

  • Period: 350 to 800

    Barbaric invasions

    Barbaric tribes come into the Roman lands to steal and to find better places to live. Such groups include the Anglo-Saxons, the Vandals, the Visogoths, and the Huns. Some keep moving to new areas. Some settle and make their conquered lands their home.
  • Period: 410 to 476

    Rome falls

    The Roman Empire was split into two sections. The Western Roman Empire is still ruled by Rome. In 410 the Visogoth king, Alaric, attacks Rome for three days. In 476 the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus, is thrown out of Rome by German invader Odoacer.
  • Period: 412 to 565

    Eastern Roman Empire continues

    Emperor Constantine I made Constantinople his capital in 330. About 412, protective walls were built to keep the city safe from invaders. Justinian I rules from 527- 565. He wanted to reunite the western and eastern empires, but cannot do so.
  • Period: 741 to 732

    Muslim invasions halted

    Muslims began con conquer land along with the barbarians from the north. The frank king Charles Martek stopped them in 732.
  • Period: 768 to 814

    Charlemagne rules

    Charlemagne, Charles Martel grandson becomes the new frank king. He decided to spread Christianity. As he conquers land, he extends his faith. He is crowned "Emperor of the Romans" in 800 by Pope Leo III. Charlemagne dies in 814. The first castles are built around this time.
  • Period: 840 to 841

    A divided kingdom.

    After Charlemagne's son dies, the kingdom is split into three. Raids into western Europe increase. In order to protect themselves, kingships are created.
  • Period: 871 to 899

    Alfred the Great of England rules

    Alfred the Great defeats the Danes (Vikings) in 878. In 886 he captures London. He signs a treaty, splitting England between him and the Danes. As a ruler Alfred encourages education by establishing schools.
  • Period: 1000 to 1200

    City states and feudal systems

    Rome, Florence, Venice, and other Italians towns become city-states. The feudal system begins. Kings give sections of land called fiefs to lords in exchange for help during wars. The lords can give land to knights. The peasants work the land in exchange for food and protection.
  • Period: 1096 to 1099

    First Crusade

    Religious people go on pilgrimages to visit sacred Biblical sites. When the Seljuk Turks rule, they forbid visits to the Holy Land. The Pope calls for a crusade against the Seljuks. Eventually the crusaders take the city of Jerusalem.
  • Period: 1135 to 1144

    Stained glass and gothic style

    St. Denis Abbey in Paris is rebuilt in the Gothic style, the first church to use this design. The church also uses stained glass windows. By this time there are many Catholic monasteries in France. Some monks spend their days hand-copying holy books and drawing beautiful designs along the borders.
  • Period: 1215 to 1218

    Magna Carta is signed.

    Rebels oppose King John of England. But they have no ruler to take his place. Instead they have him sign a document, the Magna Carta, stating that there is no divine right of kings.
  • Period: 1337 to 1453

    The Hundred Years War

    Edward III of England declares war on France since he feels he should also be king of that country. The fighting continues off and on until about 1453.
  • Period: 1347 to 1350

    The Black Death

    A plague reaches the shores of Italy around 1347, believed to have been carried by merchant ships. Large black boils, oozing with blood and pus, are seen on the victims, who also have fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and chills. The disease spreads quickly. About 1/3rd of the population dies.
  • Period: 1429 to 1431

    Joan of Arc

    Joan of Arc wins the Battle of Orleans for France during the Hundred Years War. She continues to fight, encouraging her troops in their war against the English, until she is captured. Falsely accused of being a witch, she is tried and then sentenced to death. She is burned at the stake.
  • Period: 1440 to 1456

    The movable type

    Johannes Gutenberg of Germany invents a printing press with movable type that can copy a page multiple times. There is no need to copy books by hand anymore. In 1455, the first printed Bible is made. The Middle Ages will be remembered as a time of transitions as old empires fell away, and new nations emerged, leading to a need for fresh ideas and innovations.