Fall of the Western Roman EmpireRome had ruled much of Europe. Now much of that land would fall into confusion as local kings and rulers tried to grab power. This is the start of the era called the Middle Ages.
Clovis Unites Most of the Frankish Tribes
Battle of ToursCharles Martel leads the Franks to victory over the Muslims, turning back Islam from Europe
Charlemagne becomes Holy Roman Emperor
Viking begin to invade northern EuropeVikings from the Scandinavian lands (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) start their raids on Europe
Alfred the Great, King of England, turns back the Viking raiders
Viking Explorer Leif Erikson born
The Bayeux Tapestry - 230 feet of storytellingMuseum
Completed some years later, the Bayeux Tapestry captures the story of the William of Normandy and his army's invasion of England.
Oct 14, 1066
Battle of HastingsThis bloody, all-day battle was between the English and Norman invaders.
The Crusades BeginPope Urban II called on all Christians to attack the Muslims who ruled Jerusalem and recover the city and the rest of the Holy Land. He assured them that anyone who died fighting would go straight to heaven. And thus began the first Crusade.
Eleanor of Aquitaine bornEleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) was one of the most powerful and influential figures of the Middle Ages. Inheriting a vast estate at the age of 15 made her the most sought-after bride of her generation. She would eventually become the queen of France, the queen of England and lead a crusade to the Holy Land. She is also credited with establishing and preserving many of the courtly rituals of chivalry.
King Arthur & Camelot LegendsThe History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth is published. These fantasy stories popularize the legend of King Arthur and Camelot
Construction begins for Notre Dame CathedralTake a tour
This church is the most famous gothic-style cathedral, located in Paris France.
Richard I, Richard the Lionheart, becomes King of EnglandHe spent most of his adult life fighting in the Crusades
Ulrich von Lichtenstein bornThis poet wrote about how knights and nobles could lead more virtuous lives
The Magna Carta is signed
Francis of Assisi travels to Egypt(Saint) Francis travelled to Egypt to try and convert the Sultan to Christianity and thus end the Crusades
Philosopher and priest Thomas Aquinas born“We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it.”
― St. Thomas Aquinas
Marco Polo leaves on his famous journey to explore Asia
Oct 11, 1297
William Wallace & the Battle of Stirling BridgeWallace led the Scottish army in a decisive victory in the Scots larger fight for independence from England.
He was eventually captured and executed in London.
Dante completes his poem "The Divine Comedy"“Through me you pass into the city of woe:
Through me you pass into eternal pain:
Through me among the people lost for aye.
Justice the founder of my fabric moved:
To rear me was the task of power divine,
Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I shall endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here.”
― Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
The Hundred Years' War BeginsOkay, really it was 116 years of off and on fighting between France and England.
On the way to the Battle of Crecy in 1346, French soldiers mooned the English archers.
The longbow revolutionized warfare. It could pierce armor and be reloaded quickly.
After the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, King Henry V threw a feast for his commanders, waited on by captured French knights.
The Black Death begins in EuropeThis plague wiped out 1/3 of Europe's population in just four years. It didn't finally disappear from Europe until the 1700s.
The Legend of Robin Hood AppearsThe heroic outlaw of English folklore makes his debut. Maid Marian, Prince John, the Merry Men & the Sheriff of Nottingham!
Chaucer begins writing The Canterbury Tales“Youth may outrun the old, but not outwit.”
― Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer's 24 stories called The Canterbury Tales are a famous satire. He uses the tales and descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church
Joan of Arc executed at the age of 19Joan of Arc led the French to victory over the English in the Battle of Orleans in 1429. She claimed to have heard the voices of Saints.
Gutenberg introduces his printing press; signaling the start of the Renaissance