MIDDLE AGES [Características+Etapas+Fin] –

The Middle Ages is the longest period of history. Here we tell you everything about The Middle Ages – Beginning, characteristics, stages and end of the Middle Ages. Do not miss it, because it is a very interesting and curious historical period.

A period in which we went from a flat earth, full of great sea monsters, to knowing that the earth was round and monsters or waterfalls to infinity simply did not exist.

What is the Middle Ages

When we talk about Middle Ageswe speak of a historical period that spans from the 5th century to the 15th century. Ten centuries of history beginning with the fall of the western roman empirein the year 476 AD. and that is completed at the end of the fifteenth century, in 1492with the discovery of the American Continent.

Other historians finish them in the year 1453, making it coincide with the Fall of the Byzantine Empire, a very easy date to remember as it coincides with one of the inventions that would revolutionize the entire world. This invention is about the invention of the Printing Press, which, without getting into other topics, also coincides with the end of the Hundred Years War.

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When we talk about Middle Ages, we must refer solely and exclusively to all the facts and events that have occurred in Europe. The reason is very simple, since the characteristics that lead to calling a period of 1000 years with that name, respond to characteristics that only occurred in Europe. The separation between the eastern and western empire in Roman times, it also meant a separation of cultures and a hermeticism of each emperor towards his empire.

Also, soon Islam finished separating to different beliefs, such as the Persians, the Ottomans, etc. Foreign invasions, and specifically from the north, which Western Europe suffered, made them much more reserved with their borders. On the other hand, in the East, the process was totally different, because they never lived through the Middle Ages as we live or understand it.

Japan It also suffered a policy based on feudalism, as it happened in Europe, but it occurred approximately in the year 1,000 until 1,800. Therefore it is not comparable in a temporary space either.

India It had a totally different process, since it was based on their traditions and religions, and they were oblivious to the problems that were experienced in any other part of the world. Their dedication to tradewhich was the basis of its economy, caused problems very different from those experienced in Europe.

The power of the Church in this age:

The Middle Ages was a period in European history that left deep traces on the continent. Marked by important historical events, in which both the beginning and the end of this period were marked by great cultural, political, religious, social and economic changes, becoming one of the most fascinating periods in history.

The step of the old age to what is known as the Middle Ages, it was not something immediate but developed gradually since there was a transition in various areas:

  • Economy: the slave production model is replaced by a feudal production model.
  • Society: Roman citizenship disappears and the definition of medieval estates.
  • Politics: we witness here the decomposition of the Roman centralized structures and the dispersion of power among the barbarian peoples.
  • ideology and culture: the replacement of classical culture by Christian or Muslim theocentrism takes place.

What Periods Does the Middle Ages Cover?

The Middle Ages are usually placed by historians between two important events. The first, which marks its beginning, is attributed to the fall of the Western Roman Empire (476)ending the period of the Ancient or Classical Age.

On the other hand, the fact that marks the end of the Middle Ages is the fall of Eastern Roman Empire in 1453. But the transformations that were taking place at that time (15th and 16th centuries) were many and very profound. Between them:

  • The Renaissance,
  • The discovery of America,
  • The incorporation of the printing press,
  • Luther’s Protestant Reformation.

Summarizing, according to the traditional periodization, the Middle Ages goes from the year 476 (end of the Ancient Age) to the year 1453 (start of the Modern age). From a slightly more open perspective, it is considered that the Medieval stage covers approximately the years 500 to 1500 AD

Stages of the Middle Ages

The Middle Ages is divided into three stages: the Early Middle Ages, the High Middle Ages, and the Late Middle Ages. Let’s see what basically each of them consists of.

early middle ages

It begins at the end of the 5th century and reaches the end of the 8th century. It was characterized by the fusion of the Germanic and Latin cultures (heir to the now disappeared Roman Empire). From the political point of view, the disintegration of the roman empire of the West, and the formation of the so-called Roman-Germanic Kingdoms. The Carolingian Empire also developed in this period. In the economy it goes from one slave production, characteristic of rome, to the feudal system which will be characteristic of the next stage.

High Middle Ages

covers the 9th to 11th centuries. It’s about the moment of rise of feudalism or feudal mode of production, with a production based on a servile workforce and focused on the Lordships. Politically, it is a time of decentralization of power, in which the Kings have very little effective power.

Middle Ages

Begins in the early twelfth century and arrives until mid-15th century. It is a time of reopening, where cities and commercial activities slowly regain importance, with the emergence of a new social group: the bourgeoisie. It is the moment in which the first transformations begin to develop that will later lead to the emergence of the capitalist system in the Modern Age.

culture in the middle ages

Traditionally, it has been considered that the middle ages It was a culturally dark time that developed between the Roman civilization and the Renaissance era. However, despite this myth of being a barbaric, violent age and where culture was something eminently residual, the Middle Ages was a time when great advances in the field of culturewhich have been overshadowed by the great successes achieved by the periods between which it is located.

Given the extension of the Middle Ages and the geographical division that was experienced during it, the cultural changes that were experienced during this time were very numerous. From the birth of Carolingian culture to the flourishing of Islamic culture, very notable for its advances in the field of medicine, mathematics and art, through the great works associated with scholasticism and the rebirth of cities during the last centuries of the Middle Ages, the cultural changes that took place were very different depending on the time and the area. But there are some advances in particular that are especially linked to this historical era, among which the following stand out.

The art

In the field of art, the Middle Ages will see the birth of islamic artwith its large constructions covered by atauriques, lacework, a careful and colorful decoration and great architectural advances such as its careful arches, its large domes and its outstanding attention to everything related to the gardens, as we can still see in the monuments that survive from this time, like the beautiful Alhambra in Granada.

In the area of ​​Christian Europe, two artistic styles stand out, the Romanesque and the Gothic, although other lesser-known styles were also appreciated, such as the pre-Romanesque, Byzantine or Carolingian, to name just a few. But they are the romanesque and gothic those that are considered the predominant styles of the Middle Ages.

The Romanesque spread throughout Europe during the 11th and 13th centuries and is especially linked to the rise of the monasteries during this time, characterized by being large stone constructions, with large vaults, semicircular arches and large carved portals, to name only Some features.

For his part, the Gothic style, which spread between the 13th and 15th centuries, is an eminently urban art linked to the construction of magnificent cathedrals with large stained glass windows, high walls and pillars and huge naves and ambulatory that wanted to present the magnificence of the power of God that extended towards the darling. It is a style that will give way to the Renaissance, where man will become the center of the universe and culture.

The philosophy

Regarding philosophy, during the Middle Ages it will be a science intimately related to religionto the point that it can hardly be separated from the field of theology.

Among the most discussed topics in the field of philosophy were the relationship between faith and reason, man’s freedom from the divine plan, nature and, to interpret from this new religious perspective, the teachings of great pre-Christian philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.

Among the most prominent philosophers of this period are Saint Augustine of Hippo, Ramón Llul, William of Ockham and, above all, Saint Thomas Aquinaswhose writings on the relationship between faith and reason remained active for centuries to come.

What happened on the Peninsula?


Lastly, the literary works they are enormously extensive and, during this time, a huge number of different topics were covered. Generally, it is usually divided into two blocks, religious and secular literature, although this continues to be a very simplistic division.

In a society where religion was a vital aspect of human existence, literary works played a major role, highlighting hagiographic works, religious poems such as the famous poems dedicated to the Virgin Mary by Gonzalo de Berceoconsidered as one of the first conserved testimonies of the written use of Castilian or narrative compilations such as the popular Golden Legend.

But there was also a large number of texts linked to secular subjects, such as the famous epic poems or epic poemswhich sang the adventures of heroes such as El Cid, King Arthur or Beowulf, the poems linked to courtly love and more extensive narrative works with an important sociological and philosophical context such as the famous Ciudad de las Damas, by Christine de Pizán, the famous Canterbury Tales, by Chaucer or, already at the dawn of the Renaissance, the Divine Comedy, by Dante or The Decameron by Boccaccio.

Middle Ages in Spain: Characteristics and summary

In Spain there was also, obviously, the Middle Ages. It took place between the 5th and 15th centuries. But we live it with different nuances from the rest of Europe. With the decline of the Roman Empire in Hispania, around the third century, riots and social conflictspeasant rebellions began to occur, which gave rise to various acts of banditry because, given the lack of food, the population stole.

The Visigoths in the High Middle Ages

Life in the cities deteriorated, with an almost total lack of administration, the cities already…