Chapter 3 High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was circa AD 1000–1300, or 1000–1250.
States and territories of the High Middle Ages[edit | edit source]
States and territories of the High Middle Ages included:
- Northern Europe
- Britain Isles included England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Nordic countries included Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, and lands of the Sami and Finns. Valdemar I of Denmark saw his country becoming a leading force in northern Europe.
- Western and Central Europe
- Consisted of the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire.
- Eastern Europe
- In the Kingdom of Poland (1025–1569), Casimir III of Poland doubled the size of kingdom by the end of his reign (1333–1370) and considerably strengthened the nation. Around the Baltic Sea there were Finnic Estonians and Livonians; and Baltic Tribes, composed of Balts, including Old Prussians, Lithuanians, and Latvians. Further east was Kievan Rus' (882–1240; founded by the Rus' people), and the Novgorod Republic (1136–1478). The Balkans were dominated by five states: Hungary (which gained hegemony over Croatia, Bosnia, Slavonia, Dalmatia and Transylvania); Grand Principality of Serbia (1091–1217, which expanded over what is today Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and southern Dalmatia); the Second Bulgarian Empire; and the Byzantine Empire (which included Greece and some of Anatolia); and the Cuman-Kipchak confederation (a Turkic state also known as Cumania, of the 10th century to 1241).
- Iberian Peninsula
- Included the Christian kingdoms of Castile, León, Navarre, Aragon, Portugal. The Muslim Caliphate of Córdoba was, after 1031, replaced by taifa (independent Muslim states). The Reconquista (722–1492) was the reconquest of Iberia by Christians.
- Italian Peninsula
- Included the Kingdom of Sicily, which was under Norman rule from 1091, which included southern Italy by 1130. The Republic of Venice, Papal States, and the Holy Roman Empire were in the north.
France and England[edit | edit source]
France[edit | edit source]
France developed from West Francia (the Kingdom of the West Franks, 843–987), a division of the Carolingian Empire created by the Treaty of Verdun (843). Until 987, West Francia was ruled by the Carolingian, Robertian, and Bosonid dynasties; from 987, the Capetian dynasty took control, beginning with Hugh Capet, King of the Franks (987–996), who was earlier a duke. West Francia began to be known as the Kingdom of France. The lands directly controlled and taxed by the French king were known as the domaine royal; these would grow as the French kings became more powerful as the Middle Ages progressed.
Many French nobles were active during the Crusades, where they were known as Franks. Houses of the Capetian dynasty would rule France; until the French Revolution they were the following:
- House of Capet (987–1328).
- Valois kings of France (1328–1589): the houses of Valois, Valois-Orléans, and Valois-Angoulême.
- House of Bourbon (1589–1792).
Normans[edit | edit source]
Normans were descended from Vikings and indigenous Gallo-Romans and Franks. They gained gained political legitimacy in 911 when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear allegiance to King Charles III of West Francia, in exchange for ceding them lands, which became Normandy in northern France.
Culturally, they were known for their Norman architecture (also known as Romanesque architecture); they adopted a Gallo-Romance language called Norman French.
From the 11th century onward they also conquered:
- Kingdom of England (see below).
- Kingdom of Sicily (1130–1816): conquered from 999 onward, it was a Norman kingdom that would include Sicily, southern Italy, some of northern Africa, and Malta. Ruled by the House of Hauteville, they would lose control of Sicily in 1194.
- Principality of Antioch, a crusader state first ruled by Bohemond I of Antioch, a Norman.
Norman England[edit | edit source]
After the Norman conquest of England, which began with the Battle of Hastings (1066), England was ruled by the House of Normandy; the reign of William the Conqueror (William I, 1066–1087), was followed by that of his sons William II (1087–1100) and Henry I (1100–1135). The Rebellion of 1088 was between two of William I's sons: William II and Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy.
But after the death of Henry I, a succession crisis between the Empress Matilda (Henry I's daughter), and Stephen of Blois (Henry I's nephew), brought about the Anarchy (1135–1153), a period of civil war between the claimants. The Anarchy was ended by the Treaty of Wallingford (1153), where Stephen kept the throne, but recognized Matilda's son Henry II as heir to the crown.
Henry II and the Angevin Empire[edit | edit source]
King Henry II (who reigned 1154–1189) was the first of the Plantagenet dynasty of Anglo-French kings (1154–1485), named after his father Geoffrey Plantagenet, the Count of Anjou. Henry II would gain the following titles:
- Duke of Normandy, and Count of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine: inherited from his father Geoffrey Plantagenet in 1150.
- Duke of Aquitaine: from marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, Duchess of Aquitaine, in 1152.
- King of England (and large parts of Wales): inherited from Stephen in 1154, due to his mother's claim, the Empress Matilda.
- Lord of Ireland: after the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland (1169–1171) and creation of the Lordship of Ireland.
- Count of Nantes: by treaty in 1185, from which he partly gained control of the Duchy of Brittany.
Henry II also gained the fealty of Scotland, after he forced William the Lion to swear that Scotland would thereafter be subordinate with the Treaty of Falaise (1174). Henry II's empire became known as the Angevin Empire (1154–1214), named after the county of Anjou where court was often held; although the use of the term "empire" is disputed. The Angevin kings of England were the kings who ruled the Angevin Empire, the first three Plantagenets: Henry II, and his sons King Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) and King John. As well as the Angevin Empire, France consisted of the domaine royal (directly controlled and taxed by the king), and various other fiefs, as well as some ecclesiastical lordships.
The assassination of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was by Henry II's followers, and took place in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. Henry II and Beckett had fallen out over the rights and privileges of the Church; "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" is a commonly quoted utterance of Henry II before the assassination, but is likely to be inaccurate.
Henry II had five legitimate sons with Eleanor of Aquitaine: William (who died in infancy); Henry the Young King; the future King Richard I; Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany; and the future King John. His son Henry the Young King became Junior king of England (1170–1183). Henry II's sons rebelled against him three times:
- Revolt of 1173–74 was an unsuccessful rebellion against Henry II by his wife Eleanor and his sons Young Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey.
- In 1183, his sons Young Henry and Geoffrey revolted again, resulting in Young Henry's death.
- In 1189, a rebellion by his son Richard, with Philip II of France, was finally successful, and the defeated and ill Henry II died at Chinon in Anjou.
Capetian–Plantagenet rivalry[edit | edit source]
Capetian–Plantagenet rivalry (1159–1259) was a series of conflicts and disputes between the House of Capet (which ruled France) and the House of Plantagenet (which ruled England), mainly over the control of lands in France; it is sometimes considered to be the "First Hundred Years War".
During the reign of King John of England (1199–1216), the English lost most of their French possessions to King Philip II of France (who reigned 1180–1223). By 1214 the Angevin Empire had ended, in that the only French land that remained under the House of Plantagenet were lands in Gascony in southern Aquitaine. Rivalry would also influence the First Barons' War (1215–1217).
After the Treaty of Paris (1259), Louis IX of France ceded lands north and east of Gascony to Henry III of England, in exchange for homage liege to the French monarch, and the renouncement of claims to many territories that had been lost by King John. With the Anglo-French War (1294–1303), Philip IV of France "confiscated" the lands in Gascony from Edward I of England in 1295. Edward sent three expeditionary forces to recover Gascony, which was eventually returned with the Treaty of Paris (1303). English defeat in the War of Saint-Sardos (1324) was a precursor to the Hundred Years' War.
Magna Carta and Barons' Wars[edit | edit source]
In 1215, with the loss of most French possessions, the Magna Carta ("Great Charter") of 1215 was forced upon King John by the English barons; it guaranteed certain rights from the king, and was agreed at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215. This was followed by the First Barons' War (1215–1217), after John reneged on the Great Charter, which he had annulled by Pope Innocent III. The future Louis VIII of France (the son of Philip II) backed the rebellious barons, and claimed the English throne between 1216 and 1217.
John was succeeded by his son Henry III (who reigned 1216–1272); he reissued a modified charter, the Great Charter of 1216, to try to appease the barons. Louis was eventually defeated, as the barons defected to Henry III. Great Charters were also issued in 1217, 1225, and 1297. The Second Barons' War (1264–1267) was an unsuccessful uprising against Henry III, and his son Prince Edward (who was later Edward I), by Simon de Montfort and other barons; de Montfort became de facto ruler of England, but was killed at the Battle of Evesham (1265).
Henry III was succeeded by his son Edward I, also called Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots; Edward I was then succeeded by his son Edward II, also called Edward of Carnarvon. The Despenser War (1321–1322) was an unsuccessful baronial revolt against Edward II; later on power was wrestled from Edward II by his son Edward III, backed by Edward III's mother Isabella of France and Roger Mortimer. During the reign of Edward III (1327–1377), the loss of Gascony and Edward III's rival claim to the French crown, triggered the Hundred Years' War in 1337.
Holy Roman Empire[edit | edit source]
Holy Roman Empire (962–1806), of Emperor Otto I the Great, was a union of East Francia and Italy. Otto was a Saxon, and Duke of Saxony and King of East Francia from 936; King of Italy from 961; and Holy Roman Emperor between 962–973, after a large interregnum (gap) between 924–962 (38 years). The Nazis considered it to be the first German Reich (Deutsches Reich), where reich is roughly comparable to "realm". Before their coronation as emperors, or as heir-apparents, their rulers were designated as kings, most commonly as "King of the Romans".
By 947, the former Francia had divided into four kingdoms: West Francia; East Francia; Kingdom of Italy; Kingdom of Arles. East Francia and the Kingdom of Italy initially formed the Holy Roman Empire; later on Bohemia (which was never part of Francia) and the Kingdom of Arles joined. West Francia would go on to form the Kingdom of France.
- 1. East Francia by 962 had six stem duchies: (i) Franconia; (ii) Swabia (former Alamannia); (iii) Saxony; (iv) Bavaria; (v) Upper Lorraine (in south); (vi) Lower Lorraine (in north). It remained the centre of the Holy Roman Empire for its lifetime, and is sometimes considered as the Kingdom of Germany.
- 2. The Kingdom of Italy was roughly the Italian Republic north. At about 1000 it included Lombardy, the March of Verona and Aquileia, the March of Tuscany, and the Duchy of Spoleto; but excluded Venice and the Papal States. Holy Roman Emperors were also kings of Italy between 962–1493 and 1519–1556 (Charles V). After that Italy was nominally within the Holy Roman Empire until 1801, but power was lost.
Later territories gained by Holy Roman Empire (East Francia and Italy) were Bohemia and the Kingdom of Arles:
- 3. Duchy/Kingdom of Bohemia, a Holy Roman Empire state between 1002–1806. Now roughly the Czech Republic (with Moravia and Silesia). Raised to a kingdom between 1198–1918; sometimes the Emperor was also king.
- 4. Kingdom of Arles/Arelat of 933–1378; part of the Holy Roman Empire between 1032–1378. The Kingdom of Upper Burgundy established from 888, was composed of Transjurania and the County of Burgundy. The Kingdom of Lower Burgundy, which was composed of Cisjurania and Provence, joined in 933 to form Arles. Now partly Swiss, French and Italian. Distinct from the French Duchy of Burgundy, which was a separate territory.
Also, the Kingdom of Sicily (of southern Italy and Sicily) was in personal union with the Holy Roman Empire between 1194–1254.
The Holy Roman Empire achieved its greatest extent during the Hohenstaufen dynasty, of three emperors:
- Frederick I Barbarossa (Emperor 1155–1190) held great power, despite defeats by the Lombard League.
- Henry VI (Emperor 1191—1197) briefly succeeded him.
- Otto IV (Emperor 1198–1215) was not Hohenstaufen but rather House of Welf.
- Frederick II (Emperor 1220–1250): during his reign the rule of the emperor was weakened with the Confoederatio cum principibus ecclesiasticis ("Treaty with the princes of the church") of 1220, and the Statutum in favorem principum ("Statute in favour of the princes"), confirmed in 1232. Frederick II was also king of Sicily (1198–1250).
Later, large interregnums (gaps) of Emperors occurred between the years of 1250–1312 (62 years) and 1378–1433 (55 years). The Golden Bull of 1356 named seven Prince-electors who chose the Emperor: Archbishops of Mainz, Cologne and Trier; King of Bohemia; Count Palatine of the Rhine; Duke of Saxony-Wittenberg; Margrave of Brandenburg.
Christianity and the Great Schism[edit | edit source]
Christianity: is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ as described in the New Testament. Christians, the members of the faith, believe that Jesus is the Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament; and, apart from Nontrinitarians, that God is a Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son of God (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.
Early Christianity was from its origins, circa 30–36, until 325. Saint Peter, also known as Simon Peter, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and traditionally the first pope (Bishop of Rome); he was martyred in Rome under Nero, circa 64–68. Paul the Apostle (not one of the Twelve Apostles) spread the teachings of Jesus in the first-century world.
Constantine the Great (who reigned East 306–324, and East and West 324–337) was the first Christian Roman Emperor, and held the First Council of Nicaea in 325, the first ecumenical council; this created the Nicene Creed. St. Leo I the Great (440-461) and St. Gregory I the Great (590-604) were outstanding popes in the establishment of Christendom.
By the time of the 6th century, Christianity was dominate throughout Europe, but not including northern and eastern Europe, and Scandinavia. By the time of the 11th century, the majority of Europe was Christianised, with the exception of some Baltic states and eastern Scandinavia, and Islamic Iberia.
Great Schism[edit | edit source]
Great Schism, or East–West Schism, of 1054: the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches separated, after the mutual excommunication of the Michael I Cerularius (the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople) and Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida, papal legate of Pope Leo IX. There were many reasons for the schism, including doctrinal, theological, linguistic, political, and geographical reasons. A particular issue was the question of the authority of Constantinople and Rome over the other three seats of the Pentarchy; that is, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria.
Since that time the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches have remained separate. The Roman Catholic Church consists of the western Latin Church, and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The Holy See is the jurisdiction of the pope, and includes the Diocese of Rome (as the Bishop of Rome), the worldwide Roman Catholic Church (as leader in full communion with), and the Vatican City state (as sovereign). During the Proto-Protestant Bohemian Reformation (after the Hussite Wars, 1419–1434) and the Protestant Reformation (1517 onwards), some churches in the west seceded from the Catholics.
The present-day Eastern Orthodox church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is a communion that includes many Orthodox churches. The Greek Orthodox Church includes the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, and the Churches of Greece, Albania, Crete and Sinai. Other major Orthodox Churches include those of Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has the status of primus inter pares (first among equals) among the other Eastern Orthodox prelates (bishops and patriarchs).
Oriental Orthodoxy has been separate to Eastern Orthodoxy since the Council of Chalcedon (451), and includes churches in Alexandria (the Coptic Orthodox Church), Antioch (Syriac Orthodox), Armenia (Apostolic), India (Malankara Orthodox Syrian), and the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Islam and the Crusades[edit | edit source]
Islam before the Mongol invasions[edit | edit source]
The Islamic Golden Age continued into the High Middle Ages. Although the influence of the Abbasid Caliphate (750–1258) would wane, they would continue to be recognized as caliphs by most Islamic dynasties, and would survive until the Mongol invasions. The Iranian Intermezzo ended with the rise of some Islamic dynasties in the Middle East of Turkic and mamluk origins. These included:
- Ghaznavid dynasty (977–1186) was a Sunni Islam dynasty of Turkic mamluk origins. that gained territories, including from both the Iranian Samanids and Saffarids. At its greatest extent about 1030, it fell across modern-day Iran and Afghanistan, and all the way to the Indian subcontinent. It would fall mainly to the Seljuk Empire and the Ghurid dynasty.
- Seljuk Empire (1037–1194) was a Turko-Persian Sunni Islam empire, founded by the Oghuz Turk warlord Seljuk Beig. They took lands from other dynasties, including from the Iranian Buyid dynasty and the Turkic Ghaznavid dynasty. With its greatest extent in about 1092, it covered a vast area, including Palestine, and much of Anatolia, the Levant, Persia and beyond. The Battle of Manzikert (1071) was decisive in their capture of much of Anatolia from the Byzantines. It would fall to Khwarezmia.
- Seljuk Sultanate of Rum (1077–1308) was a Seljuk Turk splinter state in Anatolia. Surviving long after the Seljuk Empire, it declined after defeat by Mongols.
- Zengid dynasty (1127–1250) was a Islamic dynasty of Oghuz Turkic origin. Originally a Seljuk Turk vassal, it continued for a while after the Seljuk Empire, before falling to the Mongols and Ayyubids.
- Khwarazmian dynasty (1077–1231) was a Persianate Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin. They gained much of Persia and beyond, mainly from the Seljuks and Ghurid dynasty. It ended after the Mongol conquest of Khwarezmia (1219–1221), with a heavy toll on life.
At around 1200, when the Abbasid Caliphate, Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, Zengid dynasty, and Khwarazmian dynasty were still active, other prominent Islamic dynasties included:
- Ghurid dynasty (before 879–1215) was an Iranian dynasty from the Ghor region of present-day central Afghanistan, gaining its greatest extent around 1200, including territories from the Ghaznavids and Seljuks. The dynasty converted to Sunni Islam from Buddhism. It fell across modern-day Iran and Afghanistan, and the northern Indian subcontinent all the way to Bengal. It would fall mainly to the Delhi Sultanate and Khwarazmian dynasty.
- Ayyubid Sultanate (1171–1260). Ayyub's son Saladin was their first sultan (1174–1193), a Kurdish Sunni Muslim who overthrew the Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt, and switched allegiance to the Abbasid caliphs. It conquered Jerusalem from the crusaders (1187) and other lands in the Middle East. They eventually fell to the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo.
- Almohad Caliphate (1147–1269) was a Moroccan Berber Sunni caliphate. It ruled much of western north Africa and southern Iberia. It was overthrown by the Marinid dynasty.
Crusades and crusaders[edit | edit source]
The crusades were a series of holy wars, predominantly Christians against Muslim-held territories. The immediate cause was the Byzantine–Seljuk wars (1048–1308), an ongoing conflict over Anatolia, and in 1095 the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos requested military aid from Pope Urban II; Urban II responded by calling for war against the Seljuk Turks in the Holy Land.
The crusaders opened trade routes which enabled the merchant republics of Genoa and Venice to become major economic powers. It led to the establishment of diverse religious-military orders; they included:
- Knights Templar (the Order of Solomon's Temple), who built a network of nearly 1,000 commanderies and fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land, before being disbanded by Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V
- Knights Hospitaller (the Order of Saint John), who later became knights of Cyprus, Rhodes, and Malta, and are now the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
- Teutonic Order (the German Order): formed to aid Christians on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and took part in the Prussian Crusade (a Northern Crusade), and merged with the Livonian Brothers of the Sword
- Livonian Brothers of the Sword: they took part in the Livonian Crusade (a Northern Crusade), and later merged with the Teutonic Order as the Livonian Order
As well as the Crusades to the Holy Land, other crusades included:
- Northern Crusades (1147–1410) were primarily against pagans, from the Baltic, Finnic and West Slavic peoples; Baltic states that resulted included the State of the Teutonic Order (Prussia) and Terra Mariana (of present day Estonia and Latvia).
- Crusades against Christians occurred between 1235 and 1434: they included the Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229) against Cathars in southern France.
- Between 1291 and 1481 there were was then a number of additional crusades against Muslims that didn't target Jerusalem. There was also some anti-Muslim crusades during the Reconquista (718–1492).
Crusades to the Holy Land and Latin Empire[edit | edit source]
There were nine numbered Crusades to the Holy Land (1095–1291), but there were many additional ones. The popular crusades (1096–1320) were unsanctioned by the Church, and were minor crusades which achieved very little; they included the People's Crusade (1096), Children's Crusade (1212), Shepherds' Crusade (of 1251 and 1320), and Crusade of the Poor (1309).
The Seljuks held Jerusalem, from 1073–1098; before that it had been held by the Byzantines (to 638) and the Caliphates. After that, Jerusalem was held by the Fatimid Caliphate (1098–1099); Crusaders (1099–1187); the Ayyubid Sultanate (of Saladin), Christians and Khwarezmian Tatars (at various times between 1187 and 1260); the Mamluk Sultanate (1260–1517); the Ottoman Empire (1517–1917).
Notable crusades included:
- First Crusade (1095–1099) resulted in the conquest of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. It was preceded by the People's Crusade (1096), and followed by the Crusade of 1101 (Crusade of the Faint-Hearted), which were both Turkish victories.
Crusader states were then established, and included the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Principality of Antioch, the County of Tripoli and the County of Edessa. Nicaea and much of western Anatolia was also restored to the Byzantine Empire.
- Venetian Crusade (1122–24), in which the Republic of Venice succeeded in capturing Tyre.
- Second Crusade (1147–1149) was a failed attempt to reclaim of Edessa after its fall in 1144.
Jerusalem was retaken by Muslims led by Saladin of the Ayyubid Sultanate in 1187, reverting to Christian control in 1229.
- Third Crusade (1189–1192) included as crusaders Philip II of France, Richard I of England, and the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. It failed to retake Jerusalem, but a treaty provided that unarmed Christian pilgrims and traders could visit Jerusalem. Crusader territories were reclaimed, including the key towns of Acre and Jaffa; the crusader state of the Kingdom of Cyprus was established.
- Crusade of 1197, of Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, resulted in the capture Beirut and Sidon from the Muslims in 1198.
- Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) primarily resulted in the Sack of Constantinople (1204) by crusaders and the Republic of Venice. The Catholic city of Zara was also sacked by crusaders.
After that the Byzantine Empire was partitioned: the Latin Empire of Constantinople was a crusader state, which had crusader vassal fiefs such as Thessalonica, Achaea, Athens, and the Archipelago. Venice took control of some areas, such as Crete. Greek successor states were established in Nicaea, Epirus, and Trebizond. The Nicaean–Latin wars of Nicaea and the Latin Empire commenced, and as well as the Bulgarian–Latin wars.
- Fifth Crusade (1217–1221) was an unsuccessful attempt to conquer the powerful Ayyubid state in Egypt, to later regain Jerusalem.
- Sixth Crusade (1228–1229) resulted in a diplomatic crusader victory, who gained control of Jerusalem between 1229 and 1244.
- Barons' Crusade (1239–1241) enlarged the territory controlled by the crusaders, and was in territorial terms the most successful crusade since the First.
Reconquest of Constantinople: Nicea was later able to recapture much of the Latin Empire and Epirus, including Constantinople in 1261, and the Byzantine Empire continued as a weakened Greek state. Later on a Byzantine civil war (1341–1347) further weakened the empire. Eventually Constantinople would fall to the Ottomans in 1453.
- Seventh Crusade (1248–1254) was after the Ayyubids regained Jerusalem; Louis IX of France was defeated in Egypt by an Ayyubid and Bahriyya Mamluk army.
- Eighth Crusade (1270) was another crusade of Louis IX of France against the city of Tunis in Tunisia. Louis IX died, and the crusade was inconclusive.
- Ninth Crusade (1271–1272), or Lord Edward's crusade, was a crusade of King Edward I of England to the Holy Land, then held mostly by the Mamluk Sultanate. It was partly successful, but failed to conquer Jerusalem; the fall of Acre in 1291 brought to an end the permanent crusader presence in the Holy Land.
Mongol invasions[edit | edit source]
Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire in 1206; it eventually covered most of central Asia from the west to east. Mongols originated from Mongolia, and spoke the Mongolian language; they were a group of steppe nomads. Khan is a title for a sovereign or a military ruler, used by Mongols living to the north of China. An estimated 30 to 80 million people were killed under the rule of the Mongol Empire.
By c. 1294, with the death of Kublai Khan, it had fractured into independent states:
- Golden Horde (1242–1502), a khanate in the north-west, mostly north of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. It would disintegrate to many other khanates in the fifteenth century.
- Ilkhanate (1256–1335) a short-lived khanate in the south-west, across the Middle East and Persia.
- Chagatai Khanate (1226–1705) in central Asia, centered on present-day Kyrgyzstan. It would decline to other dynasties.
- Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) in the east, succeeded the Song dynasty (960–1279). Based in modern-day Beijing, it included much of present-day China and Mongolia. It would fall to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) after about a hundred years.
End of the Islamic Golden Age[edit | edit source]
The Siege of Baghdad (1258) was by the Mongols under the command of Hulagu Khan. They subsequently sacked the city and destroyed the copious libraries, including the House of Wisdom; hundreds of thousands of people were killed in the region. This ended the Abbasid Caliphate and Islamic Golden Age, and the region was made part of the Mongol Empire.
The Mongol Empire was in part succeeded by the Ilkhanate (1256–1335), the south-west sector of the Mongol Empire. In the 1330s, outbreaks of the Black Death ravaged the Ilkhanate, causing it to disintegrate. The Timurid Empire (1370–1507) was a latter large Turco-Mongol empire of Sunni Islam; stretching across the Middle East and central Asia, it was seen as continuing the Mongol legacy. In part it was succeeded by the Safavid Iran (1501–1736), an Iranian Shia Muslim dynasty.
In Egypt and the Middle East, the Sunni Muslim Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo (1261–1517), also known as the Realm of the Turks, overthrew the Ayyubids. It was an Arabic, Turkic and Circassian sultanate. With the fall of the Abbasids in 1258, the Mamluks attempted to re-establish a Sunni Abbasid Caliphate with the Caliphs of Cairo (1261–1517); they were largely ceremonial caliphs under the patronage of the sultans. The Mamluk Sultanate eventually fell to the Ottoman Empire.
The Ottoman Empire (c. 1299–1922) was founded by Osman I of the House of Osman. Starting from a small Anatolian beylik (state), and with the decline of the Sultanate of Rum, they would go on to build a vast empire, including territories in Anatolia, eastern Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa.
Kievan Rus' and the Golden Horde[edit | edit source]
Kievan Rus' (882–1240): was an early progenitor to Russia. A loose federation of East Slavic and Finnic peoples, it was founded by the Rus' people, who are thought to be Varangians (Vikings). It was composed of a number of principalities and other territories; the city of Kiev was the nucleus of the state, and it was ruled by the Grand Prince of Kiev. Note: Russian "princes" or "dukes" actually held the title knyaz (князь).
- Vladimir the Great was a Prince of Novgorod who became Grand Prince of Kiev 980–1015; he consolidated the realm, and converted to Christianity in 988.
- Roman the Great (Roman Mstislavich) was another Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Kiev 1170–1205, and had victories against Cumania (also known as the Cuman-Kipchak Confederation), a large Turkic state of the Cumans and Kipchaks south-east of the Rus'.
Golden Horde (1242–1502), or Kipchak Khanate, was originally a Mongol, and later Turkicized, khanate founded by Batu Khan, a Mongol warlord who followed the Tengrism religion. It originated as the north-western sector of the Mongol Empire. It had a geographic area roughly comparable to the earlier Cumania (the Cuman-Kipchak confederation); and that of Volga Bulgaria, a historic Bulgar state. It was majorly divided into Blue Horde (Kok Horde) and White Horde (Ak Horde). Öz Beg Khan assumed the throne in 1313, and adopted Islam as the state religion.
Kievan Rus' began to disintegrate in the 11th century; it ended after falling to the Mongols circa 1240s, and its principalities became vassals to the Golden Horde by 1294. There was widespread destruction, and the only major cities to escape this were Novgorod and Pskov. Their rulers were Mongols, and later on Tatars, and the "Tatar Yoke" is a phrase often used to express their rule. Tatars was a general term used by Russians and other Europeans for Turkic peoples of the Golden Horde, but can be used more specifically for the speakers of the Tatar language. According to the Turco-Mongol tradition, they assimilated control of the Golden Horde, and took up the Kipchak language as a common tongue, which survives as the root of some Turkic languages such as Kazakh and Tatar.
With the end of Kievan Rus', the East Slavic peoples would eventually evolve three separate nations: modern-day Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Russia would develop from the rise of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, also called Muscovy; see the Rise of Muscovy. The Golden Horde would eventually lose control of the Rus' principalities, and then disintegrate into a number of Turkic-speaking khanates: Tyumen Khanate (1468), later Khanate of Sibir; Khanate of Kazan (1438) – Qasim Khanate (1452); Khanate of Crimea (1441); Nogai Horde (1440s); Kazakh Khanate (1465); and Khanate of Astrakhan (1466). These would all fall to Russian expansion.
Medieval renaissances and cultural changes[edit | edit source]
Medieval renaissances can refer to various movements in the latter half of the Early Middle Ages, and during the High Middle Ages.
- Carolingian renaissance, of the 8th and 9th centuries, was a period of renewed cultural and intellectual movements associated with the rise of the Carolingian Empire, and the Carolingian court.
- Ottonian renaissance, of the 10th and 11th centuries, was a similar phenomenon associated with the Ottonian period of the Holy Roman Empire. Otto I, Otto II and Otto III ruled the culturally Germanic empire between 936–1002, and created a revival particularly in arts and architecture.
- Renaissance of the 12th century: included social, political and economic transformations; intellectual revitalization (philosophical and scientific). It included Latin translations of Arabic sources.
In the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas developed scholasticism (early critical thought in a religious context) with his Summa Theologica; written between 1265 and 1274, it was a treatise on theology that drew from a wide range of philosophical sources. It attempted to reconcile the philosophy of Aristotle with the theology of Augustine of Hippo, using both reason and faith. In 1202, in his Book of Calculation, the Italian mathematician Fibonacci helped to populise Arabic numerals.
Romanesque architecture (also known as Norman architecture) dominated 11th and 12th centuries; earlier architecture was known as Pre-Romanesque. Later on Gothic architecture was used widely between the 12th and 16th centuries.
The High Middle Ages was accompanied by a rapid increase in population; this would grind to a halt in the 14th century, as Europe would enter a period of crisis.