From the Apocalypse in a Biblia Pauperum illuminated at Erfurt around the time of the Great Famine. Death sits astride a lion whose long tail ends in a ball of flame (Hell). Famine points to her hungry mouth.
The Cross of Mathilde, a crux gemmata made for Mathilde, Abbess of Essen (973–1011), who is shown kneeling before the Virgin and Child in the enamel plaque. The figure of Christ is slightly later. Probably made in Cologne or Essen, the cross demonstrates several medieval techniques: cast figurative sculpture, filigree, enamelling, gem polishing and setting, and the reuse of Classical cameos and engraved gems.
Petrarch conceived of the idea of a European "Dark Age" which later evolved into the tripartite periodization of Western history into Ancient, Post-classical and Modern.
France in the late 15th century: a mosaic of feudal territories
A late Roman sculpture depicting the Tetrarchs, now in Venice, Italy
Silver mining and processing in Kutná Hora, Bohemia, 15th century
Barbarian kingdoms and tribes after the end of the Western Roman Empire
Ruins of Beckov Castle in Slovakia
A coin of the Ostrogothic leader Theoderic the Great, struck in Milan, Italy, c. AD 491–501
Ottoman miniature of the siege of Belgrade in 1456
A mosaic showing Justinian with the bishop of Ravenna (Italy), bodyguards, and courtiers.
Battle of Aljubarrota between Portugal and Castile, 1385
Reconstruction of an early medieval peasant village in Bavaria
Peasants preparing the fields for the winter with a harrow and sowing for the winter grain. The background shows the Louvre castle in Paris, c. 1410; October as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
An 11th-century illustration of Gregory the Great dictating to a secretary
Jan Hus
Map showing growth of Frankish power from 481 to 814
European output of manuscripts 500–1500. The rising trend in medieval book production saw its continuation in the period.
Charlemagne's palace chapel at Aachen, completed in 805
Urban dwelling house, late 15th century, Halberstadt, Germany.
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
Dante by Domenico di Michelino, from a fresco painted in 1465
A page from the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript created in the British Isles in the late 8th or early 9th century
A musician plays the vielle in a fourteenth-century Medieval manuscript.
Medieval French manuscript illustration of the three classes of medieval society: those who prayed (the clergy) those who fought (the knights), and those who worked (the peasantry). The relationship between these classes was governed by feudalism and manorialism. (Li Livres dou Sante, 13th century)
Peasants in fields
13th-century illustration of a Jew (in pointed Jewish hat) and the Christian Petrus Alphonsi debating
Joan of Arc
Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190
Charles I
The Bayeux Tapestry (detail) showing William the Conqueror (centre), his half-brothers Robert, Count of Mortain (right) and Odo, Bishop of Bayeux in the Duchy of Normandy (left)
Krak des Chevaliers was built during the Crusades for the Knights Hospitallers.
A medieval scholar making precise measurements in a 14th-century manuscript illustration
Portrait of Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher by Tommaso da Modena, 1352, the first known depiction of spectacles
The Romanesque Church of Maria Laach, Germany
The Gothic interior of Laon Cathedral, France
Francis of Assisi, depicted by Bonaventura Berlinghieri in 1235, founded the Franciscan Order.
Sénanque Abbey, Gordes, France
Execution of some of the ringleaders of the jacquerie, from a 14th-century manuscript of the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Map of Europe in 1360
Joan of Arc in a 15th-century depiction
Guy of Boulogne crowning Pope Gregory XI in a 15th-century miniature from Froissart's Chroniques
Clerics studying astronomy and geometry, French, early 15th century
Agricultural calendar, c. 1470, from a manuscript of Pietro de Crescenzi
February scene from the 15th-century illuminated manuscript Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
Medieval illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th-century copy of L'Image du monde
The early Muslim conquests
Expansion under Muhammad, 622–632
Expansion during the Rashidun Caliphate, 632–661
Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661–750

The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period of European history lasting from AD 1250 to 1500.

- Late Middle Ages

The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

- Middle Ages

The changes brought about by these developments have led many scholars to view this period as the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of modern history and of early modern Europe.

- Late Middle Ages

Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient, medieval, and modern.

- Middle Ages

The term Middle Ages also derives from Petrarch.

- Periodization

It can be sub-divided into the Early, High and Late Middle Ages.

- Periodization
From the Apocalypse in a Biblia Pauperum illuminated at Erfurt around the time of the Great Famine. Death sits astride a lion whose long tail ends in a ball of flame (Hell). Famine points to her hungry mouth.

3 related topics with Alpha


Florence, the birthplace of the European Renaissance. The architectural perspective, and modern systems and fields of banking and accounting were introduced during the Renaissance.


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Florence, the birthplace of the European Renaissance. The architectural perspective, and modern systems and fields of banking and accounting were introduced during the Renaissance.
Portrait of a Young Woman (c. 1480–85) (Simonetta Vespucci) by Sandro Botticelli
View of Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance
Coluccio Salutati
A political map of the Italian Peninsula circa 1494
Pieter Bruegel's The Triumph of Death (c. 1562) reflects the social upheaval and terror that followed the plague that devastated medieval Europe.
Lorenzo de' Medici, ruler of Florence and patron of arts (Portrait by Vasari)
Pico della Mirandola, writer of the famous Oration on the Dignity of Man, which has been called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance".
Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (c. 1490) demonstrates the effect writers of Antiquity had on Renaissance thinkers. Based on the specifications in Vitruvius' De architectura (1st century BC), Leonardo tried to draw the perfectly proportioned man. (Museum Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice)
Anonymous portrait of Nicolaus Copernicus (c. 1580)
Portrait of Luca Pacioli, father of accounting, painted by Jacopo de' Barbari, 1495, (Museo di Capodimonte).
The world map by Pietro Coppo, Venice, 1520
Alexander VI, a Borgia Pope infamous for his corruption
Adoration of the Magi and Solomon adored by the Queen of Sheba from the Farnese Hours (1546) by Giulio Clovio marks the end of the Italian Renaissance of illuminated manuscript together with the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.
Leonardo Bruni
"What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!" – from William Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Château de Chambord (1519–1547), one of the most famous examples of Renaissance architecture
Portrait of Emperor Maximilian I, by Albrecht Dürer, 1519
Erasmus of Rotterdam in 1523, as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger
São Pedro Papa, 1530–1535, by Grão Vasco Fernandes. A pinnacle piece from when the Portuguese Renaissance had considerable external influence.
The Palace of Facets on the Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin
Theotokos and The Child, the late-17th-century Russian icon by Karp Zolotaryov, with notably realistic depiction of faces and clothing.
The Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, by Juan de Herrera and Juan Bautista de Toledo
A cover of the Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari
Painting of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, an event in the French Wars of Religion, by François Dubois

The Renaissance is a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries, characterized by an effort to revive and surpass ideas and achievements of classical antiquity.

However, the beginnings of the period – the early Renaissance of the 15th century and the Italian Proto-Renaissance from around 1250 or 1300 – overlap considerably with the Late Middle Ages, conventionally dated to c. 1250–1500, and the Middle Ages themselves were a long period filled with gradual changes, like the modern age; and as a transitional period between both, the Renaissance has close similarities to both, especially the late and early sub-periods of either.

World population, 10,000 BCE – 2,000 CE (vertical population scale is logarithmic)

Human history

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Narrative of humanity's past.

Narrative of humanity's past.

World population, 10,000 BCE – 2,000 CE (vertical population scale is logarithmic)
Cave painting, Lascaux, France, c. 15,000 BCE
Monumental Cuneiform inscription, Sumer, Mesopotamia, 26th century BCE
Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The Buddha
Persepolis, Achaemenid Empire, 6th century BCE
Pillar erected by India's Maurya Emperor Ashoka
Obelisk of Axum, Ethiopia
Maya observatory, Chichen Itza, Mexico
The Pantheon in Rome, Italy, originally a Roman temple, now a Catholic church
University of Timbuktu, Mali
Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, is among the most recognizable symbols of the Byzantine civilization.
Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia, founded 670 CE
Crusader Krak des Chevaliers, Syria
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.
Notre-Dame de Paris in Paris, France: is among the most recognizable symbols of the civilization of Christendom.
A brass "Benin Bronze" from Nigeria
Chennakesava Temple, Belur, India
Battle during 1281 Mongol invasion of Japan
Angkor Wat temple, Cambodia, early 12th century
Moai, Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Machu Picchu, Inca Empire, Peru
Gutenberg Bible, ca. 1450, produced using movable type
Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (c. 1490), Renaissance Italy
1570 world map, showing Europeans' discoveries
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), Turkey
Taj Mahal, Mughal Empire, India
Ming dynasty section, Great Wall of China
Watt's steam engine powered the Industrial Revolution.
Empires of the world in 1898
The first airplane, the Wright Flyer, flew, 1903.
World War I trench warfare
Atomic bombings: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, 1945
Civilians (here, Mỹ Lai, Vietnam, 1968) suffered greatly in 20th-century wars.
Last Moon landing: Apollo 17 (1972)
China urbanized rapidly in the 21st century (Shanghai pictured).
World population, from 10000 BCE to 2000 CE, with projection to 2100 CE
Reconstruction of Lucy, the first Australopithecus afarensis skeleton found
Overview map of the peopling of the world by early humans during the Upper Paleolithic, following to the Southern Dispersal paradigm.

Post-classical history (the "Middle Ages" from about 500 to 1500 CE) witnessed the rise of Christianity, the Islamic Golden Age, and the Renaissance (from around 1300 CE).

This scheme of historical periodization (dividing history into antiquity, post-classical, early modern, and late modern periods) was developed for, and applies best to, the history of the Old World, particularly Europe and the Mediterranean.

The Late Middle Ages were marked by difficulties and calamities.

Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Battle of Hastings during the Norman Conquest

High Middle Ages

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Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Battle of Hastings during the Norman Conquest
Miniature representing the delivery of the fortress of Uclés to the Master of Order of Santiago in 1174
France in the 12th century. The Angevin Empire held the red, pink and orange territories.
King Saint Stephen I of Hungary.
Poland under the rule of Duke Mieszko I between c. 960 - 992
The Pontic steppes, c. 1015
After the successful siege of Jerusalem in 1099, Godfrey of Bouillon, leader of the First Crusade, became the first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Cathars being expelled from Carcassonne in 1209
A map of medieval universities and major monasteries with library in 1250
Detail of a portrait of Hugh de Provence (wearing spectacles), painted by Tommaso da Modena in 1352
Ships of the world in 1460, according to the Fra Mauro map.
Fresco from the Boyana Church depicting Emperor Constantine Tikh Asen. The murals are among the finest achievements of the Bulgarian culture in the 13th century.
Interior of Nôtre Dame de Paris
John the Apostle and Marcion of Sinope in an Italian illuminated manuscript, painting on vellum, 11th century
Musicians playing the Spanish vihuela, one with a bow, the other plucked by hand, in the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X of Castile, 13th century
Men playing the organistrum, from the Ourense Cathedral, Spain, 12th century
The cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, whose construction began in 1163, is one of the finer examples of the High Middle Ages architecture

The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period of European history that lasted from around AD 1000 to the 1300s.

The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended around AD 1500 (by historiographical convention).