A report on Middle Ages

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.
A late Roman sculpture depicting the Tetrarchs, now in Venice, Italy
Barbarian kingdoms and tribes after the end of the Western Roman Empire
A coin of the Ostrogothic leader Theoderic the Great, struck in Milan, Italy, c. AD 491–501
A mosaic showing Justinian with the bishop of Ravenna (Italy), bodyguards, and courtiers.
Reconstruction of an early medieval peasant village in Bavaria
An 11th-century illustration of Gregory the Great dictating to a secretary
Map showing growth of Frankish power from 481 to 814
Charlemagne's palace chapel at Aachen, completed in 805
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
A page from the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript created in the British Isles in the late 8th or early 9th century
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)
13th-century illustration of a Jew (in pointed Jewish hat) and the Christian Petrus Alphonsi debating
Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190
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

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history.

- Middle Ages
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.

236 related topics with Alpha

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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.

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.

Byzantine Empire

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The empire in 555 under Justinian the Great, at its greatest extent since the fall of the Western Roman Empire (its vassals in pink)
Constantine the Great was the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity and moved the seat of the empire to Byzantium, renamed Constantinople in his honour.
The empire in 555 under Justinian the Great, at its greatest extent since the fall of the Western Roman Empire (its vassals in pink)
Restored section of the Walls of Constantinople
The empire in 555 under Justinian the Great, at its greatest extent since the fall of the Western Roman Empire (its vassals in pink)
After the death of Theodosius I in 395, the empire was again divided. The west disintegrated in the late 400s while the east ended with the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Empress Theodora and attendants (Mosaic from Basilica of San Vitale, 6th century)
Hagia Sophia built in 537, during the reign of Justinian. The minarets were added in the 15th–16th centuries by the Ottoman Empire.
The Byzantine Empire in c. 600 during the reign of Maurice. Half of the Italian peninsula and most of southern Hispania were lost, but the eastern borders expanded, gaining land from the Persians.
Battle between Heraclius and the Persians. Fresco by Piero della Francesca, c. 1452
By 650 (pictured) the empire had lost all its southern provinces, except the Exarchate of Africa, to the Rashidun Caliphate. At the same time the Slavs invaded and settled in the Balkans.
Greek fire was first used by the Byzantine Navy during the Byzantine–Arab Wars (from the Madrid Skylitzes, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid).
Constantine IV and his retinue, mosaic in Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe. Constantine IV defeated the First Arab siege of Constantinople.
The Byzantine Empire at the accession of Leo III, c. 717. Striped indicates areas raided by the Umayyads.
Gold solidus of Leo III (left), and his son and heir, Constantine V (right)
A Simple Cross: An example of Iconoclast art in the Hagia Irene Church in Istanbul.
The Byzantine Empire, c. 867
The general Leo Phokas defeats the Hamdanid Emirate of Aleppo at Andrassos in 960, from the Madrid Skylitzes
10th century military successes were coupled with a major cultural revival, the so-called Macedonian Renaissance. Miniature from the Paris Psalter, an example of Hellenistic-influenced art.
Emperor Basil II ((r. 976 – 1025))
The extent of the Empire under Basil II
Rus' under the walls of Constantinople (860)
Varangian Guardsmen, an illumination from the Skylitzis Chronicle
Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe throughout late antiquity and most of the Middle Ages until the Fourth Crusade in 1204.
Mural of Saints Cyril and Methodius, 19th century, Troyan Monastery, Bulgaria
The seizure of Edessa (1031) by the Byzantines under George Maniakes and the counterattack by the Seljuk Turks
Alexios I, founder of the Komnenos dynasty
The Chora Church, dating from the Komnenian period, has some of the finest Byzantine frescoes and mosaics.
The Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm before the First Crusade (1095–1099)
A mosaic from the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople (modern Istanbul), depicting Mary and Jesus, flanked by John II Komnenos (left) and his wife Irene of Hungary (right), 12th century
Byzantine Empire in orange, c. 1180, at the end of the Komnenian period
The Lamentation of Christ (1164), a fresco from the church of Saint Panteleimon in Nerezi, North Macedonia, considered a superb example of 12th-century Komnenian art
Byzantium in the late Angeloi period
The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople, by Eugène Delacroix (1840)
The partition of the empire following the Fourth Crusade, c. 1204
The Byzantine Empire, c. 1263
The siege of Constantinople in 1453, depicted in a 15th-century French miniature
The Eastern Mediterranean just before the Fall of Constantinople
Flag of the late Empire under the Palaiologoi, sporting the tetragrammic cross symbol of the Palaiologos dynasty
The embassy of John the Grammarian in 829, between the emperor Theophilos and the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun
Italian sketch of Emperor John VIII during his visit in Ferrara and Florence in 1438
Interior of the Hagia Sophia, the patriarchal basilica in Constantinople designed 537 by Isidore of Miletus, the first compiler of Archimedes' various works. The influence of Archimedes' principles of solid geometry is evident.
The frontispiece of the Vienna Dioscurides, which shows a set of seven famous physicians
Bas-relief plaque of Tribonian in the Chamber of the House of Representatives in the United States Capitol
Many refugee Byzantine scholars fled to North Italy in the 1400s. Here John Argyropoulos (1415–1487), born in Constantinople and who ended his days in north Italy.
Ceramic grenades that were filled with Greek fire, surrounded by caltrops, 10th–12th century, National Historical Museum, Athens, Greece
As a symbol and expression of the universal prestige of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Justinian built the Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, Hagia Sophia, which was completed in the short period of four and a half years (532–537).
Mosaic of Jesus in Pammakaristos Church, Istanbul
Triumphal arch mosaics of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. In Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy.
Earliest known depiction of a bowed lyra, from a Byzantine ivory casket (900–1100) (Museo Nazionale, Florence)
The double-headed eagle, a common Imperial symbol
Distribution of Greek dialects in Anatolia in the late Byzantine Empire through to 1923. Demotic in yellow. Pontic in orange. Cappadocian in green. (Green dots indicate Cappadocian Greek-speaking villages in 1910. )
A game of τάβλι (tabula) played by Byzantine emperor Zeno in 480 and recorded by Agathias in c. 530 because of a very unlucky dice throw for Zeno (red), as he threw 2, 5 and 6 and was forced to leave eight pieces alone.
Golden Solidus of Justinian I (527–565) excavated in India probably in the south, an example of Indo-Roman trade during the period
Christ Pantocrator mosaic in Hagia Sophia, circa 1261
Christ as the Good Shepherd; {{circa}} 425-430; mosaic; width: {{circa}} 3 m; Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (Ravenna, Italy)<ref>{{cite book |last1=Fortenberry|first1=Diane|title=THE ART MUSEUM |date=2017|publisher=Phaidon|isbn=978-0-7148-7502-6|page=108|language=en}}</ref>
Diptych Leaf with a Byzantine Empress; 6th century; ivory with traces of gilding and leaf; height: {{cvt|26.5|cm}}; Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna, Austria)<ref>{{cite book |last1=Fortenberry|first1=Diane|title=THE ART MUSEUM |date=2017|publisher=Phaidon|isbn=978-0-7148-7502-6|page=114|language=en}}</ref>
Collier; late 6th–7th century; gold, an emerald, a sapphire, amethysts and pearls; diameter: {{cvt|23|cm}}; from a Constantinopolitan workshop; Antikensammlung Berlin (Berlin, Germany)<ref>{{cite book |last1=Fortenberry|first1=Diane|title=THE ART MUSEUM |date=2017|publisher=Phaidon|isbn=978-0-7148-7502-6|page=115|language=en}}</ref>
Page of the Gospel Book with Commentaries: Portrait of Mark; 1000–1100; ink, tempera, gold, vellum and leather binding; sheet: {{cvt|28 x 23|cm}}; Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, Ohio, US)
Icon of the New Testament Trinity; c. 1450; tempera and gold on wood panel (poplar); Cleveland Museum of Art

The Byzantine Empire,{{NoteTag|{{IPAc-en|b|I|"|z|{|n|%|t|aI|n|,_|b|aI|"|z|{|n|-|,_|"|b|I|z|@|n|-|,_|-|%|t|i:|n|,_|-|%|t|I|n}} {{respell|bih|ZAN|tyne|,_|by|-|,_|BIZ|ən|-|,_|-|teen|,_|-|tin}} }} also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire remained the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. The terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" were coined after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, and to themselves as Romans{{NoteTag|{{Lang-gkm|Βασιλεία Ῥωμαίων|Basileía Rhōmaíōn}} (Roman Empire); {{Lang-gkm|Ῥωμανία|Rhōmaía}} (Romania); {{Lang-gkm|Ῥωμαῖοι|Rhōmaîoi}} (Romans)}}—a term which Greeks continued to use for themselves into Ottoman times.

Roman Empire

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The post-Republican period of ancient Rome.

The post-Republican period of ancient Rome.

The Roman Empire in AD 117 at its greatest extent, at the time of Trajan's death (with its vassals in pink)
The Augustus of Prima Porta
(early 1st century AD)
The Roman Empire in AD 117 at its greatest extent, at the time of Trajan's death (with its vassals in pink)
The Barbarian Invasions consisted of the movement of (mainly) ancient Germanic peoples into Roman territory. Even though northern invasions took place throughout the life of the Empire, this period officially began in the 4th century and lasted for many centuries, during which the western territory was under the dominion of foreign northern rulers, a notable one being Charlemagne. Historically, this event marked the transition between classical antiquity and the Middle Ages.
The Roman Empire by 476
The cities of the Roman world in the Imperial Period. Data source: Hanson, J. W. (2016), Cities database, (OXREP databases). Version 1.0. (link).
A segment of the ruins of Hadrian's Wall in northern England, overlooking Crag Lough
A 5th-century papyrus showing a parallel Latin-Greek text of a speech by Cicero
Bilingual Latin-Punic inscription at the theatre in Leptis Magna, Roman Africa (present-day Libya)
A multigenerational banquet depicted on a wall painting from Pompeii (1st century AD)
Citizen of Roman Egypt (Fayum mummy portrait)
Dressing of a priestess or bride, Roman fresco from Herculaneum, Italy (30–40 AD)
Slave holding writing tablets for his master (relief from a 4th-century sarcophagus)
Cinerary urn for the freedman Tiberius Claudius Chryseros and two women, probably his wife and daughter
Fragment of a sarcophagus depicting Gordian III and senators (3rd century)
Condemned man attacked by a leopard in the arena (3rd-century mosaic from Tunisia)
Forum of Gerasa (Jerash in present-day Jordan), with columns marking a covered walkway (stoa) for vendor stalls, and a semicircular space for public speaking
Reconstructed statue of Augustus as Jove, holding scepter and orb (first half of 1st century AD).
Antoninus Pius (reigned 138–161), wearing a toga (Hermitage Museum)
The Roman empire under Hadrian (ruled 117–138) showing the location of the Roman legions deployed in 125 AD
Relief panel from Trajan's Column in Rome, showing the building of a fort and the reception of a Dacian embassy
The Pula Arena in Croatia is one of the largest and most intact of the remaining Roman amphitheatres.
Personification of the River Nile and his children, from the Temple of Serapis and Isis in Rome (1st century AD)
A green Roman glass cup unearthed from an Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 AD) tomb in Guangxi, southern China; the earliest Roman glassware found in China was discovered in a Western Han tomb in Guangzhou, dated to the early 1st century BC, and ostensibly came via the maritime route through the South China Sea
Solidus issued under Constantine II, and on the reverse Victoria, one of the last deities to appear on Roman coins, gradually transforming into an angel under Christian rule
Landscape resulting from the ruina montium mining technique at Las Médulas, Spain, one of the most important gold mines in the Roman Empire
The Tabula Peutingeriana (Latin for "The Peutinger Map") an Itinerarium, often assumed to be based on the Roman cursus publicus, the network of state-maintained roads.
A map of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a Greco-Roman Periplus
Workers at a cloth-processing shop, in a painting from the fullonica of Veranius Hypsaeus in Pompeii
Roman hunters during the preparations, set-up of traps, and in-action hunting near Tarraco
Amphitheatres of the Roman Empire
Construction on the Flavian Amphitheatre, more commonly known as the Colosseum (Italy), began during the reign of Vespasian.
The Pont du Gard aqueduct, which crosses the river Gardon in southern France, is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
Cityscape from the Villa Boscoreale (60s AD)
Aquae Sulis in Bath, England: architectural features above the level of the pillar bases are a later reconstruction.
Public toilets (latrinae) from Ostia Antica
Reconstructed peristyle garden based on the House of the Vettii
Birds and fountain within a garden setting, with oscilla (hanging masks) above, in a painting from Pompeii
Bread stall, from a Pompeiian wall painting
An Ostian taberna for eating and drinking; the faded painting over the counter pictured eggs, olives, fruit and radishes.
Still life on a 2nd-century Roman mosaic
Wall painting depicting a sports riot at the amphitheatre of Pompeii, which led to the banning of gladiator combat in the town
A victor in his four-horse chariot
The Zliten mosaic, from a dining room in present-day Libya, depicts a series of arena scenes: from top, musicians playing a Roman tuba, a water pipe organ and two horns; six pairs of gladiators with two referees; four beast fighters; and three convicts condemned to the beasts
Boys and girls playing ball games (2nd-century relief from the Louvre)
So-called "bikini girls" mosaic from the Villa del Casale, Roman Sicily, 4th century
Stone game board from Aphrodisias: boards could also be made of wood, with deluxe versions in costly materials such as ivory; game pieces or counters were bone, glass, or polished stone, and might be coloured or have markings or images
Women from the wall painting at the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii
Claudius wearing an early Imperial toga (see a later, more structured toga above), and the pallium as worn by a priest of Serapis, sometimes identified as the emperor Julian
The Aldobrandini Wedding, 27 BC – 14 AD
The Wedding of Zephyrus and Chloris (54–68 AD, Pompeian Fourth Style) within painted architectural panels from the Casa del Naviglio
The bronze Drunken Satyr, excavated at Herculaneum and exhibited in the 18th century, inspired an interest among later sculptors in similar "carefree" subjects.
On the Ludovisi sarcophagus, an example of the battle scenes favoured during the Crisis of the Third Century, the "writhing and highly emotive" Romans and Goths fill the surface in a packed, anti-classical composition
The Primavera of Stabiae, perhaps the goddess Flora
The Triumph of Neptune floor mosaic from Africa Proconsularis (present-day Tunisia), celebrating agricultural success with allegories of the Seasons, vegetation, workers and animals viewable from multiple perspectives in the room (latter 2nd century)
Actor dressed as a king and two muses. Fresco from Herculaneum, 30–40 AD
All-male theatrical troupe preparing for a masked performance, on a mosaic from the House of the Tragic Poet
Pride in literacy was displayed in portraiture through emblems of reading and writing, as in this example of a couple from Pompeii (Portrait of Paquius Proculo).
Reconstruction of a writing tablet: the stylus was used to inscribe letters into the wax surface for drafts, casual letterwriting, and schoolwork, while texts meant to be permanent were copied onto papyrus.
A teacher with two students, as a third arrives with his loculus, a writing case that would contain pens, ink pot, and a sponge to correct errors
Mosaic from Pompeii depicting the Academy of Plato
Portrait of a literary woman from Pompeii (ca. 50 AD)
A fresco in Pompeii depicting a poet (thought to be Euphorion) and a female reading a diptych
Statue in Constanța, Romania (the ancient colony Tomis), commemorating Ovid's exile
Brescia Casket, an ivory box with Biblical imagery (late 4th century)
Silver cup, from the Boscoreale Treasure (early 1st century AD)
Finely decorated Gallo-Roman terra sigillata bowl
Gold earrings with gemstones, 3rd century
Glass cage cup from the Rhineland, 4th century
Dionysus (Bacchus) with long torch sitting on a throne, with Helios (Sol), Aphrodite (Venus) and other gods. Fresco from Pompeii.
A Roman priest, his head ritually covered with a fold of his toga, extends a patera in a gesture of libation (2nd–3rd century)
Statuettes representing Roman and Gallic deities, for personal devotion at private shrines
thumb|upright=0.6|The Pompeii Lakshmi, an ivory statuette from the Indian subcontinent found in the ruins of Pompeii
Relief from the Arch of Titus in Rome depicting a menorah and other spoils from the Temple of Jerusalem carried in Roman triumph.
This funerary stele from the 3rd century is among the earliest Christian inscriptions, written in both Greek and Latin: the abbreviation D.M. at the top refers to the Di Manes, the traditional Roman spirits of the dead, but accompanies Christian fish symbolism.
The Pantheon in Rome, a Roman temple originally built under Augustus and later rebuilt under Hadrian in the 2nd century, dedicated to Rome's polytheistic religion before its conversion into a Catholic church in the 7th century

The adoption of Christianity as the state church of the Roman Empire in AD 380 and the fall of the Western Roman Empire to Germanic kings conventionally marks the end of classical antiquity and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

The jewelled cover of the Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram, c. 870, a Carolingian Gospel book.

Early Middle Ages

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Typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century.

Typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century.

The jewelled cover of the Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram, c. 870, a Carolingian Gospel book.
Dark Ages Cold Period
Die Hunnen im Kampf mit den Alanen, (The Huns in battle with the Alans by Johann Nepomuk Geiger, 1873). The Alans, an Iranian people who lived north and east of the Black Sea, functioned as Europe's first line of defence against the Asiatic Huns. They were dislocated and settled throughout the Roman Empire
A paten from the Treasure of Gourdon, found at Gourdon, Saône-et-Loire, France.
Theodora, Justinian's wife, and her retinue
Restored Walls of Constantinople
Christ crowning Constantine VII
ivory plaque, ca. 945
Europe around 650
The Sutton Hoo helmet, an Anglo-Saxon helmet from the early 7th century
The Lombard possessions in Italy: The Lombard Kingdom (Neustria, Austria and Tuscia) and the Lombard Duchies of Spoleto and Benevento
The Gokstad ship, a 9th-century Viking longship, excavated in 1882. Viking Ship Museum, Oslo, Norway
Ceramic icon of St Theodore from around 900, found in Preslav, Bulgarian capital from 893 to 972
St. Michael's Church, Hildesheim, 1010s. Ottonian architecture draws its inspiration from Carolingian and Byzantine architecture.
The Islamic Prophet Muhammad preaching

They marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history.

The Barberini ivory, a late Leonid/Justinian Byzantine ivory leaf from an imperial diptych, from an imperial workshop in Constantinople in the first half of the sixth century (Louvre Museum)

Late antiquity

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The Barberini ivory, a late Leonid/Justinian Byzantine ivory leaf from an imperial diptych, from an imperial workshop in Constantinople in the first half of the sixth century (Louvre Museum)
Late 4th-century Roman bust of a Germanic slave in Augusta Treverorum (Trier) in Belgica Prima, seat of the praetorian prefecture of Gaul (Rheinisches Landesmuseum Trier)
Modern statue of Constantine I at York, where he was proclaimed Augustus in 306
The Byzantine Empire after the Arabs conquered the provinces of Syria and Egypt – the same time the early Slavs settled in the Balkans
The Favourites of the Emperor Honorius, 1883: John William Waterhouse expresses the sense of moral decadence that coloured the 19th-century historical view of the 5th century.
The ruins of the Taq Kasra in Ctesiphon, capital of the Sasanian Empire, photographed in 1864
View west along the Harbour Street towards the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, present-day Turkey. The pillars on the left side of the street were part of the colonnaded walkway apparent in cities of Late Antique Asia Minor.
Roman cavalry from a mosaic of the Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily, 4th century CE
The Four Tetrarchs, in porphyry, later sacked from Constantinople, St. Marks, Venice
The Vienna Dioscurides, an early 6th-century illuminated manuscript of De Materia Medica by Dioscorides in Greek, a rare example of a late antique scientific text

Late antiquity is the time of transition from classical antiquity to the Middle Ages, generally spanning the 4th–6th century in Europe and adjacent areas bordering the Mediterranean Basin.

14th-century miniature of the Second Crusade battle from the Estoire d'Eracles

Crusades

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14th-century miniature of the Second Crusade battle from the Estoire d'Eracles
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
Miniature of Peter the Hermit leading the People's Crusade (Egerton 1500, Avignon, 14thcentury)
The Crusader States in 1135
Nūr-ad-Din's victory at the Battle of Inab, 1149. Illustration from the Passages d'outremer, c. 1490.
The Near East, c. 1190, at the inception of the Third Crusade
Richard the Lionheart on his way to Jerusalem, James William Glass (1850)
Conquest of the Orthodox city of Constantinople by the Crusaders in 1204 (BNF Arsenal MS 5090, 15th century)
Crusaders attack the tower of Damietta during the siege of Damietta in a painting by Cornelis Claesz van Wieringen
Holy Roman Emperor FrederickII (left) meets al-Kamil (right), illumination from Giovanni Villani's Nuova Cronica (Vatican Library ms. Chigiano L VIII 296, 14thcentury).
The defeat of the Crusaders at Gaza, depicted in the Chronica majora of Matthew Paris, 13th century.
Louis IX during the Seventh Crusade
Louis IX being taken prisoner at the Battle of Fariskur (Gustave Doré)
Miniature of the Siege of Acre (1291) (Estoire d'Oultre-Mer, BNF fr. 2825, fol 361v, c. 1300)
Map of the branches of the Teutonic Order in Europe around 1300. Shaded area is sovereign territory.
Miniatures showing Pope Innocent III excommunicating, and the crusaders massacring, Cathars (BL Royal 16 G VI, fol. 374v, 14thcentury)
13th-century miniature of Baldwin II of Jerusalem granting the captured Al Aqsa Mosque to Hugues de Payns
12th-century Knights Hospitaller castle of Krak des Chevaliers in Syria, one of the first castles to use concentric fortification, i.e. concentric rings of defence that could all operate at the same time. It has two curtain walls and sits on a promontory.
William of Tyre writing his history, from a 13th-century Old French translation, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, MS 2631, f.1r

The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period.

Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Battle of Hastings during the Norman Conquest

High Middle Ages

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The period of European history that lasted from around AD 1000 to the 1300s.

The period of European history that lasted from around AD 1000 to the 1300s.

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

An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

Christianity

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Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

An Eastern Christian icon depicting Emperor Constantine and the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325) as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.
Various depictions of Jesus
Crucifixion, representing the death of Jesus on the Cross, painting by Diego Velázquez, c. 1632.
The Law and the Gospel by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1529); Moses and Elijah point the sinner to Jesus for salvation.
The Trinity is the belief that God is one God in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
Midnight Mass at a Catholic parish church in Woodside, New York City, U.S.
Show on the life of Jesus at Igreja da Cidade in São José dos Campos, affiliated to the Brazilian Baptist Convention.
An early circular ichthys symbol, created by combining the Greek letters ΙΧΘΥΣ into a wheel, Ephesus, Asia Minor.
The Bible is the sacred book in Christianity.
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, the largest church in the world and a symbol of the Catholic Church.
The 7th-century Khor Virap monastery in the shadow of Mount Ararat; Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as the state religion, in AD 301.
The Monastery of St. Matthew, located atop Mount Alfaf in northern Iraq, is recognized as one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence.
Kadisha Valley, Lebanon, home to some of the earliest Christian monasteries in the world.
Christendom by A.D. 600 after its spread to Africa and Europe from the Middle East.
An example of Byzantine pictorial art, the Deësis mosaic at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, where he preached the First Crusade. Illustration by Jean Colombe from a copy of the Passages d'outremer, c. 1490.
Martin Luther initiated the Reformation with his Ninety-five Theses in 1517.
Michelangelo's 1498–99 Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica; the Catholic Church was among the patronages of the Renaissance.
A depiction of Madonna and Child in a 19th-century Kakure Kirishitan Japanese woodcut.
A Christian procession in Brazil, the country with the largest Catholic population in the world.
Trinity Sunday in Russia; the Russian Orthodox Church has experienced a great revival since the fall of communism.
The global distribution of Christians: Countries colored a darker shade have a higher proportion of Christians.
Pope Francis, the current leader of the Catholic Church.
St. George's Cathedral in Istanbul: It has been the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople whose leader is regarded as the primus inter pares in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, the seat of the Ethiopian Orthodox.
A 6th-century Nestorian church, St. John the Arab, in the Assyrian village of Geramon in Hakkari, southeastern Turkey.
Saint Mary Church; an ancient Assyrian church located in the city of Urmia, Iran.
A 19th-century drawing of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist. Latter Day Saints believe that the Priesthood ceased to exist after the death of the apostles and therefore needed to be restored.
Unitarian Church of Transylvania in Cluj-Napoca.
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A copy of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, a famous Christian apologetic work.
Christians fleeing their homes in the Ottoman Empire, circa 1922. Many Christians were persecuted and/or killed during the Armenian genocide, Greek genocide, and Assyrian genocide.
Countries with 50% or more Christians are colored purple; countries with 10% to 50% Christians are colored pink
Nations with Christianity as their state religion are in blue
Distribution of Catholics
Distribution of Protestants
Distribution of Eastern Orthodox
Distribution of Oriental Orthodox
Distribution of other Christians
Links between interdenominational movements and other developments within Protestantism
Historical chart of the main Protestant branches
The Cenacle on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, claimed to be the location of the Last Supper and Pentecost.
A folio from Papyrus 46, an early-3rd-century collection of Pauline epistles

Christianity played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization, particularly in Europe from late antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Western Roman Empire

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Used in historiography to describe the period from 286 to 476, where there were separate coequal courts dividing the governance of the empire in the Western and the Eastern provinces, with a distinct imperial succession in the separate courts.

Used in historiography to describe the period from 286 to 476, where there were separate coequal courts dividing the governance of the empire in the Western and the Eastern provinces, with a distinct imperial succession in the separate courts.

The Western Roman Empire in 418 AD, following the abandonment of Britannia and the settlement of the Visigoths, Burgundians and Suebi within imperial territory as foederati
The Roman Republic before the conquests of Octavian
The Western Roman Empire in 418 AD, following the abandonment of Britannia and the settlement of the Visigoths, Burgundians and Suebi within imperial territory as foederati
The Roman Empire in AD 117 at its greatest extent, at the time of Trajan's death (with its vassals in pink)
The Roman, Gallic and Palmyrene Empires in 271 AD
The organization of the Empire under the Tetrarchy
Division of the Roman Empire among the Caesars appointed by Constantine I: from west to east, the territories of Constantine II, Constans I, Dalmatius and Constantius II. After the death of Constantine I (May 337), this was the formal division of the Empire, until Dalmatius was killed and his territory divided between Constans and Constantius.
The division of the Empire after the death of Theodosius I, c. undefined 395 AD, superimposed on modern borders
Solidus of Emperor Honorius
Barbarian invasions and the invasion of usurper Constantine III in the Western Roman Empire during the reign of Honorius, 407–409
Germanic and Hunnic invasions of the Roman Empire, 100–500 AD
Boxwood relief depicting the liberation of a besieged city by a relief force, with those defending the walls making a sortie. Western Roman Empire, early 5th century AD
The Western Roman Empire during the reign of Majorian in 460 AD. During his four-year-long reign from 457 to 461, Majorian restored Western Roman authority in Hispania and most of Gaul. Despite his accomplishments, Roman rule in the west would last less than two more decades.
The Western and Eastern Roman Empire by 476
The city of Ravenna, Western Roman capital, on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a 13th-century medieval map possibly copied from a 4th- or 5th-century Roman original
Map of the Barbarian kingdoms (major kingdoms and the Roman Empire labelled below) of the western Mediterranean in 526, seven years before the campaigns of reconquest under Eastern emperor Justinian I
6th-century Visigothic coin, struck in the name of Emperor Justinian I
Odoacer's Italy in 480 AD, following the annexation of Dalmatia
Solidus minted under Odoacer with the name and portrait of the Eastern emperor Zeno
Map of the realm of Theodoric the Great at its height in 523, following the annexation of the southern parts of the Burgundian kingdom. Theoderic ruled both the Visigothic and Ostrogothic kingdoms and exerted hegemony over the Burgundians and Vandals.
The Eastern Roman Empire, by reoccupying some of the former Western Roman Empire's lands, enlarged its territory considerably during Justinian's reign from 527 (red) to 565 (orange).
Map of the Eastern Roman Empire in 717 AD. Over the course of the seventh and eighth centuries, Islamic expansion had ended Roman rule in Africa and though some bastions of Roman rule remained, most of Italy was controlled by the Lombards.
Romance languages, languages that developed from Latin following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, are spoken in Western Europe to this day, with the exception of Romanian, which developed from the Latin spoken in the eastern provinces and the early Eastern Empire. Their extent in Western Europe almost reflects the continental borders of the old Empire.
Bust of Emperor Maximian, the first Western Roman emperor
Bust of Emperor Constantine I, the founder of the Constantinian dynasty
Bust of Emperor Valentinian II, a member of the Valentinianic dynasty's second generation of emperors
Emperor Honorius, as depicted by Jean-Paul Laurens in 1880
The Roman Republic before the conquests of Octavian

The date of 476 was popularized by the 18th-century British historian Edward Gibbon as a demarcating event for the end of the Western Empire and is sometimes used to mark the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, where he refused to recant his works when asked to by Charles V. (painting from Anton von Werner, 1877, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart)

Reformation

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Major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in particular to papal authority, arising from what were perceived to be errors, abuses, and discrepancies by the Catholic Church.

Major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in particular to papal authority, arising from what were perceived to be errors, abuses, and discrepancies by the Catholic Church.

Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, where he refused to recant his works when asked to by Charles V. (painting from Anton von Werner, 1877, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart)
Martin Luther's 1534 Bible translated into German. Luther's translation influenced the development of the current Standard German.
Erasmus was a Catholic priest who inspired some of the Protestant reformers
Jiří Třanovský (1592–1637), the "Luther of the Slavs" who was active in Bohemia, Moravia, Poland, and Slovakia (Upper Hungary)
Huldrych Zwingli launched the Reformation in Switzerland. Portrait by Hans Asper.
John Calvin was one of the leading figures of the Reformation. His legacy remains in a variety of churches.
The seal of the Diocese of Turku (Finland) during the 16th and 17th centuries featured the finger of St Henry. The post-Reformation diocese included the relic of a pre-Reformation saint in its seal.
Henry VIII broke England's ties with the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the sole head of the English Church.
Thomas Cranmer proved essential in the development of the English Reformation.
Oliver Cromwell was a devout Puritan and military leader, who became Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
John Knox was a leading figure in the Scottish Reformation
Although a Catholic clergyman himself, Cardinal Richelieu allied France with Protestant states.
Saint Bartholomew's Day massacre, painting by François Dubois
Contemporary illustration of the auto-da-fé of Valladolid, in which fourteen Protestants were burned at the stake for their faith, on 21 May 1559
Anabaptist Dirk Willems rescues his pursuer and is subsequently burned at the stake in 1569.
Stephen Bocskay prevented the Holy Roman Emperor from imposing Catholicism on Hungarians.
A devout Catholic, Mary I of England started the first Plantations of Ireland, which, ironically, soon came to be associated with Protestantism.
Waldensian symbol Lux lucet in tenebris ("Light glows in the darkness")
Jan Łaski sought unity between various Christian Churches in the Commonwealth, and participated in the English Reformation.
Reformation in Moldova
Primož Trubar, a Lutheran reformer in Slovenia
Religious fragmentation in Central Europe at the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War (1618).
The Reformation at its peak, superimposed on modern European borders
The Reformation & the Counter-Reformation—both at their end—and superimposed on modern European borders
Treaty of Westphalia allowed Calvinism to be freely exercised, reducing the need for Crypto-Calvinism
Katharina von Bora played a role in shaping social ethics during the Reformation.

It is also considered to be one of the events that signify the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the early modern period in Europe.