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The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the
period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical composition * Period, a descriptor for a historical or period drama ...
of
European history The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of written records. During the Neolith ...
lasting from AD 1250 to 1500. The Late Middle Ages followed the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
and preceded the onset of the
early modern period The early modern period of modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, adve ...
(and in much of Europe, the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
). Around 1300, centuries of prosperity and growth in Europe came to a halt. A series of
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
s and plagues, including the
Great Famine of 1315–1317 The Great Famine of 1315–1317 (occasionally dated 1315–1322) was the first of a series of large-scale crises that struck Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by conve ...
and the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It is the List of epidemics, most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing th ...

Black Death
, reduced the population to around half of what it had been before the calamities. Along with depopulation came social unrest and
endemic warfare __NOTOC__ Endemic warfare is a state of continual or frequent warfare, such as is found in some tribal The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and ...
.
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
and
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
experienced serious peasant uprisings, such as the
Jacquerie The Jacquerie () was a popular revolt in late-medieval Europe, popular revolt by peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial agricultural laborer or a farmer with limited land-ownership, especially one living in the Middle Ages under feudali ...

Jacquerie
and the
Peasants' Revolt The Peasants' Revolt, also named Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black ...
, as well as over a century of intermittent conflict, the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
. To add to the many problems of the period, the unity of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
was temporarily shattered by the
Western Schism The Western Schism, also known as the Papal Schism, the Vatican Standoff, the Great Occidental Schism, or the Schism of 1378 (), was a split within the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is ...
. Collectively, those events are sometimes called the
Crisis of the Late Middle Ages The Crisis of the Late Middle Ages was a series of events in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that ended centuries of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convent ...
. Despite the crises, the 14th century was also a time of great progress in the arts and sciences. Following a renewed interest in ancient
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
and
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...
texts that took root in the High Middle Ages, the
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civi ...
began. The absorption of Latin texts had started before the
Renaissance of the 12th century The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full sto ...
through contact with Arabs during the
Crusades The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...

Crusades
, but the availability of important Greek texts accelerated with the Capture of Constantinople by the
Ottoman Turks The Ottoman Turks (or Osmanlı Turks, tr, Osmanlı Türkleri) were the Turkish language , Turkish-speaking people of the Ottoman Empire ( 1299–1922/1923). Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks remains scarce, but the ...
, when many
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, 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 surviv ...

Byzantine
scholars had to seek refuge in the West, particularly Italy. Combined with this influx of classical ideas was the invention of printing, which facilitated dissemination of the printed word and democratized learning. Those two things would later lead to the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
. Toward the end of the period, the
Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, Age of Contact or Contact Period), is an informal and loosely defined term for the early modern period approximately from the 15th century to the 18th century ...
began. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire cut off trading possibilities with the East. Europeans were forced to seek new trading routes, leading to the Spanish expedition under
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
to the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...

Americas
in 1492 and
Vasco da Gama Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira (, ; ; c. 1460s – 24 December 1524), was a Portugal in the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India by way of Cape of Good Hope (1 ...

Vasco da Gama
’s voyage to Africa and India in 1498. Their discoveries strengthened the economy and power of European nations. The changes brought about by these developments have led many scholars to view this period as the end of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
and the beginning of
modern history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of 's past. It is understood through , , , and , and since the , from and s. Humanity's written history was preceded by its , beginning with the ("Old Stone Age"), followed by the ("New ...
and of
early modern Europe Early modern Europe, also referred to as the post-medieval period, is the period of European history The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past ...
. However, the division is somewhat artificial, since ancient learning was never entirely absent from European society. As a result, there was developmental continuity between the
ancient age
ancient age
(via
classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ...
) and the
modern age Human history, or world history, is the narrative of humanity Humanity most commonly refers to: * Human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, ...
. Some historians, particularly in Italy, prefer not to speak of the Late Middle Ages at all but rather see the high period of the Middle Ages transitioning to the Renaissance and the modern era.


Historiography and periodization

The term "Late Middle Ages" refers to one of the three periods of the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, along with the Early Middle Ages and the High Middle Ages.
Leonardo Bruni 250px, Leonardo Bruni, engraving by Theodor de Bry Leonardo Bruni (or Leonardo Aretino; c. 1370 – March 9, 1444) was an Italians, Italian humanism, humanist, historian and statesman, often recognized as the most important humanist historian of ...

Leonardo Bruni
was the first historian to use tripartite periodization in his ''History of the Florentine People'' (1442).Leonardo Bruni, James Hankins, ''History of the Florentine people'', Volume 1, Books 1–4, (2001), p. xvii.
Flavio Biondo Flavio Biondo (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman R ...

Flavio Biondo
used a similar framework in ''Decades of History from the Deterioration of the Roman Empire'' (1439–1453). Tripartite periodization became standard after the German historian
Christoph Cellarius Christoph (Keller) Cellarius (22 November 1638 – 4 June 1707) was a German classical scholar from Schmalkalden who held positions in Weimar Weimar (; la, Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is ...

Christoph Cellarius
published ''Universal History Divided into an Ancient, Medieval, and New Period'' (1683). For 18th-century historians studying the 14th and 15th centuries, the central theme was the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
, with its rediscovery of ancient learning and the emergence of an individual spirit. The heart of this rediscovery lies in Italy, where, in the words of
Jacob Burckhardt Carl Jacob Christoph Burckhardt (25 May 1818 – 8 August 1897) was a Swiss historian of art and culture and an influential figure in the historiography of both fields. He is known as one of the major progenitors of cultural history. Sigfrie ...
: "Man became a spiritual individual and recognized himself as such". This proposition was later challenged, and it was argued that the 12th century was a period of greater cultural achievement. As economic and demographic methods were applied to the study of history, the trend was increasingly to see the late Middle Ages as a period of recession and crisis.
Belgian Belgian may refer to: * Something of, or related to, Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a contine ...

Belgian
historian
Henri Pirenne Henri Pirenne (; 23 December 1862 – 24 October 1935) was a Belgium, Belgian historian. A Medieval studies, medievalist of Wallonia, Walloon descent, he wrote a multivolume history of Belgium in French and became a prominent public intellectual. ...
continued the subdivision of Early,
High High may refer to: People with the name * High (surname) Science, technology and economics * Height * High (atmospheric), a high-pressure area * High (computability), a quality of a Turing degree, in computability theory * High (technical analy ...
, and Late Middle Ages in the years around
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. Yet it was his
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
colleague,
Johan Huizinga Johan Huizinga (; 7 December 1872 – 1 February 1945) was a Dutch historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and w ...
, who was primarily responsible for popularising the pessimistic view of the Late Middle Ages, with his book ''
The Autumn of the Middle Ages ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identifiability of the referents of the noun phrases. The ca ...
'' (1919). To Huizinga, whose research focused on France and the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe ...
rather than Italy, despair and decline were the main themes, not rebirth. Modern historiography on the period has reached a consensus between the two extremes of innovation and crisis. It is now generally acknowledged that conditions were vastly different north and south of the Alps, and the term "Late Middle Ages" is often avoided entirely within Italian historiography. The term "Renaissance" is still considered useful for describing certain intellectual, cultural, or artistic developments, but not as the defining feature of an entire European historical epoch.Brady ''et al.'', p. xvii. The period from the early 14th century up until – and sometimes including – the 16th century, is rather seen as characterized by other trends: demographic and economic decline followed by recovery, the end of western religious unity and the subsequent emergence of the
nation state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (news ...
, and the expansion of European influence onto the rest of the world.


History

The limits of
Christian Europe Christendom historically refers to the "Christian world": Christian states, Christian-majority countries and the countries in which Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on th ...
were still being defined in the 14th and 15th centuries. While the
Grand Duchy of Moscow The Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovite Russia, Muscovite Rus' or Grand Principality of Moscow (russian: Великое княжество Московское, Velikoye knyazhestvo Moskovskoye; also known in simply as Muscovy from the ) was a ...
was beginning to repel the
Mongols The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...
, and the
Iberian Iberian refers to Iberia (disambiguation), Iberia. Most commonly Iberian refers to: *Someone or something originating in the Iberian Peninsula, namely from Spain, Portugal and Andorra. The term ''Iberian'' is also used to refer to anything pertain ...

Iberian
kingdoms completed the
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
of the peninsula and turned their attention outwards, the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather ...

Balkans
fell under the dominance of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
.For references, see below. Meanwhile, the remaining nations of the continent were locked in almost constant international or internal conflict. The situation gradually led to the consolidation of central authority and the emergence of the
nation state A nation state is a political unit where the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (news ...
.Brady et al., p. xvii; Jones, p. 21. The financial demands of war necessitated higher levels of taxation, resulting in the emergence of representative bodies – most notably the
English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who u ...
. The growth of secular authority was further aided by the decline of the papacy with the
Western Schism The Western Schism, also known as the Papal Schism, the Vatican Standoff, the Great Occidental Schism, or the Schism of 1378 (), was a split within the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is ...
and the coming of the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
.


Northern Europe

:''Main articles:
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...
,
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...
,
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...
'' After the failed union of
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
and
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
of 1319–1365, the pan-Scandinavian
Kalmar Union The Kalmar Union (Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestr ...
was instituted in 1397. The Swedes were reluctant members of the
Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestral or ethnic identity * Danis ...

Danish
-dominated union from the start. In an attempt to subdue the Swedes, King
Christian II of Denmark Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jes ...

Christian II of Denmark
had large numbers of the Swedish aristocracy killed in the
Stockholm Bloodbath The Stockholm Bloodbath ( Swedish: ''Stockholms blodbad'', Danish: ''Det Stockholmske Blodbad'') was a trial that led to a series of executions in Stockholm Stockholm is the Capital city, capital of Sweden. It has the most populous urban ...

Stockholm Bloodbath
of 1520. Yet this measure only led to further hostilities, and Sweden broke away for good in 1523. Norway, on the other hand, became an inferior party of the union and remained united with Denmark until 1814.
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#N ...

Iceland
benefited from its relative isolation and was the last
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sa ...

Scandinavia
n country to be struck by the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It is the List of epidemics, most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing th ...

Black Death
. Meanwhile, the Norse colony in
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
died out, probably under extreme weather conditions in the 15th century. These conditions might have been the effect of the
Little Ice Age The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling that occurred after the Medieval Warm Period The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) also known as the Medieval Climate Optimum, or Medieval Climatic Anomaly was a time of warm climate Climate is the ...
.


Northwest Europe

The death of
Alexander III of Scotland Alexander III (Scottish Gaelic language, Medieval Gaelic: ''Alaxandair mac Alaxandair''; Modern Gaelic: ''Alasdair mac Alasdair'') (4 September 1241 – 19 March 1286) was King of Scots from 1249 until his death. He concluded the Treaty of Perth, ...
in 1286 threw the country into a succession crisis, and the English king,
Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots ( la, Malleus Scotorum), was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England ...

Edward I
, was brought in to arbitrate. Edward claimed overlordship over Scotland, leading to the
Wars of Scottish Independence The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. The First War of Scottish Independence, First War (1296–1328) ...
. The English were eventually defeated, and the Scots were able to develop a stronger state under the
StewartsStewart's or Stewarts can refer to: *Stewart's Fountain Classics, brand of soft drink **Stewart's Restaurants, chain of restaurants where the soft drink was originally sold *Stewart's wilt, bacterial disease affecting maize *Stewart's (department st ...

Stewarts
. From 1337, England's attention was largely directed towards France in the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
. victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 briefly paved the way for a unification of the two kingdoms, but his son
Henry VIHenry VI may refer to: * Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (1165–1197) * Henry VI, Count Palatine of the Rhine (ruled 1212–1214) * Henry VI, Count of Luxembourg (crowned 1281, died 1288) * Henry VI the Older (before 1345 – 1393) * Henry VI, Count o ...

Henry VI
soon squandered all previous gains. The loss of France led to discontent at home. Soon after the end of the war in 1453, the dynastic struggles of the
Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses were a series of fifteenth-century English civil wars for control of the throne of England, fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, represented by a ...
(c. 1455–1485) began, involving the rival dynasties of the
House of Lancaster The House of Lancaster was a cadet branch of the royal House of Plantagenet. The first house was created when King Henry III of England created the Earldom of Lancasterfrom which the house was namedfor his second son Edmund Crouchback in 126 ...
and
House of York The House of York was a cadet branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet The House of Plantagenet () was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The name Plantagenet is used by modern historians to ident ...
. The war ended in the accession of
Henry VIIHenry VII may refer to: * Henry VII of England (1457–1509), King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1485 until his death in 1509; the founder of the House of Tudor * Henry VII, Duke of Bavaria (died 1047), count of Luxembourg (as Henry II) from 1 ...
of the
Tudor Tudor most commonly refers to: * House of Tudor, English royal house of Welsh origins ** Tudor period, a historical era in England coinciding with the rule of the Tudor dynasty Tudor may also refer to: Architecture * Tudor architecture, the fi ...
family, who continued the work started by the Yorkist kings of building a strong, centralized monarchy. While England's attention was thus directed elsewhere, the
Hiberno-Norman From the 12th century onwards, a group of Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from Norsemen, Norse Vikings ...
lords in
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
were becoming gradually more assimilated into Irish society, and the island was allowed to develop virtual independence under English overlordship.


Western Europe

:''Main articles:
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...
,
Burgundy Burgundy (; french: link=no, Bourgogne ) is a historical territory and a former administrative region Administration may refer to: Management of organizations * Management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organizati ...

Burgundy
,
Burgundian Netherlands In the history of the Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowl ...
'' The
House of Valois The House of Valois ( , also , ) was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet The House of Capet (french: Maison capétienne) or the Direct Capetians (''Capétiens directs''), also called the House of F ...
, which followed the
House of Capet The House of Capet (french: Maison capétienne) or the Direct Capetians (''Capétiens directs''), also called the House of France (''la maison de France''), or simply the Capets, ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328. It was the most s ...
in 1328, was at its outset marginalized in its own country, first by the English invading forces of the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
, and later by the powerful
Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, Ducatus Burgundiae; french: Duché de Bourgogne, ) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the ancient Kingdom of the Burgundians The Kingdom of the Burgundians or First Kingdom of Burgundy was establ ...

Duchy of Burgundy
. The emergence of
Joan of Arc Joan of Arc (french: link=no, Jeanne d’Arc, translit= an daʁk; 1412 – 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" (french: link=no, La Pucelle d'Orléans) or "Maid of Lorraine prophecies, Maid of Lorraine" (french: link=no, ...

Joan of Arc
as a military leader changed the course of war in favour of the French, and the initiative was carried further by King
Louis XI Louis XI (3 July 1423 – 30 August 1483), called "Louis the Prudent" (french: le Prudent), was King of France from 1461 to 1483. He succeeded his father, Charles VII of France, Charles VII. Louis entered into open rebellion against his father i ...

Louis XI
. Meanwhile,
Charles the Bold 260px, Double Briquet, struck under Charles the Bold in Bruges, 1475 Charles I (Charles Martin; german: Karl Martin; nl, Karel Maarten; 10 November 1433 – 5 January 1477), nicknamed the Bold (german: der Kühne; nl, de Stoute; frenc ...

Charles the Bold
,
Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy (french: duc de Bourgogne) was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, Ducatus Burgundiae; french: Duché de Bourgogne, ) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the an ...
, met resistance in his attempts to consolidate his possessions, particularly from the
Swiss Confederation , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal s ...
formed in 1291. When Charles was killed in the
Burgundian Wars The Burgundian Wars (1474–1477) were a conflict between the Burgundian State and the Old Swiss Confederacy and its allies. Open war broke out in 1474, and the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, was defeated three times on the battlefield in the ...
at the
Battle of Nancy The Battle of Nancy was the final and decisive battle of the Burgundian Wars, fought outside the walls of Nancy on 5 January 1477 by Charles the Bold 260px, Double Briquet, struck under Charles the Bold in Bruges, 1475 Charles (Charles ...
in 1477, the
Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, Ducatus Burgundiae; french: Duché de Bourgogne, ) emerged in the 9th century as one of the successors of the ancient Kingdom of the Burgundians The Kingdom of the Burgundians or First Kingdom of Burgundy was establ ...

Duchy of Burgundy
was reclaimed by France. At the same time, the
County of Burgundy The Free County of Burgundy or Franche-Comté (french: Franche Comté de Bourgogne; german: Freigrafschaft Burgund) was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the st ...
and the wealthy
Burgundian Netherlands In the history of the Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowl ...
came into the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
under
Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de Habsburgo ; hu, Habsburg-család), also known as the House of Austria (german: link=no, Haus Österreich; es, link=no, Casa de Austria), ...

Habsburg
control, setting up conflict for centuries to come.


Central Europe

:''Main articles:
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city l ...
'', ''
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic gr ...
'', ''
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...
'', ''
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...
'', ''
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...
'', ''
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
''
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic gr ...

Bohemia
prospered in the 14th century, and the
Golden Bull of 1356 The Golden Bull of 1356 (, , , ) was a decree issued by the Imperial Diet at Nuremberg and Metz Metz ( , , ; lat, Divodurum Mediomatricorum, then ) is a city in northeast France located at the confluence of the Moselle (river), Moselle and t ...

Golden Bull of 1356
made the king of Bohemia first among the imperial electors, but the
Hussite revolution The Hussite Wars, also called the Bohemian Wars or the Hussite Revolution, were a series of wars fought between the Christian Hussites and the combined Catholic forces of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, the Papacy, E ...
threw the country into crisis. The
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
passed to the
Habsburg The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de Habsburgo ; hu, Habsburg-család), also known as the House of Austria (german: link=no, Haus Österreich; es, link=no, Casa de Austria), ...

Habsburg
s in 1438, where it remained until its dissolution in 1806. Yet in spite of the extensive territories held by the Habsburgs, the Empire itself remained fragmented, and much real power and influence lay with the individual principalities. In addition, financial institutions, such as the
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=Modern German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language German (: , ) is a mainly spoken in . It is the most widely ...
and the
Fugger Fugger () is a German upper bourgeois Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of me ...
family, held great power, on both economic and political levels. The kingdom of
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
experienced a golden age during the 14th century. In particular the reigns of the
Angevin Angevin or House of Anjou may refer to: *Anjou, a historic province in western France **Angevin (language), the traditional langue d'oïl spoken in Anjou **Counts and Dukes of Anjou *House of Ingelger, a Frankish noble family who were counts of Anjo ...
kings
Charles Robert Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early med ...

Charles Robert
(1308–42) and his son
Louis the GreatLouis may refer to: * Louis (given name), origin and several individuals with this name * Louis (surname) * Louis (coin) * HMS ''Louis'', two ships of the Royal Navy See also Derived or associated terms * Lewis (disambiguation) * Louie (disam ...

Louis the Great
(1342–82) were marked by success. The country grew wealthy as the main European supplier of gold and silver. Louis the Great led successful campaigns from Lithuania to Southern Italy, and from Poland to Northern Greece. He had the greatest military potential of the 14th century with his enormous armies (often over 100,000 men). Meanwhile,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...
's attention was turned eastwards, as the
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...
with
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...

Lithuania
created an enormous entity in the region. The union, and the conversion of Lithuania, also marked the end of
paganism Paganism (from classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin language Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, includ ...
in Europe. Louis did not leave a son as heir after his death in 1382. Instead, he named as his heir the young prince
Sigismund of LuxemburgSigismund (variants: Sigmund, Siegmund) is a German proper name, meaning "protection through victory", from Old High German ''sigu'' "victory" + ''munt'' "hand, protection". Tacitus latinises it '' Segimundus''. There appears to be an older form ...
. The Hungarian nobility did not accept his claim, and the result was an internal war. Sigismund eventually achieved total control of Hungary and established his court in Buda and Visegrád. Both palaces were rebuilt and improved, and were considered the richest of the time in Europe. Inheriting the throne of Bohemia and the Holy Roman Empire, Sigismund continued conducting his politics from Hungary, but he was kept busy fighting the
Hussites The Hussites ( cs, Husité or ''Kališníci''; "Chalice People") were a Czech Proto-Protestant Proto-Protestantism, also called pre-Protestantism or pre-Reformation movements, refers to individuals and movements that propagated ideas similar ...

Hussites
and the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, which was becoming a menace to Europe in the beginning of the 15th century. The King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary led the largest army of mercenaries of the time, The
Black Army of Hungary The Black Army ( hu, Fekete sereg, pronounced ), also called the Black Legion/Regiment – possibly after their black armor panoply – is a common name given to the military forces serving under the reign of King Matthias Corvinus Matthias C ...
, which he used to conquer
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic gr ...

Bohemia
and
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastli ...

Austria
and to fight the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. After Italy, Hungary was the first European country where the Renaissance appeared. However, the glory of the Kingdom ended in the early 16th century, when the King
Louis II of Hungary Louis II ( cs, Ludvík, hr, Ludovik , hu, Lajos, sk, Ľudovít; 1 July 1506 – 29 August 1526) was King of Hungary The King of Hungary ( hu, magyar király) was the Monarchy, ruling head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 (or 1001) ...
was killed in the
battle of Mohács The Battle of Mohács (; hu, Mohácsi csata, tr, Mohaç Muharebesi) was one of the most consequential battles in Central European history. It was fought on 29 August 1526 near Mohács, Kingdom of Hungary The Kingdom of Hungary was a mon ...

battle of Mohács
in 1526 against the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. Hungary then fell into a serious crisis and was invaded, ending its significance in central Europe during the medieval era.


Eastern Europe

The state of
Kievan Rus' Kievan Rus' ( orv, , Rusĭ, or , , "Rus' land") or Kyivan Rus', was a loose federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a ...
fell during the 13th century in the
Mongol invasion The Mongol invasions and conquests took place during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating history's largest contiguous empire - The Mongol Empire, which by 1300 covered large parts of Eurasia. Historians regard the Mongol devastation as one of ...
. The
Grand Duchy of Moscow The Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovite Russia, Muscovite Rus' or Grand Principality of Moscow (russian: Великое княжество Московское, Velikoye knyazhestvo Moskovskoye; also known in simply as Muscovy from the ) was a ...
rose in power thereafter, winning a great victory against the
Golden Horde The Golden Horde, self-designated as Ulug Ulus, 'Great State' in Turkic, was originally a Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an ethnic group to the , and the of Russia. ...
at the
Battle of Kulikovo :''For the opera 'The Battle of Kulikovo' see '' The Battle of Kulikovo (russian: Мамаево побоище, Донское побоище, Куликовская битва, битва на Куликовом поле) was fought between th ...
in 1380. The victory did not end Tartar rule in the region, however, and its immediate beneficiary was the
Grand Duchy of Lithuania The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state that lasted from the 13th century to 1795, when the territory was among the , the , and the . The state was founded by , who were at the time a nation born from several united from . The Grand ...

Grand Duchy of Lithuania
, which extended its influence eastwards. Under the reign of
Ivan the Great Ivan III Vasilyevich (russian: Иван III Васильевич; 22 January 1440, Moscow – 27 October 1505, Moscow), also known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Duchy of Moscow, Grand Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of all Names of Rus', Russ ...

Ivan the Great
(1462–1505), Moscow became a major regional power, and the annexation of the vast Republic of Novgorod in 1478 laid the foundations for a Russian national state. After the
Fall of Constantinople The fall of Constantinople ( grc-x-byzant, Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως , translit=Hálōsis tē̂s Kōnstantīnoupóleōs ; tr, İstanbul'un Fethi, lit=Conquest of Istanbul ) was the capture of the capital Cap ...
in 1453 the Russian princes started to see themselves as the heirs of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
. They eventually took on the imperial title of
Tsar Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a Royal and noble ranks, title used to designate Orthodox Slavs, East and South Slavic monarchs. In this last capacity it lends its name to a system of government, tsarist autocra ...

Tsar
, and Moscow was described as the
Third Rome The continuation, succession and revival of the Roman Empire is a running theme of the history of Europe and the Mediterranean region. It reflects the lasting memories of power and prestige associated with the Roman Empire itself. Several polit ...
.


Southeast Europe

:''Main articles:
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
,
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a par ...
'' The Byzantine Empire had for a long time dominated the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean in politics and culture. By the 14th century, however, it had almost entirely collapsed into a tributary state of the Ottoman Empire, centered on the city of Constantinople and a few enclaves in Greece. With the
Fall of Constantinople The fall of Constantinople ( grc-x-byzant, Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως , translit=Hálōsis tē̂s Kōnstantīnoupóleōs ; tr, İstanbul'un Fethi, lit=Conquest of Istanbul ) was the capture of the capital Cap ...
in 1453, the Byzantine Empire was permanently extinguished. The Second Bulgarian Empire, Bulgarian Empire was in decline by the 14th century, and the ascendancy of Serbia was marked by the Serbian victory over the Bulgarians in the Battle of Velbazhd in 1330. By 1346, the Serbian king Stefan Dušan had been proclaimed emperor. Yet Serbian dominance was short-lived; the Serbian army led by the Lazar Hrebljevanovic was defeated by the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, where most of the Serbian nobility was killed and the south of the country came under Ottoman occupation, as much of southern Bulgaria had become Ottoman territory Battle of Maritsa, in 1371.Hollister, p. 360; Koenigsberger, p. 339. Northern remnants of Bulgaria were finally conquered by 1396, Serbia fell in 1459, Bosnia in 1463, and Albania was finally subordinated in 1479 only a few years after the death of Skanderbeg. Belgrade, a Hungarian domain at the time, was the last large Balkan city to fall under Ottoman rule, in 1521. By the end of the medieval period, the entire Balkans, Balkan peninsula was annexed by, or became vassal to, the Ottomans.


Southwest Europe

:''Main articles: Italy in the Middle Ages, Italy'', ''Crown of Aragon'', ''Spain in the Middle Ages, Spain'', ''History of Portugal, Portugal'' Avignon was the seat of the Pope, papacy from 1309 to 1376. With the return of the Pope to Rome in 1378, the Papal State developed into a major secular power, culminating in the morally corrupt papacy of Pope Alexander VI, Alexander VI. Florence grew to prominence amongst the Italian city-states through financial business, and the dominant Medici family became important promoters of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
through their patronage of the arts. Other city states in northern Italy also expanded their territories and consolidated their power, primarily Milan, Venice and Genoa. The War of the Sicilian Vespers had by the early 14th century divided southern Italy into an House of Trastámara, Aragon Kingdom of Sicily and an House of Valois-Anjou, Anjou Kingdom of Naples. In 1442, the two kingdoms were effectively united under Aragonese control. The 1469 marriage of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon and the 1479 death of John II of Aragon led to the creation of modern-day Spain. In 1492, Granada was captured from the Moors, thereby completing the
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
. Portugal had during the 15th century – particularly under Henry the Navigator – gradually explored the coast of Africa, and in 1498,
Vasco da Gama Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira (, ; ; c. 1460s – 24 December 1524), was a Portugal in the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India by way of Cape of Good Hope (1 ...

Vasco da Gama
found the sea route to India. The Spanish monarchs met the Portuguese challenge by financing the expedition of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
to find a western sea route to India, leading to the discovery of the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...

Americas
in 1492.


Late Medieval European society

Around 1300–1350 the Medieval Warm Period gave way to the
Little Ice Age The Little Ice Age (LIA) was a period of cooling that occurred after the Medieval Warm Period The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) also known as the Medieval Climate Optimum, or Medieval Climatic Anomaly was a time of warm climate Climate is the ...
. The colder climate resulted in agricultural crises, the first of which is known as the Great Famine of 1315-1317. The demographic consequences of this
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
, however, were not as severe as the pandemic, plagues that occurred later in the century, particularly the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It is the List of epidemics, most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing th ...

Black Death
. Estimates of the death rate caused by this epidemic range from one third to as much as sixty percent. By around 1420, the accumulated effect of recurring plagues and famines had reduced the population of Europe to perhaps no more than a third of what it was a century earlier. The effects of natural disasters were exacerbated by armed conflicts; this was particularly the case in France during the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
. It took 150 years for the European population to regain similar levels of 1300. As the European population was severely reduced, land became more plentiful for the survivors, and labour consequently more expensive. Attempts by landowners to forcibly reduce wages, such as the English 1351 Statute of Laborers, were doomed to fail. These efforts resulted in nothing more than fostering resentment among the peasantry, leading to rebellions such as the French
Jacquerie The Jacquerie () was a popular revolt in late-medieval Europe, popular revolt by peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial agricultural laborer or a farmer with limited land-ownership, especially one living in the Middle Ages under feudali ...

Jacquerie
in 1358 and the English English peasants' revolt of 1381, Peasants' Revolt in 1381. The long-term effect was the virtual end of serfdom in Western Europe. In Eastern Europe, on the other hand, landowners were able to exploit the situation to force the peasantry into even more repressive bondage. The upheavals caused by the Black Death left certain minority groups particularly vulnerable, especially the Jews, who were often blamed for the calamities. Anti-Jewish pogroms were carried out all over Europe; in February 1349, 2,000 Jews were murdered in Strasbourg. States were also guilty of discrimination against the Jews. Monarchs gave in to the demands of the people, and the Jews were expelled from England in 1290, from France in 1306, from Spain in 1492, and from Portugal in 1497. While the Jews were suffering persecution, one group that probably experienced increased empowerment in the Late Middle Ages was women. The great social changes of the period opened up new possibilities for women in the fields of commerce, learning and religion.Klapisch-Zuber, p. 268. Yet at the same time, women were also vulnerable to incrimination and persecution, as belief in witchcraft increased. Up until the mid-14th century, Europe had experienced steadily increasing urbanisation. Cities were also decimated by the Black Death, but the role of urban areas as centres of learning, commerce and government ensured continued growth. By 1500, Venice, Milan, Naples, Paris and Constantinople each probably had more than 100,000 inhabitants.Allmand (1998), p. 125 Twenty-two other cities were larger than 40,000; most of these were in Italy and the Iberian peninsula, but there were also some in France, the Empire, the Low Countries, plus London in England.


Military history

Through battles such as Battle of the Golden Spurs, Courtrai (1302), Battle of Bannockburn, Bannockburn (1314), and Battle of Morgarten, Morgarten (1315), it became clear to the great territorial princes of Europe that the military advantage of the feudal cavalry was lost, and that a well equipped Infantry in the Middle Ages, infantry was preferable. Through the Wales in the Late Middle Ages, Welsh Wars the English became acquainted with, and adopted, the highly efficient English longbow, longbow. Once properly managed, this weapon gave them a great advantage over the French in the Hundred Years' War. The introduction of Black powder, gunpowder affected the conduct of war significantly. Though employed by the English as early as the Battle of Crécy in 1346, firearms initially had little effect in the field of battle. It was through the use of cannons as Siege engine, siege weapons that major change was brought about; the new methods would eventually change the architectural structure of fortifications. Changes also took place within the recruitment and composition of armies. The use of the Conscription, national or feudal levy was gradually replaced by paid troops of domestic retinues or foreign Mercenary, mercenaries. The practice was associated with Edward III of England and the condottieri of the Italian city-states. All over Europe, Switzerland, Swiss Swiss Mercenaries, soldiers were in particularly high demand. At the same time, the period also saw the emergence of the first permanent armies. It was in House of Valois, Valois France, under the heavy demands of the Hundred Years' War, that the armed forces gradually assumed a permanent nature. Parallel to the military developments emerged also a constantly more elaborate Chivalry, chivalric code of conduct for the warrior class. This new-found ethos can be seen as a response to the diminishing military role of the aristocracy, and gradually it became almost entirely detached from its military origin. The spirit of chivalry was given expression through the new (secular) type of chivalric orders; the first of these was the Order of Saint George (Kingdom of Hungary), Order of St. George, founded by Charles I of Hungary in 1325, while the best known was probably the English Order of the Garter, founded by Edward III in 1348.


Christian conflict and reform


The Papal Schism

The French crown's increasing dominance over the Papacy culminated in the transference of the Holy See to Avignon in 1309. When the Pope returned to Rome in 1377, this led to the election of different popes in Avignon and Rome, resulting in the Western Schism, Papal Schism (1378–1417). The Schism divided Europe along political lines; while France, her ally Scotland and the Spanish kingdoms supported the Avignon Papacy, France's enemy England stood behind the Pope in Rome, together with Portugal, Scandinavia and most of the German princes. At the Council of Constance (1414–1418), the Papacy was once more united in Rome. Even though the unity of the Western Church was to last for another hundred years, and though the Papacy was to experience greater material prosperity than ever before, the Great Schism had done irreparable damage. The internal struggles within the Church had impaired her claim to universal rule, and promoted anti-clericalism among the people and their rulers, paving the way for reform movements.


Protestant Reformation

Though many of the events were outside the traditional time period of the Middle Ages, the end of the unity of the Western Church (the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
), was one of the distinguishing characteristics of the medieval period. The
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
had long fought against heretic movements, but during the Late Middle Ages, it started to experience demands for reform from within. The first of these came from University of Oxford, Oxford professor John Wycliffe in England. Wycliffe held that the Bible should be the only authority in religious questions, and he spoke out against transubstantiation, celibacy and indulgences. In spite of influential supporters among the English language, English aristocracy, such as John of Gaunt, the movement was not allowed to survive. Though Wycliffe himself was left unmolested, his supporters, the Lollards, were eventually suppressed in England. The marriage of Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia established contacts between the two nations and brought Lollard ideas to her homeland. The teachings of the Czech lands, Czech priest Jan Hus were based on those of John Wycliffe, yet his followers, the
Hussites The Hussites ( cs, Husité or ''Kališníci''; "Chalice People") were a Czech Proto-Protestant Proto-Protestantism, also called pre-Protestantism or pre-Reformation movements, refers to individuals and movements that propagated ideas similar ...

Hussites
, were to have a much greater political impact than the Lollards. Hus gained a great following in
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic gr ...

Bohemia
, and in 1414, he was requested to appear at the Council of Constance to defend his cause. When he was burned as a heretic in 1415, it caused a popular uprising in the Czech lands. The subsequent Hussite Wars fell apart due to internal quarrels and did not result in religious or national independence for the Czechs, but both the Catholic Church and the German element within the country were weakened. Martin Luther, a German monk, started the German Reformation by posting 95 theses on the castle church of Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. The immediate provocation spurring this act was Pope Leo X’s renewal of the indulgence for the building of the new St. Peter's Basilica in 1514. Luther was challenged to recant his heresy at the Diet of Worms in 1521. When he refused, he was placed under the ban of the Empire by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V. Receiving the protection of Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, Frederick the Wise, he was then able to translate the Bible into German language, German. To many secular rulers the Protestant reformation was a welcome opportunity to expand their wealth and influence. The Catholic Church met the challenges of the reforming movements with what has been called the Catholic Reformation, or Counter-Reformation. Europe became split into northern Protestant and southern Catholic parts, resulting in the Religious Wars of the 16th and 17th centuries.


Trade and commerce

The increasingly dominant position of the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean presented an impediment to trade for the Christian nations of the west, who in turn started looking for alternatives. Portuguese and Spanish explorers found new trade routes – south of Africa to India, and across the Atlantic Ocean to Americas, America. As Genoa, Genoese and Venice, Venetian merchants opened up direct sea routes with Flanders, the Champagne fairs lost much of their importance. At the same time, English wool export shifted from raw wool to processed cloth, resulting in losses for the cloth manufacturers of the Low Countries. In the Baltic Sea, Baltic and North Sea, the
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=Modern German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language German (: , ) is a mainly spoken in . It is the most widely ...
reached the peak of their power in the 14th century, but started going into decline in the fifteenth. In the late 13th and early 14th centuries, a process took place – primarily in Italy but partly also in the Empire – that historians have termed a "commercial revolution". Among the innovations of the period were new forms of Corporation, partnership and the issuing of insurance, both of which contributed to reducing the risk of commercial ventures; the Negotiable instrument#Bill of exchange, bill of exchange and other forms of credit that circumvented the Canon law, canonical laws for gentiles against usury and eliminated the dangers of carrying Precious metal, bullion; and new forms of accounting, in particular Double-entry bookkeeping system, double-entry bookkeeping, which allowed for better oversight and accuracy. With the financial expansion, trading rights became more jealously guarded by the commercial elite. Towns saw the growing power of guilds, while on a national level special companies would be granted monopolies on particular trades, like the English wool The staple, Staple. The beneficiaries of these developments would accumulate immense wealth. Families like the
Fugger Fugger () is a German upper bourgeois Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of me ...
s in Germany, the Medicis in Italy, the Duke of Suffolk, de la Poles in England, and individuals like Jacques Coeur in France would help finance the wars of kings, and achieve great political influence in the process. Though there is no doubt that the demographic crisis of the 14th century caused a dramatic fall in production and commerce in ''absolute'' terms, there has been a vigorous historical debate over whether the decline was greater than the fall in population. While the older orthodoxy held that the artistic output of the Renaissance was a result of greater opulence, more recent studies have suggested that there might have been a so-called 'depression of the Renaissance'. In spite of convincing arguments for the case, the statistical evidence is simply too incomplete for a definite conclusion to be made.


Arts and sciences

In the 14th century, the predominant academic trend of scholasticism was challenged by the Renaissance humanism, humanist movement. Though primarily an attempt to revitalise the classical languages, the movement also led to innovations within the fields of science, art and literature, helped on by impulses from
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, 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 surviv ...

Byzantine
scholars who had to seek refuge in the west after the
Fall of Constantinople The fall of Constantinople ( grc-x-byzant, Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως , translit=Hálōsis tē̂s Kōnstantīnoupóleōs ; tr, İstanbul'un Fethi, lit=Conquest of Istanbul ) was the capture of the capital Cap ...
in 1453. In science, classical authorities like Aristotle were challenged for the first time since antiquity. Within the arts, humanism took the form of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
. Though the 15th-century Renaissance was a highly localised phenomenon – limited mostly to the city states of northern Italy – artistic developments were taking place also further north, particularly in the Netherlands.


Philosophy, science and technology

The predominant school of thought in the 13th century was the Thomism, Thomistic reconciliation of the teachings of Aristotle with Christian theology. The Condemnations (University of Paris)#Condemnation of 1277, Condemnation of 1277, enacted at the University of Paris, placed restrictions on ideas that could be interpreted as heretical; restrictions that had implication for Aristotelianism, Aristotelian thought. An alternative was presented by William of Ockham, following the manner of the earlier Franciscan John Duns Scotus, who insisted that the world of reason and the world of faith had to be kept apart. Ockham introduced the principle of parsimony – or Occam's razor – whereby a simple theory is preferred to a more complex one, and speculation on unobservable phenomena is avoided. This maxim is, however, often misquoted. Occam was referring to his nominalism in this quotation. Essentially saying the theory of absolutes, or metaphysical realism, was unnecessary to make sense of the world. This new approach liberated scientific speculation from the dogmatic restraints of Aristotelian science, and paved the way for new approaches. Particularly within the field of theories of Motion (physics), motion great advances were made, when such scholars as Jean Buridan, Nicole Oresme and the Oxford Calculators challenged the work of Aristotle. Buridan developed the theory of ''impetus'' as the cause of the motion of projectiles, which was an important step towards the modern concept of inertia. The works of these scholars anticipated the Heliocentrism, heliocentric worldview of Nicolaus Copernicus. Certain technological inventions of the period – whether of Arab or China, Chinese origin, or unique European innovations – were to have great influence on political and social developments, in particular gunpowder, the printing press and the compass. The introduction of gunpowder to the field of battle affected not only military organisation, but helped advance the nation state. Johann Gutenberg, Gutenberg's movable type printing press made possible not only the Protestant Reformation, Reformation, but also a dissemination of knowledge that would lead to a gradually more egalitarian society. The compass, along with other innovations such as the cross-staff, the mariner's astrolabe, and advances in shipbuilding, enabled the navigation of the World Oceans, and the early phases of colonialism. Other inventions had a greater impact on everyday life, such as Glasses, eyeglasses and the weight-driven clock.


Visual arts and architecture

A precursor to
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
art can be seen already in the early 14th-century works of Giotto di Bondone, Giotto. Giotto was the first painter since antiquity to attempt the representation of a three-dimensional reality, and to endow his characters with true human emotions. The most important developments, however, came in 15th-century Florence. The affluence of the merchant class allowed extensive patronage of the arts, and foremost among the patrons were the Medici. The period saw several important technical innovations, like the principle of Perspective (graphical), linear perspective found in the work of Masaccio, and later described by Filippo Brunelleschi, Brunelleschi. Greater realism was also achieved through the scientific study of anatomy, championed by artists like Donatello. This can be seen particularly well in his sculptures, inspired by the study of classical models. As the centre of the movement shifted to Rome, the period culminated in the High Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci, da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. The ideas of the Italian Renaissance were slow to cross the Alps into northern Europe, but important artistic innovations were made also in the Low Countries. Though not – as previously believed – the inventor of oil painting, Jan van Eyck was a champion of the new medium, and used it to create works of great realism and minute detail. The two cultures influenced each other and learned from each other, but painting in the Netherlands remained more focused on textures and surfaces than the idealized compositions of Italy. In northern European countries Gothic architecture remained the norm, and the gothic cathedral was further elaborated. In Italy, on the other hand, architecture took a different direction, also here inspired by classical ideals. The crowning work of the period was the Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, with Giotto's clock tower, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Ghiberti's baptistery gates, and Filippo Brunelleschi, Brunelleschi's cathedral dome of unprecedented proportions.


Literature

The most important development of late medieval literature was the ascendancy of the vernacular languages. The vernacular had been in use in England since the 8th century and France since the 11th century, where the most popular genres had been the chanson de geste, troubadour lyrics and romantic epics, or the Romance (heroic literature), romance. Though Italy was later in evolving a native literature in the vernacular language, it was here that the most important developments of the period were to come. Dante Alighieri's ''The Divine Comedy, Divine Comedy'', written in the early 14th century, merged a medieval world view with classical ideals. Another promoter of the Italian language was Giovanni Boccaccio, Boccaccio with his ''The Decameron, Decameron''. The application of the vernacular did not entail a rejection of Latin, and both Dante and Boccaccio wrote prolifically in Latin as well as Italian, as would Petrarch later (whose ''Il Canzoniere, Canzoniere'' also promoted the vernacular and whose contents are considered the first modern lyric poems). Together the three poets established the Tuscan dialect as the norm for the modern Italian language. The new literary style spread rapidly, and in France influenced such writers as Eustache Deschamps and Guillaume de Machaut. In England Geoffrey Chaucer helped establish Middle English as a literary language with his ''The Canterbury Tales, Canterbury Tales'', which contained a wide variety of narrators and stories (including some translated from Boccaccio). The spread of vernacular literature eventually reached as far as Bohemia, and the Baltic, Slavic and Byzantine worlds.


Music

Music was an important part of both secular and spiritual culture, and in the universities it made up part of the ''quadrivium'' of the liberal arts. From the early 13th century, the dominant sacred musical form had been the motet; a composition with text in several parts. From the 1330s and onwards, emerged the Polyphony, polyphonic style, which was a more complex fusion of independent voices. Polyphony had been common in the secular music of the Provence, Provençal troubadours. Many of these had fallen victim to the 13th-century Albigensian Crusade, but their influence reached the papal court at Avignon. The main representatives of the new style, often referred to as ''ars nova'' as opposed to the ''ars antiqua'', were the composers Philippe de Vitry and Guillaume de Machaut. In Italy, where the Provençal troubadours had also found refuge, the corresponding period goes under the name of Music of the Trecento, trecento, and the leading composers were Giovanni da Cascia, Jacopo da Bologna and Francesco Landini. Prominent reformer of Orthodox Church music from the first half of 14th century was John Kukuzelis; he also introduced a system of notation widely used in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather ...

Balkans
in the following centuries.


Theatre

In the British Isles, plays were produced in some 127 different towns during the Middle Ages. These vernacular Mystery plays were written in cycles of a large number of plays: York Mystery Plays, York (48 plays), Chester Mystery Plays, Chester (24), Wakefield Mystery Plays, Wakefield (32) and N-Town Plays, Unknown (42). A larger number of plays survive from
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Western Europe and Overseas France, overseas regions and territories in the Ame ...

France
and Germany in this period and some type of religious dramas were performed in nearly every European country in the Late Middle Ages. Many of these plays contained comedy, devils, villains and clowns.Brockett and Hildy (2003, 86) Morality plays emerged as a distinct dramatic form around 1400 and flourished until 1550, an example being ''The Castle of Perseverance'', which depicts Human, mankind's progress from birth to death. Another famous morality play is ''Everyman (play), Everyman''. Everyman receives Death's summons, struggles to escape and finally resigns himself to necessity. Along the way, he is deserted by Kinship, Kindred, Good (economics), Goods, and Fellowship – only Good works, Good Deeds goes with him to the grave. At the end of the Late Middle Ages, professional actors began to appear in
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
and Europe. Richard III of England, Richard III and
Henry VIIHenry VII may refer to: * Henry VII of England (1457–1509), King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1485 until his death in 1509; the founder of the House of Tudor * Henry VII, Duke of Bavaria (died 1047), count of Luxembourg (as Henry II) from 1 ...
both maintained small companies of professional actors. Their plays were performed in the Great Hall of a nobleman's residence, often with a raised platform at one end for the audience and a "screen" at the other for the actors. Also important were Mummers Play, Mummers' plays, performed during the Christmas season, and court masques. These masques were especially popular during the reign of Henry VIII who had a House of Revels built and an Master of the Revels, Office of Revels established in 1545.Brockett and Hildy (2003, 101-103) The end of medieval drama came about due to a number of factors, including the weakening power of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
, the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
and the banning of religious plays in many countries. Elizabeth I forbid all religious plays in 1558 and the great cycle plays had been silenced by the 1580s. Similarly, religious plays were banned in the Netherlands in 1539, the Papal States in 1547 and in Paris in 1548. The abandonment of these plays destroyed the international theatre that had thereto existed and forced each country to develop its own form of drama. It also allowed dramatists to turn to secular subjects and the reviving interest in ancient Greece, Greek and
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...
theatre provided them with the perfect opportunity.


After the Middle Ages

After the end of the late Middle Ages period, the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
spread unevenly over continental Europe from the southern European region. The intellectual transformation of the Renaissance is viewed as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era. Europeans would later begin an Age of Discovery, era of world discovery. Combined with the influx of classical ideas was the invention of printing which facilitated dissemination of the printed word and democratized learning. These two things would lead to the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
. Europeans also discovered new trading routes, as was the case with Christopher Columbus, Columbus’ travel to the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...

Americas
in 1492, and
Vasco da Gama Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira (, ; ; c. 1460s – 24 December 1524), was a Portugal in the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India by way of Cape of Good Hope (1 ...

Vasco da Gama
’s circumnavigation of Africa and Indian subcontinent, India in 1498. Their discoveries strengthened the economy and power of European nations.


Ottomans and Europe

By the end of the 15th century the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
had advanced all over Southeastern Europe, eventually conquering the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
and extending control over the Balkan states. Hungary was the last bastion of the Latin Christian world in the East, and fought to keep its rule over a period of two centuries. After the death of the young king Vladislaus I of Hungary during the Battle of Varna in 1444 against the Ottomans, the Kingdom was placed in the hands of count John Hunyadi, who became Hungary's regent-governor (1446–1453). Hunyadi was considered one of the most relevant military figures of the 15th century: Pope Pius II awarded him the title of ''Athleta Christi'' or Champion of Christ for being the only hope of resisting the Ottomans from advancing to Central and Western Europe. Hunyadi succeeded during the Siege of Belgrade (1456), Siege of Belgrade in 1456 against the Ottomans, the biggest victory against that empire in decades. This battle became a real Crusade against the Muslims, as the peasants were motivated by the Franciscan friar Saint John of Capistrano, who came from Italy predicating Holy War. The effect that it created in that time was one of the main factors that helped in achieving the victory. However the premature death of the Hungarian Lord left Pannonia defenseless and in chaos. In an extremely unusual event for the Middle Ages, Hunyadi's son, Matthias, was elected as King of Hungary by the nobility. For the first time, a member of an aristocratic family (and not from a royal family) was crowned. King Matthias Corvinus of
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
(1458–1490) was one of the most prominent figures of the period, directing campaigns to the West, conquering Bohemia in answer to the Pope's call for help against the Hussite Protestants. Also, in resolving political hostilities with the German emperor Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick III of Habsburg, he invaded his western domains. Matthew organized the Black Army of Hungary, Black Army of mercenary soldiers; it was considered as the biggest army of its time. Using this powerful tool, the Hungarian king led wars against the Turkish armies and stopped the Ottomans during his reign. After the death of Matthew, and with end of the Black Army, the Ottoman Empire grew in strength and Central Europe was defenseless. At the Battle of Mohács, the forces of the Ottoman Empire annihilated the Hungarian army and
Louis II of Hungary Louis II ( cs, Ludvík, hr, Ludovik , hu, Lajos, sk, Ľudovít; 1 July 1506 – 29 August 1526) was King of Hungary The King of Hungary ( hu, magyar király) was the Monarchy, ruling head of state of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1000 (or 1001) ...
drowned in the Csele Creek while trying to escape. The leader of the Hungarian army, Pál Tomori, also died in the battle. This is considered to be one of the final battles of Medieval times.


Timeline

ImageSize = width:800 height:310 PlotArea = width:720 height:275 left:65 bottom:20 AlignBars = justify Colors = id:time value:rgb(0.7,0.7,1) # id:period value:rgb(1,0.7,0.5) # id:age value:rgb(0.95,0.85,0.5) # id:era value:rgb(1,0.85,0.5) # id:eon value:rgb(1,0.85,0.7) # id:filler value:gray(0.8) # background bar id:black value:black Period = from:1300 till:1500 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:10 start:1300 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:1 start:1300 PlotData = align:center textcolor:black fontsize:8 mark:(line,black) width:10 shift:(0, -3) bar:General color:era from: 1300 till: 1350 text:Crisis of the Late Middle Ages, Middle Ages Crisis from: 1350 till: 1450 text:Late Middle Ages bar:General color:filler from: 1450 till: 1500 shift:(2,4) text:Modern from: 1450 till: 1500 shift:(2,-7) text:Early modern, (Early period) bar:N.Europe color:age from: 1300 till: 1400 text:Christianization of Scandinavia, Christianization from: 1400 till: 1500 text:
Kalmar Union The Kalmar Union (Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestr ...
bar:British.Isles color:age from: 1300 till: 1500 text:Kingdom of England bar:Iberia color:age from: 1300 till: 1492 text:
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
bar:Iberia color:filler from: 1492 till: 1500 text:
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
bar:E.Europe color:age from: 1300 till: 1400 text:
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...

Lithuania
from: 1400 till: 1487 text:Grand Duchy of Moscow, Moscow bar:E.Europe color:filler from: 1487 till: 1500 text:
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
bar:C.Europe color:age from: 1300 till: 1494 text:
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
bar:C.Europe color:filler from: 1494 till: 1500 text:German Renaissance bar:Apennines color:age from: 1300 shift:(0,-7) till: 1500 text:(
Italian Renaissance The Italian Renaissance ( it, Rinascimento ) was a period in Italian history The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since classical times, ancient Phoenicians, Magna Graecia, Greeks, Etruscan civi ...
) from: 1300 shift:(0,4) till: 1500 text:
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...

Renaissance
bar:Balkans color:age from: 1300 till: 1345 text:Second Bulgarian Empire, 2nd Bulgarian Empire from: 1345 till: 1389 text:Serbian Empire from: 1389 till: 1500 text:Ottoman Empire, Ottomans bar:Caucasus color:age from: 1300 till: 1490 text:Kingdom of Georgia bar:M.East color:age from: 1300 till: 1500 text:Mamluk Sultanate, Mamluks bar:C.Asia color:age from: 1300 till: 1500 shift:(-120,-7) text:Chagatai Khanate from: 1300 till: 1500 shift:(-120,4) text:
Golden Horde The Golden Horde, self-designated as Ulug Ulus, 'Great State' in Turkic, was originally a Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an ethnic group to the , and the of Russia. ...
bar:China color:age from: 1300 till: 1368 text:Yuan Dynasty, Yuan from: 1368 till: 1500 text:Ming Dynasty, Ming bar:Japan color:age from: 1300 till: 1333 text:Kamakura period, Kamakura from: 1333 till: 1336 text:Kenmu restoration, Kenmu from: 1336 till: 1500 text:Muromachi period, Muromachi bar:Korea color:age from: 1300 till: 1392 text:Goryeo from: 1392 till: 1500 text:Joseon Dynasty, Joseon bar:India color:age from: 1300 till: 1500 text:Islamic empires in India, Islamic empires bar:N.Americas color:age from: 1300 till: 1500 shift:(0,-4) text:Mississippian culture bar:C.Americas color:age from: 1300 till: 1500 shift:(0,-4) text:Late Postclassic bar:S.Americas color:age from: 1300 till: 1500 text:Classic
''Dates are approximate, consult particular articles for details'' Middle Ages Themes Other themes ;14th century * 1305: William Wallace was executed * 1307: The Knights Templar were destroyed * 1307: Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy * 1309: Beginning of Avignon papacy * 1310: Dante began Divine Comedy * 1314: Battle of Bannockburn * 1315–1317 Great Famine of 1315-1317, Great Famine * 1321–1328 Byzantine civil war of 1321–28, Byzantine civil war * 1328: First War of Scottish Independence ends * 1337: The
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
begins * 1346: Stephen Uroš IV Dušan of Serbia, Stephen Dušan established a short lived Serbian Empire * 1347: The
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. It is the List of epidemics, most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing th ...

Black Death
begins * 1347: Charles University in Prague, University of Prague was founded * 1348: Giovanni Villani finishes work on Nuova Cronica * 1348–1349: Byzantine–Genoese War (1348–49), Byzantine–Genoese War * 1364: Jagiellonian University was founded * 1371: Battle of Maritsa—first substantial Ottoman victory in Europe; partition of Second Bulgarian Empire, Bulgaria * 1378: Avignon Papacy ended * 1380:
Battle of Kulikovo :''For the opera 'The Battle of Kulikovo' see '' The Battle of Kulikovo (russian: Мамаево побоище, Донское побоище, Куликовская битва, битва на Куликовом поле) was fought between th ...
* 1380: The ''Canterbury Tales'' * 1381:
Peasants' Revolt The Peasants' Revolt, also named Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black ...
(England) * 1381: John Wycliffe translated the Bible * 1385: Union of Krewo, initiation of the Polish–Lithuanian union * 1385: Battle of Aljubarrota * 1386: University of Heidelberg was founded * 1389: Battle of Kosovo—Serbian and Bosnian forces defeated by the Ottomans * 1342-1392: Partitioning of the Kingdom of Rus (Galicia) between Poland and Lithuania (Galicia–Volhynia Wars) * 1396: Battle of Nicopolis and first Ottoman conquest in Europe * 1397:
Kalmar Union The Kalmar Union (Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of Denmark * Danish people or Danes, people with a Danish ancestr ...
; 15th century * 1402: Battle of Ankara * 1409: Venetian Republic, Venetian Dalmatia * 1410: Battle of Grunwald * 1415: Conquest of Ceuta * 1415: Battle of Agincourt * 1415: Jan Hus was burned at the stake * 1417: The Council of Constance * 1419–1434: Hussite Wars in
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic gr ...

Bohemia
* 1429: Siege of Orléans, Battle of Orléans * 1431:
Joan of Arc Joan of Arc (french: link=no, Jeanne d’Arc, translit= an daʁk; 1412 – 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" (french: link=no, La Pucelle d'Orléans) or "Maid of Lorraine prophecies, Maid of Lorraine" (french: link=no, ...

Joan of Arc
was burned at the stake * 1434: The Medici family in Florence * 1439: Johannes Gutenberg first used movable type printing in Europe * 1444: Battle of Varna * 1445: Battle of Suzdal * 1453: Fall of Constantinople, Constantinople falls to Ottoman conquest * 1456: Siege of Belgrade (1456), Siege of Belgrade * 1461: The Empire of Trebizond fell to the Turks * 1469: Catholic Monarchs * 1470: Battle of Lipnic * 1474–1477:
Burgundian Wars The Burgundian Wars (1474–1477) were a conflict between the Burgundian State and the Old Swiss Confederacy and its allies. Open war broke out in 1474, and the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, was defeated three times on the battlefield in the ...
* 1478: Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovy conquered Novgorod * 1478: The Catholic Monarchs established the Spanish Inquisition * 1479: Battle of Breadfield * 1485: Thomas Malory (''Le Morte d'Arthur'') * 1492: Alhambra Decree * 1492:
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
ended with the Battle of Granada, fall of Granada * 1492:
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
reached the "New World" * 1494: Treaty of Tordesillas * 1497–1498: Portuguese explorer
Vasco da Gama Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira (, ; ; c. 1460s – 24 December 1524), was a Portugal in the Age of Discovery, Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India by way of Cape of Good Hope (1 ...

Vasco da Gama
's first voyage reached India after circumnavigating Africa * 1499: Battle of Zonchio


Gallery

File:Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry juin.jpg, Peasants in fields
''Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Très Riches Heures''. File:Joan of Arc miniature graded.jpg,
Joan of Arc Joan of Arc (french: link=no, Jeanne d’Arc, translit= an daʁk; 1412 – 30 May 1431), nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" (french: link=no, La Pucelle d'Orléans) or "Maid of Lorraine prophecies, Maid of Lorraine" (french: link=no, ...

Joan of Arc

(
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
) File:Chronicon Pictum I Karoly Robert.jpg, Charles I of Hungary, Charles I
(Kingdom of Hungary) File:Jan Hus at the Stake.jpg, Jan Hus
(Bohemian Reformation)


See also

* List of basic medieval history topics * Timeline of the Middle Ages * Church and state in medieval Europe * Jews in the Middle Ages


References


Further reading


Surveys

* * * * * Ferguson, Wallace K. ''Europe in transition, 1300-1520'' (1962
online
* * * * * Koenigsberger, H.G. ''Medieval Europe 400 - 1500'' (1987
excerpt
* *


Specific regions

* * * * * * * * *


Society

* * * * * *


The Black Death

* * * * *


Warfare

* * * * * * *


Economy

* * * *


Religion

* * * * *


Arts and sciences

* * * * * * *


External links


The Medieval and Classical Literature Library: Original sources on the Late Middle Ages


{{Authority control Late Middle Ages, Middle Ages, .03 14th century in Europe, . 15th century in Europe, . 16th century in Europe, . 14th-century establishments in Europe, . 1520 disestablishments in Europe, . Articles which contain graphical timelines es:Edad Media#Baja Edad Media (siglos XI al XV)