Empire. The Roman Empire



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Book of Kells -  is an ancient manuscript—a book written out by hand long before printing was invented. It contains the words of the four Gospels of the Bible and is decorated with many beautiful pictures called illuminations

Byzantine Empire - The most brilliant of medieval civilizations was the Eastern Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was divided in AD 395 into two parts. The Western half, ruled from Rome, fell to the tribal Germanic peoples known as barbarians in the 5th century. The Eastern half, known as the Byzantine Empire, lasted for more than 1,000 years.

Canon law - The body of laws for the government of certain churches is called canon law. The Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican Communion churches, as well as independent churches of Eastern Christianity, are all governed in whole or in part by canon law

Code of Justinian - The most famous of all the emperors of the Byzantine, or Eastern Roman, Empire was Justinian the Great. He is known today chiefly for his reform and codification of law.

Crusades - From 1096 until the end of the Middle Ages, Christian warriors from Europe undertook a series of military campaigns, orCrusades, designed to take back from the Muslims control of the Holy Land (in the region of Palestine).

Cyrillic alphabet - The Cyrillic Alphabet was named for Cyril a Greek monk who, with Methodius, brought written language to Christian converts in the mid-9th century (c.860) in what is now Russia. The Cyrillic alphabet is closely based on the Greek alphabet, with about a dozen additional letters invented to represent Slavic sounds not found in Greek.

Divine right - the doctrine that the right of rule derives directly from God, not from the consent of the people.

Excommunication - to sentence (a member of the Church) to exclusion from the communion of believers and from the privileges and public prayers of the Church

Feudalism - the political, military, and social system in the Middle Ages, based on the holding of lands in fief or fee and on the resulting relations between lord and vassal.

Fief - a tenure of land subject to feudal obligations.

Guild - any of various medieval associations, as of merchants or artisans, organized to maintain standards and to protect the interests of its members, and that sometimes constituted a local governing body.

Hanseatic League - a medieval league of towns of northern Germany and adjacent countries for the promotion and protection of commerce.

Heresy - the willful and persistent rejection of any article of faith by a baptized member of the church.

Holy Land – Palestine (Israel)

Humanism - a variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.

Knight - a man, usually of noble birth, who after an apprenticeship as page and squire was raised to honorable military rank and bound to chivalrous conduct.

Liege - a feudal lord entitled to allegiance and service.

Lord - a feudal superior; the proprietor of a manor.

Magna Carta -  The document was a series of written promises between the king and his subjects that he, the king, would govern England and deal with its people according to the customs of feudal law. Magna Carta was an attempt by the barons to stop a king - in this case John - abusing his power with the people of England suffering.

Manorialism - Lords and peasants worked together to support one another. The wealth of the lords came by the labors of the peasants who worked their lands. In return, the lords protected the peasants, offered them shelter, and insured that they were fed.

Medieval - of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or in the style of the Middle Ages

Monarchy - supreme power or sovereignty held by a single person.

Parliament - a legislative body in any of various other countries.

Plague - an epidemic disease that causes high mortality

Reformation - the religious movement in the 16th century that had for its object the reform of the Roman Catholic Church, and that led to the establishment of the Protestant churches

Renaissance - the activity, spirit, or time of the great revival of art, literature, and learning in Europe beginning in the 14th century and extending to the 17th century, marking the transition from the medieval to the modern world.

Salt-gold trade - The gold-salt trade was when people north of the Sahara trade salt for gold with the people south of the Sahara. Ghana just happened to be in the middle and charged gold for passing through and became very rich

Samurai - The Japanese feudal military aristocracy. A professional warrior belonging to this class.


Serf - A member of the lowest feudal class, attached to the land owned by a lord and required to perform labor in return for certain legal or customary rights.

Shogan - the title applied to the chief military commanders from about the 8th century a.d. to the end of the 12th century, then applied to the hereditary officials who governed Japan, with the emperor as nominal ruler, until 1868

Silk Road - an ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean (4,000 miles); followed by Marco Polo in the13th century to reach Cathay

Utopia - any visionary system of political or social perfection.

Vassal - a person granted the use of land, in return for rendering homage, fealty, and usually military service or its equivalent to a lord or other superior; feudal tenant.

Bartolomeu Dias -  a Portugese navigator whose 1487-88 Atlantic voyage around the southern tip of Africa opened sea routes between Europe and Asia

Cervantes - 1547--1616, Spanish dramatist, poet, and prose writer, most famous for Don Quixote (1605), which satirizes the chivalric romances and greatly influenced the development of the novel

Charlemagne - ( "Charles the Great"  ) a.d. 742–814, king of the Franks 768–814; as Charles I, emperor of the Holy RomanEmpire 800–814.

Columbus - Italian navigator in Spanish service: traditionally considered the discoverer of America 1492.

Da Vinci - 1452–1519, Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, engineer, mathematician, and scientist.

Dante -  is considered to be one of the most important, inspired writers of the Middle Ages. His main work, the Commedia or the Divine Comedy is a verse work which combines both allegory and the real, in the hopes of promoting a true spiritual path for readers toward redemption and ascension into heave

Descartes -  French philosopher and mathematician.

Galileo -  Italian physicist and astronomer.

Henry Hudson - English navigator and explorer.

Joan of Arc - French national heroine and martyr who raised the siege of Orleans; Saint known as "The Maid of Orleans." Emerged from obscurity on 1429 to save France. She believed that she had received a revelation from God commanding her to find dauphin, the heir to the French throne, and see that he was crowned king. Then she was to help him drive the English out of France. After the dauphin was crowned as Charles the VII, Joan dictated a letter to the English, calling on them to withdraw. Captured by Burgundian allies of the English and burned at the stake.

Johann Gutenberg - German printer who was the first in Europe to print using movable type and the first to use a press

John Cabot - Italian navigator in the service of England: discoverer of North American mainland 1497.

Keppler -  The Renaissance astronomer and astrologer Johannes Kepler is best known for his discovery that the orbits in which the Earth and the other planets of the solar system travel around the sun are elliptical, or oval, in shape.

Locke - One of the pioneers in modern thinking was the English philosopher John Locke. He made great contributions in studies of politics, government, and psychology.

Machiavelli - Florentine statesman and political philosopher; secretary to the war council of the Florentine republic founder of political ethics

Magellan - Portuguese navigator: discoverer of the Straits of Magellan 1520 and the Philippines 1521.

Mansa Musa - Mansa Musa, king of the Mali empire in West Africa, is known mostly for his fabulous pilgrimage to Mecca and for his promotion of unity and prosperity within Mali.

Martin Luther - German theologian and author: leader, in Germany, of the Protestant Reformation.

Michelangelo - Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet.

Montesquieu - French political philosopher. His chief works, a comparative analysis of various forms of government, which had a profound influence on political thought in Europe and the US

Newton - English philosopher and mathematician: formulator of the law of gravitation.

Richard the Lion-Hearted -  king of England (1189--99); a leader of the third crusade



Rousseau - was a Genevan philosopher, author, and composter. His political philosophy had a strong influence on the French Revolution and modern political and sociological thought

Saladin -  was a Kurdish Muslim who was the first Sultan of Syria and Egypt.

Shakespeare - was an English author who is world famous for his classic dramas.

Vasco da Gama - was a Portuguese explorer who was the first to sail directly from Europe to India.

William the Conqueror - was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. Descended from Viking raiders


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