Middle Ages: Study Guide



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Middle Ages: Study Guide

Key Words:





  • Urban decline

  • Clovis

  • Charlemagne

  • Treaty of Verdun

  • Vikings

  • Feudalism

  • Manorialism

  • fief

  • Jousting

  • Clergy

  • Pope

  • Excommunication

  • Interdict

  • Canon law

  • Heresy

  • Tithe

  • secular

  • Monastery

  • Benedictine Rule

  • Agricultural revolution

  • Commercial revolution

  • charter

  • capital

  • partnership

  • bill of exchange

  • tenant farmer

  • guild

  • usury

  • William the Conqueror

  • Salisbury Oath

  • Domesday book

  • Primogeniture

  • Due process of law

  • Philip IV

  • Louis IX

  • Lay investiture

  • Concordat of Worms

  • Pope Urban II

  • Schism

  • levy

  • Saladin

  • Cordova

  • Reconquista

  • Scholasticism

  • Thomas Aquinas

  • Dante Alighieri

  • Geoffrey Chaucer

  • Flying buttress

  • Illumination

  • John Wycliffe

  • Joan of Arc

  • Hundred Years War



Key Questions:

  • What was Europe like after the Fall of Rome? What time period does the Middle Ages cover?

  • How did the Germanic way of life contribute to “dark” lifestyle

  • How might European “landscape” (i.e. not unifed) post Rome create problems both WITHIN different groups and BETWEEN different groups?

  • How are the fragmented sections of Europe able to initially unify (i.e. What factor unifies them the FASTEST)? How does Clovis relate to this?

  • How was Charlemagne strengthen Frankish rule?

  • How did the post-Charlemagne era indicate that society was moving back towards the dark ages

  • What conditions/factors led to the development of feudalism?

  • What is the difference between Feudalism and Manorialism?

  • How did Medieval people live and how was their life affected by their living circumstances?

  • How did feudalism help sustain people’s lives? What was each class in society responsible for “giving” and “getting” under this system?

  • How was living on a manor/under the feudal system both advantageous and disadvantageous?

  • How did the Roman Catholic Church dominate life in the Middle Ages?

    • How was it structured?

    • What are some of the important Christian beliefs and how did those beliefs allow the power of the Church to grow?

    • How did convents and monasteries reinforce the role of the Church?

  • How was the Church both a positive/negative influence on the people? What powers did the Church have and how did that affect people?

  • According to Benedictine rule, what vow did monks/nuns have to take?

  • What was daily life like for the king? Lords? Knights? Serfs? What were some of the challenges faced by each?

  • Why are the commercial and agricultural revolutions called transition periods in medieval history?

  • What types of new technology came about in the High Middle Ages? How did this impact society?

  • What types of new business practices came about in the High Middle Ages? How did those impact society?

  • How did guilds function and impact society?

  • What was England like BEFORE monarch power started to grow?

  • How did early kings strengthen their power in England?

  • What groups of people had problems with the powers of the monarchy growing?

  • What types of rights did the Magna Carta protect? Why would King John ever agree to sign this document?

  • What issue did King Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII disagree over? What was the argument for each side? Who “won?” What is the Concordat of Worms?

  • What conflict sparked the Crusades? Why were western Christians (the Pope/Church, nobles, knights, serfs) motivated to become involved? What types of obstacles (geographic or other) stood in their way?

  • Why was Jerusalem an important to have control over? (i.e. Why were the religions even fighting over it?)

  • What were the results of the Crusades?

  • How did the Crusades impact Western Europe? What were some negative and positive outcomes of the Crusades? (i.e think about the impact on society, economy, culture, politics, etc).

  • What new focuses in learning took place in the High Middle Ages? Why was pursuing new learning sometimes a challenged? What types of learning were promoted? What types of learning were people hesitant to study. Why?

  • How did literature change in the High Middle Ages? How did it still reflect Christian values?

  • What are the differences between Romanesque and Gothic architecture? How did this new architecture impact religion? How did the push for new architecture/churches reinforce the Roman Catholic Church?

  • What is the Black Death? How did it spread to Europe/across Europe?

  • What were the social, religious, and economic effects of the Black Death?

  • How did Spain achieve political and religious unity?

  • Why did reformers start to criticize the church? How did the church respond?

  • How did new technology affect fighting during the Hundred Years’ War? What were the results?

Additional terms/questions:

  • Feudal contract

  • Chivalry

  • Cluny

  • Papal supremacy

  • Simony

  • Friar

  • Apprentice

  • Journeyman

  • Thomas Becket

  • Annul

  • heretic



  • What were the criticisms against the Church during the High Middle Ages? What did John Wycliffe and Jan Hus advocate for? What happened to them?

  • What were the effects of the Reconquista

  • What were some reasons for the growth of anti-semitism in Middle Ages?

  • How did Parliament develop? What are the branches of Parliament?





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