The High Middle Ages. Postclassical western civilization reached its high point during the 12th and 13th centuries. Creative tensions between feudal political forms, emerging monarchies, and the authority of the church produced major changes in political, religious, intellectual, social, and economic life.
In Depth: The Sources of Vitality in the Postclassical West. Western Europe began demonstrating new vigor about 1000 C.E. An understanding of the process can assist in evaluating similar transformations in other civilizations. The desire to revive the legacy of Greece and Rome motivated both secular and religious individuals. Once Christianity had been assimilated by Europeans its beliefs importantly reshaped old habits. More stable political structures appeared and a greater emphasis on intellectual and educational endeavors occurred. A more utilitarian view of nature as something to be exploited prepared receptivity for technological innovations.