1 – AGRICULTURAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC GROWTH. During the 12th and 13th centuries the European population grew. In 1300 there were about 73 million inhabitants. During these centuries there was great agricultural expansion. New cultivated lands were ploughed up. For this reason, forests were felled and marshy zones were drained. New population centres arose in those new lands. There were technical innovations in the agricultural tasks (jobs) too: triennial crop rotation system; seed selection; plough with two wheels and mouldboard; horses and oxen as draught animals; watermills or wheels.
- Answer these questions:
In which centuries did European population grow?
Which were drained zones for new cultivation?
What were the technical innovations of agricultural tasks?
Fill in the boxes of this table about triennial crop rotation. Use any three examples of crops.
2 – MEDIEVAL CITIES. Inside the European medieval cities there were main squares, where main buildings (cathedrals and city councils) were located. These cities had walls with accesses where people had to pay taxes if they wanted to pass inside. Inside the cities there were modest houses next to palaces, convents, churches, or workshops. Outside of the towns there were cemeteries, hospitals, vegetable gardens and new neighbourhoods. These walled cities became known as "bourgs," "burghs," and later, boroughs. Inhabitants were known as bourgeois.
The cities were centres for handicraft (artisanal) activities and trade. A lot of cities were of Roman origin, but others arose near castles, monasteries, crossroads or places where traders passed. Food surpluses were sold in these cities. Over time, these cities organized weekly markets. All cities had administrative, defensive, commercial and handmade functions. Some specialized cities: commercial centres (Genoa, Venice, Marseille, Barcelona); handmade centres (Bruges, London); fair centres (Medina del Campo, Antwerp, Troyes, Champagne); cultural centres with universities (Paris, Oxford, Salamanca); administrative and political centres (London); religious centres (Rome).
The handicraft activities were controlled by guilds, which were associations of craftsmen in a particular trade. Each guild had rules, and its craftsmen worked in workshops. The guilds were organized in a structure composed by a master craftsman, journeymen and apprentices. The trade fairs were celebrated in cities, where merchants of different origins could sell their products. The most important trade fairs were those of Champagne. The use of the coin began again and the figure of moneychangers appeared all over Europe. This was the origin of banks. During the XIII century terrestrial trade routes were organized between principal European cities. The major economic zones were in the north and the centre of Europe, France and north of Italy. In the rest of Europe trade was done by sea between main ports. The main commercial products were cereals, spices, wine, salt, silk, wool, gold, silver, metals, wood, meat, fish, leathers and skins.
- Answer these questions:
What is the name of the inhabitants of bourgs?
What were the guilds?
What were trade fairs?
- Write the name of a specialized city:
- Look for information about the names of the different parts of a medieval city, and fill in the boxes for this picture.
3 – SOCIETY, GOVERNMENT AND KINGS
The hierarchical medieval society underwent some changes during the 12th century:
- Some nobles abandoned their castles and went to cities. They turned into the nobility of the courts of the kings.
- Clergy was still very hierarchical, but education and culture were notably improved among its members.
- A lot of peasants abandoned the fiefs (feuds) and went, as freemen, to cities. There they turned into the bourgeois and worked in handicraft and trade.
The cities were controlled by feudal lords, but with the passing of time many attained great independence. Sometimes kings granted them charters with privileges: They didn´t have to pay taxes, or could tax foreign merchants, or could contribute with men for wars, etc. The cities could create their own laws, and because of this, they enjoyed judicial and administrative autonomy. The municipal administration was divided into councils formed by nobles and rich bourgeois, and civil servants formed by mayors, aldermen and town councillors.
The kings came from noble families. A lot of them fought in wars with their vassal nobles, in this way they extended their territories and controlled their vassals. The elective monarchies were converted into hereditary monarchies, and the power passed from the king to his firstborn son. With the passing of time, they increased their powers and authority. They appointed delegates to represent them, and they converted the royal councils into courts and parliaments that were assemblies formed by nobility, clergy and representatives of the cities.
- Answer these questions?
What kind of privilegies did kings give to cities?
What is the difference between the elective monarchies and the hereditary monarchies?
How did the power of the kings increase?
- Look for information about parliaments and others assemblies in the medieval cities and write a short composition.
- Look at these drawings and write the name of each of these characters in the blank boxes.
4 – RELIGION, CULTURE, ART Heresies appeared in the last centuries of the Middle Ages. The Holy Inquisition was created to persecute them. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux reformed the Cistercian order to obtain a spiritual updating of the clergy. In the 11th century Saint Bruno founded the Carthusian order. In the 12th century mendicant orders appeared: Dominican order founded by Saint Dominic and Franciscan order founded by Saint Francis of Assisi. They were dedicated to evangelization.
During the 12th and 13th centuries seven crusades took place. In those crusades, the military orders (Knights Hospitaller, Knights Templar, etc. ) were founded. Some of those, such as Knights Templar, had a great power.
After the 12th century, many schools and universities were founded. Their students studied the trivium (grammar, rhetoric and dialectic or logic) and the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy). Some universities were specialized in law, medicine, philosophy and theology. In astronomy, the geocentric theory remained as a true theory. In math, arithmetic books were written. In those centuries the distaff, new dyes, varnish and glue were invented. In navigation, the compass was used, and a new type of ship appeared: the caravel. The printing press was invented by Gutenberg around 1440 in Germany.
A new style of art spread around Europe since the12th century: Gothic art. This style arose in France and was the art featured in churches and cathedrals.
ARCHITECTURE: the most representative buildings are churches, cathedrals, palaces and civil buildings (town halls, guild halls, marketplaces, universities, hospitals…). Gothic buildings are taller than Romanesque buildings. They were made of stone, with narrow walls and great windows with stained glass windows. Other elements were:
Pointed ribbed vaults.
Ogival or pointed arches.
Large and slender columns and pillars.
Shape of latin cross plan.
A long nave making the body of the church, a transverse arm called the transept and, behind it, an extension which may be called the choir, chancel or presbytery.
Buttresses, flying buttresses, abutments with pinnacles.
Towers and pinnacles.
Transept spire above the crossing.
Rose windows (or Catherine windows).
SCULPTURE: it had religious, educational and decorative purposes. It decoratde fronts, capitals, columns… The principal topics are images of the Virgin Mary with the child Jesus, Christ Pantocrator, and figures of apostles and saints. Gothic sculpture is more naturalistic than Romanesque sculpture.
PAINTING: it also had an educational function. It was used to decorate the insides of churches. It´s more highly developed than Romanesque painting, since the Gothic painting is more realistic and expressive. Panel painting was developed and miniatures were still used as illustrations for books.
Activities: - Look at these drawings and write, next to their correct number, the names of the religious orders and the names of the military orders. You can look them for their names by the habits of the monks or by the coat of arms of the knights.
5 – THE END OF THE MIDDLE AGES In the 14th century a crisis developed due to to bad crops. This caused famines and decreases in population. An epidemic called the <> spread from Asia to all of Europe. This deadly illness caused the death of 1/3 of the European population.
In those times there were continual wars, where some European kingdoms fought amongst themselves. The main war was <>.
In that century there was a breaking-off within the Catholic Church called the <> or <
>. For decades there were several popes ruling at the same time. Each one claimed that they were the true pope.
At the end of 14th century there were some changes:
The population began to recover in Europe.
Some European monarchies achieved more power and centralized it in their hands.
Politics institutions (parliaments and courts) were developed.
New currents of thinking (Humanism) and scientific research arose and spread very fast thanks to the printing press.
New navigational innovations were developed, and thanks to these innovations, there were new geographical discoveries.
All these things (and others) changed the medieval society and led to the development of a new historical period: Early Modern Period.
- Answer these questions?
What was the cause of famines and decreases in population in the 14th century?
What was the Western Schism?
What changes occured at the end of 14th century?
What is the name of the new period after the Middle Ages?
- Look for information about the <> and write a short composition.