High Middle Ages- Lasting from 1000-1300, farming improved, trade was revived, religious leaders wielded great power, royal governments grew stronger, and Crusaders marched against Islam
Three field system- First utilized during the High Middle Ages, the three field system allowed farmers to grow crops on two thirds of their land each year rather than half of it.
Burghers- At around 1200, residents of walled towns known as burghs became known as burghers.
Bourgeoisie- At around 1200 in France, burgh dwellers became known collectively as the bourgeoisie.
Guild- During the High Middle Ages, guilds were formed in towns. A guild was an association of people who worked at the same occupation; guilds regulated quality standards and pricing of products.
Monasteries- A monastery is a community of persons living under religious vows; during the Early Middle Ages, Vikings had plundered many of them. During the High Middle Ages, conditions improved in these monasteries. One of the first reforms in the Church was the founding in 910 of a new French monastery at Cluny which was subject only to the pope, not any nearby lord or bishop.
Benedictine rule- St. Benedict, in 528 A.D., created a set of rules for monastic living in order to control the monks of Monte Cassino. Benedictine monks vowed for obedience, stability and conversion in the way of life. The High Middle Ages saw reforms made to Benedictine rule.
Lay investiture- Around 1073, one of the goals of Church reformers was the ending of lay investiture, which was a ceremony in which Church office is given to someone performed by a layman (feudal lord/king).
Gregory VII- In 1073, the foremost leader of the reformers became pope. He took the name of Gregory VII; he carried out all the aims of the reform movement, which were to stop simony, lay investiture and the marriage of priests.
Henry IV- The German emperor in the time period of Gregory VII, he wrote a vicious letter to Gregory VII ordering him to step down from the papacy. In return, Gregory VII excommunicated him. Henry IV ended up having to journey over the Alps in 1077 to the Italian town of Canossa to beg for forgiveness.
Concordat of Worms- In 1122, representatives of the Church and the emperor met in the German city of Worms. They reached a compromise concerning the investiture dispute known as the Concordat of Worms. By its terms, the Church alone would grant a bishop his ring and staff, symbols of Church office. However, the emperor kept the power to grant that bishop the lands that went with his office. Thus, the emperor still had much control over the bishops.
Canossa- An Italian town, this is where Henry IV had to beg forgiveness from Pope Gregory VII.
Interdict- During the High Middle Ages, if an excommunicated king or duke continued to disobey, the pope had another weapon- the interdict. If the interdict was used, no Church ceremonies could be performed in the offending ruler's lands. There could be no marriages, baptisms, religious services, etc. of any sort. In the Age of Faith, fear of the interdict put great pressure on a king to bow to a pope's demands.
Tithe- The Church, in the 1100's and 1200's, resembled a kingdom. It collected taxes in the form of tithes; every Christian family was required to pay one tenth of its yearly income to the Church.
Simony- During the High Middle Ages, reformers wanted to stop the buying and selling of Church offices, called simony.
Heresy- With the widespread interest in religion of the 1100's and 1200's, people seriously pondered religious matters. Consequently, many heresies sprang up in Europe. A heretic was one who reached answers and held beliefs that differed from the Church's teaching.
Inquisition- Beginning in 1225, the Inquisition was the leading arm of the Church in the war against heresy. The Inquisition was an organization of experts whose job was to find and judge heretics.
Francis of Assisi- In the early 1200's, Francis of Assisi founded a new order of friars (wandering priests). He was the son of a rich merchant; at age 20, he gave up all his wealth and turned to preaching. He treated all creatures as if they were his spiritual brothers and sisters. Members of his new order were called Franciscans.
Gothic style architecture- In 1137, Suger began using Gothic style architecture in the rebuilding of the Church at Saint Denis. He was not satisfied with Romanesque churches; he didn't like their heavy, earthbound appearance and the lack of light. Thus, Suger's goals for cathedral building were height and light. Building techniques key to the Gothic style of architecture were pointed, ribbed vaults which helped support the roof, flying buttresses that slanted up against the outside walls of the cathedral and supported the outward pressure of the roof, and pointed arches which emphasized the height of a Gothic church. The highest arch was the vaulted ceiling, where all the lines joined together.
William the Conqueror- Duke of Normandy and a descendent of Rollo the Viking, he claimed the English crown after King Edward the Confessor died without an heir in 1066. Harold Godwinson, a nobleman, had been named king by a council of English lords. On October 14, 1066, Norman and English forces clashed and William's side won after Harold was killed by an arrow. After at the Battle of Hastings, William declared all England his personal property and granted fiefs to 200 Norman lords who swore oaths of loyalty to him. He granted lands to the Church, appointing some of his Norman vassals as bishops. He made England the most centralized feudal kingdom in Europe by creating this new ruling class of French speaking nobles, and keeping one fifth of England for himself.
Battle of Hastings- On October 14, 1066, English and Norman forces clashed. The battle lasted from morning till dusk; William the Conqueror and Harold Godwinson were fighting over the English crown. Late in the day, Harold fell dead with an arrow in his eye, and the Normans broke through the English lines. Refer to William the Conqueror for aftereffects.
Henry II of England- William's great grandson, he became king of England in 1154 and further increased royal power. He strengthened royal courts of justice by sending royal judges to visit every part of England at least once a year. These judges collected taxes, settled lawsuits, and punished crimes. He also introduced the use of a jury in English courts, which was a group of loyal people, usually 12 neighbors, who answered a royal judge's questions about the facts of a case. Only the king's courts were allowed to conduct jury trials, so as jury trials became a popular way of settling disputes, the king's courts gained power and the feudal courts lost it.
Common law- After Henry II of England's introduction of juries, the rulings of England's royal judges formed a unified body of law that was common to the whole kingdom. Today, the principles of this common law are the basis for law in many English speaking countries such as the United States.
Thomas Aquinas- He was a scholar that linked faith and reason in the mid 1200's. Born in 1225 in Italy, he joined the Dominicans when he was 18, then studied in the University of Paris and stayed to teach there after graduating. He wrote the Summa Theologiae between 1267 and 1273; in its 27 volumes, he answered 631 philosophical questions about God and the universe using logic and reason.
Chivalry- By the High Middle Ages (1000-1300), knights were expected to live up to a complex set of ideals which became known as the code of chivalry. The code demanded that a knight fight bravely in the defense of three masters: his earthly feudal lord, his heavenly Lord, and his chosen lady. In addition, a knight had to aid the poor and defend the weak. Few knights actually met these standards; nevertheless, the ideals of chivalry raised European civilization to a new level.
The Crusades- In 1095, the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus appealed to the pope for assistance against the Seljuk Turks who had recently stormed Baghdad, taken Jerusalem, and conquered all of Asia Minor from the Byzantine Greeks. In response, Pope Urban II called on the knights of Christendom to join a crusade to rescue Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the Muslim Turks. In 1096, about 50,000 to 60,000 knights became crusaders (a crusader is someone who fights on behalf of a religious cause). The pope's goals for the crusades were to reunite Byzantine and Roman Christians and to show off his power. The knights were fired by religious zeal, the glory and the spoils of battle. Some merchants supported the crusades because they were eager to win control of key trade routes to India, Southeast Asia, and China. The First Crusade began in 1097. The crusaders were well prepared for battle, but not for the journey over the desert to jerusalem. Only about one fourth of the soldiers survived the journey; nonetheless, they captured Jerusalem on July 15, 1099. Later Crusades accomplished little, as the crusaders' states were vulnerable to Muslim counterattack. In 1144, Edessa was reconquered by the Turks, and the Second Crusade was organized to recapture the city, but it failed. The Third Crusade was known as the Kings' crusades because it was headed by three kings: the French King Philip Augustus, the German emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and the English king Richard I (the Lionheart). Barbarossa fell off his horse and drowned while crossing a river, and Philip Augustus caught a fever and went home. Richard fought valiantly to regain the Holy land, but ended up agreeing to a three year truce in 1192 where Jerusalem remained under Muslim control but unarmed Christian pilgrims could freely visit the city's holy places. In 1202, Pope Innocent III appealed for one more Crusade to rescue Jerusalem from the Muslims. Merchants from Venice promised to furnish the crusaders with ships and money for their journey to the Holy Land. In exchange, the crusaders had to attack the island of Zara (one of Venice's trading rivals) in the Adriatic Sea. The pope protested, was ignored, the crusaders took Zara, and the pope excommunicated them. Next, they moved against Constantinople. The city was split between rival leaders and could not defend itself well. The city was sacked by the crusaders in 1204, and that marked the end of the Fourth Crusade. The Fifth (1218-1221), Seventh (1248-1254) and Eighth (1270) Crusades were all aimed at Islamic cities in Egypt and North Africa. Of all the later Crusades, the Sixth Crusade (1228-1229) came nearest to success. Frederick II, Roman emperor, led an army to the Holy Land where he met with Saladin's nephew and peacefully negotiated a treaty by which Jerusalem was returned to Christian rule. The pope called this treaty a “pact with the devil” and excommunicated Frederick. The Christians' last stronghold in the Holy Land, the city of Acre, fell to the Muslims in 1291; this marked the end of the crusades.
Pope Urban II- He was the pope responsible for the First Crusade. He hoped to show off his power and reunite Byzantine and Roman Christians such that they would recognize the pope as the supreme head of the Church, in addition to recapturing Jerusalem.
Saladin- A Muslim conqueror, he recaptured Jerusalem in 1187, then agreed in 1192 with Richard the Lionheart to a three year truce where Jerusalem remained under Muslim control but unarmed Christian pilgrims could freely visit the city's holy places.
Holy Land- A region on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea in what is present day Israel and Palestine that is revered by Christians as the place where Jesus Christ lived and taught, by Jews as the land given to the people of Israel, and by Muslims.
Consequences of the Crusades- Though the Crusades failed to accomplish their primary objective of conquering and holding the Holy Land, they did have some lasting effects, namely a decline of papal prestige, a decline in the power of nobles, a decrease in Byzantine power, and an increase in religious intolerance. The success of the First Crusade strengthened papal prestige, but the failure of later crusades lessened it. Thousands of knights died in battle or went broke because they sold their properties to finance their expeditions, so they were weakened. European monarchs took advantage of this by strengthening royal power. The Fourth Crusade dealt a serious blow to the Byzantine Empire; Constantinople regained its independence, but never recovered its former power or prestige. An increase in religious intolerance could only be expected from two centuries of religious warfare. Hostility increased between not only Christians and Muslims, but Christians and Jews.
Joan of Arc- She was a peasant girl that felt led by God in 1429 to drive the English army out of France (at the time of the Hundred Years' War) and give the French crown to France's true king, Charles VI's son. Surprisingly, she was successful.
Magna Carta- In 1214, John “Softsword”, the brother of Richard I, tried again to recover his lands in France. Once again, Philip Augustus defeated him. The barons (all the nobles of England who were direct vassals of the king) revolted and demanded that he changed his ways of governing. He was forced to sign the Magna Carta on June 15, 1215. It guaranteed basic rights. Some of the most important guarantees were no taxation without representation and the right to trial by jury. The Magna Carta brought with it the idea of a limited monarchy.
Parliament- In 1295, Edward I, king of England, was planning another war to defend his last remaining French lands. To raise taxes for that war, he needed support from all influential groups. He summoned two burgesses from every borough and two knights from every county to serve as a parliament, or legislative group.
Louis IX of France- He ruled from 1225 to 1270 and was grandson of Philip Augustus. He came to the throne at age 12 and in his early years France was actually ruled by his mother, Blanche of Castile. Better known as Saint Louis, he was pious and popular and had a passion for justice. He created a supreme court for France called the parlement of Paris; this parlement could overturn the decisions of local courts. The royal courts of France strengthened the monarchy while weakening feudal ties, centralizing the government of France.
Nation-state- A nation-state is a group of people who occupy a definite territory and are united under one government. The people of a nation-state are also culturally united.
Pope Boniface VIII- In 1300, the pope was an able but subborn Italian named Boniface VIII. He tried to force the rulers of Europe to obey him as they had obeyed earlier popes. He had issued a bull (official statements by the pope were called bulls) in 1296 stating that kings were not to tax the clergy. It was aimed at Philip IV, who was taxing Church property to pay for a war against England. Philip shrugged it off. Boniface should have taken it as a warning, but ignored it. In 1302, he issued another bull known as the Unam Sanctam. Philip also ignored this. Before Boniface could excommunicate him, Philip send a small army to Itally to kidnap the pope and bring him to France for trial. In September 1303, soldiers burst into his palace at Anagni outside Rome and took him captive. The townspeople rescued him but he died a month later.
Unam Sanctam- The bull issued by Pope Boniface VIII in 1302 was known as the Unam Sanctam. It declared that there were two powers on earth, the temporal (earthly) and the spiritual (heavenly). The spiritual power, he said, was always supreme over temporal power. In short, kings must always obey popes.
Babylonian Captivity- The period from 1309 to 1376 was called the Babylonian captivity, as the English, Germans and Italians complained that the Church was held captive in Avignon just as the Jews had been held captive in Babylon.
Avignon- Avignon was a city on the borders of France. In 1309, Pope Clement V announced that political violence in Rome threatened his life, so he moved to Avignon.
Great Schism- In 1378, Pope Gregory XI died while visiting Rome. The College of Cardinals then chose a successor, an Italian named Pope Urban VI. They regretted their choice almost immediately. After a few months, 13 French cardinals elected another pope; they chose Robert of Geneva, who spoke French. He took the name Clement VII. The two popes excommunicated each other and declared each other to be false popes. The French pope moved back to Avignon while the Italian pope remained in Rome. The began the split in the Church known as the Great Schism. In 1414, Sigismund, the newly elected emperor of Germany, arranged a Church council to end the Great Schism. This council was known as the Council of Constance (for the council met in the German city of Constance) forced all three popes at the time to resign with the help of the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1417, a new pope was chosen, Martin V. Thus ended the Great Schism.
John Wycliffe- He was an English scholar that challenged the Church. From 1360 to 1382, he taught religion at Oxford University. His major ideas were:
The true head of the Church was Jesus Christ, not the pope.
Like Jesus and his disciples, the clergy should own no land or wealth.
The Bible alone, not the pope, was the final authority for Christian life.
He translated the New Testament into English. He died peacefully in 1384.
John Huss- He was a Bohemian scholar that challenged the Church. He was influenced by Wycliffe's writings and taught that the authority of the Bible was higher than that of the pope. He also preached his sermons in Czech rather than Latin. He was excommunicated in 1411 and in 1414, Sigismund invited him to the Council of Constance, promising him safe conduct. When he arrived, he was seized, tried as a heretic, and burned at the stake in 1415.
Little Ice Age- Around 1300, global temperatures dropped. Glaciers slowly advanced over Greenland and parts of Scandinavia. Fall frosts came early to the fields of Europe. The shorter growing season meant smaller harvests and a reduced food supply.
Black Death- In 1347, four Genoese ships arrived in Sicily from the Black Sea. They brought with them a disease known as the Black Death. Carried by fleas on rats, the black death killed about 25 million people (about a third of the population of Europe at the time) in the 5 years between 1347 and 1352.
Hundred Years' War- In 1337, war broke out between England and France over an English king's claims to land in France. It lasted lasted off and on for 116 years, ending in 1453. It was fought almost entirely on French soil. It can be divided into four stages. From 1337 to 1360, King Edward III of England invaded France, captured the king and gained control over much of France. From 1361 to 1396, the french reconquered almost everything the English had won. From 1397 to 1420, the English invaded France again and conquered the northern half of the country. From 1421 to 1453, the French rallied. In 1429, inspired by Joan of Arc, they began a drive that forced the English out of all France, except the western port city of Calais.
Longbow- During the Hundred Years' War, new weapons were introduced that revolutionized warfare and society. One such weapon was the longbow. England won its early victories in the war because of the longbow. The arrows were dangerous at a range of 300 yards and fatal at 100 yard. When horses were hit by arrows from longbows, they fell down, and their riders couldn't get up because of all the armor they wore. English footsoldiers then killed the fallen with long knives, and the finest French cavalry was wiped out.
Cannon- The other such weapon was the cannon. The first cannons were used sometime after 1250, but European cannons grew much stronger after 1400. They could shoot stone balls 20 inches in diameter. In the last years of the Hundred Years' War, both sides used cannons to destroy the walls of the other's castles. Consequently, castles became obsolete in warfare.
Nationalism- Nationalism is a feeling of loyalty to one's own land and people. In Europe during the 1300's, faith and feudalism and in the Church were shaken by the conflicts, and they were replaced by feelings of nationalism. No longer did the people think of the king as simply a feudal lord; instead, he was seen as a national leader fighting for the glory of the nation-state.
War of the Roses- This was a civil war in England that began in 1455. Two branches of the royal family claimed the English crown. One branch, headed by the dukes of York, took a white rose as their emblem, while the other, descended from the dukes of Lancaster, took a red rose as their emblem. They were basically a bloody family quarrel; the wars disrupted the reign of three kings: Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III. Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, making the end of the Wars of the Roses and a turning point for England, as Richard III was England's last medieval king.
Henry VII (Tudor)- The victor at the Battle of Bosworth Field, he was connected to both the Lancastrians and the Yorkists by marriage and inheritance. He ruled from 1485 to 1509 as a new monarch. He continued the tradition of local government by using local landowners as officials called justices of the peace in his whole kingdom. His chief ministers were not great lords but members of the middle class. He also made himself rich through collecting feudal dues with great efficiency, putting “tonnage and poundage” (taxes on imported goods) into effect, and avoiding expensive wars. He also destroyed the power of nobles by having Parliament outlaw the private armies of paid fighters many lords kept. When he died in 1509, England was prosperous and peaceful.
Court of the Star Chamber- Henry VII of England also used the Court of Star Chamber to destroy subjects that were too powerful. It got its name from the starry ceiling in the room where its judges met. It met in secret and violated most ideas of fairness and justice, as people accused of crimes had no right to know what evidence was being used against them. People were tortured so that they would confess. Even so, most people in England accepted the court because Henry used it to keep peace after years of strife.
Isabella and Ferdinand- Isabella, heir to the throne of Castile, and Ferdinand, heir to Aragon, married in 1469 and brought their kingdoms into close alliance. As a devout Roman Catholic, Isabella decided to revive the Inquisition, so Jews and Muslims were forced to either convert to Christianity or leave Spain.
Reconquista- Meaning reconquest, this was a centuries-long effort to drive the Muslims out of Spain, starting in 1063. By the late 1400's, Muslims held only the tiny kingdom of Granada.
Conquest of Granada- Beginning in 1482, Ferdinand and Isabella set out to conquer the last Muslim kingdom, Granada. It took ten years, but in 1492 Granada fell to a Christian army.
Ivan III of Russia- He was the prince of Moscow and he ruled Russia from 1462 to 1505. He married the niece of the last Byzantine emperor in 1472 and began calling himself czar (emperor). In 1480, Ivan III refused to pay tribute to the Mongols. In response, the Mongol ruler led his army to the banks of the Ugra River, and the Russian army stood on the opposite bank. Then, they turned and marched back home, without spilling blood. After this, Moscow was free of Mongol control. The center of Moscow had a walled fortress known as the Kremlin. He tore down the old wall around it and erected a new wall 60 feet high and 15 feet thick. By his death in 1505, he had tripled the territory under Moscow's control- he was both the first czar and the first leader of a united Russian nation. He was also known as Ivan the Great.
Ivan IV “The Terrible”- He came to the throne in 1533 at age 3. His mother, acting as a regent, was poisoned by the boyars in 1538. For the next eight years, the boyars kept Ivan a prisoner, poorly fed and badly clothed; he mistrusted and hated them for the rest of his life. In 1547, he was crowned czar. He married Anastasia, won great victories against the Mongols, destroyed the Mongol khanate on the Volga River, gave a code of laws in 1550, and ruled justly. Hoping to increase trade with Europe, he began a long war to win access to the Baltic Sea. After Anastasia died in 1560, Ivan turned brutally against the boyars, blaming them for his wife's death. He organized a police force whose chief duty was to hunt down “traitors” and murder them. Members of this force were called oprichniki and they killed thousands of boyars and ordinary people. In 1581, he killed his older son and heir during a violent quarrel, leaving only his unintelligent younger son to succeed him.
Boyars- Nobles of Russia, often minor princes, were known as boyars. Like the feudal lords of western Europe, they held large estates, and they opposed the growing power of Russia's czars.
St. Basil's Cathedral- Ivan IV built St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow to celebrate his victories over the Mongols.
Sui dynasty- In 581, Sui Wen-ti took over the north and then conquered the south of China. He brought China under the rule of a strong central government. There were only two Sui emperors, Wen-ti and his son, Yang-ti. Their dynasty lasted from 589 to 618 and laid the foundation for the golden age that followed. Yang-ti completed the work of reuniting China by building the Great canal. However, the endless work of building canals, walls and palaces turned people against the Sui dynasty; Yang-ti was hated. Overworked and overtaxed, the peasants rebelled. In 618, Yang-ti's own servants strangled him.
Grand Canal- The greatest single accomplishment of Yang-ti was the building of the Grand Canal. This canal cut across the center of China, tying together its two great rivers, the Yellow River in the north and the Yangtze river in the south. It united northern and southern China politically and economically; it was started in 605 and completed in 610.
T'ang dynasty- A young rebel general named T'ai-tsung won the throne soon after the death of Yang-ti. The dynasty he founded was the T'ang and it ruled a united China from 618 to 907. T'ai-tsung's reign (627-649) ushered in a golden age when China was the richest, most powerful country in the world. He led armies northwest against the Turks of central Asia and northeast against the Koreans; he reconquered the northern and western lands that China had lost since the decline of the Han dynasty. Korea fought off T'ai-tsung's invasion, but fell to his son in 660 and was forced to pay tribute to China for the next 90 years. T'ai-tsung lowered taxes and took lands from wealthy landlords and gave them to peasants. Another T'ang ruler was empress Wu Chao. She was the only woman ever to rule China in her own name. When T'ai-tsung died in 650, his son succeeded him and made Wu Chao his chief wife and empress. After his death in 683, she ruled in her sons' names, and finally, in 690, she took the throne herself. Her armies won victories in Korea, she lowered taxes and she encouraged the spread of Buddhism in China. The T'ang dynasty had a civil service examination system which made talent more important than high birth in winning power. This created a new middle class in China called the gentry. The T'ang capital was C'hang-an. Literature and art were held in high respect. By the early 700's, the T'ang dynasty was weakening. Crushing taxes brought hardship to the people but failed to meet the government's budget. In 751, Arabs defeated the Chinese on China's west frontier at the Battle of Talas. In 755, an army general lead a revolt against the emperor. A new T'ang emperor regained the throne in 766, but the dynasty never regained its power and prestige. Trade declined and in 906, Ch'ang-an was sacked and burned by rebels. In 907, the last T'ang emperor, a child, was murdered.
Li Po- One of the most celebrated poets of the 700's in China, she wrote about the pleasures of life.
Sung dynasty- In 960, Sung T'ai-tsu, an army leader, proclaimed himself emperor. The Sung dynasty lasted from 960 to 1279. It was a period of military decline; Sung armies never regained the western lands lost at Talas in 751, nor the northern lands lost to the nomadic Hsia and Tatars during the T'ang decline. Beginning in 1004, Sung emperors had to pay a large tribute to the Hsia and Tatars in exchange for safety. However, bribes eventually failed to stop the barbarians. In 1126, the Tatars captured the Sung capital of K'ai-feng. After 1126, Sung emperors ruled only southern China. In the 1200's, the Sung lost its southern half to the Mongols and collapsed.
Invention of printing, compass and gunpowder- The Chinese began to print books around the year 600. In one day, an expert printer could make 2,000 copies of a page. During the 1040's, Pi Sheng created movable type. The Chinese also learned that a magnetized needle floating in a bowl of water always points north-south, and used this device to make sure their houses faced south, as custom required. By 1119, traders from south China realized that the compass could be used for finding directions at sea. Though fireworks were used in China as early as the 600's, explosive weapons using gunpowder were experimented with sometime after the year 1000. Even so, gunpowder remained a minor invention until Europeans learned of it.
Mongol Conquest- Between 1200 and 1350, the Mongols conquered lands from the Pacific Ocean to the Adriatic Sea. Sweeping out of central Asia, they conquered much of the Islamic empire and destroyed Baghdad. They sent their armies westward to Russia, eastward to China, and south to the Himalayas. They ruled the largest unified land empire in history.
Genghis Khan- Around 1200, the Mongols united under the leadership of Temujin (better known by his title, Genghis Khan). He was born in 1160 and the first 20 years of his life were a struggle for survival. At 12, his father was murdered and he was almost killed, but he survived to become a minor chieftain. He spent the next 20 years fighting for power on the Mongolian steppe. In 1206, he became the accepted ruler of all the steppe people. Between 1206 and his death in 1227, he conquered most of Asia. The reasons for his success were his organizing skills, his shrewdness (he employed spies to find out enemy weaknesses), and his cruelty.
Kublai Khan- The conqueror of Sung China was Genghis Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan. He ruled China from 1260 to 1294, taking the Chinese name Yüan for his dynasty. Unlike his barbarian ancestors, he enjoyed living in the luxurious manner of a Chinese emperor. He ruled from a quare capital in northern China that he called Khanbalik, today known as Beijing. He tried to conquer Japan but failed.
Marco Polo- An Italian youth from Venice, he traveled to China in 1275 and served the Great Khan (Kublai Khan) for 17 years. He traveled all over China and made detailed reports of the empire. In 1292, two years before Kublai died, him and his family left China for Venice. He was captured in a war with the rival city of Genoa, and in prison he told the full story of his travels and adventures. A fellow prisoner gathered his stories into a book, but no one believed a word of the book, even though it was all true.
Yüan dynasty- This was the dynasty ruled by Kublai Khan, located in former Sung China.
Ming dynasty- In 1368, Chu Yüang-chang proclaimed himself emperor of the new Ming dynasty and by 1382 he brought all of China under his rule. He then took the name Ming T'ai-tsu and build his capital at Nanking (meaning southern capital) on the Yangtze River and ruled there until his death in 1398. His son, Yung-lo, ruled from 1403 to 1424, moved the capital to Khanbalik and changed the name to Peking (meaning northern capital). Ming T'ai-tsu restored the examination system and he prized education so much that he opened public elementary schools. To preserve the wisdom of the past, Yung-lo commissioned an encyclopedia of worthy Chinese writings from past ages. Over 2,000 scholars worked on the project for 4 years. When completed in 1408, the Yung-lo Encyclopedia filled 11,095 handwritten volumes. By 1600, Ming officials were corrupt. High taxes and bad harvests pushed millions of peasants toward starvation. Peasant revolt and manchu invasion combined to bring down the Ming dynasty.
Cheng Ho- He was an admiral who oversaw the last of seven voyages of China's Great Fleet across the Indian Ocean between 1405 and 1433. During the seventh voyage, he brought back many rare treasures and established relations with more than 20 different realms and sultanates from the Indies to East Africa. After his death in 1434, China's navy began to decline, and by 1500 it became illegal to build large seagoing vessels, as new emperors opposed naval expeditions as wasteful extravagance.
Manchus- To the north and east of China lay Manchuria; people of that region were called the Manchus. By the late 1500's, the Manchus were a threat on China's northern border. Finally, in 1644, peasant revolt and Manchu invasion brought down the Ming dynasty, and the Manchus started the Ch'ing dynasty.
Ch'ing Dynasty- The dynasty ruled by the Manchus, it lasted from 1644 to 1912, and life under the Ch'ing was much the same as life under the Ming.
Yamato emperors- The leading clan in Japan in the year 300 was the Yamato. The Yamato chiefs came to be called the emperors of Japan.
Shinto- The varied customs and beliefs of the Japanese combined to form Shinto, Japan's earliest religion. Shinto means “the way of the gods.” The central idea of Shinto was the worship of nature.
Prince Shotoku- He was the most influential convert to Buddhism in Japan. In 607, he sent a group of scholars to study Chinese civilization firsthand. As a result, the Japanese adopted the Chinese system of writing, painting, architecture, cooking, gardening, hairdressing, etc. Prince Shotoku also tried to model Japan's government after China's, and tried to introduce the examination system (though it failed).
Heian Age- Japan's golden age from 794 to 1185 is known as the Heian age.
Samurai- The warriors who fought for the lord were called samurai, meaning “one who serves.”
Bushido- The samurai lived according to a harsh code called bushido, which meant “the way of the warrior.”
Shogun- Shogun meant “supreme general of the emperor's army.” The shogun had the powers of a military dictator. Officials, judges, taxes, armies, roads and all were under his authority.
Kamakura- This was the shogun's military headquarters during the 1200's. The 1200's are known in Japanese history as the Kamakura shogunate.
Daimyo- After the decline of the Kamakura shoguns, the most powerful of the feudal lords became nearly independent rulers in their own areas. They were known as daimyo, which means great name. Each daimyo commanded his own army of sword-wielding soldiers. Peasants as well as samurai took up arms.
Francis Xavier- He was the leader of the first Christian mission to Japan, and he later became a saint. During his two years in Japan (1549-1551) he baptized hundreds of converts.
Japan under the Tokugawa shogunate- Tokugawa Ieyasu banned Christianity in Japan in 1614. He also banned all European merchants except the Dutch. Japan remained isolated from Europeans for the next 200 years and fell behind Europe in science, technology, and military power, but isolation gave it a long period of peace and stability.
Zen- Zen was the Japanese word for meditation.
Chandra Gupta- In 320 CE, he was crowned king of the upper Ganges valley. He was the first in a line of remarkable rulers who brought a golden age to India.
Science and learning under the Gupta- Science and learning under the Gupta advanced. Learning thrived, and young Hindus of the Brahmin caste attended school from the age of 9 to 30. Some advances in science were inoculation, surgery and a number system based on ten.
Kalidasa- An Indian poet and dramatist, Kalidasa wrote Shakuntala, a play where a king married to Shakuntala ends up in an unfortunate accident and loses all memory of her, still married to her.
Rajputs- Meaning “sons of kings”, the Rajputs were the new group that ruled India that came from warlike tribes that had settled in northwestern India.
Suttee- In India, a woman's highest virtue was devotion to her husband; if her husband died, a faithful wife could show her love by a Hindu rite known as suttee. As her husband's body burned on a funeral pyre, she would remain at his side and die honorably in the flames.
Tamerlane- Timur the Lame, he destroyed Delhi, but his empire fell apart after his death in 1405.
Babur- Meaning the tiger, he ended the Delhi sultanate for good as he conquered India with cannon and fire-power in 1526.
Mughal Empire- The empire established by Babur became known as the Mughal empire. Mughal monarchs were well known for their wealth and power.
Akbar- Grandson of Babur, he ruled the Mughal empire from 1556 to 1605, expanded the empire to almost all of northern India and much of the Deccan and treated Hindus and Muslims equally.
Jahangir- Akbar's son, he was addicted to both wine and opium and played little part in governing during his reign from 1605 to 1627. He married Nur Jahan, a Persian princess, in 1611, and she basically ruled for him.
Shah Jahan- Ruler of northern India, he was one of the wealthiest kings in the world. In 1631, his wife died while giving birth to her fourteenth child. He then commanded that a tomb be built “as beautiful as she was beautiful.” In his rule from 1628 to 1658, he was as cruel towards his enemies as he had been loving towards his wife. He turned away from Akbar's policy of treating Hindus and Muslims as equals.
Taj Mahal- The tomb that was built for Mumtaz Mahal (Shah Jahan's wife) at Shah Jahan's command, artists have praised it for its perfect proportions. Visitors marvel at the way the towering dome and four minarets seem to change colors as the sun moves across the sky. Inside are thousands of carved marble flowers inlaid with tiny sapphires, bloodstones, rubies, and lapis lazuli.
Aurangzeb- Shah Jahan's son, he imprisoned his aging father and attempted to make his empire an Islamic state- in 1669 he ordered the destruction of Hindu temples. He weakened the government.
Red Fort at Agra- This was one of three royal residences built on and within walls of red sandstone in India.
Nanak- He was a thinker that tried to blend the ideas of Hinduism and Islam. He lived from 1469 to 1539 and his teachings combined the strict monotheism of Islam with the Hindu idea of a mystical union with God.
Sikhs- Followers of Nanak became known as Sikhs, meaning “disciples.”
Angkor Wat- The most famous and splendid of the Khmer buildings was Angkor Wat, a temple to the Hindu god Vishnu. Built in the early 1100's, the rectangular temple was more than a half a mile long. The surrounding moat reflected its nine towers, their roofs shining with gold. The towers themselves were shaped like lotus blossoms. The temple included a library and living quarters for its priests.
Khmers- The Khmer empire ruled Cambodia; they built the longest-lasting empire of Southeast Asia. They established a small kingdom in the late 500's, and gradually expanded at the expense of neighboring kingdoms.
Sub-Saharan Africa- The part of Africa south of the Sahara.
Sahara- The Sahara is a vast desert in northern Africa that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, covering an area roughly the size of the United States. Sahara comes from the Arabic word sahra, meaning “desert.” Only a small portion of the Sahara consists of sand dunes; it is mostly a flat, gray wasteland of scattered rocks and pebbles with occasional outcrops of rocks and some ridges.
Kalahari- A vast desert located in southern Africa. Together with the Sahara, these deserts make up a third of Africa's land.
Desertification- When dry grasslands are overgrazed, the grass dies and the light soil dries out and begins to turn to desert. This process is known as desertification.
Kingdom of Kush- The first major kingdom of sub-Saharan Africa, it arose in the middle region of the Nile valley and thrived on trade. Egypt dominated Kush from 2000-1000 B.C. In 751 B.C., a Kushite king named Piankhi led an army down the Nile and conquered Egypt.
Meroë- The Kushite royal family moved to the city of Meroë near the Nile in 550 B.C. It was far enough away from Egypt to provide security and close enough to the Red Sea to trade with Africa, Arabia and India. It had abundant supplies of iron ore, which they used to make iron weapons. They then traded these weapons for luxury items from India and Arabia.
Axum- A city located 400 miles southeast of Meroë. In A.D. 350 King Ezana of Axum conquered Kush. It was the capital of a kingdom located in a rugged plateau region of eastern Africa called Ethiopia.
Kingdom of Zimbabwe- This kingdom lay on a fertile plateau between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers in southeastern Africa. Much of the gold and Ivory traded in the Swahili markets came from here. Its inland location provided protection from Muslim influence. It reached the peak of its power in the early 1400's, but its power was shattered by the arrival of the Portuguese in the early 1500's.
Ghana- The trade routes for the gold-salt trade lay across the savanna farmed by the Soninke people. The Soninke king demanded a heavy tax in both gold and salt from the Arab traders. The Soninke title for their king was Ghana, and the Arabs applied this name to the entire territory; by 700, the empire of Ghana was well established.
Mali- Sumanguru, a ruthless king that ruled over the Mandingo people, at one point crushed any hope of rebellion by executing 11 out of 12 sons of a powerful rival. He spared the twelfth, Sundiata, because he was badly crippled and seemed unlikely to survive. However, Sundiata gained strength and became a popular leader. In 1235, Sundiata's and Sumanguru's armies met in a battle that ended with Sumanguru's death. Sundiata's empire became known as Mali. He promoted agriculture and reestablished the gold-salt trade.
Mansa Musa- Mansa Musa was Sundiata's grandnephew; under his leadership, Mali became a powerful empire that dominated West Africa.
Ibn Battuta- A devout Muslim, Ibn Battuta traveled for 27 years, visiting every country in the Islamic world.
Songhai- A new people that replaced the Mandingo as controllers of the all-important trade routes in 1450.
Timbuktu- One of the cities that flourished during the time of the Songhai was Timbuktu; it was rich in knowledge and wealth.
Griots- Specially trained people known as griots were record keepers in West African societies; they memorized the great deeds of past kings, family histories, and important events in their village.
Anasazi- The Anasazi, or Ancient Ones, lived in the valleys and canyons of the American southwest. They lived in pueblos that dotted the Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico. They created a way of life that thrived from about 600 to 1200, but that way of life depended on having enough rain to grow corn. When a drought struck in the late thirteenth century, they abandoned their pueblos and vanished.
Hopewell- Far to the east of the Anasazi, the Hopewell people built a distinctive culture in what is today southern Ohio. The Ohio River provided them with a trade route. They were skilled craftspeople, and they buried many of their finest products inside thousands of earthen mounds.
Chillicothe- A historic city in South Ohio. Burial mounds found near Chillicothe contained bear-teeth necklaces, a 38-pound copper axe, and beautifully carved pipes made by the Hopewell.
Moche- A civilization that lasted from 100 to 700, it was located along the Peruvian coast. They were masters of metal working and irrigation, but never developed a written language.
Inca- Beginning around 1100, a group called the Inca ruled over Cuzco. In 1438, Pachacuti became the new Inca ruler, and Inca armies under his command proved to be unbeatable. By the late 1400's, the Inca conquered an empire that stretched for 2,500 miles along the western coast of South America. They had a well organized bureaucracy, a system of stone highways to relay messages, and special methods of farming to survive in their dry and mountainous land. Corn and potatoes were their main crops.
Quipu- A 10,000 mile network of stone highways helped hold the Inca empire together. Teams of runners relayed official messages at a rate of about 150 miles a day. The runners often carried a series of knotted strings called a quipu, which was used to tally births, crops, herds, and deaths, as the Inca lacked a written language. Only highly-trained specialists could decipher to color-coded strings and knots. Cuzco- A small town set on a grassy plateau 11,000 feet above sea level ruled by the Inca.
Olmec- A people known as the Olmec settled in the rain forest of Mexico's Gulf Coast in about 1200 B.C. They built stone heads and ceremonial centers which contained large pyramids surrounded by altars to perform rituals to please their gods.
Maya- After the decline of the Olmecs, the Maya settled in the rain forests of Guatemala and Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Mayan civilization reached its peak between A.D. 300 and 900. During this time, they built more than 80 independent cities. They were built to uphold ritual and rule, rather than to provide homes. A powerful warlord and an aristocracy of priests governed each city. They worshipped many gods and religion was important in city life. They had a 260 day religious calendar and a 365 day solar calendar.
Tenochtitlán- The capital of the Aztec empire, it was on an island in Lake Texcoco.
Aztec- Between 900 and 1300, waves of invaders swept into the Valley of Mexico. Among them were the Aztec. After 200 years of constant war, the Aztec triumphed over all their neighbors, and by 1500, the Aztec king was taking tribute in gold, silver, cloth, cacao beans, and furs from 11 million subjects. The Aztec king believed that the sun needed human blood to survive. Throughout the year, captives were led up the steps of the Great temple to be sacrificed.
Renaissance- Meaning “rebirth,” the Renaissance was the golden age that started in northern Italy and spread to the rest of Europe from 1300-1600.
Dante- A poet born in Florence in 1265, he praised Beatrice Portinari as his spiritual ideal. He wrote the Divine Comedy and Inferno.
Vernacular- Everyday language
Humanism- Scholars who studied classical texts were called humanists at the time of the Renaissance. They prized Greek and Roman culture highly and under their influence, all painting, scuplture and architecture carried on the traditions of ancient Greece and Rome.
Petrarch- An Italian poet born in 1304, Petrarch wrote both in Italian and Latin; his role model was Cicero, the ancient Roman orator. He strove for the classical virtues of simplicity and purity.
Raphael- Born in 1483, he was an Italian painter and architect of the Renaissance who was celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings.
Castiglione- He wrote a book called The Courtier which became widely popular because it told young people how to become an accomplished person whom everyone would admire.
Isabella d'Este- Born into the ruling family of the city-state of Ferrara in northern Italy, she married the ruler of another city-state, Mantua. Her art collection was famous throughout Europe and she brought many of the greatest Renaissance artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, to the court of Mantua. She was also skilled in politics and she defended Mantua when her husband was taken captive in war and won his release.
Medici Family- As the golden age of the Quattrocento (the high point of the Renaissance during the 15th century) began, Florence came under the rule of the powerful Medici family who had made a fortune in trade and banking.
Florence- Also known as the city of flowers, Florence was in the forefront of artistic developments during the Quattrocento. Donatello- Born in 1386, he was an Italian sculptor. He revolutionized sculpture by carving free standing statues that displayed the back side of figures rather than the front. He tried to make his figures seem real and alive.
Machiavelli- A writer born in 1469, he grew up during the golden age of Italy and witnessed it crumbling down. He wrote a book of advice to rulers in 1513 called The Prince, which answers the question “How can a ruler gain power and keep it despite his enemies?”
Michelangelo- Born in 1475, Michelangelo excelled in many arts, namely sculpting, painting and architecture. He created the Pietá and a large marble statue of David. He also painted the ceiling of the Sistine chapel and designed a huge dome for St. Peter's church in Rome, but died before construction was completed.
Leonardo da Vinci- He was a weapons designer, architect and painter of the Renaissance. He painted “The Last Supper.”
Northern Renaissance- The Renaissance spread to Northern Europe through royal courts and German paintings.
Age of Exploration- The Renaissance spirit played an important role in launching the Age of Exploration. The search for spices and profits, the desire to spread Christianity and the ability to use new technology (the caravel) in Europe also encouraged exploration.
Caravel- In the 1400's, shipbuilders designed a vessel called the caravel that had triangular sails for tacking into the wind, square sails for running before the wind, and a carefully designed hull for riding out ocean storms.
Christopher Columbus- He was a sea captain that crossed the Atlantic for Spain in 1492 in search of a westward route to India. He reached the Americas and thought they were the Indies, and he insisted until his death that the lands that he explored were part of Asia.
Prince Henry the Navigator- Prince of Portugal, he opened a center for navigation at the town of Sagres in 1420. He organized and paid for voyages along the west coast of Africa.
Bartholomeu Dias- He was a Portuguese captain who reached the southernmost tip of Africa (Cape of Good Hope) in 1488.
Vasco da Gama- On July 8, 1497, he set out from Portugal for India. He returned in August 1499 and brought with him sacks of cinnamon and pepper; he had discovered a sea route to India.
Magellan- A Portuguese nobleman, he tried to reach Asia by sailing around South America; he explored the western coast of South America and sailed around the globe. He was killed when they arrived at the Philippines by a poison arrow after they were entangled in a local war, and only 18 of the 230 men he set out with survived the journey.
Vespucci- He was a Florentine merchant who crossed the ocean in 1499 and 1501 and realized that what Columbus thought were the Indies were actually a newly discovered continent.
Balboa- In 1513, he claimed the Pacific Ocean for Spain.
Line of Demarcation- In 1493, to keep the peace, Pope Alexander VI ruled that Spain and Portugal might divide the “Indies”. He ordered a line drawn from north to south through the Atlantic Ocean; all newly discovered lands east of that line would be Portugal's. All lands west of the line would be Spain's.
Verrazano- In 1524, the French king Francis I sponsored a voyage by Verrazano to search for a new route to the Pacific. Although he failed to find a northwest passage, he discovered what is today New York Harbor.
Champlain- In 1608, Champlain sailed up the St. Lawrence river (discovered by Jacques Cartier) and founded the colony of Quebec, which became the center of a thriving fur trade.
Henry Hudson- He was an English sea captain that was hired to search for the northwest passage by the Dutch in 1609. He discovered and sailed up the Hudson river and failed to find a northwest passage, but he started a fur trade with the Algonquin and Iroquois.
John Cabot- He was a merchant who in 1497 reached Newfoundland and claimed it for England.
Columbian Exchange- The enormous widespread exchange of agricultural goods, livestock, slave labor, communicable diseases, and ideas between the Eastern and Western hemispheres that occurred after 1492.
Transatlantic slave trade- Starting in the 1500's, this was the exchange of slaves from Africa for guns and gunpowder. Europeans began gold mines, silver mines and plantations to raise sugar and other crops without anyone to work on them, so they turned to slaves to do the work. The slave trade peaked in the 1700's and lasted to the 1800's.